HMAS CENTAUR, (hospital ship), was sunk by a Japanese submarine, (believed to be I178), off the Queensland coast near Brisbane. CENTAUR was on her second journey north to Port Moresby to collect wounded Australian troops, and was clearly marked and illuminated as a hospital ship. A single torpedo struck the ship at about 0400, and the CENTAUR caught fire and sank within two to three minutes. Of the 332 crew and medical staff onboard, some 268 were killed in the attack or later drowned. Japanese submarines were extremely active off the east coast of Australia between February and June 1943, and attacked or sank 14 ships.
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