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  MV Lakatoi
Motor Schooner


341 Tons
132' x 26'1" x 9'4"

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AWM prewar

Ship History
Built by Taikoo D & E Company in Hong Kong. This vessel was a steel hull single screw motorship powered by a single diesel engine of 46 nhp. During 1938, purchased by Burns Philp & Co. Ltd. and named "MV Lakatoi" and designated an Australian Motor Schooner.

Wartime History
During late January 1942 when the Japanese occupied Rabaul and Kavieng, MV Lakatoi was in Witu Islands. With the Japanese invasion, a white flag was raised to surrender the vessel. Instead, commandeered by the Australian administration.

During April 1942, MV Lakatoi motored to the north coast of New Britain to evacuate Australians that had fled Rabaul. Aboard was Gladys Baker owner of the Witu plantation, Gladys Baker who served as a nurse during the voyage. This vessel successfully evacuated 212 Australians and two women. Those evacuated included Keith McCarthy, Frank Holland and Robinson who survived the Tol Massacre on February 4, 1942 and walked to the north coast. The vessel managed to escape steaming via the Trobriand Islands before arriving at Cairns on March 28, 1942.

Afterwards, this vessel was commandeered by the U. S. Army for use as a small ship transport.

Sinking History
On September 7, 1943 while en route from Sydney bound for Nouméa Harbor, this vessel sank off New Caledonia.

References
New Guinea Engineer page 224
Flotilla Australia - MV Lakatoi

PNGAA - Senior Inspector David Crawley, MBE, Bandmaster, RPNGC Band: Doreen MacGowan (neé Crawley)

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Last Updated
August 18, 2018

 

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