- Richardson, G
- Ship histories and stories, WWII operations
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Australia II, HMAS Warrnambool I, HMAS Bendigo I, HMAS Cessnock I, HMAS Swan II, HMAS Colac, HMAS Townsville I, HMAS Broome, HMAS Warrego II, HMAS Arunta I, HMAS Katoomba, HMAS Hobart I, HMAS Lithgow, HMAS Bungaree, RAFA Kurumba, HMAS Stuart I, HMAS Ballarat I
- June 1975 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
1.9.42. At jolly old sea. I refuse to comment on the weather or the state of the sea. Catalinas do patrol for us.
2.9.42. Arrived at Port Moresby.
3.9.42 – 6.9.42. Towing lighters from ships to shore and vice versa. Just a glorified tug, that’s us.
7.9.42. Left to pick up a convoy about 24 hours steaming south.
8.9.42. Picked up the convoy at 1700.
9.9.42. Arrived back at Moresby and proceeded to ferry troops ashore. Seem mostly returned men. Took wounded out to the Manunda. Our boys don’t seem to be doing too well at present. They tell us it’s not the Japs they’re fighting, it’s the country.
10.9.42. Weighed and proceeded.
11.9.42. At sea with a convoy bound for Townsville.
12.9.42. Arrived in Townsville and got our mail. It’s the only bright spot in our existence.
13.9.42. At Townsville. Tried to tow the Yankee ship West Cactus off the mud, but nearly went on ourselves. Left the so-and-so there.
14.9.42. Sailed with a convoy for Moresby. They’re whipping the men and gear up there now in a hurry.
17.9.42. Arrived at Port Moresby and spent two days ferrying troops working all night.
20.9.42. Weighed and proceeded on our own to Milne Bay. Old ship is pile-driving pretty good.
21.9.42. Arrived at Fall River. I never get sick of the scenery. There’s a sunken ship alongside the wharf now that wasn’t here before.
22.9.42. Milne Bay. Stuart took commandos up to an island nearby to mop up survivors of a Jap destroyer. Got a few prisoners.
24.9.42. Put to sea with a convoy. Passed Task Force No. 6.
25.9.42 and 26.9.42. At sea bound for Townsville.
27.9.42. At Townsville. Went alongside at Ross Cr.
28.9.42. At Townsville. Commenced boiler clean. Party of ten went to Magnetic Island for two days of recreation leave.
29.9.42 – 30.9.42. Townsville. Ship’s company inoculated, tending to make us happier! (I don’t think.)
1.10.42. Slipped and proceeded alongside a tanker in Cleveland Bay. On completion of oiling, anchored and carried out A/S sweep.
2.10.42. Anchored close to Magnetic Island. Ship’s company pretty liverish and liable to be nasty.
3.10.42. Alongside the Lithgow. Leave granted to two watches.
4.10.42. Slipped and proceeded to sea at 2300.
5.10.42. At sea with Katoomba and seven ships, which is a large convoy for these waters. At 1315 sub. alarm sounded and we closed up at Action Stations. Wasn’t a sub. but a large shoal of fish. Wouldn’t it tear your shirt? 1430 Arunta galloped up and took up station at the head of the convoy. She’s my idea of a decent ship.
6.10.42. At sea. Weather is getting worse. Arunta carried on with one ship for Milne Bay.
7.10.42. Went through the reef at 1600 and proceeded alongside a freighter and took off 500 Yank troops, all whingeing and moaning. Do ’em good!’
8.10.42. Alongside the wharf at Moresby. Slipped at 0700 and went on A/S outside the reef. The Taroona came out and went south, and Ballarat came in with two ships. 1215 went alongside American ship and disembarked about 250 RAAF personnel.
9.10.42. Started towing a target for the shore gunners, but the darned tow line kept breaking. Nearly sat on the reef, and the shoot was washed out after a few salvos. She’s a great life if you don’t weaken.