64 survived after clinging to debris and life rafts for 34 hours

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Posted on 15 November 2018
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Australian Hospital Ship Centaur was sunk during World War Two at 4.10 am on 14 May 1943 off Stradbroke Island, Queensland, by a torpedo from the Japanese Navy submarine I-177. The ship sank within 3 minutes. The ship was well illuminated and marked as a hospital ship, and the act of sinking a ship so marked was considered to be a war crime. Of the 332 persons on board during the fateful second voyage from Sydney to New Guinea, there were: 75 Merchant Navy crew, 65 ship`s Australian Army medical staff including 12 nurses, 192 members of the Army`s 2/12th Field Ambulance that was to establish various medical units. 64 survived after clinging to debris and life rafts for 34 hours until rescued by United States Navy ship USS Mugford.