Allied Warships

HMAS Goulburn (J 167)

Minesweeper of the Bathurst class

NavyThe Royal Australian Navy
TypeMinesweeper
ClassBathurst 
PennantJ 167 
Built byCockatoo Docks and Engineering Co Ltd (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) 
Ordered16 Apr 1940 
Laid down10 Jul 1940 
Launched16 Nov 1940 
Commissioned28 Feb 1941 
End service27 Sep 1946 
History

Decommissioned 27 September 1946.
Sold into merchantile service on 13 October 1947 being renamed Benita.

 

Commands listed for HMAS Goulburn (J 167)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Basil Paul, RANR(S)28 Feb 19416 Jul 1943
2Lt.Cdr. John Nevill Collins, RANR(S)6 Jul 19433 Jan 1945
3T/Lt.Cdr. Philip Jack Sullivan, RANR(S)3 Jan 19458 May 1945
4Lt. Eric Kuhle Connor, RANR8 May 1945April 1946

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Notable events involving Goulburn include:


22 Dec 1941

Convoy BM 9B.

This convoy departed Bombay on 22 December 1941.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; El Madina (British, 3962 GRT, built 1937), Jalarajan (British, 5076 GRT, built 1925), Rajput (British, 5521 GRT, built 1925), Risaldar (British, 5407 GRT, built 1940) and Talma (British, 10000 GRT, built 1923).

On departure from Bombay it was escorted by the Greek armoured cruiser RHS Georgios Averoff.

Around 1530EF/26, the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Cdr. J.W. Cuthbert, RN) departed Colombo with the transport Madura (British, 8975 GRT, built 1921). They joined the convoy around 0730EF/27 in position 04°38'N, 80°40'E. The Georgios Averoff then parted company to proceed to Colombo. The transport Talma had apparently parted company on the 26th to proceed to Colombo.

Around 1415G/31, HMS Glasgow was relieved in position 00°27'S, 94°51'E by the light cruisers HMS Danae (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN) and HrMs Java (Capt. P.B.M van Straelen, RNN).

Around 1230GH/3, the destroyers HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN), HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN) and HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN) joined in approximate position 06°27'S, 103°00'E.

Around 0700GH/4, HrMs Java and the transport Madura parted company to proceed to Batavia.

Around 1200GH/4, the light cruisers HrMs De Ruyter (Cdr. E.E.B. Lacomblé, RNN and flagship of Rear-Admiral K.W.F.M. Doorman, RNN), HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN) and the destroyers HrMs Piet Hein (Lt.Cdr. J.M.L.I. Chompff, RNN) and HrMs Banckert (Lt.Cdr. L.J. Goslings, RNN) joined in approximate position 05°15'S, 106°20'E. They had departed Banten Bay earlier in the day.

Around 0600GH/5, the minesweepers HMAS Burnie (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.E. Gough, RANR(S)) and HMAS Goulburn (Lt. B. Paul, RANR(S)) joined the convoy.

Around 1200GH/5, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) joined the convoy in Banka Strait in approximate position 02°40'S, 105°49'E.

After the passage of the Banka Strait had been completed the Dutch ships that had joined around 1200GH/4 parted company around 2000GH/5.

Around 1645GH/6, HMAS Hobart parted company with the convoy to proceed to Batavia.

The convoy arrived at Singapore around 1930GH/6.

The convoy arrived at Singapore (1)

3 Feb 1942

Convoy JS 1.

This convoy departed Colombo on 3 February 1942 and arrived at Batavia, Netherlands East Indies on 14 February 1942.

This convoy was made up of the following ships;
British transports; Adastrus (7905 GRT, built 1923), Alice Moller (4986 GRT, built 1914), Filleigh (4856 GRT, built 1928), Lulworth Hill (7628 GRT, built 1940), Modasa (9070 GRT, built 1921), Prominent (2232 GRT, built 1918) and Yoma (8131 GRT, built 1928).

