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HMAS Sydney Milne Bay


4 April 2008 Photos and video released of the HMAS Sydney sitting upright on the ocean floor.

The ship is basically intact except for serious damge to the superstructure and turrets, and the bow of the ship has been blown off, possibly by a torpedo. No life-boats are evident. The pictures raise more questions than answers......certainly the Sydney came under accurate and extensive fire but the ship did not explode catastrophically or sink quickly. The reports by German survivors suggest the ship drifted South on fire and it was visible on the horizon for some time. How is it that no Australians made it safely to liferafts and no large pieces of wreckage were found or floating bodies? How come no Australians made it to shore? The pictures do not answer the questions. There seems to be no way the Kormoran could have disposed of the Australian sailors, they had enough on their hands trying to maintain their own seriously damaged vesel. What motive would there be to do so anyway when they were also in need of rescue. This is a tragic mystery that will never be answered.

16 March 2008 the wreckage of the HMAS Sydney and HKS Kormoran are finally found in the Indian Ocean at a depth of over 2 kms.

The site closely matches that given by Captain Detmers of the Kormoran and other crewmen.

HMAS Sydney was a modified Leander-class light cruiser of the Royal Australian Navy. Sydney was laid down by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Limited at Wallsend-on-Tyne, England on 8 July 1933 as HMS Phaeton, purchased by the Australian Government in 1934 and renamed in memory of the earlier Sydney. She was launched on 22 September 1934 by Mrs S. M. Bruce, wife of the Australian High Commissioner to Britain and commissioned at Portsmouth on 24 September 1935.

The ship had great success in the first years of World War II, but controversy and mystery surrounds the loss of Sydney and her crew in

November 1941. Her sinking with all hands represents the greatest ever loss of life in an Australian warship; Sydney was also the

largest vessel of any country to be lost with no survivors during the war. Searches for Sydney have been unsuccessful until recently.

The nature of her sinking without survivors has the cause of great controversy and mourning.

A moving monument to the Sydney can be found at Geraldton, a Kormoran lifboat is at Carnarvon and a memorial has been established at Red Bluff north of Carnarvon. A Carley float which is now on display in the Australian War Memorial was picked up 9 days after the battle. A bullet riddled liferaft drifted ashore at Christmas Island with the body of a sailor on 6 February 1942, just before the Japanese occupation. This float is also believed to be from the HMAS Sydney.


On 5 November 1941 at Albany, Western Australia, Sydney began escorting the troopship Zealandia, which was bound for Sunda Strait, in the Dutch East Indies. Sydney and Zealandia arrived at Fremantle on 9 November. They were delayed by a labour dispute on board Zealandia, but left Fremantle on 11 November. They reached Sumatra on 17 November.

Sydney began the return voyage to Fremantle, and was scheduled to arrive in the afternoon or evening of 20 November. Axis submarines and surface raiders had already been active in the Indian Ocean and Pacific, and it was expected that any Australian naval vessel on such a voyage might have to investigate reported sightings or suspicious vessels.

The 645-strong crew on board HMAS Sydney in 1941

At about 4pm on 19 November, west of Shark Bay, Western Australia, HMAS Sydney sighted a merchant ship about 20 kilometres away and challenged her. The other ship identified herself as the Dutch ship Straat Malakka. She was, in fact, the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran. According to survivors from Kormoran, Sydney closed to within 1,000 metres, and was surprised and overwhelmed when the crew of Kormoran opened fire with concealed guns and torpedoes. Kormoran survivors described how the bridge of the Sydney was struck early in the attack. Heavy machines guns cut down the crew who were lounging at the rails and standing around the deck. The Sydney was not at action stations and not on alert. An unforgiveable mistake during wartime. The Sydney's guns took time to deploy and enormous damge was effected before ragged fire from the Sydney took effect on the Kormoran. The Sydney was described as on fire and drifting as it slipped away and was never seen again.

Kormoran was also badly damaged in the ensuing battle and had to be abandoned.  The ship was scuttled to prevent its capture. Survivors of the Kormoran were picked up at sea or were collected at Red Bluff where they had come ashore.

Taken to Carnarvon they were shipped to Fremantle and were taken to a prisoner of war camp in Victoria. Captain Detmers kept a coded diary in a Bible which has since been decoded. Survivors accounts vary but nothing has been discovered which conflicts with the german account of the sinking of the HMAS Sydney. Various theories of Japanese involvement and a massacre of the Sydney's crewmen have never been substantiated.

Monument at Geraldton Western Australia

It was announced on 16 March 2008 that the wreckage of the German vessel which sank HMAS Sydney, the auxilliary cruiser

HSK Kormoran, had been found 5 days previously, and on 17 March, the announcement of the wreck of HMAS Sydney had been found

was made by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

War memorial at Carnarvon which include wall of memory to the men of HMAS Sydney


The HMAS Sydney Memorial Cairn is located 76 kilometres north of Carnarvon. The memorial stands high above the rugged coast at Quobba, where two lifeboats of Kormoran survivors came ashore.


The Battle

On 19 November, at a point off the coast between Carnarvon and Geraldton, the Sydney sighted what appeared to be a merchant ship about 20 km (12 mi) away and challenged it. The other ship was Kormoran, which identified itself as the Dutch ship Straat Malakka. According to accounts by crew members of Kormoran, Sydney chased and overhauled the raider, while exchanging signals and attempting to verify its identity. Detmers maintained the charade as long as possible, to take full advantage of surprise and knowing that he had a better chance in a battle at close range, where the effects of the better guns, fire control and armour protection on Sydney would be diminished. Burnett demanded a password from Kormoran, by which time Sydney had approached within about 1,000 metres of Kormoran. Under these circumstances Detmers had no choice other than to open fire, and his crew went into action at 5:30pm.

