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The Avoch Archive

The Amelia J, the ship John Mcleman went down with
The Avoch Image Library
The Amelia J, the ship John Mcleman went down with

This Is the Amelia J, that sent sail from Newcastle, NSW, Australia on the 21 Aug 1920 and never arrived at it destination of Hobart. John lived at 22 Dock
Picture added on 09 September 2013 at 09:03
Amelia J. Three-masted schooner, 404/353 tons. # 133493. Built Hobart, 1919; reg. Hobart 2/1919. Lbd 153.0 x 30.6 x 14.3 ft. Captain George Atwell. Sailed from Newcastle for Hobart on 21 August 1920 with coal, total crew of twelve, but failed to arrive. She was last seen off Jervis Bay, NSW by the crew of SS Melbourne on 5 September 1920. Her owners arranged for SS Musgrave to conduct a search of the Furneaux Group, beginning what was probably the largest search for a missing vessel yet conducted in Australia, and the first to make use of aircraft.

The Government initially refused to send a warship in search of the Amelia J., but the public outcry was so great that HMAS Platypus was sent to investigate the Furneaux Group, considered to be the most likely spot the vessel may have come to gr ief. On 23 September 1920, two De Havilland 9A biplanes took off to fly over the Furneaux Group. One of these, flown by Major Stutt, was last seen flying into heavy cloud on the north-western coast of Cape Barren Island before it too disappeared, and the search for the missing schooner had to be extended to cover it as well. The Platypus was later withdrawn to search for survivors of the ill-fated Southern Cross (q.v.) and replaced by the destroyer Swordsman.

Other searches centred on the Furneaux Group were also carried out by the SS Dolphin, the motor launch Toroa, and the SS Melbourne. No trace of either schooner or aircraft was ever found.
Added by Andy Hickie on 13 September 2013
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Added by Andy Hickie on 13 September 2013
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