Norwegian transports Hai Lee (3616 GRT, built 1934) and Hermion (5202 GRT, built 1937).

The Alice Moller had to return to Colombo with defects.

The convoy sailed from Colombo on 3 February 1942 and was escorted initially by the British heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall (Capt. P.C.W. Manwaring, RN) and the Australian minesweepers HMAS Bathurst (Lt.Cdr. A.V. Bunyan, RANR(S)) and HMAS Lismore (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Crawford, RANR(S)).

The Australian minesweepers parted company with the convoy on 5 February. HMS Cornwall was relieved by HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) around 1350GH/10 in position 05°40'S, 93°00'E.

Around 2000GH/11, the British heavy cruiser HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, MVO, RN) joined the escort and remained with it until 13 February.

Around 1100GH/12, the British destroyer HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN) joined the convoy followed around 1500GH/12 by the Indian sloop HMIS Jumna (Cdr. W.R. Shewring, RIN).

At 1530GH/13, the convoy was split up and the Filleigh Lulworth Hill, Yoma, Hai Lee and Hermion arrived at Oosthaven, Sumatra. They were escorted by HMAS Hobart and HMIS Jumna. HMIS Jumna remained at Oosthaven to provide A/S protection for that port together with the Australian minesweepers HMAS Goulburn (Lt. B. Paul, RANR(S)) and HMAS Burnie (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.E. Gough, RANR(S)).

The other ships of the convoy, the Adastrus, Modasa, and Prominent arrived at Batavia on 14 February 1942 escorted by HMS Electra.

HMAS Hobart later also went on to Batavia but while en-route she was ordered to return to Oosthaven. (2)

23 May 1942
At 1000 hours, HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN) and HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN), turned over the escort of convoy ZK 8 over to HMAS Swan (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Travis, RAN), HMAS Goulburn (Lt. B. Paul, RANR(S)) and HMAS Cessnock (A/Lt.Cdr. T.S. Marchington, RANR(S)).

HrMs Tromp and HMAS Arunta then reversed course to return to Sydney. (3)

8 Aug 1942

Combined convoy A 2 / B 2.

This convoy departed Caloundra on 8 August 1942.

It was made up of the following transports; Aldinga (Australian, 3078 GRT, built 1921), Balikpapan (Dutch, 1279 GRT, built 1938), Bontekoe (Dutch, 4668 GRT, built 1923), Fiona (Australian, 2198 GRT, built 1933), James Cook (Australian, 2142 GRT, built 1921), John G. Whittier (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Macumba (Australian, 2526 GRT, built 1919), Oliver Hazard Perry (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Van Heemskerk (Dutch, 2996 GRT, built 1909) and Zebulon Pike (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

On departure from Caloundra around 0300K/8, the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Stuart (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN) and minesweeper HMAS Goulburn (Lt. B. Paul, RANR(S)).

HMAS Stuart and HMAS Goulburn parted company around 2200K/9, in the Capricorn Channel.

On 10 August the transport James Cook parted company with the convoy and entered Bowen.

The convoy then proceeded unescorted until 1710K/11 when near Townsville the destroyer HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) and minesweeper HMAS Katoomba (Cdr. A.P. Cousin, RANR(S)) joined.

Three of the transports of the combined convoy parted company near Townsville and entered that port on the 11th, these were the Aldinga, Macumba and Oliver Hazard Perry. The Fiona also parted company with the convoy to proceed to Lucinda Point.

Around 1700K/13, the mineweeper HMAS Warrnambool (T/Lt. E.J. Barron, RANR(S)) joined the convoy coming from Port Moresby.

Around 1830K/13, Convoy B 2 split off bound for Port Moresby. This convoy was made up of the John G. Whittier and the Zebulon Pike escorted by HMAS Warrnambool. Convoy B 2 arrived at Port Moresby around 1400K/14.

Convoy A 2, made up of the transports Balikpapan, Bontekoe and Van Heemskerk meanwhile continued on towards Fall River (Milne Bay) still escorted by HMAS Arunta and HMAS Katoomba.

