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Remembering World War II
Her Majesty's Australian Hospital Ship 'Centaur'
Australian Merchant Navy
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
July 24, 1939
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
May 14, 1943
Rookwood, Cumberland Council, New South Wales, Australia
Commemorated on Page 168 of the Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance
Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on April 5, September 2, and
James LeBlanc was born in Yarmouth Co., NS, in 1897.
MV Centaur, was a motor passenger ship (3223 tons) owned by the Ocean Steamship Company Ltd and
registered at Liverpool, England. The ship was made available by the Ministry of War Transport for
conversion to a hospital ship in January 1943, for use in the New Guinea area.
At approximately 4 am on Friday May 14, 1943, during a voyage northwards, Centaur was off Brisbane
with Point Lookout, on Stradbroke Island, bearing West South West distant twenty four miles when the
ship was struck without warning by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine.
The ship sank quickly with a loss of 268 lives. The following day, 15 May 15, 1943, the American
destroyer USS Mugford located and rescued sixty-three men and one woman, taking them to Brisbane.
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The Canadian Virtual War Memorial lists James Le Blanc as “James LaBlanc” and the “Spouse of
Muriel Elizabeth LeBlanc of Wentworthville, New South Wales, Australia”. Muriel Elizabeth
(Jenkins) LeBlanc was married to James Urban LeBlanc, born in Australia (1896-1974).