HMAS Kuttabul, formerly SS Kuttabul, was a Royal Australian Navy depot ship, converted from a Sydney Ferries Limited ferry. During the Japanese midget submarine attack on Sydney Harbour on 31 May 1942, Kuttabul was sunk, with 21 naval personnel aboard.
Kuttabul after sinking
|Namesake:||Aboriginal word meaning wonderful|
|Owner:||Sydney Ferries Limited|
|Port of registry:||Sydney|
|Route:||Circular Quay-Milsons Point|
|Builder:||Walsh Island Dockyard and Engineering Works, Newcastle|
|Out of service:||1940|
|Owner:||Royal Australian Navy|
|Acquired:||7 November 1940|
|Commissioned:||26 February 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk 1 June 1942|
|Length:||183 ft (56 m)|
|Beam:||36.9 ft (11.2 m)|
Kuttabul originated as a steam-powered ferry, built in 1922 by the Walsh Island Dockyard and Engineering Works in Newcastle for Sydney Ferries Limited. Kuttabul was rated at 448 gross and 201 net tonnes (1269 and 569 m³), was 183 feet (56 m) long, with a beam of 36 feet (11 m), and capable of seating approximately 2,250 passengers. Kuttabul and identical sister ship Koompartoo were the largest ferries ever operated on the inner harbour ferry routes, though Kuttabul had a larger passenger capacity (2,250) than Koompartoo (2,089). Both ferries were of steel construction with a wooden superstructure. Both vessels were constructed with 18 watertight compartments, regarded as being unsinkable and therefore were not required to carry life-saving equipment.
Kuttabul spent most of its life as a double-ended Sydney suburban ferry, carrying passengers across Sydney Harbour, linking the downtown ferry terminal at Circular Quay with various suburban ferry wharves, but especially the heavy route to Milsons Point.
After the outbreak of World War II, Kuttabul was requisitioned by the Royal Australian Navy on 7 November 1940, and moored at the Garden Island naval base to provide accommodation for Allied naval personnel while they awaited transfer to their ships.
On the night of 31 May-1 June 1942, three Ko-hyoteki class midget submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy entered Sydney Harbour with the intention of attacking Allied warships. According to the official account, only one of the submarines, designated M-24, was able to fire her torpedoes, but both missed their intended target: the heavy cruiser USS Chicago. The torpedoes, fired around 00:30, continued on to Garden Island: one ran aground harmlessly, but the other hit the breakwater against which Kuttabul and the Dutch submarine K-IX were moored. An alternate conclusion, fortified by the contemporaneous log of the diver who found M-24 later on the day of the attack, was that Kuttabul had fallen to a five-inch shell from the Chicago.:420 In either case, the explosion broke Kuttabul in two and sank her.
The attack killed 19 Royal Australian Navy and two Royal Navy sailors asleep aboard the ferry, and wounded another 10. It took several days for the bodies of the dead sailors to be recovered, with a burial ceremony held on 3 June. One of the ferry's wheelhouses was salvaged and used as a naval police guardhouse at the Garden Island naval base; the base was commissioned on 1 January 1943 as the stone frigate HMAS Kuttabul in commemoration of the ferry and the lives lost. The wheelhouse later came into the possession of the Australian War Memorial, and is on display alongside a composite submarine built from the wreckage of two of the Japanese midget submarines.
One ship and one shore establishment of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) have been named HMAS Kuttabul.
HMAS Kuttabul (ship), a former harbour ferry acquired during World War II for use as an accommodation ship. Kuttabul was sunk by torpedo during the 1942 Japanese submarine attack on Sydney Harbour.
HMAS Kuttabul (naval base), a naval base at Garden Island, New South Wales which was renamed in 1943 in honour of the accommodation ship, is the primary East Coast base of the RAN.Kuttabul
Kuttabul may refer to:
HMAS Kuttabul (naval base)
HMAS Kuttabul (ship)
|Former ferry operators|
1941 1942 1943
May 1942 July 1942
Shipwrecks and scuttled vessels of New South Wales