Around 1250K/14, HMAS Katoomba parted company to proceed to the assistance of the submarine S-39 (Lt. F.E. Brown, USN) which had grounded on a reef near Rossel Island.

Convoy A 2, escorted by HMAS Arunta arrived at Fall River, Milne Bay around 0920K/15.

15 Nov 1942

Continued operations by Task Force 44 in the south-west Pacific / Milne Bay area.

15 November 1942.

At 1900L/15, Task Group 44.4, made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Cid Harbour to patrol in the area to the south of New Guinea. Rear-Admiral Crutchley had been ordered that half his force was to proceed on patrol to cover shipping movements in the New Guinea area. The other half of his force was to proceed to a forward reef anchorage.

16 November 1942.

At 1200L/16, Task Group 44.4, was in position 17°05'S, 146°06'E.

At 2100L/16, Task Group 44.6, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) departed Cid Harbour for Challenger Bay (Palm Islands).

17 November 1942.

At 0500L/17, when Task Group 44.6 was abreast Townsville, USS Bagley was detached to that place to land despatches and to embark mails. Also a sick rating was landed for hospitalisation.

At 0845L/17, Task Group 44.6 (minus USS Bagley, anchored in Challenger Bay which USS Bagley rejoining around 1325L/17. Task Group 44.6 kept at 2 hours notice for steam.

At 1200L/17, Task Group 44.4, was in position 12°30'S, 147°19'E.

18 November 1942.

At 0800L/18, the chartered tanker Aase Maersk (British, 6184 GRT, built 1930) arrived in Challenger Bay.

At 1200L/18, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°30'S, 149°24'E.

Information was received that convoy movements in the New Guinea area were delayed

Japanese forces, made up of one cruiser and two destroyers were reported at Buna, New Guinea. 12 B-17 bombers attacked them and the cruiser and one destroyer were reported to have been sunk. [In fact three destroyers were at Buna, these were the Asashio, Kawakaze and Umikaze of which the last two were damaged.]

19 November 1942.

At 0800L/19, the supply ship Merkur (Australian, 5946 GRT, built 1924) arrived at Challenger Bay.

Task Group 44.6 then completed with fuel and provisions.

At 1200L/16, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°24'S, 148°40'E.

20 November 1942.

At 0800L/20, the Aase Maersk departed Challenger Bay with 6294 tons of fuel remaining. She proceeded to Townsville to fuel Task Group 44.4 there.

At 1200L/20, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°48'S, 147°48'E. USS Phoenix fuelled the three destroyers of her Task Group during the day.

21 November 1942.

At 0800L/20, the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville to supply Task Group 44.4 there.

At 1000L/20, Task Group 44.4 departed Challenger Bay to relieve Task Group 44.6 on patrol. Grafton Passage was cleared around 1900L/20.

At 1200L/21, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°14'S, 147°57'E.

22 November 1942.

At 0915L/22, rendezvous was made between Task Groups 44.4 and 44.6 in approximate position 14°00'S, 148°00'E. Exercises were then carried out, despatches were exchanged by line and both groups then opened out for radar calibration.

At 1200L/22, Task Group 44.4 was detached to withdraw to the Palm Islands for fuel and stores. Task Group 44.6 commenced patrol. Noon position was 13°49'S. 148°29'E.

23 November 1942.

At 1200L/23, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°35'S, 149°48'E.

Around 1330L, Task Group 44.4 arrived at Challenger Bay. USS Phoenix then fuelled USS Helm and USS Mugford while USS Phoenix and USS Patterson fuelled from the Aase Maersk which had returned to Challenger Bay as did the Merkur.

USS Phoenix sent two of her floatplanes to Townsville with despatches.

24 November 1942.

At 0140L/24, USS Phoenix completed fuelling from the Aase Maersk.

At 0800L/24, the Aase Maersk departed Challenger Bay for Townsville.

