Built in 1925 as a two masted coal burning passenger vessel. Named "HMS Anhui" for Anhui Province in China and used as a passenger vessel. One of three ships purchased by China Navigation
Company and registered in London, England. The other two vessels were HMS Hanyang and HMS Yochow.
Sometime afterwards, possibly at the start of the Pacific War, acquired by Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij (KPM) / Royal Packet Navigation Company. At the start of the Pacific War, HMS Anhui was operating in Australian waters.
During December 19-21, 1941 at Thursday Island with Aomr Cole then on December 26, 1941 to Moreton Bay off Brisbane before proceeding to Sydney Harbor arriving on December 28, 1941.
Anhui was commandeered by the U. S. Army as a small ship designated "X-6" for use as a cargo vessel to transport troops and supplies between Australia and New Guinea. The vessel was painted gray and armed with a 3" deck gun, four .50 caliber machine guns and four .30 caliber machine guns for anti-aircraft defense.
On February 14, 1942 departed Sydney Harbor bound for Brisbane arriving February 16-22 then departed for Bowen arriving February 24 then to Thursday Island arriving February 28, 1942.
Departed westward entering Philippine waters by March 1, 1942 as part of the "Robinson
Mission" along with Coast Farmer and Dona Nati that departed Australian on a mission into Japanese occupied Philippines to deliver supplies to Cebu City on Cebu Island arriving on March 20, 1942.
On June 26, 1942 arrived at Sydney Harbor then departed for Townsville arriving July 2, 1942.
During 1943, under the command of Captain Evans.
On November 15, 1942 at Adelaide embarked U. S. Army 32nd Infantry Division soldiers then steamed to Brisbane arriving on November 17, 1942 then to Townsville arriving two days later then departed November 21, 1942 at 5:30pm as part of a convoy along with three Liberty ships. On November 26, 1942
arrived at Fairfax Harbor off Port Moresby where the Army troops were transferred to Australian destroyers and transported ashore.
During December 1943, at Townsville embarked U. S. Army troops and supplies including I Corps, headquarters company and disembarked them at Goodenough Island during early January 1944.
Until the end of the Pacific War, Anhui remained in U. S. Army service until September or December 1945.
On November 29, 1945 Anhui made a voyage between Sydney Harbor to Hong Kong. Ultimate fate unknown.
Some sources refer to this vessel as simply "Anhui" or "Anhua" [sic], "SS Anhui".
Lloyd’s Register of Ships - HMS Anhui - Year of build 1925 Gross Tonnage 3,494 (1925–1929) [not available online]
Lloyd’s Register of Ships - HMS Anhui - Year of build 1925 Gross Tonnage 3,494 (1930–1945)
Australian Navy - WWII Merchant Ship Movement Records - Andrew Jackson to AS1806 [PDF]
Diary of Lt. Frank Cheatham. US Army 32nd Division, 1st Battalion, 'D' Company
"Nov 15, 1942 – We boarded the SS Anhui, a Chinese Tramp Steamer, bound for New Guinea. Our stay in Australia was exactly seven months having landed in Adelaide on May 15. We received a grand send off considering it [was] a secret move. All of the 127 Task Force left. The first night out was very choppy and a high wind blowing – we slept very little. There are four ships in our convoy and all small. One US gunboat is our escort.
Nov 18, 1942 – Still in the Reefs and more beautiful than yesterday. We had AA practice this PM at 1400, which turned out pretty well. I listened to news over Captain Evans’ radio and it sounds pretty good - he is Captain of the SS Anhui. Took some pictures today for the first time of the Great Barrier Reefs and of the ship."
Pacific Island Odyssey by Carl R. Thien
"The crew of the ship were Melanesian and the officers were Dutch.”
Passengers In History - Anhui
Passengers In History - Anhui - Four official logs 1942 - 45 (Australian Archives Brisbane BP 200)
Passengers In History - Anhui -
Five official logs 1941 - 44 (Australian Archives Sydney SP 290)
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August 18, 2018