Queen Mary - Travelled Sydney to Syria
Built by John Brown and Company Clydebank, Scotland for Cunard White Star Line. 81,237 tons. Speed 28.5 knots. Length 1,019.4 feet. Beam 118.5 feet. Height 181 feet. Draught 39 feet. 2139 passengers (776 first class, 784 tourist class, 579 third class). 1,101 crew. Laid down 01/12/1930. Launched 26/09/1934. Radio Callsign GBTT. Maiden voyage 27/05/1936 as passenger liner. Designated H.M.T. N.N. and refitted as troopship in Sydney, New South Wales to carry Australian and New Zealand soldiers to the United Kingdom. Often travelled out of convoy and without escort since U-Boats could not match her speed. The forward section was fitted with anti-aircraft guns.
SS Orcades - Travelled from Syria to Java
Passenger / cargo ship. Built by Vickers Armstrong at Yard 712, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England, United Kingdom. Launched 07/12/1936. Completed July 1937. 23,456 tons. Speed 20 knots. Length 194.9 metres. Beam 25.1 metres. Twin screws driven by single-reduction Parsons steam turbines. Accommodation : 463 first class and 605 second class passengers. Cruise ship between London and Brisbane. Used as troopship 1940 to 1942 as H.M.T. Orcades. Sunk by U-boat 10/10/1942 in position 31º51’S, 14º40’E on return voyage from South Africa to Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Tamahoko Maru - Sunk on route to Nagasaki
Cargo ship. Built by Harima at Yard 11, Aioi, Japan. Completed March 1919 as Yone Maru. Displacement 6,780 tons. Speed 10 knots. Single screw. Length 129.5 metres. Beam 16.3 metres. Renamed 1930 to Tamahoko Maru. Japanese hellship used to transport slave labour (including prisoner of war) under horrendously disgusting conditions. Thousands died in transit to different work camps. Hellships were often attacked by the Allies as they were marked like any other enemy shipping. 24/06/1944 torpedoed and sunk by the Balao class submarine U.S.S. Tang (SS-306) southwest of Kagoshima in position 32º24’N, 129º38’E.
HMAS Formidable - Travelled Signapore to Sydney.
Royal Navy Illustrious class aircraft carrier built by Harland and Wolff at Yard 1007, Belfast, Ireland. Keel laid down 17/06/1937. Launched 17/08/1939. Completed 24/11/1940. Length 229.7 metres. Beam 29.2 metres. 23,200 tons. 28,619 DWT. Speed 31 knots. Triple screws. Nicknamed `Old Formy’. Commissioned 24/11/1940.