Wednesday, June 17, 2015

VK9MI M.V. Kanimbla - 9th June 1938

VK9MI commenced broadcasting in 1936 from the M.V. Kanimbla, a 10 985 ton passenger liner, built in 1935 at Belfast, Northern Island, for Australian owners McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co. 

It is interesting to note that this was the only passenger ship in the world into which a radio broadcasting station was built at the time of construction.

Designed for 400 passengers, the Kanimbla operated between Western Australia and Queensland from 1936 until 1939.

The QSL card, a wonderful piece of broadcasting history and one of the highlights in the collection, is in excellent condition. Dated 9th June, 1938 and signed by chief announcer Eileen Foley, the QSL confirmed the reception from a dxer based in Wollaston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

9MI operated for only three and a half years until the outbreak of the second world war when the ship was converted into an armed merchant cruiser and commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Kanimbla on September 6th, 1939.

In 1943, the vessel was converted into an Infantry Landing Ship, transferred to the Royal Australian Navy, and operated throughout the South West Pacific theatre until the end of the war.

HMAS Kanimbla at Fremantle port (photograph 1945 Wikimedia Commons).

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