Memories from the past – How many came back?

Royal New Zealand Air Force:

(414667) Albert James ‘Jimmy’ Osborne – 165/185 Sqns.;

Arthur David Leese,

(414238) Alfred William Burge DFC),

George T. Couttie,

+(414651) Godfrey Alan McKoy,

+(414721) Harry Keith Williams,

+(414677) Arthur Lyall Ray,

+(41430) Bruce Mackenzie Hirstich,

+(413858) Maurice Carson Jolly,

+ (414380) Douglas Robert Bannerman,

+(413875) Frederick Thomas Martyn,

+(414664) Andrew George Patterson Newman,

+(414278) Raymond Cyril Going,

+(414321) Mervyn Jack Mills – 132 Sqn.;

+(41141) Jack McRae Brigham – 243 Sqn.;

R.R. Horo,

(414330) Vincent Orr;

(413924) Roger Wing;

Stewart Matthews – 45 Sqn.;

Thomas (David) Stewart – 165/185 Sqns.,

James E. Shields,

Thomas Alexander,

Wallace M. Sampson,

Raymond J. Hetherington,

Raymond S. Campbell,

James J. McMath – 110 Sqn.;

(George?) J.N. Buchanan,

(414689) David Gordon Simpson – DFC 603/143 Sqns.;

(414645) Jeffrey Maxwell McCarrison – 254 Sqn.;

Warren P. Bennett;

(414374) William Frank Bern – 64 Sqn.

Sailed from Auckland November 17, 1941 aboard the S.S. Monterey to San Francisco.


Postcard Sydney 1941_RMS Monterey
1940s Postcard:- Bearing the flag of the Royal Mail Ship/RMS Monterey passes under Sydney harbour bridge.

My father, together with enlisted men with the RAAF, boarded the SS Monterey in Sydney on November 13, 1941. The SS Monterey was a South Pacific cruise ship and the men travelled as ordinary passengers, calling into port at Auckland, Fiji, Samoa, and Hawaii and San Francisco where they disembarked and travelled onto Vancouver, Canada, then by rail to their training camps.

The United States had not entered the war at this time. Pearl Harbour was bombed on the morning of December 7, 1941 by Japanese aircraft. On 16 December 1941 the SS Monterey travelled to Hawaii with troops, and returned with 800 casualties of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Extract from website – In the 1920s and 1930s ocean liners reached a peak of expansion and the great Matson line built the Monterey and her maiden voyage was on 3rd June 1932. She and the Mariposa inaugurated the new South Pacific service from San Francisco to Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia. After her years with Matson Line she continued in service for a variety of owners before sinking off South Africa in 2000 while under tow to the ship breakers.




5 thoughts on “Memories from the past – How many came back?

    • In World War II Monterey served as a fast troop carrier, often operating alone so she would not be slowed by formation navigation in a convoy. The United States Maritime Commission chartered her in 1941 before the US declaration of war to carry 150 Chinese, Korean and Japanese missionaries and stranded US citizens back to San Francisco. Once home, she was quickly refitted to hold 3,500 soldiers. The ship was delivered to WSA by Oceanic Steamship Company, a Matson entity, 3 December 1941 at San Francisco.[1] On 16 December 1941 she steamed to Hawaii with 3,349 fresh troops, returning with 800 casualties of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

      War voyagesEdit
      1941 With urgent need to reinforce Hawaii the Army pushed loading two fast ships, Monterey and Matsonia with troops, aircraft and ammunition in hopes of their sailing independently by 13 December. The Navy opposed any unescorted convoys and despite Army arguments at the highest levels the ships were delayed until the 16th when Monterey, Matsonia and Lurline sailed under escort.[5]
      1942 San Diego to Pago Pago filled to capacity with Marines[6]
      17 February 1942 San Francisco to Brisbane with 4,000 Army troops; convoy with Matsonia and Mormacsea[7][8]
      9 March 1942 arrived Brisbane
      22 April 1942 left San Francisco for Adelaide, Panama, Key West
      1 July 1942 New York to Glasgow with 5,800 troops
      9 August 1942 New York to Glasgow with 6,000 troops
      2 November 1942 convoy New York to Casablanca, arrived 16 November 1942
      14 January 1943 left New York in a convoy to Casablanca; arrived 25 January
      5 March 1943 New York to Casablanca
      1 April 1943 sailed alone to Casablanca; arrived 12 April
      29 April 1943 New York to Casablanca
      2 June 1943 New York to Panama
      26 June 1943 San Francisco to Brisbane, Panama
      1943 New York to Brazil
      21 August 1943 New York to Oran with the highest number of soldiers for a Matson ship: 6,855. Traveled in convoy.
      8 October 1943 New York to Liverpool with 6,747 troops; on to Gibraltar and Naples in convoy of 43 ships.
      The voyage to Naples was her first taste of combat. On 6 November 1943 in an action off Cape Bougaroun, Algeria, 25 aircraft attacked the convoy. Monterey shot down an enemy bomber which passed over the ship and tore away the radio mast before crashing into the ocean. In convoy, the Grace Line troopship Santa Elena was torpedoed and began to sink. Monterey rescued 1,675 using her boats and nets, taking the survivors to Naples.[9]
      July 1944 Milne Bay to Oro Bay; ran aground, troops offloaded, ship refloated with the tide
      20 January 1945 left San Francisco with US and Canadian troops, as well as Royal Air Force personnel, for New Guinea
      4 February 1945 arrived Finschafen Harbor, New Guinea[10]

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