Allied Warships

HMAS Warrnambool (J 202)

Minesweeper of the Bathurst class

NavyThe Royal Australian Navy
TypeMinesweeper
ClassBathurst 
PennantJ 202 
Built byMorts Dock & Enginering Co. Ltd. (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) 
Ordered31 Jul 1940 
Laid down13 Nov 1940 
Launched8 May 1941 
Commissioned23 Sep 1941 
Lost13 Sep 1947 
History

While clearing mines she hit a mine in the vicinity of Cockburn Reef on 13 September 1947 and sank shortly afterwards.
Four sailors went down with the ship.

 

Commands listed for HMAS Warrnambool (J 202)

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
1T/Lt. Eric John Barron, RANR(S)18 Aug 194127 Mar 1943
2Lt.Cdr. Neven Robinson Read, RAN28 Mar 194327 Feb 1944
3Lt.Cdr. Herbert Kennedy Dwyer, RANR28 Feb 194413 Mar 1944
4Lt.Cdr. (emergency) Ewan James Byam Wight, RAN13 Mar 19444 Sep 1945

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Notable events involving Warrnambool include:


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.

10 Aug 1942

Combined convoy A 3 / B 3.

This convoy departed Caloundra on 10 August 1942.

It was made up of the following transports; Anshun (British, 3188 GRT, built 1930), Daniel Boone (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Kooliga (Australian, 2459 GRT, built 1928), Perida (American, 6580 GRT, built 1937), 's Jacob (Dutch, 2988 GRT, built 1907), Sea Witch (American, 6021 GRT, built 1940) and Van der Lijn (Dutch, 2464 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Caloundra, around 2000K/10, the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Stuart (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN) which parted company around 1200K/12, in the Capricorn Channel. The convoy then continued on unescorted.

On 13 August the Kooliga parted company and entered Bowen.

On 14 August the Daniel Boone parted company and entered Townsville.

Also on the 14th the sloop HMAS Warrego (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, RAN) and minesweeper HMAS Bendigo (T/Lt. S.J. Griffith, RANR(S)) joined coming from Townsville.

On the 16th the minesweeper HMAS Warrnambool (T/Lt. E.J. Barron, RANR(S)) joined coming from Port Moresby but she parted company again shortly afterwards taking the ships of convoy B 3 with her, these were the transports Perida and Sea Witch.

Convoy B 3 arrived at Port Moresby around 0615K/17.

convoy A 3, made up of the Anshun, 's Jacob and Van der Lijn and escorted by HMAS Warrego and HMAS Bendigo arrived at Fall River (Milne Bay) around 1800K/17.

14 Aug 1942

Combined convoy A 4 / B 4.

This convoy departed Moreton Bay on 10 August 1942.

It was made up of the following transports; Anhui (British, 3414 GRT, built 1925), Bantam (Dutch, 3322 GRT, built 1930), Cremer (Dutch, 4608 GRT, built 1926), John Hart (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) and Pennant (American, 6576 GRT, built 1937).

On departure from Moreton Bay the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Stuart (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN) and the minesweeper HMAS Geelong (Lt. C.G. Hill, RANR(S)).

HMAS Stuart and HMAS Geelong parted company around 1200K/15, in the Capricorn Channel and the convoy continued on unescorted.

Around 0900K/17, the sloop HMAS Swan (Cdr. G.C. Oldham, RAN) and corvette HMAS Cessnock (A/Lt.Cdr. T.S. Marchington, RANR(S)) joined the convoy coming from Townsville. Also coming from Townsville were two more transports, these were the Daniel Boone (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) and Maetsuycker (Dutch, 4131 GRT, built 1936) while the Pennant was detached to Townsville.

Around 1530K/19, the mineweeper HMAS Warrnambool (T/Lt. E.J. Barron, RANR(S)) made rendezvous with the convoy in position 12.13'S, 147.42'E and then took the transports of convoy B 4 with her to Port Moresby, these were the Daniel Boone, John Hart and Maetsuyker. They arrived at Port Moresby around 0830K/20. They had been joined earlier on the 20th by the minesweeper Colac (Lt. W.S. Reynolds, RANR).

Convoy A 4, made up of the Anhui, Bantam and Cremer meanwhile continued on to Fall River (Milne Bay) escorted by HMS Swan and HMAS Cessnock.

Convoy A 4 arrived at Fall River around noon on 21 August 1942.

17 Apr 1943

Convoy CO 89.

This convoy departed from Newcastle on 17 April 1943.