According to the crew of Kormoran the Australian warship did not appear to be fully prepared for battle, and its main guns were not trained on Kormoran. They reported that Sydney was hit 50 times by the raider's 150 mm (5.9 in) heavy guns — a simultaneous barrage of 20 mm anti-aircraft gunfire would have caused severe casualties on its bridge and open decks. The Supermarine Seagull seaplane on board Sydney was hit, and its fuel caused a fire midships.

The Germans reported that the gun turrets on Sydney opened fire almost simultaneously, with a salvo that passed over Kormoran. Sydney then suffered hits from two salvos on her bridge and midships section. It appears that the forward turrets ("A" and "B") were put out of action leaving only the after turrets ("X" and "Y") operational. The crew of Kormoran reported that Sydney's "X" turret opened fast and accurate fire, hitting Kormoran in the funnel and engine room, which caught fire. "Y" turret is said to have fired only two or three salvos, all of which went over. Sydney was also hit by at least one torpedo.

Sydney then headed directly at Kormoran, and completed a 180-degree turn in order to use her starboard torpedoes. During the turn, "B" turret exploded; the top was blown off and fell overboard. Four torpedoes were fired, but were near misses behind Kormoran. At the same time, the engines on Kormoran broke down.

The Sydney left the scene southwards, still under fire by the rear guns of the Kormoran, until 6:25 pm, when Kormoran had to be abandoned. The Germans reported seeing Sydney on fire at the horizon until 10 pm that night, and saw flames emerging from time to time two hours further. Some time after the Australian ship disappeared from view, the Germans heard several loud explosions, and believed these to be fire reaching magazines on Sydney. Neither HMAS Sydney nor any of its 645 officers and men were seen again.

However, Sydney had inflicted enough damage to ensure that Kormoran could not be saved. With the engine room destroyed, 20 dead and the fire rapidly approaching the mine storage deck, Detmers had little choice but to abandon ship. Explosive charges were placed and the surviving crew took to the boats, with Detmers the last to leave. A further 40 men, mostly wounded, lost their lives when a lifeboat capsized in the rough seas. Shortly after midnight the charges went off, followed 25 minutes later by the mines. The entire stern and midships section was engulfed in a gigantic sheet of flame that shot 300 metres into the night sky as Kormoran went down by the stern.

Detmers, about 320 of his crew and three Chinese prisoners of war, were rescued from their lifeboats and liferafts by five ships; Aquitania, Trocas, Koolinda, Centaur and Yandra and a further two lifeboats came ashore near 17 Mile Well and Red Bluff north of Carnarvon. Nearly all spent the remainder of the war in an Australian prisoner of war camp, from which they were not released until January 1947.





Captain Joseph Burnett RAN

Commander Edmund Wybergh Thrushton DSC RN

Commander Lionel Sydney Dalton DSO RAN

Commander Thomas Francis Maynard RAN

Surgeon Commander John Reid Hasker RAN

Chaplain the Rev. George Stubbs RAN

Schoolmaster Percy Francis Skewes RAN

Lieutenant Commander Clive Alexandra Craig Montgomery RN

Lieutenant Commander Michael Morgan Singer DSC RN

Lieutenant Commander Alexander Mackay Wilkinson RAN

Lieutenant Commander Jack Cawston Bacon RN

Lieutenant Commander Richard Daniel Handcock RAN

Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Francis Harrison Genge RAN

Lieutenant Thomas Garton Brown RAN

Lieutenant John Alan Cole RANR(S)

Lieutenant Thomas Edgar Davis RAN

Lieutenant Andrew lan Keith RANR(S)

Lieutenant Eric Elton Mayo RAN

Lieutenant lan Thomas Roy Treloar RAN

Lieutenant William Thomson Anderson RANR(S)

Lieutenant Allan Wallace Wilson RANR(S)

