Northern Territory Government

Roll of Honour

SMITH, Richard Thomas

HMAHS Manunda

Hospital Ship Manunda in Darwin harbour, 19 February 1942.


Richard Smith joined the Australian Merchant Navy on 26 October 1939 and became 3rd Cook on the Australian Hospital Ship Manunda.

HMAHS Manunda was anchored in Darwin Harbour near the merchant ship Zealandia and the oil tanker British Motorist when it was first hit by shrapnel and then a bomb during the first Japanese air attack on Darwin, 19 February 1942. Twelve members of the crew and hospital staff were killed, including Richard Smith, and forty-seven others were wounded. The medical and nursing staff quarters were destroyed, B and C decks were severely damaged and fires started on board. Despite the chaos, Manunda continued to treat incoming wounded and staff manned the life-boats rescuing injured men from the sea.

Richard Smith was forty-nine years old when he was killed. He was the son of George and Matilda and husband of Violet of Paddington, New South Wales.

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