U.S. ARMY TRANSPORT MV MATAGALPA
IN AUSTRALIAN WATERS DURING WWII

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At the start of World War II, MV Matagalpa was requisitioned by the US Army and was converted at New Orleans, USA into an armed US Army transport.

MV Matagalpa caught fire on 26 June 1942 while berthed at No. 2 Glebe berth, Sydney in New South Wales. Over 100 firemen fought the fire. Whilst the ship burnt men hurriedly unloaded petrol drums from the ship. MV Matagalpa settled on the harbour bed, and was eventually towed away but not repaired. The ship was was eventually scuttled off Sydney in the "disposal area" on 6 September 1947.

MV Matagalpa had originally been commissioned in May 1920 as an 1174-ton Clemson class destroyer USS Osborne DD-295. The ship was decommissioned in May 1930 and was turned into the banana carrier MV Matagalpa.

Apparently Admiral William Halsey was one of the Captains of the original USS Osborne during WWI.


Photo # NH 57976 - Naval Historical Center

USS Osborne underway during the Presidential Fleet Review on 4 June 1927

 

There are three files in National Archives of Australia regarding the destruction by fire of U.S. Army Transport MV Matagalpa.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Justin Taylan / Pacific Wrecks for his assistance with this web page.     Pacific Wrecks

 

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 Peter Dunn 2006

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This page first produced 3 October 2009

This page last updated 04 October 2009