HMAS Whang Pu

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Whang-Pu starboard.jpg
SS Whang Pu in civilian service
Owner: Swire house flag.svg China Navigation Co, Ltd
Port of registry: United Kingdom London
Builder: Taikoo Dockyard & Engineering Co, Hong Kong
Launched: 1920
Acquired: 31 December 1941
Commissioned: 1 October 1943
Decommissioned: 22 April 1946
Fate: Sold to shipbreakers 1949
General characteristics
Type: Passenger & cargo liner
Displacement: 3204 GRT
Length: 320 ft (98 m)[1]
Beam: 46.5 ft (14.2 m)[1]
Draught: 22.3 ft (6.8 m)[1]
Propulsion: Triple-expansion steam reciprocating engines driving twin screws
Speed: 10 knots (19 km/h)

HMAS Whang Pu (FY-03) or SS Wang Phu was a 3,204 ton riverboat[2] of the China Navigation Company that was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in the Second World War. Her Chinese name translates to "Happy Times".[3] She was one of a group of vessels called the "China Fleet" requisitioned for the RAN in similar circumstances.

Pre-war service[edit]

The Taikoo Dockyard and Engineering Company, Hong Kong built Wang Phu in 1920 for the China Navigation Company.[4] Both Taikoo Dockyard and CNC were owned by John Swire and Sons Ltd, which is British-owned but based in Hong Kong.[5]

War service[edit]

The Admiralty requisitioned Whang Pu on 31 December 1941 and work started at Singapore to convert her into a submarine depot ship for the Royal Navy.[3] However, this coincided with the Japanese invasion of Malaya and in January 1942 work on Wang Phu was stopped. She sailed to Fremantle, Western Australia where she served as a depot ship for Royal Netherlands Navy submarine and minesweeper crews.

She was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy on 1 October 1943 as HMAS Whang Pu and fitted out in Melbourne as a mobile repair ship. She served in New Guinea waters and later at Morotai in the Dutch East Indies as a stores ship. After the war she sailed to Hong Kong where she was paid off on 22 April 1946 and returned to her owners.


She was then used as an accommodation ship, and in November 1949 was sold for breaking up.[3]


Whang Pu after escaping the Battle of Singapore
  1. ^ a b c "Lloyd's Register, Steamships and Motor Ships" (PDF). Lloyd's Register. 1937–38. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Harnack, Edwin P (1938) [1903]. All About Ships & Shipping (7th ed.). London: Faber and Faber. p. 444. 
  3. ^ a b c "HMAS Whang Pu". Allied Chinese Ships WWII. Allied Chinese Ships Association. Archived from the original on 29 October 2003. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Swiggum, S; Kohli, M (28 July 2010). "China Navigation Company". The Ships List. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  5. ^ The archives of John Swire & Sons Ltd (including the papers of the Taikoo Dockyard and the China Navigation Company Ltd) are held at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London,