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)

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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:


3 Oct 1944
HMS Stoic (Lt. P.B. Marriot, 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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