Allied Warships

HMAS Toowoomba (J 157)

Minesweeper of the Bathurst class

NavyThe Royal Australian Navy
PennantJ 157 
Built byWalkers Ltd. (Maryborough, Queensland, Australia) 
Ordered5 Jun 1940 
Laid down6 Aug 1940 
Launched26 Mar 1941 
Commissioned9 Oct 1941 
End service5 Jul 1946 

Decommissioned at Colombo, Ceylon on 5 July 1946 and transferred to the Royal Netherlands Navy on the same day being renamed Boeroe.
Boeroe was decommissioned by the Royal Netherlands Navy in 1958.


Commands listed for HMAS Toowoomba (J 157)

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.

1Lt.Cdr. (emergency) Paul Hugill Hirst, RAN19 May 194124 Jul 1942
2T/Lt.Cdr. John Martyn, RANR(S)25 Jul 1942

3T/Lt. Terence Christy, RANR(S)31 Jul 1942

4Lt.Cdr. James Houston Simpson, RANR(S)19 Aug 1942Jan 1945

5T/Lt.Cdr. Spence Bernard Komoll, RANR(S)7 Feb 194514 Mar 1945
6T/A/Lt.Cdr. William Hunter Newby, RANR(S)15 Mar 19456 Apr 1945
7T/Lt.Cdr. Spence Bernard Komoll, RANR(S)7 Apr 19456 May 1945
8Lt. Howard Frank Goodwin, RANR11 May 1945

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Notable events involving Toowoomba include:

6 Mar 1942

Convoy SU 2.

This convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports / tankers; Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941), British Aviator (British (tanker), 6998 GRT, built 1924), California Standard (Panamanian (tanker), 11246 GRT, built 1929), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Nevasa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913), Querimba (British, 7769 GRT, built 1925), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926) and Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924).

On departure from Colombo the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), sloop HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) and corvette HMS Tulip (Lt.Cdr. A. Wilkinson, RNR).

Around 2000F/8, when in position 00°37'S, 79°02'E, the British Aviator, California Standard and Querimba were detached to proceed independently. Also HMS Shoreham and HMS Tulip were detached to return to Colombo.

Around 1100H/18, in position 31°16'S, 105°04'E, the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and destroyers USS Alden (Lt. E.E. Evans, USN) and USS John D. Ford (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Cooper, USN) joined the convoy as additional escorts.

The convoy arrived at Fremantle in the morning of February 20th.


The convoy departed Fremantle in the early afternoon of 22 February 1942. It was made up of the same five transports that had arrived at Fremantle on the 20th with the addition of two more transports, these were the USS Gold Star (4871 GRT, built 1920) and Sea Witch (American, 6021 GRT, built 1940).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart, destroyers USS Alden, USS John D. Ford and the minesweepers HMAS Burnie ( T/Lt. T. Christy, RANR(S)) and HMAS Toowoomba (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) P.H. Hirst, RAN).

Around 0430I/24, when in position 35°34'S, 118°00'E, the Aronda was detached to Albany.

Around 2030I/24 the convoy was dispersed in position 35°30'S, 121°26'E. (1)

24 Nov 1942

Convoy OW 1.

This convoy departed Fremantle on 24 November 1942.

It was made up of the following transports;
Agwiprince (American, 6679 GRT, built 1941), Tarakan (Dutch, 8704 GRT, built 1930) and Tatra (Norwegian, 4766 GRT, built 1937).

On departure from Fremantle, around 1730H/24, the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Adelaide (A/Capt. J.C.D. Esdaile, OBE, RAN), AA cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. E.J. van Holthe, RNethN) and the destroyer HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNethN).

Around 2030I/25, HrMs Van Galen parted company to return to Fremantle.

Around 1740I/25, the tanker Goldmouth (British (tanker), 7402 GRT, built 1927) and the minesweepers HMAS Cessnock (A/Lt.Cdr. T.S. Marchington, RANR(S)) and HMAS Toowoomba (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Simpson, RANR(S)) joined the convoy.

Around 1416GH/28, HMAS Adelaide sighted a ship two points on the starboard bow. Commenced to close to investigate as did HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck.

Around 1450GH/28, the ship was considered suspecious. Continued to close and came to first degree of readiness.

Around 1543GH/28, an explosion was observed on the ship. Opened fire on the enemy.

Around 1552GH/28, the enemy ship was seen to sink. Position was 23°46'S, 99°05'E. Closed to pick up survivors. HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck was now ordered to return to the convoy.

By 1650GH/28, 91 survivors had been picked up. 78 Germans and Finns as well as 10 Norwegian and 3 Danes which had been on board as POW's. The ship had been the German Ramses (7983 GRT, built 1926) en-route from Japan to France.

Around 1816GH/28, HMAS Adelaide was back in station on the convoy.

Around 1300GH/29, HMAS Adelaide and HrMs Jacob van Heemskerk parted company with the convoy to return to Fremantle after the light cruiser HMS Gambia (Capt. M.J. Mansergh, CBE, RN) had joined in position 21°24'S, 95°07'E. The armed merchant cruiser HMS Kanimbla (A/Capt. W.L.G. Adams, RN) was also briefly at the rendezvous position before continuing her patrol.

Around 0630F/5, the Goldmouth, HMAS Cessnock and HMAS Toowoomba parted company with the convoy to proceed to Kilindini via first Diego Garcia and then the Seychelles.

Around 1830F/6, HMS Gambia parted company to proceed to Addu Atoll after the sloops HMIS Sutlej (Capt. P.A. Mare, RIN) and HMIS Jumna (Cdr. J.E.N. Coope, RIN) had joined coming from Addu Atoll.

Around 1615F/11, the minelayer HrMs Willem van der Zaan (Lt.Cdr. G.P. Küller, RNethN) joined coming from Bombay. HMIS Jumna parted company on this day to proceed to Bombay.

The convoy arrived in the Persian Gulf on 13 December 1942. (2)

11 Feb 1943

Convoy MC 4.

This convoy departed Aden on 11 February 1943 and arrived at Durban on 27 February 1943.

The convoy was made up of the transports City of Canterbury (British, 8331 GRT, built 1922) and Elisabethville (British, 8351 GRT, built 1922).

On departure from Aden the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (Cdr. M. Everard, RN) and the minesweeper HMAS Toowoomba (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Simpson, RANR(S)).

Around 0300D/14, HMAS Toowoomba parted company with the convoy for other escort duties for which she proceeded to and arrived at Dante (now Ras Hafun, Somalia) later the same day.

Around 0800CD(-3.5)/18, HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.B. Crane, RN) took over the escort from HMS Hawkins which then set course to proceed to Kilindini.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 27 February 1943.

30 Jun 1945
HMS Virtue (Lt. R.D. Cairns, DSC, RN) departed Manus for Sydney. She was escorted by HMAS Toowoomba (Lt. H.F. Goodwin, RANR).

For the daily positions of HMS Virtue during the passage from Manus to Sydney see the map below.



  1. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart from 6 to 26 March 1942
  2. ADM 199/2250 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Adelaide for November 1942
  3. ADM 173/20291

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

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