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275' | 45' | 21' 6"
AWM March 19, 1942
On February 19, 1942, Wanaka was at Darwin during the Japanese raid, but only sustained minor damage from bomb splinters.
Next, on March 19, 1942 while unloading in Fairfax Harbor off Port Moresby, the ship left the wharf just prior to Japanese bomber bombing the peir area. While manuvering in Fairfax Harbor, Wanaka herself and bombers dropped 60kg bombs, that fell astern of the ship. A photographer at Port Moresby documented the bombing runs.
39 Battalion Diary, March 19, 1942:
New Guinea Force Diary, March 19, 1942:
On another supply run in the Solomons, the Wanaka delivered supplies to Gavutu Island on March 29, 1942 at the Gavatu Wharf and brought a crash boat for RAAF Marine Section for the Tulagi Flying Boat Base along with 1,000 drums of aviation fuel and general supplies.
WGCDR E.C. Buttfield, C.O. of No.1 Transportation & Movements Office called for RAAF volunteers with sea going experience. Fourteen men were selected, and with necessary gear, supplies, ropes and navigation equipment were flown to the ship in a Martin Mariner flying boat. Tons of sand and coral had to be removed along with all kinds of debris and rotting foods as well as many tons of stone ballast. One hundred tons of bagged sand was placed on the port deck to try to level the ship while temporary hull repairs were made.
Afterwards, the ship successfully sailed back to Sydney. More repairs were made and Wanaka resumed supplying duties with the RAAF until the end of the war.
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