Lieutenant Robert Ernest Ridout RANR

Surgeon Lieutenant Mervyn Clive Townsend RAN

Sub-Lieutenant Albert Edwin Byrne RANR

Sub-Lieutenant Alexander Vinrace Eagar RANR

Sub-Lieutenant Edwin Ross Eddy RAN

Sub-Lieutenant Bruce Alfred Elder RANR

Flying Officer Raymond Barker Barrey RAAF

Sub-Lieutenant Allen james King RANVR

Sub-Lieutenant Frederick Harold Schoch RANVR

Sub-Lieutenant James Irvine Clifton RANR

Sub-Lieutenant Charles McGregor Mitchell RANR

Acting Sub-Lieutenant Donald Wolsey McCabe RAN

Gunner Frank Leslie Macdonald RN

Gunner James Edward Peterson RAN

Acting Gunner John Kerr Houston RAN

Warrant William George Batchelor RAN

Warrant Alexander Baillie Biggs RAN

Warrant Frederick William Reville RAN

Warrant John Albert Ernest Fuller RAN

Warrant Robert Wesley Nicholson RAN

Warrant William Albert Owen RAN



Abernethy, Roderic Bell - Petty Officer Telegraphist

Absolem, John Francis - Acting Leading Seaman Stoker

Addison, Roy Hilton - Acting Leading Seaman

Agar, Lavington Henry - Chief Mechanician

Allison, John Albert Curtis - Able Seaman

Anderson, Cecil John - Ordinary Seaman

Anderson, Ronald Harry - Able Seaman

Andrews, Arthur John - Able Seaman

Archbell, Allen Walter - Acting Leading Seaman

Armstrong, Harold James - Ordinary Seaman

Aumann, Cyril - Acting Leading Stoker

Avery, George William - Able Seaman

Aylott, William Lewis - Acting Petty Officer

Ayton, Leslie George - Ordnance Artificer


Bain, William John - Able Seaman

Baker, Victor Leslie - Ordinary Seaman

Baker, William Alfred - Stoker

Balding, Harold Ross - Able Seaman

Barclay, Victor Nathaniel - Supply Assistant

Barham, Eric Ralph - Sick Berth Petty Officer

Barker, Benjamin joseph Herbert - Able Seaman

Bartlett, Maxwell Edwin - Able Seaman

Bath, Walter James - Ordinary Seaman

Batten, Keith Carrington -Stoker

Baverstock, Ernest George - Able Seaman

Beattie, Alexander - Leading Stoker

Beattie, Eric Peter - Stoker

Beckett, Richard James - Stoker

Belcher, Edgar Raymond - Wireman

Bennie, Graham Russell - Able Seaman

Berwick, George Ross - Wireman

Bettany, John Henry - Able Seaman

Betterman, Donald Richard - Able Seaman

Bettinson, Walter Edward - Leading Seaman

Bevan, Hanbury Victor - Able Seaman

Beverton, John Troy - Stoker

Bibby, Ivo Ignatius - Engine Room Artificer First Class

Biram, Bernard Frank - Petty Officer Cook (0)

Birch, James William - Acting Leading Stoker

Blackwood, James - Stoker

Blake, John Shaldis - Acting Leading Stoker

Blom, Leslie Michael - Stoker

Bodman, Anthony Arthur - Able Seaman

Bone, Gordon Frederick - Able Seaman

Bonham, Henry George - Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Bonner, Reginald - Mechanician First Class

Bool, James - Ordinary Seaman

Booth, Ernest Albert - Able Seaman

Bowden, Laurence - Stoker Second Class

Bowes, Keith Andrew joseph - Stoker

Box, Robert Aubrey - Stoker Second Class

Boyd, David William - Acting Leading Sick Berth Attendant

Bradley, Ross - Ordinary Seaman

Brennan, Ernest Norman - Able Seaman

Brind, Max - Able Seaman

Brodie, Raymond Roy - Acting Leading Seaman

Brooks, Donald Leslie - Ordinary Seaman

Buchanan, Allen Ridley Morton - Stoker Petty Officer

Buck, Clifton Charles - Able Seaman

Buckingham, Clarence Frederick Parett - Able Seaman

Buckley, Daniel Stanley - Ordinary Seaman

Budden, Keith Eric - Acting Yeoman of Signals

Bundy, Frederick Philip Keith - Petty Officer

Bunting, James - Able Seaman

Burgess, William Robert - Signalman

Burgoyne, Maxwell Aubrey - Leading Steward

Burke, Kenneth Thomas - Telegraphist

Burke, Leslie - Leading Cook (S)

Burke, William - Chief Engine Room Artificer

Burns, John Roardon - Acting Stoker Petty Officer

Burnsyde, William Edmund - Stoker

Burrowes, Douglas james - Able Seaman

Burt, Alwyn Stewart - Wireman

Butler, Kenneth Norman Hilton - Supply Assistant

Butler, Stanley Wilfred - Able Seaman


Cabban, Victor Roy - Stoker Second Class

Cannon, Lionel James - Telegraphist

Carey, Henry Robert Joseph - Able Seaman

Carey, Thomas Leslie - Chief Petty Officer Cook

Carr, John William Aaron - Able Seaman

Carthy, George Thomas - Able Seaman

Cartwright, Alexander Mitchell - Able Seaman

Catley, Raymond Rex - Able Seaman

Caudle, Douglas William - Ordinary Seaman

Challenger, Charles William - Chief Stoker

Chapman, Neville Owen - Ordinary Seaman

Chapman, William Roy - Stoker

Charlton, Claude Leyshon - Cook

Christie, Albert Thomas Norton - Stoker

Christison, John Maxwell - Ordinary Seaman

Clark, Daniel Murchie - Acting Leading Stoker

Clark, Thomas Welsby - Able Seaman

Clarke, Arthur - Leading Aircraftman

Clarke, Harry - Acting Leading Stoker

Clayton, Alfred Stockdale - Stoker

Clement, William - Ordinary Seaman

Clive, Alfred Walter - Stoker

Colbey, Robert Sabey - Ordinary Seaman

Cole, John Vincent - Ordinary Seaman

Cole, Sydney Arthur William - Able Seaman

Coleman, George Edward - Wireman

Colhoun, Robert Alan - Stoker Second Class

Collie, Cyril Brian - Stoker Second Class

Collier, Richard Thomas - Acting Leading Seaman

Collins, Charles Ernest - Able Seaman

Collins, William Henry - Able Seaman

Conquit, William Clarence - Able Seaman

Cookesley, Clifford William - Stoker

Coonan, Bevis Royal - Acting Leading Seaman

Cooper, Alfred Langley - Leading Stoker

Cooper, Arthur Donald Wilfred - Stoker Second Class

Cooper, Bertie - Able Seaman

Cooper, Reginald - Stoker

Cooper, Rex Albert - Able Seaman

Coppin, George William - Assistant Steward

Cork, William James Morris - Ordinary Seaman

Cormick, Thomas George - Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Courtis, Roy John - Stoker

