The Australian Department of Veterans Affairs nominal roll records 3,500 Australian merchant seamen serving in World War II in Australian registered ships. 2020 Jenkins, David, "Battle Surface - Japan's Submarine War against Australia 1942 - 44", Random House Australia, 1992 . The Stevedoring Commission marked the beginning of the end of the old system of waterside employment. The maritime history of Australia in peace and war has been until recently a largely neglected subject. The Small Ships were manned by Merchant Seaman from all over the world. The impact of the war on merchant seamen was little known except to people in the towns along the coast where it happened, and to the families and friends of the men whose lives were so imperilled. With a membership of 4500 at the beginning of the war the overall fatality rate among members of the union was 8.5 per cent, a rate higher than that sustained by other branches of Australia’s fighting services. Places of Pride, the National Register of War Memorials, is a new initiative designed to record the locations and photographs of every publicly accessible memorial across Australia. Among a number of merchant vessels lost off the Queensland coast during the war was the AUSN coastal steamer Macumba, which was sunk by Japanese aircraft in August 1943 while on a run from Brisbane to Darwin with supplies and war materials. Starting with SS America, laid down in 1937, and ending with SS United States in 1952, the U.S. Maritime Commission built nearly 6,000 ships under the mandate of the 1936 Merchant Marine Act. Most Dutch crewmen were Indonesian nationals. Manned by merchant seamen, they were an emergency response to a critical shortage of maritime cargo ships in the early years of the war, exacerbated by German U-Boat activities in the Atlantic. We recognise their continuing connection to land, sea and waters. Merchant ships were attacked not only in distant waters but also within sight of the Australian coastline while traversing much frequented trade routes. Figures published by the Seaman’s Union of Australia (SUA) in 1972 indicate that 386 members of the union lost their lives during the Second World War. The Website for Merchant Ships during WW2. The Australian Civil Ensign, or Australian Red Ensign, is a red version of the Australian National flag. Given the union’s claim of a total membership of 4,500 at the beginning of the war, the overall fatality rate among seamen members of the SUA during the Second World War was 8.5 per cent, a rate higher than that sustained by Australia’s fighting services. It aims to help researchers find pictures of ships in the Australian trade. Images from the museum's photograph and paintings and object collections are being digitised and added to the collection online search with new items added regularly so don’t forget to check back. We pay our respects to elders past and present. The history of the Royal Australian Navy traces the development of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from the colonisation of Australia by the British in 1788. With a mem… Served WW2 surviving a submarine attack in 1942. The ships are listed alphabetically by name in the paper catalogue. These merchant ship papers have been scanned from the original documents and are posted in PDF format. Ships that sailed independently, rather than in convoys, ran a greater risk of being torpedoed. Our collection contains a wealth of material to help you research and find your connection with the wartime experiences of the brave men and women who served in Australia’s military forces. Details about the role of the Australian Merchant Navy and the role Australian merchant ships played in World War II can be found at Merchant Ships of Australia in World War 2. The Australian War Memorial’s repository of resources related to the service of the merchant navy during war time is limited, although it does contain a collection of cuttings, ship lists and an interview with the captain of the Warilda. 4 September: Admiralty orders the introduction of convoy system for merchant ships. War Dead 1939-45: Search memorials by name and by ship. HMAS Harman and the long range Radio Stations at Sydney and Perth were able to communicate with all Naval ships around Australian waters. Official logs are found with the agreements and crew lists, where they survive. Sadly today, the Australian Merchant Fleet has but something like 45 ships operating on our vast coastline. You can search either by the ship’s name, or the ship's official number for a more accurate search. 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