New life for Abandoned WWII “orphan” ?

Krait-Jaywick type commando canoe find in Melbourne suburb is of Historic significance.

Discovered this week in Ringwood, Vic. after the death of its owner; Mr. Hammond, is a British MKI** folboat used by Australian Commandos in the famous ‘Operation Jaywick’ raid, when they were deployed using the captured Japanese fishing boat, the MV KRAIT at the height of the Pacific War in 1943.

In this daring raid, our commandos paddled undetected at night into occupied Singapore Harbour and planted magnetic mines on the hulls of 7 ships, subsequently blowing them up.

This folding canoe has been positively identified by combat craft authority John Hoehn as one of a batch especially made for commando use by Harris Lebus, London in 1943 and shipped to Australia by orders from British Major Lyon, Scottish Highlanders.

Mr. Kevin Sumption, CEO of Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, where the Krait is being exhibited, has been notified of the find.

The Hammond family is prepared to donate the folboat to the new Krait exhibition. Another WWII folboat found in the same area in 2009 was Identified by John Hoehn, author of the documentary Commando Kayak, as the earliest known extant Australian built MKIII, not to be confused with the British type just found.

Some 33 Australian based Commando raids during the Pacific War used the Australian type. It is now on show at the Australian War Museum, Canberra.

[The above is a cut and pasted press release courtesy of John Hoehn, author of the book Commando Kayak which is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in this subject].


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