Cox, Harold William - Acting Leading Stoker

Cox, John Lionel - Signalman

Cragg, George Louis - Stoker

Craike, Brian Wesley - Able Seaman

Cranwell, Henry Alfred Geoffrey - Stoker

Craske, Benjamin Jack - Ordinary Seaman

Crawford, Thomas Alfred - Acting Able Seaman

Crocker, Leslie joseph - Petty Officer Cook

Crowle, Jack Alfred Francis - Stoker Second Class

Cummings, james - Able Seaman

Cunnington, Alan Leonard Fyffe - Ordnance Artificer Fourth Class

Curtis, Clifford Leslie James - Wireman

Curtis, Richard - Petty Officer

Curwood, Walter Leslie - Wireman


Daniel, Kevin Henry - Ordnance Artificer Fourth Class

Darby, Stanley Maurice - Able Seaman

Daunt, Arthur Robert - Stoker

Davey, John Stanley - Petty Officer Cook

Davies, Sidney John - Electrical Artificer

Davis, Stanley Roy - Leading Seaman

Deacon, William Frank - Able Seaman

Deane, Wallace Bertram - Ordinary Seaman

Dee, Thomas - Leading Steward

DeForest, McAdam Carruthers - Stoker

DeGracie, John Philip - Ordinary Seaman

Dempster, Herbert James - Stoker

Devereux, Eric Gordon - Able Seaman

Dhu, Lionel Edward - Able Seaman

Diews, Bernard Albert - Able Seaman

Dimmock, Donald Charles - Able Seaman

Dix, Gordon Kenneth - Acting Leading Stoker

Dixon, Thomas Charles - Leading Stoker

Dobson, Herbert Hartfield - Able Seaman

Dodds, Richard - Leading Aircraftman

Doxey, Alexander Harold - Able Seaman

Doyle, Edward Francis - Able Seaman

Drake, Albert Reginald - Able Seaman

Drake, John Richardson - Stoker

Duncan, Emanuel Robert Thomas - Supply Assistant

Dundon, Stephen - Able Seaman

Dunin, Thomas - Steward


Edenborough, Alan Grosvenor - Ordinary Seaman

Edgoose, John Franklin - Ordinary Seaman

Edwards, Ernest John - Able Seaman

Edwards, Frederick - Acting Stoker Petty Officer

Evans, Francis Richard - Petty Officer

Ewens, Robert Underdown - Able Seaman


Fahey, William Richard - Able Seaman

Farrand, Leonard Charles - Ordinary Seaman

Faulkner, Arthur John - Able Seaman

Ferguson, David Wallace - Able Seaman

Ferguson, Kenneth Charles - Ordinary Seaman

Fibbens, William Sidney - Telegraphist

Findlay, Gordon Lindsay - Acting Ordnance Artificer Fourth Class

Finlayson, Harry - Mechanician First Class

Fisher, John William - Leading Cook (S)

Fitzgerald, Augustine Francis - Blacksmith Fourth Class

Fitzgerald, Lloyd Gerald - Acting Supply Petty Officer

Fleming, Wilfred Stafford - Able Seaman

Foote, Reginald Eric - Cook (S)

Forbes, Robert Gordon Staunton - Ordinary Seaman

Forsyth, Glenbervie Edwin - Electrical Artificer Fourth Class

Forth, Herbert - Able Seaman

Foster, Norman Douglas - Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Foster, Roy - Leading Aircraftman

Foulkes, Robert Eugene - Telegraphist

Franklin, Edward William - Leading Seaman

Fraser, Noel James - Ordinary Seaman

Freer, Walter Edward Albert - Able Seaman

Friar, Jack Allan - Engine Room Artificer Third Class

Frisch, Ernest Dudley - Able Seaman

Frith, William Railton Oliver - Petty Officer, RN

Fry, Robert Aubrey - Stoker

Fryer, Kenneth James - Ordinary Telegraphist


Gamble, Frank Harold - Petty Officer Telegraphist

Gamble, Ronald Frederick - Acting Petty Officer Telegraphist

Gardiner, Heathcote Diggery - Ordinary Seaman

Garnett, William Henry - Acting Leading Stoker

Garrett, Basil Farmer - Able Seaman

Gale, Raymond - Leading Supply Assistant

Gentles, Harry Spencer - Chief Stoker

Gilsenan, Dudley John - Steward

Glackin, Thomas Nevin - Stoker

Glasby, Harold - Able Seaman

Goodwin, Neil Francis - Able Seaman

Goodwin, Wilfred James - Able Seaman

Gothard, Edwin - Acting Petty Officer Telegraphist

Graco, Henry Mathias - Able Seaman

Graham, George Albert - Ordinary Seaman

Greaves, Sidney - Able Seaman

Green, Arthur Eric - Acting Stoker Petty Officer

Green, John Rex - Ordinary Seaman

Green, Theo Lawrence - Cook (0)