It was made up of the transports; Aeon (Australian, 3763 GRT, built 1913), Barwon (Australian, 4239 GRT, built 1939), Goulburn (Australian, 2367 GRT, built 1920), Honduras (Panamanian, 4524 GRT, built 1915), Mernoo (Australian, 2417 GRT, built 1926) and Wear (Australian, 1869 GRT, built 1911).

On departure from Newcastle, around 0850K/17, the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Stuart (Lt.Cdr. N.A. Mackinnon, RAN) and the minesweeper HMAS Kalgoorlie (T/Lt.Cdr. H.A. Litchfield, RANR(S)).

Off Sydney, around 1600K/17, HMAS Stuart parted company to proceed to Sydney. The minesweeper HMAS Warrnambool (Lt.Cdr. N.R. Read, RAN) and the transport Lot Whitcomb (American, 7180 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy.

Around 0300K/21, HMAS Kalgoorlie parted company with the convoy to join northbound convoy OC 89.

The convoy arrived at Melbourne around 1500K/22.

3 Oct 1944
HMS Stoic (Lt. P.B. Marriott, DSO, RN) departed Fremantle for her 6th war patrol (5th in the Far East, 1st in the South-West Pacific area). She was ordered to patrol in the Java Sea. Before proceeding on patrol exercises were carried out with HMAS Warrnambool (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) E.J.B. Wight, RAN). (1)

4 Oct 1944
During 4 and 5 October 1944, HMS Sirdar (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) and HMS Tantivy (Lt. P.S. May, RN), conducted exercises off Fremantle. These included night exercises. Convoy attack exercises were carried out on USS Chanticleer (L.L. Tyndall, USN), HMAS Ipswich (T/Lt. R.H. Creasey, RANR(S)) and HMAS Warrnambool (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) E.J.B. Wight, RAN). (2)

6 Nov 1944
During 6 and 7 November 1944, HMS Sea Rover (Lt. J.P. Angell, RN), conducted exercises off Fremantle. First gunnery exercises were carried out on a target that was being towed by HMAS Alfie Cam. These were followed by attack exercises during which USS Coucal (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Byerly, USNR) served as target.

In the evening radar tracking exercises were carried out during which HMAS Warrnambool (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) E.J.B. Wight, RAN) served as target. On completion of these exercises HMS Sea Rover returned to Fremantle where she arrived early the next day. (3)

9 Nov 1944
During 9 and 10 November 1944, HMS Sea Rover (Lt. J.P. Angell, RN), HMS Spiteful (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Sherwood, DSC, RCNVR) and HMS Sturdy (Lt. W.St.G. Anderson, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Fremantle. These also included night exercises.

Convoy attack exercises were carried out during which HMAS Bunbury (Lt. J.F. Bleckman, RANR(S)), HMAS Inverell (Lt. A.I. Chapman, RANR(S)), HMAS Launceston (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.J. Barron, RANR(S)), HMAS Mildura (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Little, RANR(S)) and HMAS Warrnambool (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) E.J.B. Wight, RAN) served as the targets. (3)

22 Nov 1944
During 22 and 23 November 1944, HMS Sirdar (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN), conducted exercises off Fremantle. These included night exercises. These included practice attacks on USS Coucal (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Byerly, USNR). During the night convoy attack exercises were carried out with USS Coucal, HMAS Bunbury (Lt. J.F. Bleckman, RANR(S)), HMAS Inverell (Lt. A.I. Chapman, RANR(S)) and HMAS Warrnambool (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) E.J.B. Wight, RAN) pretending to be a convoy. (4)

12 Jan 1945
HMS Spiteful (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Sherwood, DSC, RCNVR) departed Fremantle for her 7th war patrol (6th in the Far East and 3rd in the South-West Pacific area). She was ordered to patrol off Singapore. She was also to perform air/sea rescue duties in that area. Before proceeding on patrol she conducted exercises together with HMS Spark (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) and HMS Tradewind (Lt. J. Nash, DSC, RN). Practice attacks were made on HMAS Dubbo (T/Lt. F.W. Roberts, RANR(S)), HMAS Inverell (Lt. A.I. Chapman, RANR(S)), HMAS Warrnambool (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) E.J.B. Wight, RAN) and USS Hutchinson.

For the daily positions of HMS Spiteful during this patrol see the map below.

(5)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/1869
  2. ADM 173/18789
  3. ADM 173/18679
  4. ADM 173/18790
  5. ADM 199/1870

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


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