Nautical Assoc of Aust: Peter Cundall talks about ships post war

Posted on: Mon 29 Apr 2019

Peter Cundall, Secretary of the Nautical Association of Australia,  provides some information on what happened after the war to some of the ships John Bird, Peter Lucas and other Aussies sailed on during their service in WW2.  He also gives some very interesting general information about wartime civilian ships and the men who served on them.

Ships contained in this talk from Peter Cundall:

  • MV China  (Tanker)
  • Nuolja
  • Dalles (T2 Tanker)
  • David Gaillard (Liberty Ship)
  • Armand Considere (C1S D1)
  • CW Paisley  (Pasley)
  • Olga Topic
  • Bopple

Nautical Association of Australia

US Army Small Ships Association Inc

Photo:  Len McLeod 1943.  One of the ships that Len sailed on was the SS Bopple.

Photo:  Australian War Memorial

The steam ship Bopple (S-147) of the Small Ships Section, United States Army Services of Supply, Southwest Pacific Area (USA SOS SWPA), docked at an unidentified wharf, probably in Sydney. The Bopple was acquired from S G White & Co., Sydney on 9 September 1942, and served in New Guinea waters. Engineer Albert George Wickens died of malaria on 8 November 1943, aged 69. The Bopple was in Milne Bay in 1944 and Finschhafen in 1945. Initially Australian ships were requisitioned and chartered by the Small Ships Section. Construction of ships for USA SOS SWPA commenced in Australia in 1942. Approximately 3000 vessels were constructed, including freighters, launches, tugs, towboats, lighters, rescue and salvage boats and a large number of barges. An additional 4000 lifeboats and dinghies were built. Around 3000 Australians enlisted in the Small Ships Section during the Second World War. They were not inducted members of the US Army, but were civilians attached to the Army. They were often too young, too old or physically ineligible to serve in the Australian armed forces. (This image is from the collection of Arthur James Carfax-Foster who served with the Small Ships Section from September 1943 until January 1946).

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