Greenwood, James Herbert - Ordinary Seaman

Gregson, Michael Oswald - Ordinary Seaman

Grinter, Norman Francis - Acting Leading Stoker

Gronberg, Ernest Edward - Stoker

Gwynne, David Andrew - Able Seaman


Haag, Francis Vincent - Stoker

Hagan, Allan - Steward

Hammond, Lawson - Able Seaman

Hare, Richard William - Able Seaman

Harricks, Sydney William - Able Seaman

Hass, Mervan Loui Wallace - Able Seaman

Harrington, Albert Frederick - Acting Leading Seaman

Harris, Ronald Charles - Able Seaman

Harrison, Leslie Alexander - Petty Officer Steward

Hartmann, Frederick Holland Reg - Petty Officer

Haslam, Aubrey Cecil - Acting Leading Seaman

Hattersley, jack Osberg - Able Seaman

Hawker, George Clarence - Steward

Hawkes, Sydney William - Able Seaman

Haynes, Frank James - Stoker

Haywood, George James - Ordinary Seaman Second Class

Heaton, Edmund - Acting Electrical Artificer Fourth Class

Henderson, William Laurence Douglas - Stoker

Henrickson, John Olaf - Stoker

Herington, Henry Foster - Stoker Second Class

Heritage, Roy George - Able Seaman

Herrod, Herbert Frederick - Acting Leading Stoker

Hewett, Edmund Herbert - Able Seaman

Hickey, Robert Arthur - Able Seaman

Hill, Douglas Hugh - Stoker

Hill, Peter - Able Seaman

Hill, Robert Henry - Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Hobbs, George james - Able Seaman

Hogan, Michael Henry - Ordinary Telegraphist

Holder, Edward Harrison - Telegraphist

Holm, Clarence Kenneth Asby - Able Seaman

Homer, Arthur Wilfred - Chief Stoker

Honor, Charles Leslie - Telegraphist

Hooper, Edgar Norman - Ordinary Seaman

Hopcraft, Robert Beauchamp - Shipwright Third Class

Hore, Keith Beresford - Able Seaman

Horrigan, Cornelius - Able Seaman

Howard, Keith - Aireraftman First Class

Howard, Leonard John - Able Seaman

Hudson, james Lloyd - Signalman

Hutchinson, Richard - Able Seaman

Hutchinson, Roy Harold - Able Seaman

Hutchison, James Robertson - Stoker Second Class


Ingham, John Wakelin - Acting Leading Stoker


James, Martin Curtis - Able Seaman

Jarvis, William John - Stoker Second Class

Jeffs, Francis William - Ordinary Seaman

Jennings, David Mathias - Able Seaman

Jesnoewski, Leslie Albert - Ordinary Seaman

Johnson, Percy Albert - Stoker Second Class

Johnston, Donald Erskine - Able Seaman

Johnston, George - Writer

Johnston, Edgar William - Able Seaman

Johnstone, Trevor James Armistice - Able Seaman

Jones, David James - Acting Stoker Petty Officer

Jones, Donald Edgar - Able Seaman

Jones, Ivan David - Acting Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Jones, John Banks - Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Jones, Philip Trevor - Chief Petty Officer

Jones, Wilfred George - Chief Shipwright

Jordan, Ernest John - Able Seaman

Jordan, Horace David - Able Seaman

Joyce, William Robert John - Able Seaman


Keane, Walter John DSM - Chief Ordnance Artificer

Kearnon, Rex Allan - Ordinary Seaman

Keenan, Francis Bernard - Stoker

Kelly, james Vincent - Able Seaman

Kelly, Neville Andrew - Stoker Second Class

Kennedy, Robert John - Stoker Second Class

Kenney, Arthur Henry Lawrence - Chief Petty Officer

Kent, Lloyd Shackleton - Signalman

Kettle, Edward james - Able Seaman

Kettyle, James Thomas - Leading Stoker

Keys, Rodger Francis - Able Seaman

Kirkham, Eric James - Able Seaman

Kitchin, Clayton Peter - Stoker

Kleinig, Arthur Albert - Telegraphist

Knapman, Wesley Bowden - Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Knapp, Douglas John - Stoker Second Class

Knight, Neil Kenneth - Steward

Kreig, Archibald Douglas - Assistant Steward


Laffer, Peter Morton - Ordinary Seaman

Lang, John - Able Seaman

Lang, William Hugh - Stoker Second Class

Lawler, Neil Charles - Ordinary Seaman

Lawson, James Neil - Supply Assistant

Laxton, Stewart Thomas - Sick Berth Attendant Second Class

Laycock, Royce Stanley - Stoker

Lewis, Ambrose Henry - Stoker Petty Officer

Lewis, Desmond Henry - Bandsman

Lewis, Leslie Raymond - Acting Leading Seaman

Lillywhite, Harry Edgar - Shipwright First Class

Lockard, Terence Godfrey - Acting Signalman

Love, Snowden Edward - Stoker

Lowenstein, William - Stoker

Lowry, Frederick William - Able Seaman

Lynch, Stephen Maxwell - Able Seaman

Lyne, Raymond Vivian - Ordinary Seaman


Mackinnon, Murdo - Petty Officer

Males, Trevor - Shipwright Fourth Class

Mann, Keith Arthur - Ordinary Seaman

Manninp,, Maurice - Leading Cook (S)

Marley, Sidney - Sergeant

Marson, Albert Richard - Mechanician Second Class

Martin, Alan Douglas - Ordinary Seaman

Martin, james Hearle - Able Seaman

Martin, Leslie Frank - Steward

Martin, Leslie James Frederick - Ordinary Seaman

Matheson, Edward Austin John - Ordinary Seaman

Mathews, John William - Able Seaman

Maxwell, lan Maxwell - Ordinary Seaman

Medlen, Lindsay James - Sick Berth Attendant

Melandri, Perty Ernest Vincent - Bandsman

Menzies, William - Able Seaman

Miller, George James - Cook (S)

