HMAS Manoora (F 48)
Armed Merchant Cruiser
|Navy||The Royal Australian Navy|
|Type||Armed Merchant Cruiser|
|Class||[No specific class]|
|Built by||A. Stephen & Sons Ltd. (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Launched||24 Oct 1934|
|Commissioned||12 Dec 1939|
|End service||30 Sep 1942|
On 14 October 1939 the passenger ship Manoora of the The Adelaide SS Co Ltd, Adelaide was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. She was commissioned on 12 December 1939 but her conversion was not completed untill 5 February 1940.
Displacement: 10856 BRT
From September 1942 to 2 February 1943 converted to a landing ship LSI(L). Took part in the landing operations in Morotai, Lingayen Gulf, Tarakan and Balikpapan. From September 1945 to November 1947 used as repatriation ship for troops.
As LSI(L) she was armed with 1 12pdr AA, 6 40mm AA (6x1), 8 20mm AA (8x1).
Decommissioned on 6 December 1947 and on 31 August 1949 returned to owner.
Commands listed for HMAS Manoora (F 48)
Please note that we're still working on this section.
|1||Cdr. Arthur Henry Spurgeon, RAN||12 Dec 1939||29 Apr 1942|
|2||A/Capt. John Malet Armstrong, RAN||30 Apr 1942||26 Oct 1942|
|3||A/Cdr. Sydney Thomas Milton Gower, RAN||27 Oct 1942||29 Jun 1943|
|4||A/Capt. Cecel Claude Baldwin, RAN||30 Jun 1943||15 Dec 1943|
|5||A/Cdr. Sydney Thomas Milton Gower, RAN||16 Dec 1943||26 Jan 1944|
|6||Cdr. Alan Paterson Cousin, RANR(S)||27 Jan 1944||6 Dec 1947|
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Notable events involving Manoora include:
12 Jun 1940
With the likelihood of the entry of Italy into the war, HMAS Manoora (Cdr. A.H. Spurgeon, RAN) shadowed the Italian passenger/cargo ship Romolo (9780 GRT) which had departed Brisbane, Australia on 5 June. When, by the morning of 9 June, Italy's attentions were still unclear and the shadowing might continue indefinitely, Manoora was called off. By that evening, however, the situation had become clearer and Manoora was ordered to find Romolo and recommence shadowing. By this time the Italian liner was 160 nautical miles away, steering north east. She was eventually caught on the 12th by Manoora approximately 220 nautical miles south-west of Nauru in position 02°30'S, 165°30'E and scuttled herself. As she returned to Australia with the Romolo's crew and passengers, Manoora embarked the complement of the American merchant vessel Admiral Wiley (3545 GRT) which had run aground on Kitava Island in the Trobriands on the 13th. Manoora reached Townsville, Australia on 17 June. (1)
28 Feb 1942
Convoy SU 1.
This convoy departed Colombo on 28 February 1942 and arrived at Fremantle on 15 March 1942.
This convoy was made up of the troopships / transports; City of London (British, 8956 GRT, built 1907), City of Paris (British, 10902 GRT, built 1922), Eastern Prince (British, 10926 GRT, built 1929), Egra (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Empire Glade (British, 7006 GRT, built 1941), Esperance Bay (British, GRT, built ), Gorgon (British, 3533 GRT, built 1933), Industria (British, 4850 GRT, built 1940), Kosciuszko (Polish, 6852 GRT, built 1915), Madras City (British, 5080 GRT, built 1940), Mathura (British, 8890 GRT, built 1920), Norden (British, 8440 GRT, built 1931), Penrith Castle (British, 6369 GRT, built 1929), Pundit (British, 5305 GRT, built 1919), Silverteak (British, 6770 GRT, built 1930), Silverwillow (British, 6373 GRT, built 1930) and Trevilley (British, 5296 GRT, built 1940).
The convoy was escorted by the British heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall (Capt. P.C.W. Manwaring, RN, the British destroyer HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN) and the British corvette HMS Hollyhock (Lt. T.E. Davies, OBE, RNR). On 1 March the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), armed merchant cruisers HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. A.H. Spurgeon, RAN) and the destroyers HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN) joined in approximate position 05.00'N, 79.00'E coming from Trincomalee.
HMS Express and HMS Holyhock returned to Colombo on 3 March 1942. They most likely had parted company with the convoy when the ships coming from Trincomalee joined the convoy escort.
At 1800/4, HMS Royal Sovereign, HMAS Nizam and HMAS Vampire parted company with the convoy to return to Trincomalee.
The convoy arrived at Fremantle on 15 March 1942 except for HMAS Manoora which was detached escorting the merchant vessels Empire Glade, Madras City, Mathura and Silver Widow to Adelaide where they arrived on 22 March 1942. (2)
28 Feb 1942
The battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), armed merchant cruisers HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. A.H. Spurgeon, RAN) and the destroyers HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN) departed Trincomalee to join the escort of convoy SU 1. (3)
4 Jul 1942
HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN) departed Sydney as escort for convoy ZK 11 that was to proceed to Fremantle. Convoy ZK 11 was made up of the Australian liner Duntroon (10346 GRT, built 1935) and the Australian Armed Merchant Cruisers HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. J.M. Armstrong, RAN) and HMAS Westralia (A/Capt. (emergency) H.V. Hudson, OBE, RAN).
The American destroyer USS Flusser ( Lt.Cdr. L.H. Miller, USN) was also part of the escort until 0600/5 when she returned to Sydney as previously ordered. (4)
27 Jul 1942
HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN) departed Fremantle to escort convoy ZK 12 part of the way from Fremantle to Sydney. Convoy ZK 12 was made up of the following ships; British passenger (troops) / cargo ships Athlone Castle (25564 GRT, built 1936), City of Canterbury (8421 GRT, built 1923), British cargo ships Dunedin Star (11168 GRT, built 1936), Martand (7967 GRT, built 1939), Australian liner (troopship) Duntroon (10346 GRT, built 1935) and the Australian Armed Merchant Cruisers HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. J.M. Armstrong, RAN) and HMAS Westralia (A/Capt. (emergency) H.V. Hudson, OBE, RAN).
- Personal communication
- ADM 199/426
- ADM 53/116603 + ADM 199/426
- File 2.12.03.6850 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.