Discussions on the history and historiography of Australia's New England

Saturday, November 06, 2010

SS Allara torpedoed of Newcastle, 1942

My thanks to Hunternewsfeed for this one.

For much of New England's European history, coastal shipping was very important in getting produce out and goods in. Shipwrecks were common; as one example, see North Coast Memories - SS Fitzroy.

During the Second World War, Japanese submarines provided a new type of danger. Today's Newcastle Herald gives an example. I quote: 

It was July 23, 1942, in the midst of World War II, and Newcastle was still reeling from being shelled by a Japanese submarine. Authorities knew there were more about.

The SS Allara, carrying a load of sugar from Cairns to Sydney, was about 25 nautical miles off the coast when it was hit by a torpedo, one of two fired by the enemy sub I-175.

The explosion, which blew off the ship's propeller and rudder, killed five crew and seriously injured another two. Miraculously, the Allara didn’t sink and tugs raced from Newcastle to tow the damaged vessel to safety.

Linked to the story are a series of photos showing the damage done to the ship. 

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