SS Westralia (1897)

SS Westralia was a 2,884 GRT cargo and passenger ship. She served as a troopship in World War I and was later converted into a hulk. She was sunk in the air raids on Rabaul on 20 January 1942.

Name: Westralia
Builder: Sir J Laing & Sons, Sunderland
Yard number: 553
Launched: 1897
Identification: UK official number 106415
Fate: Sunk in air raids on Rabaul, 20 January 1942
General characteristics
Tonnage: 2,884 GRT, 1 819 NRT
Length: 327 ft (100 m)
Beam: 41 ft (12 m)
Draught: 20 ft (6.1 m)
Installed power: 412 NHP
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h)

Sir J Laing & Sons, Sunderland built her in 1897 for the Melbourne-based Huddart Parker line. She served along the Australian coast and the trans-Tasman route.

In 1917 she served as a troopship, transporting the New Zealand 27th and 28th Main Regiment.[1] She then resumed commercial service with Huddart Parker.

W. R. Carpenter and Company of Sydney bought her in 1927, had her engines removed and towed her to Rabaul for use as coal hulk, arriving in 1929. In the Rabaul air raids of 20 January 1942 she was bombed and sunk in Simpson Harbour.[2]


  1. "New Zealand Transport Ships". Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  2. Gamble 2006, p. 76.


  • Gamble, Bruce (2006). Darkest Hour: The True Story of Lark Force at Rabaul: Australia's Worst Military Disaster of World War II. St Paul, MN: Zenith Press. ISBN 0-7603-2349-6.

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