HMAS Kuttabul Memorial, Garden Island


Sandstone column faced with a crown and anchor. A silver bell sits on top of the structure. The base displays a plaque with a dedication and list of those who perished onboard HMAS Kuttabul on the night of Sunday, 31 May1942, when three Japanese midget submarines entered Sydney Harbour to attack Allied shipping. The memorial is located adjacent to the loss site. In aiming for the Cruiser USS Chicago, a torpedo from one of the submarines missed its prime target and instead sunk the depot ferry HMAS Kuttabul, at the time acting as a dormitory vessel for sailors awaiting postings to naval ships. Two of the three submarines were destroyed within the harbour with the third believed to have sunk in the open sea off Sydney. In recognition of a brave enemy, the Japanese sailors from the two retrieved submarines were given full military funerals, their cremated remains eventually returned to their homeland. Imperial Japanese Navy losses amounted to six sailors of the Eastern Attack Group: Lieut. Katsuhisa Ben and Petty Officer Mamoru Ashibi; Lieut. Kenshi Chuman and Petty Officer Takeshi Mamoru; Sub Lieut. Keiu Matsuo and Petty Officer Masao Tsuzukuc

Suggested sites and reading list:

  • Sydney Under Attack - Daily Telegraph 60th Anniversary Commemorative Series - May 30, May 3, 2002
  • Survivors in Tribute to Friends, Foes - The Sun Herald, June 2, 2002

This record includes photographs of the Commemoration and Wreath Laying Ceremony marking the 60th Anniversary of the sinking, conducted on Saturday, 1 June 2002, HMAS KUTTABUL RAN Shore Base.


In memory of the following sailors who were killed when HMAS Kuttabul was sunk by an enemy submarine in Sydney Harbour on the night of 31 May 1st June 1942

Veterans listed on this memorial

Rank Given Name Family Name Conflict/s Fate Service No. Service Campaign Link
J S Asher World War 2 KIA view
L W Bland World War 2 KIA view
W R Boundy World War 2 KIA view
S W Butcher World War 2 KIA view
L J Dennison World War 2 KIA view
A W Francis World War 2 KIA view
J E Gannon World War 2 KIA view
J A Gardener World War 2 KIA view
F A Glanford World War 2 KIA view
W G Gordon World War 2 KIA view
Garden Island Naval Base,
18 Wylde Street,
Potts Point NSW 2011
Local Government Area
  • Sydney, City of
Memorial type
  • Column/pillar
Recorded by
Mr John K. Wright, State Library of New South Wales
Established Date format: 
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Established date
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  • Second World War, 1939–45

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