PS Weeroona (1910)
The paddle steamer PS Weeroona
|Owner:||Huddart Parker Ltd, Melbourne|
|Operator:||Huddart Parker Ltd, Melbourne
Bay Steamers Ltd, Melbourne
1942 US Army
1945 Australian Government
|Port of registry:||Australia|
|Builder:||A. & J. Inglis, Pointhouse, Glasgow, Scotland Scotland|
|Launched:||8 June 1910|
|Out of service:||Scrapped in 1951|
|Length:||310 feet 6 inches (94.6 m)|
|Beam:||36 feet 2 inches (11.0 m)|
|Draft:||12 feet 0 inches (3.7 m)|
The paddle steamer PS Weeroona was built by A. & J. Inglis, Pointhouse, Glasgow, Scotland and launched in 1910. It was initially owned by Huddart Parker Ltd, Melbourne. The ship was requisitioned for wartime service and used by the United States Army as a barracks and quarters ship through the war.
Weeroona was one of several Port Phillip Bay excursion steamers operating out of Melbourne for day trips, excursions and picnicking to destinations such as Portarlington, Queenscliff and Sorrento. The excursion vessel was equipped as a luxury excursion ship capable of carrying 1,900 passengers.
During the 1925 visit of the American fleet the ship was involved in an incident described as "A gratuitous insult to the Prime Minister" when the ship's firemen went on strike with the Commonwealth Ministers and a thousand guests, including foreign consuls and military officers, aboard in protest of comments made by the Prime Minister and demanding he depart the ship when he was not aboard. The firemen demanded a bond of £100 that he was not aboard, a demand rejected, and the trip was cancelled.
An article of 1 November 1943 noting the steamer might not resume excursion service after the war mentions the company, Bay Steamers, was in liquidation and that the ship operated thirty-three years without a collision, that four of her captains had retired and died and that she had made 2,774 voyages, traveled 206,990 miles (333,120 km) and carried 3,030,508 passengers in that service.
U.S. Army World War II service
Weeroona became part of the United States Army permanent local fleet under the Southwest Pacific Area command's supply organization, United States Army Services of Supply, Southwest Pacific Area (USASOS SWPA), and was used extensively serving as a quarters ship for American maritime personnel. As part of the Small Ships Section the vessel was given the local fleet number S-195 and perhaps also as CSQ-1.[note 1] Weeroona was used as a quarters ship by Australian personnel under contract to the U.S. Army's Small Ships Section in Sydney and New Guinea. The ship was also used by U.S. Army Signal Corps personnel, some of whom were setting up small ships as communications ships, as barracks and dubbed CSQ for communications ship quarters. Weeroona was towed from New Guinea to the Philippines to support Allied forces there at Leyte Gulf and eventually serving as a barracks and convalescent ship in Manila until towed back to Sydney where she lingered in the harbor until broken up in 1951.
- "CSQ-1" was probably unofficial as the official reference (Thompson & Harris) notes "A fifth vessel, which they had converted into barracks to accommodate operating personnel, they dubbed CSQ (communications ship quarters)" while S numbers were used administratively for Small Ships vessels.
- Clydebuilt Ships Database: PS Weeroona.
- Lloyd's Register 1943-44: "Weeroona.
- Churchward 2008.
- Thompson 2003.
- Portland Guardian A Fleet Welcome Fiasco.
- Mansfield, Ortmann & Ross 2008.
- The Argus Vol Liquidation Of Bay Steamers Ltd.
- Chronicle Paddle Steamer Weeroona.
- Grover 1987, p. 56.
- Masterson 1949, p. 629.
- AUSTRALIA @ WAR: US Army Small Ships Section—United States Army Services Of Supply (USASOS) In Australian Waters During WWII.
- Lunney 1995, p. 152.
- Thompson & Harris 1966, p. 283.
- The Argus (1946). Vol Liquidation Of Bay Steamers Ltd (14 October 1943). The Argus, Melbourne. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- AUSTRALIA @ WAR (16 October 2008). "US Army Small Ships Section—United States Army Services Of Supply (USASOS) In Australian Waters During WWII". AUSTRALIA @ WAR. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- Chronicle (1925). A Fleet Welcome Fiasco (1 August 1925). Chronicle, Adelaide, South Australia. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- Churchward, Matthew S. (July 2008). "Transport". eMelbourne. School of Historical Studies, Department of History, The University of Melbourne. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- Colin Campbell, Bruce Biddulph, David Asprey and Stuart Cameron. "PS Weeroona". Clydebuilt Ships Database. Clydesite. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- Grover, David (1987). U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-766-6. LCCN 87015514.
- Lloyds (1943-44). "Lloyd's Register". Lloyd's Register (through PlimsollShipData). Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- Lunney, Bill; Finch, Frank (1995). Forgotten Fleet: a history of the part played by Australian men and ships in the U.S. Army Small Ships Section in New Guinea, 1942-1945. Medowie, NSW, Australia: Forfleet Publishing. ISBN 0646260480. LCCN 96150459.
- Mansfield, Anthony; Ortmann, Nicole; Ross, Peter (2008). Site Report PS Ozone. Portarlington, Victoria, Australia: Flinders University Maritime Archaeology Field School. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- Masterson, Dr. James R. (1949). U. S. Army Transportation In The Southwest Pacific Area 1941-1947. Washington, D. C.: Transportation Unit, Historical Division, Special Staff, U. S. Army.
- Portland Guardian (1943). Paddle Steamer Weeroona (1 November 1943). Portland Guardian, Victoria, Australia. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- Thompson, George Raynor; Harris, Dixie R. (1966). The Technical Services—The Signal Corps: The Outcome (Mid-1943 Through 1945). United States Army In World War II. Washington, DC: Center Of Military History, United States Army. LCCN 64060001.
- Thomson, Max (July 2003). "A salute to the doyen of old paddle-steamers". Afloat Magazine, July 2003, pages 20—21. Afloat Magazine (Australia). Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- Images of Yesteryear: Sea & River (Photos of Weeroona in collection)
- Mornington Peninsula Paddle Steamers of Port Philip Bay
- Shipspotting: WEEROONA