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Converted to Hospital Ship
310' x 48' x 20'
1 x 4" gun
2 x .303 machine guns
2 x paravanes
& degaussing equipment
Jessie Hague May 1942
At the start of the Pacific war, Centaur was ordered to Sydney, where she began transfer runs from the east coast of Australia to New Guinea, transporting soldiers and war materiel.
Transferred to Australian control on January 4, 1943. At Melbourne she underwent a two month conversion to a hospital ship, capable of voyages of up to 18 days without resupply, and could carry up to 280 cot-bound wounded. Red crosses were painted on her sides, funnel and stern, from the air, a red cross was evident, horizontally on the after deck house. All armament was removed. Registered with the International Committee of the Red Cross during the first week of February 1943, receiving the designation number '47' in Red Cross records.
Returned to service on March 12, 1943 with a mechanical shakedown run between Melbourne and Sydney and a test run transporting wounded from Townsville to Brisbane. Centaur was tasked with the delivery of medical personnel from Port Moresby to Brisbane with Australian and American wounded, along with a small group of prisoners of war.
War Crimes Justice for Submarine
The shipwreck was discovered in the early morning of December 20, 2009. Search director David Mearns said the wreck is located approximately 30 nautical miles due east of the southern tip of Moreton Island (27 deg 16.98 South, 153 deg 59.22 East) at a depth of 2,059 meters. The Australian and Queensland governments jointly committed $4 million to the search and officers from the Department of Defense and the Department of Premier and Cabinet provided oversight and technical assistance to the project.
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