Miller, james Douglas Haig - Able Seaman

Miller, Kenneth Roscoe - Ordinary Seaman

Miller, Martin Patrick - Steward

Miller, Robert Alfred - Stoker

Milverton, Peter Frederick - Able Seaman

Minns, Leslie Charles - Sick Berth Attendant

Mitchell, Francis joseph - Supply Assistant

Mogler, Richard Charles - Stoker

Mordaunt, Francis Xavier - Petty Officer Writer

Morisey, Ronald - Able Seaman

Morphett, Merton James - Cook (S)

Morris, Edgar Percy - Petty Officer

Morris, Raymond Keith - Able Seaman

Moule, Albert - Stoker

Mudford, Leslie Francis - Able Seaman

Mulhall, John Dillon - Bandsman

Murdoch, Raymond Charles - Able Seaman

Murray, Malcom - Able Seaman

Mutch, Hector MacDonald - Able Seaman

Myers, Henry William - Stoker

McAulay, Angus Campbell - Bandsman

McAuslan, Arthur Robert - Chief Engine Room Artificer

McBain, joseph Henry - Chief Engine Room Artificer

McCabe, Ernest Victor - Able Seaman

McCallem, Duncan - Canteen Assistant

McClaren, Alfred Allan - Petty Officer

McConnell, Robert Nicol - Stoker

McCulloch, Sydney - Able Seaman

McCullough, Samuel James - Wireman

McDonald, John Denis - Able Seaman

McDougall, Wallace - Able Seaman

McGregor, Donald Alexander - Cook (S)

McGowan, Thomas Henry - Able Seaman

McHaffle, Edward Hunter - Painter First Class

McKay, Allan Murdoch - Leading Supply Assistant

McKechnie, Glen Morton - Ordinary Seaman

McKenzie, Donald james - Able Seaman

McKeown, Malachi James - Able Seaman

McLean, William Ernest - Stoker Petty Officer

McLeod, Herbert Charles - Acting Leading Stoker

McLeod-Smith, Albert Fraser - Petty Officer


Nesbitt, jackson - Able Seaman

Newman, Charles Albert - Able Seaman

Nicholls, Malcom Godfrey - Able Seaman

Nichols, Francis Roy - Ordinary Seaman Second Class

Nichol, Thomas Enright - Wireman

Noble, Charles Taylor Reg - Petty Officer

Noell, Alfred John - Stoker

Norbery, Stephen William - Able Seaman

Norman, Charles George james - Able Seaman

Norman, Frederick William - Leading Seaman

Norton, John Thomas Henry - Leading Stoker

Norton, Montague Alfred Huxley - Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Norton, William Frederick Cecil - Able Seaman

Nugent, Cyril james - Stoker

Nyal, Leslie John - Stoker Second Class


Oakford, Phillip james - Ordinary Seaman

O'Brien, Edward Bedford - Shipwright First Class

Ogilvie, Laurence - Able Seaman

Oliver, Alan Henry - Ordinary Seaman

Opas, Maurice - Canteen Manager

Owens, Edward Harold - Able Seaman


Paling, Dennis Ross - Able Seaman

Parkes, Douglas Leon - Able Seaman

Parr, George Frederick - Chief Electrical Artificer

Partington, Leslie Warburton - Bandsman

Pascoe, Percival Holman - Stoker

Pastoors, William Cecil - Stoker Second Class

Patrick, Charles William - Ordinary Seaman Second Class

Paul, Stanley Robert - Stoker

Payne, John Robert - Sick Berth Attendant

Peak, John McGhie - Stoker

Pearce, Eric Victor - Acting Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Pelham, Frederick Charles - Bandsman

Perger, Frederick James - Able Seaman

Perryman, Richard Severn - Able Seaman

Peters, Maxwell Wesley - Telegraphist

Peterson, Peter William - Stoker

Phillips, Frederick Ernest - Able Seaman

Pike, John William - Able Seaman

Pitt, William Harold - Able Seaman

Platt, Robert - Stoker Second Class

Pople, Alfred - Band Corporal

Potter, Alfred William - Ordinary Seaman

Potter, Clyde Ashby - Acting Supply Petty Officer

Powell, Lyal Llewellyn - Able Seaman

Prike, joseph John - Able Seaman

Primmer, John Foster Roy - Able Seaman

Pritchard, Herbert Lloyd - Ordnance Artificer Fourth Class

Psaila, Samuel - Canteen Assistant

Pulham, Edward George Montague - Acting Leading Stoker

Purdon, Eric Thomas - Leading Seaman

Purkiss, Cecil Edward - Wireman

Putman, Albert Edward - Ordinary Seaman


Quilty, John Edward - Acting Leading Seaman

Quinn, George Frederick - Petty Officer Cook (S)


Ramsay, Ernest Wilson - Able Seaman

Ranford, John Irvine - Ordinary Telegraphist

Ray, Harold George - Able Seaman

Redfearne, Charles Hugh - Stoker

Redmond, Eric Neville - Ordinary Signalman

Reed, George Percival - Writer

Rees, Robert John - Ordinary Seaman

Reeves, Ellis Leslie - Able Seaman

Reeves, Raymond Henry - Ordinary Seaman

Reid, Graham Roy - Signalman

Reilly, James Brian - Acting Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Remfry, Ernest John - Able Seaman

