HMAS SYDNEY II
IN AUSTRALIAN WATERS
DURING WW2

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HSK Kormoran found on 12 March 2008

 

HMAS Sydney found 16 March 2008

 

HMAS Sydney II

 

Australian Government purchased three Royal Navy Light Cruisers in 1934. HMAS Sydney II, a 6,830 ton modified Leander class cruiser, returned to Australian waters in late 1941 to carry out troop ship escort duties in waters between Australia and south east Asia.

One of these three cruisers was HMS Phaeton which was renamed as HMAS Sydney II on 24 September 1935.

HMAS SYdney II was 560 feet long, 57 feet wide, had a 16 foot draught and was 8,850 tons loaded. Propulsion was by 4 shaft Parsons Turbines developing 72,000 shaft horsepower, she carried 1,800 tons of fuel oil which gave her a range of 10,300 miles at 14 knots. Her maximum speed was shown as 32.5 knots, complement was 570, main armament was eight 6 inch Mark 23 guns, she had auxiliary armaments of four 4 inch Mark 5 guns, four 4 inch Mark 16 guns, three four barrelled 0.5 inch Machine guns and 2X4 21 inch torpedo tubes. She carried one 620hp Walrus reconnaissance amphibian, her deck armour was 1.25 inches, gun turrets had 1 inch armour, bulkheads 1.5 inch and 3.5 inches in the magazines.

On 19 November 1941, the German Raider Kormoran masquerading as the Dutch merchantman Straat Malakka sank HMAS Sydney II off the West Australian coast. The ship's entire complement of 42 Officers and 603 ratings were all killed as a result of this tragic incident. This included six members of 9 Squadron RAAF who were attached to the Seagull amphibious aircraft attached to HMAS Sydney II.

 

The guns and bridge of HMAS Sydney

 

The Prime Minister of Australian, Mr John Howard, announced during the 60th Anniversary VP Day commemorations in August 2005, that the Australian Government would provide a $1.3 million grant to help fund a search for HMAS Sydney II. The funds will be provided to HMAS Sydney Search and partner David Mearns, who had previously located the wreckage of the "Bismarck" and "HMS Hood". A sonar search of the seabed will be conducted in an area off the Western Australian coast.

 

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This page first produced 18 November 2001

This page last updated 04 September 2018