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In July 1942 the American liberty ship, "Rufus King", mistook the South Passage below Moreton Island for the North West Channel at the northern end of Moreton Island.  It was wrecked on the South Passage Bar off the southern tip of Moreton Island.


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The stern of the American Liberty Ship "Rufus King" in 1942


Rufus King


Many small military ships were used to transport people and cargo to Brisbane from the "Rufus King" after it was wrecked. One of these was the "Acme" which was being used at the time by the Army Water Transport group. The "Acme" was requisitioned from Frank Duffield.


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"Acme" in 1938


Hazel Kennedy (nee Levinge), the great granddaughter of "Tinker" Campbell remembers the wreck of the "Rufus King" occurred, while she was living at Amity during WWII. At the time her parents had returned to Curridgee. She remembers that there was a lot of wreckage washed ashore which the locals picked up. Hazel made some nice blouses out of sheets washed up from the wreck. Material was very scarce at the time due to wartime rationing. Many medical supplies were washed ashore. Many of the men living at Amity, wore those red medical dressing gowns. Vacuum sealed coffee was also recovered from the beaches after the wreck of the "Rufus King".


Seaward Defences for Moreton Bay

Fort Bribie

Rous Battery

Fort Cowan

RAN4 - The Bribie Island Indicator Loop Hut
Part of the Royal Navy's anti-submarine harbour defence for "Fortress Brisbane"

HMAS Tambar hit by "Friendly Fire" from Cowan Cowan, Moreton Island

Was American Submarine USS Triton
accidentally sunk in Moreton Bay by friendly fire?


Can anyone help me with more information?


"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

I need your help


 Peter Dunn OAM 2020


Please e-mail me
any information or photographs

"Australia @ War"
8GB USB Memory Stick

This page first produced 2 April 2001

This page last updated 23 February 2020