The first Wahine ferry in 1951

The first Wahine (built in 1913) is seen here at the beginning of its last voyage in 1951. After service in both world wars, the Wahine was chartered by the New Zealand government to carry Kayforce troops to the Korean War. On 15 August the ship ran aground on Masela Island in the Arafura Sea. Everyone on board was safely evacuated, but the vessel was declared a total loss – a sad end to an illustrious 38-year career.

Seventeen years later, an even worse fate was to befall the ship’s namesake, the second Wahine (launched in 1966).

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Peter MacDonald

Posted: 30 Jun 2010

the Troops were evacuated to an oil Tanker which returned them to Darwin, and they were airlifted in shifts to Korea, The Captain ran her onto the reef o she would hold fast and not sink, the Maori soldiers among the contingement of troops gathered in a circle and put a Tapu on the Whahine and stated no other ship should bear the sacred name of Whahine. prior to evacuation a flotila of wild natives approached the stricken Whahine and threatened to come aboard with their spears and clubs , the men were unarmed as their rifles were in the flooded hold along with the 25pndr artilley guns, the officers ordered the men to hose them off the side of the ship, however they returned later when the ship was evacuated , boardered the Whahine and were seen through binoculars from the rescue ship to systematicly strip the vessle.