Steam Yacht
Dimensions & Displacement
Length 74 feet 6 inches
Beam 16 feet 6 inches
Draught 7 feet 2 inches
Guns 1 x 12-pounder gun

Nusa was an official steam yacht belonging to the administration of German New Guinea. During World War I, she was captured on 14 September 1914 at Kavieng, New Ireland, by HMAS Warrego (I), part of the Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force, and taken to nearby Rabaul where she commissioned as HMAS Nusa.

At Rabaul she was armed with a 12-pounder gun and manned by RAN personnel drawn from the crew of HMAS Berrima, a P&O Line steamer commissioned temporarily as an auxiliary cruiser.

Soon after, Nusa was dispatched with a military force to Kavieng, where the Australian flag was hoisted and the occupation of the former German territory proclaimed.

On 11 October 1914, under Commander JM Jackson, RN, Nusa was conducting a patrol at Komethafen, a secluded bay on the north west coast of New Britain, when her crew and an embarked infantry detachment captured the German government steam yacht Komet. On 18 October further success followed with the capture of the 450 ton steamer Siar and the motor schooners Matupi and Senata. Komet would later commission in the RAN as HMAS Una while the other three prizes were put to use by the Australian occupying forces in German New Guinea.

In December 1914 Nusa took part in further patrol work searching the Sepik River in company with the destroyers HMAS Parramatta (I) and HMAS Warrego (I).

Details surrounding the decommissioning and disposal of Nusa are vague but a vessel of her name, size and description was listed in the Register of Australian and New Zealand Shipping in 1937 as a wooden ketch of 61 tons gross. That vessel was requisitioned during World War II for service with the Australian Army and in 1946 was sold to the New Guinea administration.

HMAS Nusa was used to patrol the Sepik river in German New Guinea. December 1914. (AWM collection)
HMAS Nusa was used to patrol the Sepik river in German New Guinea. December 1914. (AWM collection)

HMAS Nusa’s ship’s bell is held in the office of the Commander of the Australian Fleet, Fleet Headquarters, HMAS Kuttabul.