Canberra file photo [1208]

Canberra (County-class)

CountryAustralia
Ship ClassCounty-class Heavy Cruiser
Sunk9 Aug 1942
Displacement9,850 tons standard

Contributor:

ww2dbaseHMAS Canberra, a 9850-ton heavy cruiser of the British Kent class, was built at Glasgow, Scotland. She was commissioned in July 1928 and soon steamed to Australia. Following the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, Canberra mainly operated in Australian and Indian Ocean waters, but also served in the South Atlantic in 1940. In March 1941, she helped to sink the German support ship Ketty Brovig in the Indian Ocean.

ww2dbaseIn early August 1942, the cruiser participated in Operation "Watchtower", the invasion of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the southern Solomon Islands. During the early hours of 9 August, while on patrol off Guadalcanal, she was badly damaged in combat with a force of Japanese cruisers. HMAS Canberra was scuttled several hours later, becoming one of the first ships sunk in what would soon be called "Iron Bottom Sound".

ww2dbaseCanberra's wreck was discovered and examined in July-August 1992, almost exactly fifty years after her loss. She lies upright on the sea floor, some 2500 feet deep, with visible signs of shell hits and fire damage amidships. Her turrets are still trained out to the port side, as they were during her brief and fatal engagement with the Japanese.

ww2dbaseSource: Naval Historical Center

Last Major Revision: Jan 2005

Canberra (County-class) Operational Timeline

4 Mar 1941 Australian Walrus seaplane of HMAS Canberra spotted German ship Coburg and captured Norwegian tanker Ketty BrÝvig, which was being used to supply German armed merchant cruisers. The German ships escaped HMAS Canberra's interception attempt.

Photographs

HMAS Canberra leaving Wellington, New Zealand, en route for the invasion of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomon Islands, 22 Jul 1942Canberra off Tulagi during landings, 7-8 Aug 1942USS Blue and USS Patternson removing the crew from the fatally damaged Canberra 9 Aug 1942




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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Murray says:
23 Aug 2013 08:12:21 AM

My uncle Gordon Hassall went down with Canberra. I have a few photos he took on his travels with the ship. Are these of any interest?

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More on Canberra (County-class)
Personnel:
» Farncomb, Harold

Event(s) Participated:
» Guadalcanal Campaign

Heavy Cruiser Canberra (County-class) Photo Gallery
HMAS Canberra leaving Wellington, New Zealand, en route for the invasion of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomon Islands, 22 Jul 1942
See all 3 photographs of Heavy Cruiser Canberra (County-class)




Famous WW2 Quote
"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal