Convoy MS2



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Departed Sydney 10/1/1942
Arrived Fremantle 15/1/1942 (0830 hours)

Departed Fremantle, 16/1/1942
Arrived Ratai Bay, Sumatra 20/1/1942

Departed Ratai Bay, Sumatra 21/1/1942
Arrived Singapore 24/1/1942

Troopship to Batavia

Extra troops and reinforcements were needed in Singapore following the invasion of Malaya by the Japanese. A series of convoys departed from various Australian ports in the early part of 1942.



Sydney, NSW. May, 1941. The troopship Aquitania sailing through Sydney Heads carrying troops returning home from the Middle East. Australian War Memorial - ID No. 007214


Sydney, NSW. May, 1941. The troopship Aquitania docks in Sydney Harbour after returning from the Middle East carrying troops who had served overseas. Australian War Memorial - ID No. 007217


Aquitania sailed from Sydney on 10/1/1942 carrying nearly 3500 troops, and was the only ship in Convoy MS2. She passed Wilson's Promontory on 11/1/1942 and arrived off Fremantle on 15/1/1942, but the troops on board were not allowed shore leave. Soldiers that had been absent without leave (AWL) in Fremantle, from previous convoys, were taken on board the ship.

The next morning, Aquitania set sail, escorted by HMAS Canberra. It was considered too dangerous for such a large ship to proceed to Singapore, so the convoy was directed to Ratai Bay in the Sunda Strait.



The Dutch cargo vessel Reijnst, which as part of convoy MS2A ferried Australian troops from Ratai Bay, Java, after they had been brought there by the Aquitania. Australian War Memorial - ID No. 007214


The Dutch cargo vessel Van Swoll which was also part of convoy MS2A.
Australian War Memorial - ID No. 007214


While in Ratai Bay, on 20 & 21/1/1942, the troops were transferred to smaller ships for the remainder of the trip to Singapore. Convoy MS2A, comprising the Dutch ships Both, Real, Reijnst, Sloet van de Beele, Van der Lijn, Van Swoll, and Taishan, together with Naval escorts, arrived in Singapore at 1030hrs on 24/1/1942.

At 1500hrs, the troops were then transferred to G.B.D. (General Base Depot) in Johore Bahru

In several Service Records, this trip is recorded as:

  • 10/1/1942 - Embarked per "M.S" - Sydney

  • 24/1/1942 - Disembarked Singapore via Batavia

(Source: Across the Sea to War; NAA: B883 Service Records; 2/30 Bn AIF Association archive; NAA: MP729/7, 42/421/462)


Last updated 10/10/2017