Allied Warships

HMAS Cowra (J 351)

Minesweeper of the Bathurst class

NavyThe Royal Australian Navy
PennantJ 351 
Built byPoole & Steel Pty. Ltd. (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) 
Ordered7 Aug 1941 
Laid down12 Aug 1942 
Launched27 May 1943 
Commissioned8 Oct 1943 
End service26 Jun 1953 

Decommissioned 4 December 1946.
Recommissioned 20 February 1951.
Decommissioned 26 June 1953.
Sold to be broken up for scrap to to Kino Shito (Australia) Pty. Ltd. in January 1961.


Commands listed for HMAS Cowra (J 351)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt. Harold James Hull, RANR15 Sep 194315 Oct 1943
2T/Lt. William John Gillies, RANR(S)15 Oct 1943Feb 1945

3Lt. Alan Farquhar-Smith, RANR(S)17 Apr 194522 Oct 1945

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Notable events involving Cowra include:

3 Dec 1943
HMAS Stuart (Lt.Cdr. N.A. Mackinnon, RAN) and HMAS Cowra (T/Lt. W.J. Gillies, RANR(S)) conducted exercises in Moreton Bay.

On completion of these exercises they proceeded to sea for A/S and attack exercises with USS Guardfish (T/Lt.Cdr. N.G. Ward, USN) which were to continue until the next day.

However at 2355L/3, USS Guardfish collided with the small Army tanker Y-20 (484 GRT, built 1943) and the exercises had to be broken off and all ships returned to Brisbane. (1)


  1. Report of proceedings of HMAS Stuart for December 1943

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