HMAS Bathurst (J 158)
Minesweeper of the Bathurst class
|Navy||The Royal Australian Navy|
|Built by||Cockatoo Docks and Engineering Co. Ltd. (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia)|
|Ordered||9 Dec 1939|
|Laid down||10 Feb 1940|
|Launched||1 Aug 1940|
|Commissioned||6 Dec 1940|
|End service||27 Sep 1946|
HMAS Bathurst began her career in January 1941 as a unit of the 21st Minesweeping Flotilla (RAN), operating on the east Australian coast.
In March 1941 she left Australian waters for Malaya, where she operated as a patrol vessel based on Singapore until 26th May 1941.
On 3rd June 1941 she arrived at Colombo and there joined the Eastern Fleet for escort and patrol duties. At the close of June, HMAS Bathurst entered the Red Sea, spending a month in those waters before docking at Alexandria on 4th August 1941.
On 25th August 1941 she returned to Aden, and then began a period covering; three-and-a-half months on patrol in the Gulf of Tajura (French Somaliland), with the mission of preventing dhow traffic and blockade maintenance of the African coast. On 18th October 1941 she captured the French launch Heron, a dhow on 5th September and another on 14th November 1941.
Red Sea patrols ended on 16th December when she proceeded to Colombo, arriving on 29th December. Throughout 1942 she was based on Colombo for escort and patrol duties in the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. On 18th October 1942 her commander, Lt-Cdr A. V. Bunyan, RANR(S), was relieved by Lt-Cdr C. MacDonald, RANR(S), after almost two years in command. At this stage of her career HMAS Bathurst had steamed 70 ,000 miles and escorted more than 1,000 ,000 tons of shipping without loss.
Bombay-Persian Gulf-Aden convoys kept her almost constantly at sea during the period January-August 1943. Inter-spersed with anti-submarine patrols she escorted twenty-eight convoys safely across the Arabian Sea.
In September 1943 with 102,000 miles steaming behind her, she began refitting at Colombo . Convoy escort (Colombo-Bombay) was resumed in November, and the year closed with HMAS Bathurst at sea en route for Calcutta.
Colombo-Bombay escort duties continued in 1944. At Bombay on 14th April HMAS Bathurst played a worthy role in the rescue and salvage work that followed the explosion of the munition ships Fort Strikine and Jalapadma. Fifteen ships were gutted by the resulting fires and large numbers of the local population killed and injured.
On 7th August 1944 HMAS Bathurst reached Colombo after escorting her last Indian Ocean convoy. Three weeks later ( 29th August) she sailed for Australian ending almost three and a half years Indian Ocean--Red Sea service. On 20th September 1944 she entered Fremantle harbour.
Australian coastal anti-submarine patrols kept her in home waters until April 1945 when she proceeded to New Guinea waters. At this stage of the Pacific War, with the Philippines in American hands, there remained only routine patrols for her until the end of hostilities in August 1945.
The war ended, HMAS Bathurst proceeded to the Far East as a unit of the 21st Minesweeping Flotilla (eleven Australian Minesweepers) attached to the British Pacific Fleet. based on Hong Kong the Flotilla carried out sweeping operations on the China coast until mid-November 1945.
On 9th December 1945 she returned to Sydney, bringing her sea-going career to an end., She had steamed 150,165 miles. On 27th September 1946 she was placed in Reserve for disposal and on 21st June 1948 she was sold to T. Carr and Co of Sydney as scrap.
Commands listed for HMAS Bathurst (J 158)
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|1||Lt.Cdr. Andrew Veitch Bunyan, RANR(S)||9 Sep 1940||18 Oct 1942|
|2||T/Lt. Charles Macdonald, RANR(S)||18 Oct 1942||1 Sep 1944|
|3||Lt. Thomas Hartley Smith, RANR(S)||2 Sep 1944||22 Feb 1945|
|4||A/Lt.Cdr. Kenneth Oswald Stewart, RANR||23 Feb 1945||6 Feb 1946|
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