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  MV Laurabada (HMAS Laurabada)

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AWM April 9, 1942

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AWM April 12, 1942

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AWM Oct 5, 1945

Wartime History
Prewar, operated by the Papuan administration in New Guinea. During early 1942, this vessel was comandeered by the Royal Australian Navy as HMAS Laurabada, armed with a machine gun.

During early April 1942, under the command of Lt. Ivan Chapman, RANVR sailed via the Trobriand Islands before arriving at Jacquinot Bay on April 10, 1942 to rescue 156 Australian soldiers and civilians that had gathered at Pal Mal Mal after fleeing Rabaul.

Evacuees included Pvt George Charles Russell, VX34177, Sgt Leslie Ian Hamilton Robbins, Rabaul Fortress Signals Unit. Sgt S. Costello, NGVR. Lt. A. G. Fischer, 17th Anti-Tank Battery. Lt. D. M. Selby, NX142851, Commanding Officer, Anti Aircraft Battery. Major W. T. "Bill" Owen, 2/22nd Battalion; Captain C. E. Goodman, 2/22nd Battalion; Major E. C. Palmer, 2/10 Field Ambulance. Pte Leslie William Fawcett, NX45605. Pte William Cook. LCpl John Maxwell Holah, NX59095. Major Edward Charles Palmer, NX35096. Pte George Charles Russell, VX34177. Private Leigh James Doyle, VX22944. Gunner Walter Alexander Richardson, NX57390. Private Vincent Lyons, VX24936. Private Frank Hall Kinnersley, VX44953. Private John Robert Copland, VX28345. Private Bruce Evans, VX23858. Private George William Britten, VX21868. Private Henshall, VX30541. LCpl William Chapman, VX24061. Cpl John William Appleton, NX51455. Pvt Douglas Arthur Gallahar, VX24932. Gunner Patrick Thomas Hampson, VX29050. Major E. C. Palmer 2/10 Field Ambulance; Captain C. E. Goodwin. Lt. J. D. Uzzell, VX44355. Civilians included: Mrs Watterman and her family, along with Mrs Janke. Mr. L. J. Froggatt, Government Entomologist.

On April 12, 1942 arrived at Fairfax Harbor unloading the passengers at the main jetty off Port Moresby. Afterwards, the survivors boarded MV Macdhui and were transported to Townsville.

On May 26, 1942, rescued Lt(jg) Quigley and P.O. Wheelhouse crew members of ditched SBD Dauntless 4531 from Rossel Island (Yela).

During late May to early June 1942 with Lt Mac Rich and Ivan Chapman aboard visited Deboyne Lagoon including Panaeati Island. Panapompom Island and Nivani Island. During their visit, they interview natives and Chinese resident Ah Gow about the Japanerse occupation of the area and inspect the wreckage of G4M1 Betty 2271.

During June 1945, the vessel was returned to the department of external territory and returned to service with the Papuan administration.

During September to October 1945 made an inspection tour of the islands including Rabaul with Lt. Col C. Normoyle, C.O. Royal Papuan Constabulary and Major General B. M. Morris, commander of Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit (ANGAU). Ultimate fate unknown.

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Last Updated
August 18, 2018


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