Hospital Ship Centaur

rickles23
20th December 2009, 11:46
Hi,

The wreck was found today:

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26509762-952,00.html

Regards

sparkie2182
20th December 2009, 12:38
Thanks Rickles23..........


More for those interested............

http://home.st.net.au/~dunn/ozatwar/centaur.htm

Hugh Ferguson
20th December 2009, 16:20
Mr R.G. Rippon, the 2nd mate of the Centaur, had just turned in after keeping the middle watch. He just managed to get clear as the ship took her final plunge.
Richard Rippon continued in Blue Funnel, becoming master and retiring in 1974: he died in September 1996 after a long and eventful sea-going life.
Many thanks to Rickles23 and Sparkie for this information. I'm sure they won't mind my posting these two web-sites in the Blue Funnel file on Mess Deck.

(He was one of the instructors at the Outward Bound Sea School, Aberdovey when I was there in late 1943).

sparkie2182
20th December 2009, 21:01
Pleased to help Hugh......... i include a pic of her memorial.

R.I.P to all souls lost.

tsell
20th December 2009, 21:10
This is great news for the families who lost loved ones on that fateful day.
My thoughts are with them.

Taff

rickles23
21st December 2009, 07:37
Hi Hugh,
No problems from me!
Regards

Hugh Ferguson
21st December 2009, 19:36
The wreck of the torpedoed hospital ship, Centaur, has been discovered. She was torpedoed, whilst on passage from Sydney to Cairns and thence Port Moresby, by a Japanese submarine-assumed to be I-777 commanded by Hajime Nakagawa-on the 14th May 1943.
Of the 332 persons on board 268 did not survive. Amongst the survivors were the 2nd mate, R.G.Rippon; E.D Smith Chief Engineer; E.Banks 3/o; M.Cairney 4th engineer and Torres Straits pilot, captain Jack Salt.
Ellen Savage, nurse, also survived and on Anzac Day 1985, whilst she was attending the usual hospital ship reunion lunch at Sydney Hospital, collapsed and died. She was 72.

For fuller details (thanks to members, rickles23 & sparkie2182) go to:-

http://home.st.net.au/~dunn/ozatwar/centaur.htm

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/s...62-952,00.html



R.G.Rippon became a master in Blue Funnel, retired in 1974 and died in 1996
(later in 1943 he had been an instructor at Outward Bound, Aberdovey, which is where I first met him).
E.D.Smith retired in 1967, he died at age 89 in 1987

Capt.John Bax. Ret.
24th December 2009, 19:57
THE AUSTRALIAN HOSPITAL SHIP CENTAUR THAT WAS SUNK BY A JAPANESE SUBMARINE IN WW 2 WITH TERRIBLE LOSS OF LIFE IS NOW REPORTED LOCATED AND SUV'S ETC WILL BE SENT DOWN IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS TO CONFIRM IDENTITY. CENTAUR WAS A BLUE FUNNEL VESSEL ON LOAN TO THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT AS A HOSPITAL SHIP AND WAS FULLY MARKED AND LIT UP FULLY AS PER HOSPITAL SHIPS WERE WHEN SHE WAS DELIBERATELY ATTACKED AND SANK IN 3 MINS WITH A HUGE LOSS OF LIFE.

THE VESSEL IS LAYING IN THREE PIECES IN APPROX 3000 M OF WATER OFF THE QUEENSLAND COAST. SHE IS A DESIGNATED WAR GRAVE.

IT SHOULD BE MENTIONED THAT THE HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY IN THIS SEARCH HAS RECEIVED VERY GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM THE AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL GOVERMENT AND ALSO THE GOVERMENT OF QUEENSLAND AND IS BEING CARRIED OUT BY PROBABLY WHAT IS THE WORLD'S MOST ADVANCED WRECK LOCATING COMPANY.

MORE WILL BE POSED HERE AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE FROM THE CENTAUR ASSOCIATION TO ME.

CAPT.JOHN BAX. EX BLUE FUNNEL. RET. [/B][/B]

tsell
25th December 2009, 01:59
It is reported that the Japanese are refusing to accept responsibility for the sinking. They say the circumstance are unclear as a result of their own investigations, according to their Embassy in Canberra.
They refuse to release details if their inquiry, saying they would await the outcome of the Australian investigation.
The matter is stirring up considerable controversy here.

Taff

Capt.John Bax. Ret.
26th December 2009, 11:06
Following is an E Mail from President
2/3 AHS Centaur Association Inc

Dear Centaur Family

Christmas has sneaked up on me while I was concentrating on something else!

