Allied Warships

HMAS Stawell (J 348)

Minesweeper of the Bathurst class

NavyThe Royal Australian Navy
PennantJ 348 
Built byMelbourne Harbour Trust (Williamstown, Victoria, Australia) 
Ordered2 Aug 1941 
Laid down18 Jun 1942 
Launched3 Apr 1943 
Commissioned7 Aug 1943 
End service26 Mar 1946 

Decommissioned into Reserve on 26 March 1946.
Transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy in May 1952.
Sold to be broken up for scrap to the Pacific Scrap Ltd. (Auckland, New Zealand) in July 1968.  

Commands listed for HMAS Stawell (J 348)

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

1T/Lt. Sidney John Griffith, RANR(S)1 Jul 1943Oct 1945

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Notable events involving Stawell include:

11 Oct 1943
Around 2255L/11, the landing ship HMAS Kanimbla (A/Cdr. N.H. Shaw, RAN) departed Sydney to put to sea. She was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN). They were joined around 0700L/12 by the attack cargo ship USS Algorab (T/Capt. J.R. Lannom, USN) and landing ships HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. C.C. Baldwin, RAN) and HMAS Westralia (Cdr. A.V. Knight, RD, RANR(S)) which also came from Sydney.

Course was then set for Moreton Bay (Brisbane).

Around 2100L/13, the convoy was joined by the minesweepers HMAS Geelong (A/Lt.Cdr. C.G. Hill, RANR(S)) and HMAS Stawell (T/Lt. S.J. Griffith, RANR(S)) as additional escorts.

They arrived in Moreton Bay around 0900L/14. (1)

15 Feb 1944
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. N.A. Mackinnon, RAN), HMAS Gascoyne (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) J. Donovan, RAN), HMAS Ararat ( T/Lt. N.M. Muzzell, RANR(S)) and HMAS Stawell (T/Lt. S.J. Griffith, RANR(S)) conducted exercises off Milne Bay. (2)

26 Jun 1944
Around 1710K/26, a convoy departed Langemak Bay (Megum Island anchorage) for Humboldt Bay (Hollandia).

This convoy was made up of the (troop) transports; Abigail S. Duniway (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Ada Rehan (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Ambrose Bierce (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Don Marquis (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Franklin K. Lane (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), George Eastman (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), George A. Pope (American, 7212 GRT, built 1944), Henry White (American, 7216 GRT, built 1944), Julien Dubuque (American, 7194 GRT, built 1943), Mormachawk (American, 6711 GRT, built 1942), Otis Skinner (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Robert S. Bean (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Simon Bamberger (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Stephen M. White (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Van der Lijn (Dutch, 2464 GRT, built 1929), Walter Williams (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Watson C. Squire (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Wilfred Grenfell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943).

On departure from Langemak Bay the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. J.S. Mesley, RAN, Senior Officer of the escort), minesweepers HMAS Broome (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Denovan, RANVR), HMAS Bunbury (T/Lt. J.S. Bell, RANR(S)), HMAS Gladstone (T/Lt. J.W. Penney, RANR(S)), HMAS Kiama (T/Lt. S.J. Benson, RANR(S)), HMAS Stawell (T/A/Lt.Cdr. S.J. Griffith, RANR(S)) and the patrol vessels PC-1131 (?) and SC-749 (Lt.(jg) H.W. Sadler, USNR).

At 0040K/27, the transports; Joseph P. Bradley (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943) and Francis A. Wardwell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy. They were escorted by the patrol vessel PC-1121 (Lt. R.D. Blocksom, USNR) which also joined the convoy.

Around 1000K/28, the Francis A. Wardwell, Joseph P. Bradley and Julien Dubuque were detached to Aitape escorted by all three American patrol vessels.

The convoy arrived at Humboldt Bay around 0800K/29. (3)


  1. Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for October 1943
  2. Report of proceedings of HMAS Stuart for February 1944
  3. Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for June 1944

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