Ricardo, John Layton - Chief Petty Officer Butcher

Rice, Desmond Maxwell - Stoker Third Class

Richards, Harold Nelson - Acting Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Richter, Arthur John - Acting Supply Petty Officer

Riley, Edwin Martin - Ordinary Seaman

Rippen, Adolph Heinrich Gerhard - Telegraphist

Riters, Edward - Able Seaman

Roberts, Lyndon Irvine - Stoker

Roberts, Ronald Charles - Assistant Cook (0)

Robertson, Michael John - Leading Seaman

Robertson, Thomas Noel - Acting Stoker Petty Officer

Robertson, William James - Leading Cook

Rogers, Charles Allan - Able Seaman

Rogers, Ralph Carey - Signalman

Rolfe, Edmund Sturgeon - Able Seaman

Rolley, Ernest David - Steward

Rosevear, Geoffrey - Able Seaman

Rosevear, Lance - Able Seaman

Ross, Donald - Petty Officer Steward

Ross, James Thompson - Supply Petty Officer

Rothbaum, Lionel - Assistant Steward

Rowe, Allan Lawrence - Able Seaman

Rowe, James Ronald - Telegraphist

Rowe, Lindsay Thomas - Stoker Second Class

Rowlands, Harold Edward - Supply Chief Petty Officer

Rudwall, Peter Sutherland - Ordinary Seaman


Salmon, John - Able Seaman

Sampson, Louis Nicholas - Supply Chief Petty Officer

Sands, William Archibald Martin - Chief Petty Officer

Savage, Leonard Roydon - Stoker

Sawbridge, George William - Bandsman

Schache, Walter Herbert - Chief Petty Officer Cook

Schmidt, Alan Hartley - Ordinary Seaman

Schulz, Raymond Arthur - Stoker

Scott, George Gillick - Acting Petty Officer

Shadlow, Eric Henry - Stoker Second Class

Shepherd, Alfred Horwood - Acting Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Shepherd, David John - Chief Petty Officer Telegraphist

Shiers, Arthur Ernest - Able Seaman

Shipstone, Henry Buccleuch - Petty Officer

Short, Harry Kenneth - Able Seaman

Sievey, Richard Thomas - Ordinary Seaman

Silk, Stanley George - Chief Petty Officer

Simpson, Beniamin - Petty Officer Telegraphist

Simpson, Charles Henry - Able Seaman

Simpson, Reginald Austin - Ordinary Telegraphist

Slater, Alec George Hamilton - Assistant Cook

Smith, Allen Leslie - Chief Electrical Artificer

Smith, Alfred james - Stoker Second Class

Smith, Cornelius Francis - Able Seaman

Smith, Douglas William Charles - Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Smith, Ernest Edward Frederick - Able Seaman

Smith, George William - Stoker Second Class

Smith, Ronald George Singleton - Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Smith, Roy Clarence - Supply Assistant