I can't say it often enough, the enormous effort this year by many, from the
Prime Minister and Premier of Queensland down, has delivered a wonderful
present being the location of 2/3 AHS Centaur.

Another small present for you is attached. The photos are of the blessing
of the plaque we intend to place on the seabed next to Centaur and those
still on board.



The blessing of the plaque was performed by Rev Paul Weaver (right with
microphone) and Fr Artur Wojtowicz (left), representing all faiths, in the
113 AGH Chapel at Concord Hospital, 22 December 2009. My appreciation to
dozen or so members, who could turn up with such short notice. There will
be more details in a report on the ceremony in the next Newsletter.

For those who couldn't attend there will be a main memorial service for
family and friends, which is in the planning and will probably take place
mid January to February, at sea over the site of Centaur. As soon as we
know more details I will let you know immediately. I also know there are
some members who have been waiting for location of Centaur to cast the ashes
of their deceased relatives into the sea above the location now it is known.

The encapsulated CD attached to the plaque contains the names of all
personnel on 2/3 AHS Centaur when she was torpedoed. Against each name is
their age at the time, their home, the service to which they belonged, their
immediate relatives and those relatives, descendants and friends alive today
that we know about. There is no rank as we considered all were equal in
giving their lives for us. Also recorded for their lost loved ones, are
many, many, very personal messages and photographs from relatives,
descendants and friends still living.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year on behalf of our association and from
me personally.


Regards

Richard

President
2/3 AHS Centaur Association Inc

tsell
27th December 2009, 04:26
Than you for the posting John.

Regards

Taff

Davina Bannister
7th January 2010, 22:09
Gordon Rippon was my father. He always maintained until his death (in 1996) that he knew the exact position of the Centaur. It is such a pity that he died before he knew that they had found it. He found it very painful to talk about the event but did talk to Chris Milligan about his experiences which are recounted in Chris' book about the Centaur.

Santos
10th January 2010, 19:30
First picture of the wreck of the Centaur HERE (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8450511.stm)

Chris.

SN NewsCaster
11th January 2010, 01:10
An Australian WWII hospital ship, the Centaur, is seen for the first time since it was torpedoed more than 60 years ago.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/8450511.stm)

Mike S
11th January 2010, 01:56
This is the same guy who found the HMAS Sydney last year.

A wonderful achievement and one that will bring a sense of release to many families who lost loved ones in that disgusting contravention of the codes of decency and the Geneva Convention.

The reaction of the Japanese Government is of course to be expected.

May they rest in peace.

spongebob
11th January 2010, 02:15
I recently read a war history account called "1942" about Australia's peak year of fear of a Japanese invasion.
It appeared a well researched account which probed the records of the Japanese military, especially the Navy, to proved a very telling insight into those times.
Although the Author had relatively free access to the war records he found that there is very little record of the war in general reference books that are available on the public record so by and large the Japanese persons in the street are only told a limited story and ones that speaks of their defence of there homeland against the American and other agressors.
So much so that in recent times a body of young Japanese tourists visiting the Sunshine Coast when shown the memorial to those that died on the Centaur and the account of the sinking thereon, which is situated at Caloundra, many were heard to exclaim "Lies, that cannot be true" and other words to that effect.
It would seem that the modern Japanese citizen is somewhat oblivious to the true war history.

Bob

vmr
11th January 2010, 05:55
Spongebob,s comments show just how The public Of Japan are given wrong Info About WW2, By The Japanese Govt. Its About Saving FACE!. I Have Seen The memorial In Caloundra Queensland, And A Large Model Of Centuar In The RSL Club In Caloundra. Pleased They Have Found The Wreck, To Bring some Closure For Familys. Jim.

rickles23
11th January 2010, 06:23
Hi,
Thank you for posting the link, it's more than we are getting here in Australia.

