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HMAS Berrima
SS Berrima in build at Caird and Co in 1913
Berrima under construction in 1913
Career (Australia) Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Owner: P & O
Builder: Caird & Company, Greenock
Launched: 13 September 1913
Acquired: 1914 by RAN
Commissioned: 17 August 1914
Decommissioned: 20 October 1914
Honours and
awards:
Battle honours:
Rabaul 1914[1][2]
Fate: converted to troop ship, later damaged
Career (United Kingdom) Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Name: SS Berrima
Operator: P & O
Acquired: 1914
In service: 24 March 1920
Fate: sold for breaking up September 1939
General characteristics
Tonnage: 11,137 gross tons
Length: 500 ft (150 m)
Beam: 62 ft (19 m)
Draught: 38 ft (12 m)
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Armament: 4 x 4 inch guns

HMAS Berrima was an Armed Merchant Cruiser which served in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) during World War I.

The P&O passenger liner SS Berrima was built by Caird & Company, Greenock, and launched on 13 September 1913. In 1914 she was requisitioned for naval use, refitted and armed at Cockatoo Island Dockyard and commissioned into the RAN as the auxiliary cruiser HMAS Berrima on 17 August 1914.

Berrima left Sydney on 19 August 1914 carrying men of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force, consisting of a battalion of 1,000 infantry and a small battalion of 500 Naval Reservists and time-expired Royal Navy seamen, for operations against the German New Guinea colonies. Troops were landed at Herbertshöhe and Rabaul on 11 and 12 September respectively, and on the New Guinea mainland on 24 September. The ship was retroactively awarded the battle honour "Rabaul 1914" in March 2010 to recognise these landings.[1][2] Berrima subsequently returned to Sydney and, despite plans to employ her as an armed merchant cruiser, was paid off on 20 October 1914 and converted to a troop transport.

In her new role, HMATT (His Majesty's Australian Troop Transport) Berrima sailed for the Middle East in December 1914 as part of the second troop convoy, carrying Australian and New Zealand troops and towing the submarine AE2. Berrima continued to work under the liner requisition scheme until 18 February 1917, when she struck a mine in the English Channel off Portland and was beached and later repaired.

Berrima was returned to commercial service 24 March 1920, and was sold to Japanese shipbreakers in September 1939.

Champion Australian rules footballer Bob Quinn was given the middle name "Berrima" in honour of the Berrima.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. http://web.archive.org/web/20110613184920/http://www.navy.gov.au/Navy_Marks_109th_Birthday_With_Historic_Changes_To_Battle_Honours. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. http://web.archive.org/web/20110614064156/http://www.navy.gov.au/w/images/Units_entitlement_list.pdf. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  3. Porter, A. "Bob Quinn – A Legend who Stuck by his Mates". The Independent Weekly, 28 April 2008, p. 3.

External linksEdit

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