Qld/NSW Border. Point Danger


Qld/NSW Border. Point Danger

Coolangatta, QLD

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The following text [below] is © Copyright 2001 and reproduced
with the kind permission of Bill Bainbridge of Tweed Heads
and District Historical Society Inc, from the
booklet "Walk of Remembrance and Centaur Memorial,
Point Danger - Coolangatta Queensland Australia".
The Walk
of Remembrance and Centaur Memorial honours the ships
and the brave men and women who gave up their lives for
Australia.
During the Second World War, 41 allied naval and merchant ships
were sunk off Australia's coast by enemy action.
Hundreds
of service personnel and merchant seamen were killed in these
tragedies.
Few people today are aware of the war at sea which raged along
the Australian coastline during World War II.
A total
of forty-one allied ships were sunk adjacent to our shoreline
by the actions of mine laying German surface raiders (Pinquin,
Atlantis, and Kormoran) and Japanese submarines.
Naval and merchant seamen were losing their lives only a few kilometres
beyond the beaches.
This silent war was kept from the knowledge
of the Australian public at the time to prevent panic and the
loss of morale.
Most attacks took place in the years 1942 to 1944 when Japanese
submarines operating from the forward base of occupied Guam
prowled the eastern and northern seaboard.
The most tragic loss on the eastern coast was the torpedoing of
the hospital ship, AHS Centaur on 14 May 1943 with the loss
of 268 lives.
The loss on 19 November 1941 of the light cruiser HMAS
Sydney off Geraldton, Western Australia with the
loss of 645 naval seamen was the most severe.
However the lives of merchant seamen were often forfeited.
The Iron Crown, a BHP ore carrier sank in one minute after being
struck by a torpedo off the south coast of Gippsland Victoria,
taking 37 seamen to the bottom with her.
The Wollongbar, a North Coast Steam Navigation vessel, sunk off
Coffs harbour, took the lives of 32 merchant seamen.
Most shipping sunk near our coast by aircraft happened in the
early stages of the war with Japan.
It was opened conjointly with the Centaur Memorial which commemorated
the fiftieth anniversary of the sinking of the hospital
ship "Centaur" by the Japanese submarine 1177
on that date in 1943 off Moreton Island, with the loss of 268
lives.
A total of forty-one allied ships were sunk adjacent to our shoreline
by the actions of mine laying German surface raiders (Pinquin,
Atlantis, and Kormoran) and Japanese submarines.
The Walk was an initiative of the Centaur Commemoration Committee,
who raised the finance to erect the Centaur Memorial.
References and Readings Walk of Remembrance and Centaur Memorial,
Point Danger - Coolangatta Queensland Australia