Around 0815L/24, USS Bagley parted company with Task Group 44.6 to transmit a signal near Osprey Reef. She rejoined Task Group 44.6 around 1910L/24.

At 0915L/24, USS Patterson departed Challenger Bay for Townsville to transport two hospital cases there.

At 1200L/24, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°10'S, 150°09'E.

25 November 1942.

At 1200L/25, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°45'S, 149°48'E.

At 1755L/25, USS Patterson returned to Challenger Bay from Townsville.

26 November 1942.

At 0850L/26, HMAS Hobart commenced fuelling USS Bagley for a little over an hour. Apparently the destroyer was a bit short of fuel.

At 1200L/26, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°24'S, 150°38'E.

At 1740L/26, the minesweeper HMAS Colac (T/Lt.Cdr. S.B. Komoll, RANR(S)) arrived at Challenger Bay with mails for the ships of the Task Group.

27 November 1942.

At 1000L/27, the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville.

At 1100L/27, Task Group 44.4 departed Challenger Bay to relieve Task Group 44.6 on patrol.

At 1200L/27, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°02'S, 149°35'E.

Around 1915L/27, Task Group 44.4 cleared the Grafton Passage.

28 November 1942.

Around 0915L/27, rendezvous was made between Task Groups 44.4 and 44.6 in approximate position 14°00'S, 148°00'E. Exercises were then carried out, despatches were exchanged by line.

At 1200L/28, Task Group 44.6 was detached to withdraw to the Palm Islands for fuel and stores. Task Group 44.4 commenced patrol. Noon position was 13°51'S. 148°31'E.

29 November 1942.

Around 0700L/29, Task Group 44.6 entered the Grafton Passage. USS Bagley was then detached to proceed to Townsville to land mails and hospital cases.

At 1200L/29, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°25'S, 148°58'E.

At 1430L/29, Task Group 44.6 arrived at Challenger Bay where the Aase Maersk and Merkur had also arrived and fuelling and provisioning was commenced. This was completed the following morning.

30 November 1942.

At 1200L/29, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°34'S, 148°46'E.

Around 1515L/30, USS Bagley arrived at Challenger Bay from Townsville to rejoin Task Group 44.6.

At 1700L/30, the Aase Maersk departed Challenger Bay for Townsville with 2059 tons of fuel still on board.

1 December 1942.

At 1200L/1, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°53'S, 149°08'E.

Around 1300L/1, the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville.

2 December 1942.

At 1200L/29, Task Group 44.4, was in position 14°35'S, 148°32'E.

3 December 1942.

Shortly before noon the Merkur and the tanker USS Victoria (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Olsen, USNR) arrived at Challenger Bay from Townsville.

At 1200L/3, Task Group 44.4, was in position 14°05'S, 149°30'E.

Around 1600L/3, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Challenger Bay from Sydney (via Brisbane). Rear-Admiral Crutchley then transferred his flag from HMAS Hobart to HMAS Australia.

4 December 1942.

At 0815L/4, USS Henley departed Challenger Bay for escort duties.

At 0930L/4, Task Group 44.6, now made up of HMAS Hobart, USS Selfridge and USS Bagley departed Challenger Bay to relieve Task Group 44.4 on the Coral Sea patrol. While clear off Challenger Bay, HMAS Hobart conducted refuelling at sea trials with USS Victoria.

At 1200L/4, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°33'S, 148°57'E.

Around 1915L/4, Task Group 44.6 cleared the Grafton passage and commenced patrol.

During the day the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville and then onwards to Brisbane.

5 December 1942.

Around 0900L/5, Task Group 44.4 entered the Grafton Passage.

At 1200L/5, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°42'S, 149°57'E.

Around 1700L/5, Task Group 44.4 arrived at Challenger Bay, Palm Island.

Around 2200L/5, USS Phoenix and USS Mugford departed Challenger Bay for Sydney for overhaul and give leave.

The following temporary Task Force organisation came into effect on the 5th;
Task Group 44.3 was made up of HMAS Australia, USS Helm, USS Henley and USS Patterson.
Task Group 44.5 was made up of HMAS Hobart, USS Selfridge and USS Bagley.

