Monday, August 6, 2012

Taylors Bay - Its Place in Sydney's History

Taylors Bay, Sydney Harbour - August 2012 . 
Taylors Bay is located between Chowder Head and Bradley's Head in Sydney Harbour. Today it a very peaceful spot with a beautiful little secluded beach. But in 1942, it was the bay into which the Japanese HA-21 Type A Midget Submarine (also known as M22) sank to the sea bed on the ill-fated night of 31 May/1 June when three enemy submarines came to Sydney.

On that night, HA-21 was manned by Lieutenant Keiu Matsuo and Petty Officer First Class Masao Tsuzuku. It was first detected in the Harbour about 11pm and was depth charged by the patrol boat HMAS Yandra. It surfaced at 3.50am at Neutral Bay where it was fired on by HMS Kaminbla. Between 5am to 8.30 am it was trapped in Taylors Bay and again heavily depth charged by the three patrol boats, HMAS Steady Hour, Sea Mist and Yarroma. At some point the crew committed suicide.

The submarine was salvaged within a week by the Royal Australian Navy and taken to Clark Island. It was badly battered. A series of postcards was produced to record the story of the Japanese midget submarines in Sydney Harbour..

I recalled I have one such postcard, Serial No 6 dated 30 July 1942 which shows the salvage party at work at Taylors Bay using a floating crane. A similar photo is incorporated in the plaque in the photo at top.

Salvage of HA-21 at Taylors Bay - Postcard Serial No 6
dated 30 July 1942
I have previously researched the story of the Japanese midget submarines in my blog, Sydney Harbour War Time Boom Net, dated  31 May 2011.

It was very interesting then to actually visit Taylors Bay and locate a piece of Sydney's history.

If you are interested in researching Australian history, go to our website at:

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