- Biographies and personal histories, WWII operations, History - WW2
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Warramunga I
- December 1987 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
The ship was the RFA Bishopdale, from which Warramunga had fuelled many times. On board were 5 Australian DEMS Gunners. I was allocated to assist them on the 3 inch HA Gun. On watch two weeks later, with the USS Boise alongside taking on fuel, an undetected kamikaze dived out of the sky towards the Boise, turned and hit the bridge of the Bishopdale, smashing through an empty fuel tank, then through the 1½ inch steel hull. It was then that the torpedo it was carrying exploded, blowing a hole into the hull about 30 feet by 30 feet. One of the Australians was on the bridge at the time and was killed as well as 4 Indian seamen. Nine Americans on the foredeck of the Boise were also killed. It happened so quickly that not one shot was fired by any ship in Leyte.
The Bishopdale continued to fuel ships in the harbour until her remaining tanks were empty which was about three weeks. After repairs to her bridge and trimming ship she was ordered to Brisbane. I stayed with her until that port was reached where I was taken to the HMAS Morton and a full report was given by me to Naval Intelligence officers. I was shown a commendation report from the captain of the Mugford for my efforts on his ship during the action off the Philippines. I was then sent to Penguin at Sydney where after further treatment for my skin and eye problems I commenced training as a hydrographic surveyor’.
Warramunga had received a signal when she arrived at Manus that Able Seaman Hunt had been picked up by the Mugford and was alive and well.
After the war Jim went back into the workforce. He recently retired from Alcan Australia Ltd., where he was one of the Directors of that company. He had spent a considerable time working for them in New Zealand and the near eastern countries. During the years of 1967/68 he was President of the Rose Bay RSL Club.