6 December 1942.

At 1200L/6, Task Group 44.5 (former Task Group 44.6), was in position 14°26'S, 149°25'E.

7 December 1942.

At 1200L/7, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°07'S. 148°28'E.

8 December 1942.

At 1200L/8, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°21'S, 149°38'E.

9 December 1942.

At 1200L/9, Task Group 44.5, was in position 13°54'S, 149°00'E.

Around 2359L/9, USS Bagley was detached from Task Group 44.5 for escort duties.

10 December 1942.

Around 0830L/10, USS Henley arrived at Challenger Bay where she fuelled from USS Victoria. Commander E.W. Young, USN then hoisted his pennant as Commander Destroyer Division Seven on board USS Henley.

At 1145L/10, Task Group 44.3 departed Challenger Bay. While clear off Challenger Bay, HMAS Australia conducted refuelling at sea trials with USS Victoria.

At 1200L/10, Task Group 44.5, was in position 13°39'S, 148°34'E.

11 December 1942.

Around 0930L/11, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 made rendezvous with each other and exercises were then commenced.

Around 1020L/11, USS Bagley rejoined Task Group 44.5 having returned from escort duties.

Around 1500L/11, the Task Groups parted company. Radar calibration test were then carried out. Task Group 44.3 took over the patrol in the Coral Sea while Task Group 44.5 set course for the Dunk Island anchorage where the ships of this task group were to fuel and resupply.

Also on this day the Merkur departed Brisbane escorted by the minesweeper HMAS Goulburn (Lt.Cdr. B. Paul, RANR(S)). USS Victoria departed Townsville for Dunk Island.

12 December 1942.

At 0745L/12, Task Group 44.5 entered the Grafton Passage.

At 0900L/12, USS Selfridge parted company with Task Group 44.5 to proceed to Cairns.

At 1200L/12, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°22'S, 149°27'E.

Around 1300L/12, Task Group 44.5, minus USS Selfridge, arrived at Dunk Island where the ships were fuelled by USS Victoria.

At 1715L/12, USS Selfridge arrived at Dunk Island from a short call at Cairns.

Today it was noted that Japanese air reconnaissance reached further into the Coral Sea presumable to search for Allied aircraft carriers. Seems that an operation in the New Guinea area might be on shortly.

13 December 1942.

At 1200L/13, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°27'S, 149°14'E.

Around 1300L/13, Allied reconnaissance aircraft reported two Japanese cruisers and three destroyers about 200 miles north-west of Vitiaz Strait and proceeding south-east at high speed. This was obviously a force with reinforcements for the New Guinea area. The enemy force was successfully shadowed and tracked all day but attacks by Allied bombers were apparently unsuccessful. [The force reported was actually made up of five destroyers; Yugumo, Kazagumo, Arashio, Inazuma and Isonami.

14 December 1942.

The reported enemy force had landed troops near Gona, New Guinea during the night. The force was again tracked by Allied reconnaissance aircraft from daylight onwards. They were proceeding at high speed towards Rabaul. Bombing attacks were again unsuccessful.

At 0630L/14, USS Patterson completed with fuel from HMAS Australia.

At 1200L/14, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°28'S, 148°47'E.

At 1800L/14, USS Patterson parted company with Task Group 44.5 for Cairns and subsequent escort duty.

On this day the Merkur arrived at Townsville where she embarked mails for Task Force 44. She departed for Dunk Island later the same day.

During the day, Japanese reconnaissance in the Coral Sea came as far south as 14°S.

15 December 1942.

At 1200L/15, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°33'S, 149°31'E.

16 December 1942.

At 0700L/16, USS Bagley departed Dunk Island with mails for Cairns.

At 1200L/16, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°23'S, 149°47'E.

At 1340L/16, Task Group 44.5, minus USS Bagley, departed Dunk Island to make rendezvous with Task Group 44.3.

