HMAS Sydney II

In 1941 the residents of Carnarvon rallied bedding and supplies for what they thought were survivors of the Sydney being retrieved from the coast north of Carnarvon. 

Everyone was in a state of shock when it became apparent that there were no survivors from HMAS Sydney II and these were in fact survivors of the German ship HSK Kormoran.

Photo. Kormoran Lifeboat


HMAS Sydney II and the German Raider, HSK Kormoran

The battle between the HMAS Sydney II and the German Raider, HSK Kormoran on November 19, 1941, is commemorated in the development of the Carnarvon Heritage Precinct. There is no doubt of Carnarvon's role in the rescue operation that followed the battle. There were no survivors from the Sydney, but 319 men from aboard the Kormoran survived the ordeal. Of these, 216 were picked up by rescuing ships at sea, and a further 103 came ashore in two lifeboats just north of Carnarvon. One of these lifeboats is on display in the new Interpretive Centre. In 1941 the residents of Carnarvon rallied bedding and supplies for what they thought were survivors of the Sydney being retrieved from the coast north of Carnarvon. Everyone was in a state of shock when it became apparent that there were no survivors from HMAS Sydney II and these were in fact survivors of the German ship HSK Kormoran. They were interned in the local police station and awaited transport to Fremantle for questioning.

Docked in Fremantle on the day the war was declared, she assumed duties supporting convoys across the Indian Ocean

Sightings that day revealed up to five boats in the area, including Quobba Station. 

In February 1942, a Carley float drifted to Christmas Island and was taken ashore.

HMAS Sydney (II) - Taken form the Seagull sea plane.

HMAS Sydney (II) crew - Portrait of the crew in full uniform after a successful mission in the Mediterranean.

HSK Kormoran - HSK Kormoran, Port Side.  Disguised as the Straat Malakka.