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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Looking for help in finding the name of a troop / passenger ship which departed Sydney, Australia on 17th July 1941 and arrived in the UK (port unknown) on 2nd September 1941. My Uncle who was in the RAAF was onboard.

If any can provide guidance on where I could start researching I would be most appreciative.

Yours sincerely
Paul Burns
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Many thanks for the link Eddyw, much appreciated.

Whilst I have not been able to find the information I am looking for as yet, the Convoy Website is full of very interesting information which I am enjoying perusing.

Many thanks again.

Yours sincerely

Paul Burns
 

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Paul, That Convoy HX133 departing Sydney... it is Sydney CB, as in Sydney Cape Breton, hence the code for HX is 'Halifax'. Not much use to you.

Piers Plowman wrote a book about all convoy's departing Australian ports. I can't find my copy! Not much use to you either.

Stephen
 

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Thanks Stephen,

I have looked up the book and will purchase a copy, looks a good reference and research source.

Regards

Paul
 

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Departure Sydney Thursday 17th July 1941

I am not really sure but a ship leaving Sydney on that date.
"California Star" Independent .......she was torpedoed in 1943 by German submarine U-515, 45 crew lost from total 64..1 taken POW
Information taken from Arnold Hague Ports Database.
Hope it will be a step in the right direction, but it is not certain if thats the ship you want. "California Star" was owned by Blue Star Line, which did run to Australia
 

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Thanks Stephen,

I have looked up the book and will purchase a copy, looks a good reference and research source.

Regards

Paul

Paul, Don't panic! Found the book... wrong shelf!

I will go through if I can see if s has what you wants.

ACROSS THE SEA TO WAR - Australia and New Zealand Convoys from 1865 to the two World Wars to Korea and Vietnam. -Peter Plowman. Excellent cover... by self. ;-)

Stephen
 

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Paul, Quite a bit of info and might give you a couple of problems.

IF you uncle was travelling in a Troopship there are some problems. He might have gone by say, small cargoboat heading to the UK, but if he went in a trooper it would have been the JOHAN VAN OLDENBARNEVELT (JVO).

JVO arrived Sydney 16th July 1941. Embarked 1,500 troops and sailed on the 17th. for Auckland. At Auckland the troops disembarked and JVO went back to Sydney on 25th July. She then joined MARNIX VAN ST ALDERGONDE, SIBAJAK for the next voyage from Fremantle on Convoy US11B on 8th August. The convoy carried troops from various regiments "....as well as numerous RAAF reinforcements."

The convoy arrived Singapore on 16th August, The troops disembarked and the ships returned to Australia.

So, from this, it is helpful but perhaps not. These are the only troop convoys leaving Sydney on this period.

I am going to assume a few points:

1. Your uncle may well have been on JVO on the 17th July.. went to Auckland and remained on board and then went onward to the voyage to Singapore.

2. Unlikely he sailed in ships that were carrying troops without escort and would have been one of the convoys.

3. I don't think he was in a ship that went independent and headed round S. Africa. Too risky. So, might have gone back to the UK via the JVO to Singapore and another ship across to the Pacific and then by another ship to Panama, New York and transatlantic to UK. Possible and likely.

4. Next important. You can see the time to get from Sydney on 17th July and then to Singapore 1th August. No way he would have been able to get to the UK by early September!

5. If he went by a cargo ship, not in convoy, sailed 17th July and went directly Sydney to Panama to UK, would have taken six or eight weeks, without escort, convoy etc.

6. Next job, find shipping lists for Sydney if he sailed in another ship, not as a transport. Possible, but you will need to look for the lists for those dates.

Stephen
 

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Further.

The troopships that we coming out of Sydney etc during this perid including the big ships like QUEEN MARY, QUEEN ELIZABETH AQUITANIA etc and they were running to the Middle East and Singapore, not heading to the UK.

The book DE JOHAN VAN OLDENBARNEVELT by Wim Grund. This book has a very detailed logs of the voyages for the ship in this period... day by day! Crew lists, photos etc, but no lists of troops. That would have been too easy.

Stephen
 

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Hello,
Just to confirm the movements of JVO. Taken from do***ents in the British National Archive. Reference MT40/147. See attached.

May I ask where the dates of departure and arrival are sourced from. Are they from RAAF records, personal recollections of your Uncle or what?
I think Stephen's analysis regarding transhipment's is highly likely.

regards
Roger
 

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Can't be the "California Star" as it only arrived Liverpool as below

Sydney NSW, Jul 17, 1941 Independent Brisbane, Jul 19, 1941
Brisbane, Jul 21, 1941 Independent Melbourne, Jul 23, 1941
Independent Sydney NSW, Jul 23, 1941
Melbourne, Jul 23, 1941 Independent
Sydney NSW, Jul 24, 1941 Independent Melbourne, Jul 26, 1941

Sydney NSW, Jul 24, 1941 Independent Melbourne, Jul 26, 1941
Melbourne, Jul 29, 1941 Independent Singapore, Aug 13, 1941
Singapore, Aug 28, 1941 Independent Townsville, Sep 18, 1941
Townsville, Sep 19, 1941 Independent Sydney NSW, Sep 24, 1941
Sydney NSW, Sep 27, 1941 Independent Balboa, Oct 20, 1941
Cristobal, Oct 22, 1941 Independent
Bermuda, Oct 28, 1941 Independent Liverpool, Nov 7, 1941
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Many thanks to everyone who have responded with information. It is much appreciated. I agree with you all that with what little I have been able to see myself is that the California star could not be the ship.

I am attempting to research using the link provided by Wismajorvik and am following up a lead provided by Steven.

In response to Rogers question I got the dates from my Uncles records which are titled "Personal Record of Service Airmen R.A.A.F Form P/P.25." The reference to embarkation and arrival are in Section 22 titled "Movements and Miscellaneous Items"

Once again many thanks and I will keep you updated with any other information I may find.

Regards
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #15
National Archives of Australia

I found these records regarding embarkation rolls from Sydney listed in the NAA but now need to figure out how to drill down further. Will keep you posted.

Regards

Paul
 

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