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M/S Taronga
Wilh. Wilhelmsen, Tønsberg

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

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Roger W. Jordan collection.
Having looked at the various pictures in the company fleet list, this looks more like Wilhelmsen's 1st Taronga(?),
yet looking at the picture of Sperrbrecher 15 below, they do look the same.

 Pre War History: 

Launched on Jan. 20-1934 by Odense Staalskibsvaerft, Odense (Yard No. 50), completed May 5. 7064 gt, 4235 net, 10 550 tdwt, 484' x 61.3' x 29', 7 cyl. 2 SCDA oil engine of 9650 ihp by Burmeister & Wain's Maskin- og Skibsbyggeri A/S, Copenhagen. Service speed 16.25 knots, 12 passeners.

 WW II: 

Seized by the Germans on Aug. 15-1940, transferred to the Kriegsmarine in Febr.-1942 and renamed Sperrbrecher 15. Jan-Olof, Sweden has told me that Rohwer's & Hummelchen's "Chronology of the War at Sea" says she was heavily damaged by air attack off Scharhörn on June 8-1942, towed to Hamburg but considered beyond repair and decommissioned. A Norwegian source, "Hjemmeflåten - mellom venn og fiende" by Lauritz Pettersen says she was sunk at Elben on this date and later raised. The latter also gives the tonnage as 7064 gt (as does Wilh. Wilhelmsen's fleet list), but in another chapter he says 7003 reg. t. According to R. W. Jordan she was used as target ship 1943, he gives her 7003 gt.

Taronga as Sperrbrecher 15 - From a visitor to my website; his source: "Handelsschiffe im Kriegseinsatz", Herbert Baasch (b.1920-d.1997); photo by Herbert Baasch. (Posted here with permission of the new owner of Baasch's photo collection).


Recovered in Hamburg in May-1945, completely burnt out from the air attack. Repaired at Antwerp (Beliard Crighton et Cie.), the machinery reconditioned by Burmeister & Wain, Copenhagen. Reentered service in Aug.-1948 as Taronga. Sold on Oct. 28-1961 to the Sangyo Shinko K. K. for scrapping. Demolition began on Nov. 4-1961 at Izumi-Ohtsu, near Osaka, Japan.

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(Main Source: Wilh. Wilhelmsen fleet list by Michael Crowdy, World Ship Society, 1994, and others as named within the above text).

Wilh. Wilhelmsen had 3 ships by this name through the years, this was the 2nd of them. The 1st Taronga was built in Kiel 1927, 6732 gt. Beached on fire at Perim Island on Jan. 15-1933 after fire had broken out in No. 5 hold, voyage Rabaul-Oslo with copra, wheat, hides and wool. Reflaoted Febr. 12, surveyed Febr. 25, total loss - broken up. The 3rd Taronga was built in Uddevalla, Sweden in 1967, 10 510 gt, later 12 407 gt. Transferred to Singapore in 1979 (Barber Ship Management Ltd.). Sold in 1982 to Panama and renamed Sea Moon. Sold to Argentina in 1984 and renamed Punta Ancla. Still in service as per 1994 but had been laid up since Febr. 4-1993 at Buenos Aires.

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