Around 1730L/16, USS Bagley rejoined Task Group 44.5 with mails from Cairns.

17 December 1942.

Around 0930L/17, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 made rendezvous. Exercises were then commenced.

Around 1500L/17, Task Group 44.3 and 44.5 parted company with the former setting course for Dunk Island while Task Group 44.5 took over the Coral Sea patrol.

18 December 1942.

Around 1200L/18, Task Group 44.3 reached Dunk Island where the destroyers were fully fuelled by USS Victoria. HMAS Australia also fuelled from the tanker but was still 600 tons short when the tanker was empty. Provisions were supplied by the Merkur.

At 1200L/18, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°06'S, 149°04'E.

Around 1530L/18, USS Patterson arrived at Dunk Island from escort duties. She then rejoined Task Group 44.3.

19 December 1942.

At 1130L/19, USS Victoria departed Dunk Island for Brisbane, via Townsville.

At 1200L/19, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°10'S, 149°32'E.

During the day Japanese air reconnaissace even proceeded further to the south. An aircraft was tracked as far as latitude 16°S in longtitude 153°E.

Also on this day the Aase Maersk arrived at Townsville where she embarked mails. She then departed for Dunk Island.

20 December 1942.

At 0800L/20, the Aase Maersk arrived at Dunk Island.

At 1200L/20, Task Group 44.5, was in position 13°30'S, 148°23'E.

21 December 1942.

At 1030L/21, the supply ship Yunnan (British, 2812 GRT, built 1934) arrived at Dunk Island with provisions for Task Group 44.3.

At 1200L/21, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°00'S, 149°24'E.

At 1800L/21, the Yunnan departed Dunk Island for Townsville.

At 2000L/21, the Merkur departed Dunk Island for Townsville.

22 December 1942.

At 0630L/22, USS Mugford arrived at Palm Island following her overhaul at Sydney.

At 0800L/22, USS Patterson then left Dunk Island for Sydney for overhaul.

During the forenoon, HMAS Australia and USS Mugford completed with fuel from the Aase Maersk.

At 1200L/22, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°18'S, 150°17'E.

At 1400L/22, Task Group 44.3, now made up of HMAS Australia, USS Henley, USS Mugford and USS Helm departed Dunk Island for patrol. USS Mugford however developed engine problems and had to be left behind for repairs. She sailed a few hours later to overtake and join Task Group 44.3 the following morning.

23 December 1942.

At 0915L/23, USS Mugford rejoined Task Group 44.3. Task Force 44.5 was sighted by Task Group 44.3 around the same time.

At 1000L/23, Both task groups commenced exercises.

At 1640L/23, the exercises were completed. Task Group 44.3 proceeded on patrol while Task Group 44.5 set course for Challenger Bay.

24 December 1942.

At 0740L/24, Task Force 44.5 entered the Grafton Passage. They were clear 40 minutes later.

Around 0900L/24, USS Bagley parted company with Task Force 44.5 to proceed to Townsville for mails and to land hospital cases.

At 1200L/24, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°35'S, 148°57'E.

Around 1515L/24, Task Force 44.5 arrived in Challenger Bay where the ships commenced fuelling from the Aase Maersk and embarking stores from the Merkur.

Around 1940L/24, USS Bagley arrived at Challenger Bay from Townsville.

25 December 1942.

At 1200L/25, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°34'S, 149°05'E.

26 December 1942.

At 1200L/26, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°24'S, 149°09'E.

Around 1800L/26, USS Mugford parted company with Task Group 44.3 and set course for Brisbane where she is to conduct exercises.

27 December 1942.

At 1200L/27, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°14'S, 148°56'E.

28 December 1942.

At 0950L/28, Task Force 44.5 departed Challenger Bay to make rendezvous with Task Force 44.3.

At 1200L/28, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°04'S, 148°56'E.

29 December 1942.

Around 1000L/29, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 met in approximate position 14°S, 148°'E. Exercises were then commenced.

