- This event has passed.
Harbour Cruise: Sydney Under Attack
Mon 31 May, 2021, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
This cruise highlights the events of 31 May 1942 when three Japanese midget submarines entered Sydney Harbour to attack Allied warships.
Check-in Time: 09:30am
Boarding Time: 09:45pm for 10:00am departure
End Time: 1:00pm
Departure Point: Campbells Cove Jetty, The Rocks, Sydney NSW.
A 400m walk from Circular Quay
Vessel: ROYAL operated by Rosman Cruises
COVID Protocols: Pre boarding checks and onboard procedures are as determined by Rosman Cruises
As this event is being conducted by the Naval Historical Society of Australia which is a ‘not for profit’ organisation the cruise can only proceed if sufficient tickets are sold to cover boat charter costs. Therefore, a decision will be made on Friday 14 May 2021 about whether to proceed or not. We must advise Rosman Crises 14 days in advance and trust that you will understand. Naturally a full refund will be made to ticket holders if a negative decision is made.
NHSA/SHF Member $60.00
Child under 15 $35.00
Family (2 adults + 2 children) $185.00
About this Event
The 1942 Japanese midget submarine attack on ships in Sydney Harbour remains a topical subject. However, many Sydneysiders know little about this watershed event. It was the first attack on Sydney and its impact changed Australia from a quiet backwater of the Second World War to a vital springboard for the defeat of Japan.
This cruise will provide a detailed description of events leading up to and during the attack.
Your cruise boat will take you to sites on the Harbour where key events occurred and a comprehensive description of how those events during the fateful night of 31 May/1 June 1942 unfolded. The story will be told by expert narrators from the Naval Historical Society.
One midget submarine became entangled in the boom defence net. The second was depth charged and sunk while the third fired its two torpedoes at the USS Chicago and escaped from the harbour.
All three crews died in the attack. 19 Royal Australian Navy and two Royal Navy personnel were killed when one of the torpedoes that missed the USS Chicago detonated on the eastern sea wall of Garden Island under the moored HMAS Kuttabul used as an accommodation vessel.
Come join the cruise to learn more detail about that incredible night.
The Attack on Sydney
On the 31st of May 1942 three Japanese midget submarines attempted to enter Sydney Harbour to torpedo naval ships moored in the harbour. They were launched from three mother submarines located off the coast.
The mother submarines were three of five huge I-class Imperial Japanese Navy submarines that formed the task force, known as Nagumo Force. The other two carried amphibious planes which could be launched by catapult from the mother submarine’s foredeck.
One midget submarine became entangled in the boom defence net. Two others entered the harbour with one depth charged and sunk while the third fired its two torpedoes at the USS Chicago and escaped from the harbour.
All three crews died in the attack. 19 Royal Australian Navy and two Royal Navy personnel were killed when one of the torpedoes that missed the USS Chicago detonated on the eastern sea wall of Garden Island under the moored HMAS Kuttabul used as an accommodation vessel. The torpedo also passed under a Dutch Submarine.
The four dead Japanese submariners from the two submarines recovered within the harbour were given military funerals and their ashes repatriated by ship to Japan in October 1942. The whereabouts of the third midget submarine and its crew of two, was finally resolved when the submarine was located off the Northern Beaches of Sydney in November 2006.
On 8th June one of the mother submarines stood off Sydney and shelled the city. While there was no loss of life this event brought the war to Sydney siders who had not been directly impacted before.