Smith, Roy Somerville - Stoker

Smith, William Ftederick Albert - Able Seaman

Smith, William Harrison Randall - Engine Room Artificer Third Class

Smith, William Reginald Devine - Acting Petty Officer

Soutar, William Nicoll - Supply Assistant

Spiller, Harold James - Able Seaman

Staff, Robert Frank - Steward

Stammers, Robert - Cook

Standish, George Frederick - Able Seaman

Stear, Ernest Victor Lloyd - Bandmaster

Steed, Philip William - Ordinary Seaman

Steele, Roy McLellan Morgan - Able Seaman

Stenton, Stanley Peter William - Stoker

Stephens, George - Acting Yeoman of Signals

Stephenson, Walter Thomas William - Stoker

Sterling, Leslie - Able Seaman

Stevens, Horace John - Bandsman

Stevenson, Robert - Stoker Third Class

Stride, Cecil Meadus - Stoker Second Class

Striethorst, Raymond Conrad - Able Seaman

Stripe, Alexander Edward - Able Seaman

Strugnell, John William - Petty Officer

Stuart, james Richard Keith - Stoker

Stuart, William Fancourt - Writer

Stubbs, Kimberley - Stoker Second Class

Sturla, james Robert - Chief Stoker

Sutton, Denis O'Reilly - Able Seaman

Sutton, Kingsley - Acting Stoker Petty Officer


Tabor, Frederick Arthur - Acting Leading Seaman

Tassel, Harry Woodrow - Petty Officer

Tatters, George Nelson - Able Seaman

Taylor, John - Telegraphist

Taylor, John Ernest - Able Seaman

Taylor, John McLean - Able Seaman

Taylor, Keith - Ordinary Seaman

Taylor, Kenneth George - Able Seaman

Taylor, Rupert Allenby - Leading Stoker

Tennant, Ronald George - Engine Room Artificer Third Class

Thompson, Harry Edward - Wireman

Thompson, William Raymond - Stoker

Thomson, Archibald jarnes - Stoker

Trenbath, jack Stephen - Stoker Third Class

Trenwith, Harry George - Stoker Petty Officer

Triggs, Robert - Master-at-Arms

Tuffin, Edwin Daniel - Able Seaman

Turk, Herbert - Able Seaman

Turner, George Alfred - Ordinary Seaman Second Class

Turner, Harold - Signalman

Turner, Kenneth james - Ordinary Seaman

Turner, William Ross - Able Seaman

Tyldsley, james - Chief Yeoman of Signals

Tyler, Charles Desmond - Bandsman


Unwin, John Edward - Able Seaman

Uren, Thomas William james - Leading Steward


Vassett, Alexander William - Electrical Artificer First Class

Vogt, Ronald Matthew - Able Seaman


Wait, Howard Thomas Charles - Acting Supply Petty Officer

Waldron, Thomas Arthur - Stoker Second Class

Walker, Arthur Joseph - Cook

Walker, Edward John - Yeoman of Signals

Walker, Kenneth james - Able Seaman

Walker, William Albert Gordon - Leading Signalman

Wallace, William Raymond - Stoker

Walsh, Gordon Stuart - Supply Assistant

Walsh, Michael Henry Joseph - Able Seaman

Ward, Frederick Ernest Charles - Able Seaman

Ward, James Joseph Richard - Leading Stoker

Ware, Leonard Frank - Joiner Third Class

Warren, Vincent - Bandsman

Waye, Leonard William - Acting Leading Stoker

Webb, Arthur Charles - Able Seaman

Webb, Oliver Ernest Raymond - Acting Petty Officer

Weller, Royce Henry - Acting Shipwright Fourth Class

White, Hans James Leo - Signalman

White, Robert George - Able Seaman

Whitfield, Leonard William - Chief Petty Officer Writer

Whithear, Alan George - Stoker

Williams, Alfred David - Able Seaman

Williams, David Leslie - Acting Petty Officer

Williams, John Bruce - Stoker Second Class

Williams, John Harris - Stoker Second Class

Williamson, Maurice Douglas - Leading Stoker

Williamson, Sydney Thomas Lawrence - Acting Petty Officer

Willis, George Boyd - Able Seaman

Willis, Percy John Christian - Plumber First Class

Willis, Lloyd Martin - Cook (0)

Willis, Ronald Verdun - Steward

Wilson, Clifford - Telegraphist

Wilson, Jack Stanley - Able Seaman

Wilson, Roderick Richard - Sick Berth Attendant

Wilson, Roy Weddon Dawes - Ordinary Seaman

Windham, Russell Bertram - Ordinary Telegraphist

Witton, Bertram Linsay - Acting Leading Telegraphist

Wixted, Ronald james - Stoker Second Class

Wood, Arthur Thomas - Able Seaman

Woodcroft, William George - Leading Steward

Woodhams, Reginald Bernard Craig - Stoker Second Class

Woods, William Raymond - Acting Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class

Woodsford, Alfred Charles - Acting Leading Seaman

Woolmore, Laurence Thomas - Ordnance Artificer Second Class

Worsley, William Cornelius - Acting Electrical Artificer Fourth Class

Wright, Charles Alan - Able Seaman

Wright, Charles Patrick - Signalman

Wright, Harold Douglas - Assistant Steward

Wyatt, Eric William - Telegraphist


Yeoman, Walter Clifford - Stoker

York, Leonard Denis - Able Seaman

Young, John Robinson - Able Seaman


Zammitt, Salvatore - Canteen Manager



HSK Kormoran

Kormoran, a freighter which had been converted into a covert, long-range raiding ship, was under the command of Fregattenkapitän (Commander) Theodor Detmers. The German vessel was posing as the Dutch freighter Straat Malakka. Although Kormoran lacked the armour protection and speed of a proper warship, it had substantial concealed armament, including six 150 mm (5.9 in) guns and torpedo tubes. It had been in service for just over a year and had sunk ten merchant ships in the South Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and the South Pacific.

Kormoran lifeboat at Carnarvon

Kormoran survivors picked up by the Centaur



Heinz Aron

Alex Barthel

Josef Bednareck

Werner Berges

Alfred Bez

August Bilges

Willi Bolt

Paul Brachvogel

August Breer

Franz Breitenstein

Erich Bruchig

Ludwig Bussjager

Reinhard Czech

Bruno Demandt

Hein Dein

Willi Dobileit

Johann Duismann

Eduard Eberhard

Hermann Ebert

Heinz Feldmann

Willi Fischer

Gerhard Gause

Egbert van Gaza

Ernst Georg

Theo Glander

Fritz Grabow

Gerhard Haarnagel

Erich Haase

Hans Haase

Johann Hahn

Willi Havekost

Franz Heinze

elmut Heinzemann

Fritz Hemmerich

Otto Herstel

Eugen Heumann

Albert Hille

Wilhelm Hinkel

Fritz Holzel

Fritz Hoffmann

K.arl Hudasch

K.urt Hufer

Josef Hurter

Heinrich Knupper

Willi Kreutzer

Robert Kummel

Hermann Lange

Erich Langenbach

Franz Leger

Otto Lenz

Rudolf Losche

Dietrich Lohmann

Fritz Martin

Paul Meyer

Heinz Muller

Freidrich Nagel

Oskar Pakosch

Franz Pastuschka

Hubert Pregler

Herbert Prystuppa

Kurt Quednau

Alfred Rennig

Herbert Rickert

Alfons Ross

Hans Salinsky

Georg Salzgeber

Ernst Schonberg

Horst Schuster

Karl Seiler

Hermann Stehr

Alfons Storney

Fritz Tiemann

Leonhard Trentler

Josef Tschznter

Bernhard van der Tweer

Rudolf Ulbricht

Kurt Wachter

Robert Wulf

Karl Zeitler


Died during Kormoran's cruise

Erich Dembnicki

Kurt Hofmann


Died as prisoner of war

Erich Meyer