Allied Warships

HMAS Yarra (L 77 / U 77)

Sloop of the Grimsby class

NavyThe Royal Australian Navy
PennantL 77 / U 77 
Built byCockatoo Docks and Engineering Co. Ltd. (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) 
Ordered22 Dec 1933 
Laid down24 May 1934 
Launched28 Mar 1935 
Commissioned21 Jan 1936 
Lost4 Mar 1942 

HMAS Yarra (Lt.Cdr. Robert William Rankin, RAN) was sunk south off Java in a gun battle with by the Japanese heavy cruisers Atago, Maya and Takao.


Commands listed for HMAS Yarra (L 77 / U 77)

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1Lt.Cdr. Wilfred Hastings Harrington, RAN30 Aug 193914 Nov 1939
2Lt.Cdr. Wilfred Hastings Harrington, RAN7 Dec 193910 Feb 1942
3Lt.Cdr. Robert William Rankin, RAN11 Feb 19424 Mar 1942 (+)

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Notable events involving Yarra include:

22 Jan 1942
Early in the morning 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) departed Batavia (Jakarta), Java escorting the US cargo ship Collingsworth (5101 GRT, built 1920) and the Dutch passenger / cargo ship Rochussen (2680 GRT, built 1904).

Around 1100 hours all ships joined convoy BM 10 that was made up of the British passenger / cargo ships Talthybius (10224 GRT, built 1912), Rohna (8602 GRT, built 1926), Cap St. Jaques (8009 GRT, built 1922), Takliwa (7936 GRT, built 1924), Islami (5879 GRT, built 1934), Ekma (5128 GRT, built 1911), British cargo ships Subadar (5424 GRT, built 1929), Jalavihar (5330 GRT, built 1911), Ekma (5128 GRT, built 1911), Jalakrishna (4991 GRT, built 1937), Loch Ranza (4958 GRT, built 1934), Brittany (4772 GRT, built 1928) and Jalaratna (3865 GRT, built 1930).

This convoy was escorted by the British heavy cruiser HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, MVO, RN), the British light cruisers HMS Enterprise (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN), HMS Danae (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN), the British destroyers HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN), HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. (retired) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN), the Australian sloop HMAS Yarra (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN) and the Indian sloop HMIS Jumna (Cdr. W.R. Shewring, RIN). When the Dutch ships joined destroyers HMS Electra and HMS Stronghold left the convoy. (1)


  1. Files and (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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