During World War II the sea was the main transport route, bringing to Newcastle the raw materials needed by its industries and taking away the industries products, as well as Hunter coal.
Japanese submariner operated along the east coast of Australia from 16 May to 3 August 1942 and 18 January to 16 June 1943. They sank 18 vessels and attacked another 15, killing 277 merchant mariners and 223 medical personnel, as well as attacking Sydney and Newcastle. In 1940-41 German mines sunk 4 vessels, killing 16, and a German submarine sank a vessel in 1944, killing 2.
14 men from Newcastle were among 23 lost when "Iron Crown", en route from Whyalla to Port Kembla, was sunk by submarine I-27 on 4 June 1942; earlier it had damaged "Barwon". On 22 July 1942 Allara" was damaged by enemy action. It was repaired in Newcastle but 5 fatalities of that action are buried in Sandgate General Cemetery. Submarine I-21 which sunk "Iron Knight" had previously sunk "Kalingo" on 18 January 1943.
Produced by Jamie McMechan Maritime Union of Australia - Film Unit.
Maritime Union of Australia (MUA)
Australian Council of Trade Union (ACTU)
International Transport Workers Federation (ITF)
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)