On This Day

12 December

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1935 Kanimbla - radio first


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The 10,984-ton passenger motor vessel Kanimbla (Yard No. 955) was launched today for McIlwraith, McEachern & Company. The twin-screw vessel was the last large passenger ship built specifically for these Australian owners.

Kanimbla is the only vessel in which a radio broadcasting station was constructed into the ship, the electronic equipment manufactured by AWA in Australia, shipped to Northern Ireland for installation while the ship was still under construction. Kanimbla was intended for the passenger service on the southern route between Western Australia and Queensland, calling at Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Mackay.

Designed for 400 passengers, the vessel was operated with Manoora, west in summer and north in winter. In 1939 the vessel was commissioned into the Royal Navy and sent to Hong Kong for refit as an armed merchant cruiser. In April 1943 she transferred to the Royal Australian Navy, converted to an infantry landing ship, and subsequently took part in all major landings in the South-West Pacific. Resuming the summer and winter schedule in 1950, Kanimbla was sold in 1961 and eventually broken up in 1974.

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1901 A great 'Minne' class liner launched


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The 13,397-ton passenger and cargo ship Minnetonka (Yard No. 339) was launched today for the Atlantic Transport Line, London. (See Ship Fact Files)

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1874 Star Line sailing ship


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The 1,981-ton sailing ship Star of Russia (Yard No. 88) was launched today for J. P. Corry & Co.