At 1415L/29, the Task Groups parted company with Task Group 44.3 setting course for the Palm Islands while Task Group 44.5 took over the Coral Sea patrol.

As of 29 December 1942, Task Force 44 was orginised as follows;
Task Group 44.3 made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and the destroyers USS Henley and USS Helm.
Task Group 44.5 made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart and the destroyers USS Selfridge and USS Bagley.
Task Group 44.7 made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix and the destroyers USS Mugford and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN).

30 December 1942.

Around 0830L/30, Task Group 44.3 entered the Grafton Passage.

At 1200L/30, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°03'S, 149°25'E.

Around 1530L/30, Task Group 44.3 arrived at Challenger Bay, Palm Islands to embark fuel and stores from the Aase Maersk and Merkur.

31 December 1942.

At 1200L/31, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°21'S, 149°21'E.

1 January 1943.

During the morning HMAS Hobart fuelled USS Bagley and USS Selfridge.

At 1200L/1, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°07'S, 149°15'E.

2 January 1943.

At 0740L/2, USS Henley departed Challenger Bay, Palm Islands for Townsville with mails where she arrived around 1400L/2.

At 1200L/2, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°12'S, 150°03'E.

3 January 1943.

Around 0730L/3, USS Henley departed Townsville with mails for Task Force 44. She arrived at Challenger Bay around 0930L/3.

Around 1015L/3, Task Group 44.3 departed Challenger Bay to make rendezvous with Task Group 44.5.

At 1200L/3, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°01'S, 150°16'E.

4 January 1943.

Around 0900L/4, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 made rendezvous. Mails were then transferred by USS Henley.

Around 1005L/5, USS Bagley parted company with Task Group 44.5 to proceed to Sydney for upkeep.

Around 1230L/4, the Task Groups parted company with Task Group 44.3 proceeding on patrol while Task Group 44.5 set course for Cid Harbour.

5 January 1943.

At 0920L/5, Task Group 44.5 (HMAS Hobart and USS Selfridge) entered the Grafton Passage.

At 1200L/5, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°26'S, 149°37'E.

6 January 1943.

Around 0700L/6, Task Group 44.5 (minus USS Bagley arrived at Cid Harbour.

Around 0930L/6, Task Group 44.7 (minus USS Ralph Talbot) arrived at Cid Harbour.

Around 1005L/6, the chartered tanker Aase Maersk arrived at Cid Harbour to supply ships of Task Groups 44.5 and 44.7 with fuel.

At 1200L/6, Task Group 44.3, was in position 13°22'S, 147°05'E.

7 January 1943.

Around 0650L/7, the Aase Maersk departed Cid Harbour for Townsville.

Around 0945L/7, USS Selfridge departed Cid Harbour for Townsville where she was to be provisioned.

At 1200L/7, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°01'S, 148°11'E.

Around 1345L/7, HMAS Hobart departed Cid Harbour for Brisbane.

On this day the organisation of Task Force 44 changed.
Task Force 44.5 was disbanded.
Task Group 44.3 was made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and the destroyers USS Henley and USS Helm.
Task Group 44.5 was made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix and the destroyers USS Selfridge and USS Mugford. (4)

3 Mar 1943

Convoy TS 18.

This convoy departed Townsville on 3 March 1943.

This convoy was made up of the chartered (for the RFA) tanker Aase Maersk (6184 GRT, built 1930) and the Australian Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Karumba (3798 GRT, built 1916).

On departure from Townsville the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Stephenson, RAN).

Around 1300L/4, the minesweeper HMAS Goulburn (Lt.Cdr. B. Paul, RANR(S)) took over the escort of the convoy. HMAS Vendetta was then detached taking over the escort of the transport Taroona (Australian, 4286 GRT, built 1935) which HMAS Goulburn had been escorting northwards from Brisbane.

Convoy TS 18 arrived at Moreton Bay on the 7th. HMAS Goulburn did not enter though as she was detailed for other escort duties. (5)

2 May 1943

Convoy TS 27.