Re the Japanese invasion, it seems that a small force of Japanese soldiers landed on the Australian mainland, had a look around and went home. They couldn't believe that some parts are very desolate.
Regards

spongebob
11th January 2010, 07:21
Re my post #3 The book revealed a lot of sideline information that showed how close Australia was to an invasion. Some of the military hierarchy wanted to go ahead but it was finally decided to ignore Australia in preference to taking Midway on their way to Hawaii and we all know the result of the sea battle of Midway.
Apparently it had been a practice since WW! to have Japanese Naval officers trained at Dartmouth and other UK Naval colleges to the extent that their Navy was run on RN lines as opposed to the Samurai attitudes of the other services. As the senior service the navy had a lot of say and the high command were obviously fond of the pleasures and protocol of their home port bases rather than fully commiting to the fray. They did find the vastness and low population density of the Australian continent a daunting prospect which curbed their enthusiasm as well
The midget submarine attack on Sydney Harbor was a debacle that only managed to damage one Australian vessel albeit with local death casualties but the Australian Authorities dealt with the bodies of the Japanese crews with respect and full honours.
It is a damn good read for anyone who likes to get to or near the bottom of this kind of history, Heroes and acts of sheer incompetence abound as the truth is released long after the events become only distant memories to an older generation.

Bob

GWB
11th January 2010, 08:33
Visited the Memorial at Caloundra which is just 30+ mins. from where we live I Have often been there and seen Japanese visitor study the details about Point Danger but very few take the short walk to view the plaques and read the history of the Centuar this got my curiosity, so when my daughter was on student exchange in Japan she ask some questions but they are vague about Australian participation in the war, but know it for holidays Kolas, Roos. Being a History Teacher she made more enquires and found the are only taught very limited history of WWII.

Cisco
11th January 2010, 08:33
Another book worth a look is Blood and Bushido, Japanese atrocities at sea 1941-1945 by Bernard Edwards ISBN 85421 134x. The loss of the Behar and the fate of many of her crew and passengers is especially harrowing but unknown to most. 74 people beheaded and thrown into the sea from the foredeck of ISN Tone.
Another interesting story in the book is the loss of British Chivalry and the machine gunning of the crew in the boats. This has also been covered by Jack Harvey in 'Salt in our Wounds'... a wonderful book as is his 'Beyond the River's Mouth'. Both by Cassel and both I imagine rather hard to find.

I don't find the attitude of the Japanese that strange. British children weren't taught about the British concentration camps in the South African Wars. Australians would prefer to forget the aftermath of the Battle of the Bismark Sea.

rickles23
11th January 2010, 12:04
Hi,

Short video clip:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8451366.stm

Regards

R58484956
11th January 2010, 12:18
Greetings Davina and a warm welcome to SN. Bon voyage.

Peter B
11th January 2010, 15:40
....
The reaction of the Japanese Government is of course to be expected.

May they rest in peace.The Japanese Government? (EEK)

Joking aside; I agree: May they all rest in peace.

Tom Inglis
11th January 2010, 17:28
An Australian WWII hospital ship, the Centaur, is seen for the first time since it was torpedoed more than 60 years ago.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/8450511.stm)

Centaur was a Blue Funnel Ship Built in Scotts Greenock 1924 [3,066 gt] She worked the Blue Funnel route between Singapore and Western Australia. She was Requisitioned by the British Government in 1940 and subsequently loaned to Australia as a hospital ship. On 13th May 1943 on voyage from Sydney to Cairns and New Guinea she was sunk without warning by Japanese Submarine I177 some 40 miles East of Brisbane . Only 64 of the 363 on board survived . In accordance with the Geneva convention the Japanese had been informed that Centaur was a hospital ship and she was clearly identified as such and fully illuminated.
Two other little Blue Funnel ships operated the Singapore/Australia trade, Charon and Gorgon built by Caledon Dundee in the 1930's
They continued the West Australia trade to Singapore until 1964 when they were replaced by the CENTAUR [2] , a fine ship especially designed to carry 190 passengers and 4,500 sheep at 20 knots on the same route. That Centaur was sold by Blue Funnel in 1981 to the St Helena Shipping Co. and became involved in the fringe of the Falkland conflict.In 1985 she was sold to China and renamed Hai Da.
I believe there is also a memorial to Centaur [1] up the West Australia coast near Broom
I am sure there are more ex Bluey men who can add to this or correct if necessary.
Regards
Tom Inglis

GWB
12th January 2010, 07:43
On Local News today

A memorial service honouring the lives of 268 Australians who died onboard the torpedoed hospital ship Centaur has been held 2,059 metres directly above the watery tomb of the wreck.

The AHS Centaur ceremony took place at 12.45pm (AEST) on Tuesday, almost seven hours after the Remora 3 submarine robot laid a plaque on the bow foredeck of the wreck, in what could be the last ever visit to the site.

Succour
12th January 2010, 08:34
Nice to see they have placed a bronze plaque honoring those lost on recently discovered Hospital ship AHS Centaur.
below is a link to the story.
Cheers lads.
Succour.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/12/2790571.htm?section=justin