SS Mauna Loa
SS Mauna Loa was a steam-powered cargo ship of Matson Navigation Company that was sunk in the bombing of Darwin in February 1942. She was christened SS West Conob in 1919 and renamed SS Golden Eagle in 1928. It was part of an aborted attempt to reinforce Allied forces under attack by the Japanese on Timor in mid-February 1942.
About SS Mauna Loa in brief
SS Mauna Loa was a steam-powered cargo ship of Matson Navigation Company that was sunk in the bombing of Darwin in February 1942. She was christened SS West Conob in 1919 and renamed SS Golden Eagle in 1928. The ship was part of an aborted attempt to reinforce Allied forces under attack by the Japanese on Timor in mid-February 1942. It was one of eight ships sunk in Darwin Harbour in the first Japanese bombing attack on the Australian mainland on 19 February. The remains of her wreck and her cargo are a dive site in the harbor. The West ships were cargo ships of similar size and design built by several shipyards on the west coast of the United States for emergency use during World War I. Some 40 West ships, all given names that began with the word West, were built by Los Angeles Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company of Los Angeles, California in 1919. She initially sailed for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company and circumnavigated the globe twice by 1921. She began sailing to South America for Swayne & Hoyt Lines in 1925, and then, to Australia and New Zealand. She sailed under the name Golden Eagle until 1934, when she was taken over by the M Watson Navigation Company for service between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland and renamed Mauna loa, after the large shield volcano on the Island of Hawaii.
She had a steel hul and a deadweight tonnage of 8,600WT. The United States Navy neither took the ship nor commissioned her over over the first years of her career. In 1925, the USSB allocated the ship for service to Genoa, but by mid-April 1921, she arrived in San Francisco for repairs. At the time of her completion in 1919, the ship was inspected by the 12th Naval District for possible use as USSWest Conob but was neither taken into the Navy nor ever commissioned. She departed from Los Angeles on her maiden voyage to San Francisco, making her way to Hong Kong, where she arrived eight days later. After refueling at Honolulu, she retraced her route to return to San. Francisco, retracing her route, and returning to Honolulu, after refueling, in December 1925. At that time, she was allocated for service for Genoa and arrived in December 1926. She left San Francisco in March 1927 for repairs in San Diego, California, but it is not known if she ever made it back to San Diego. In March 1928, she sailed for South America and then to Australia, and she was chartered by the US Department of War to carry supplies to the Philippines.