This convoy departed Townsville on 2 May 1943.

It was made up of the transports; Bontekoe (Dutch, 5033 GRT, built 1922), Cremer (Dutch, 4608 GRT, built 1926) and David Bushnell (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942).

On departure from Townsville the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) (Lt.(Emgy.) D. Logan, RAN).

A.M. on the 5th the transport Stephen B. Elkins (American, 7180 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy. She had stragged from convoy TS 26.

P.M. on the 5th the minesweeper HMAS Goulburn (Lt.Cdr. B. Paul, RANR(S)) joined. She had been searching for the Stephen B. Elkins but had been unable to find her.

The convoy arrived at Brisbane on 6 May 1943. (6)

21 May 1943

Convoy BT 61.

This convoy departed Caloundra (near Brisbane) for Townsville on 18 May 1943.

This convoy was made up of the transports; Balikpapan (Dutch, 1279 GRT, built 1938), Henry Dearborn (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Pahud (Dutch, 2075 GRT, built 1927), Suva (British, 4873 GRT, built 1938), Van Spilbergen (Dutch, 3234 GRT, built 1908) and William Ellery Channing (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

On departure from Caloundra the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN), minesweeper HMAS Goulburn (Lt.Cdr. B. Paul, RANR(S)), submarine chaser USS SC 648 (?).

Around 0800K/23, USS SC 648 obtained an A/S contact and dropped depth charges. HMAS Vendetta joined the hunt but no contact could be obtained. The hunt was called off around 1030K/23 and USS SC 648 set course to rejoin the convoy. HMAS Vendetta did not rejoined the convoy as she was ordered to proceed to a rendezvous with the American troop transport President Johnson.

The convoy arrived at Townsville on 24 May 1943. (6)

27 Sep 1943

Convoy PV 2.

This convoy departed Port Phillip (Melbourne) on 27 September 1943.

It was made up of the following transports; Andrew D. White (American, 7194 GRT, built 1943), B.F. Shaw (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Both (Dutch, 2608 GRT, built 1931), Charles H. Windham (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), George H. Flanders (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), George S. Boutwell (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), James W. Grimes (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John Whiteaker (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and William Ellery Channing (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

On departure the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN), HMAS Stuart (Lt.Cdr. N.A. Mackinnon, RAN) and the minesweepers HMAS Bendigo (Lt. J.H. Dowson, RAN) and HMAS Goulburn (Lt.Cdr. Collins, RANR(S)).

Around 0800K/29, the destroyer HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN) joined.

Around 2000K/29, HMAS Bendigo parted company.

Around 1545K/2, the convoy escorted parted company with the convoy near Lady Elliot Island. HMAS Arunta and HMAS Stuart set course for Brisbane, HMAS Warramunga for Sydney and HMAS Goulburn for Gladstone.

The convoy arrived at Townsville on 3 October 1943.

21 Oct 1944
Around 0700K/21, HMAS Vendetta (Lt. W.F. Cook, RAN) arrived off Madang. she entered harbour after a short gunnery exercise on a target that was being towed by HMAS Goulburn (Lt.Cdr. J.N. Collins, RANR(S)). (7)

22 Oct 1944
HMAS Vendetta (Lt. W.F. Cook, RAN) and HMAS Barcoo (A/Lt.Cdr. C.G. Hill, RANR(S) conducted bombardment exercises off Madang. They bombarded Bil Bil Island.

HMAS Vendetta also conducted LA gunnery exercises on a target that was being towed by HMAS Goulburn (Lt.Cdr. J.N. Collins, RANR(S)). (7)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/114033 + ADM 53/114230 + ADM 53/115714 + ADM 199/408 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart from 9 December 1941 to 11 January 1942 + Files 2.12.03.6849 and 2.12.27.121 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. ADM 199/426
  3. File 2.12.03.6849 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  4. Report of proceedings of Task Force 44
  5. Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for March 1943
  6. Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for May 1943
  7. Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for October 1944

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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