HMAS Ararat (K34)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMAS Ararat.
HMAS Ararat
HMAS Ararat
Career (Australia)
Namesake: Town of Ararat, Victoria
Builder: Evans Deakin & Co in Brisbane
Laid down: 6 July 1942
Launched: 20 February 1943
Commissioned: 16 June 1943
Decommissioned: 11 April 1947
Honours and
awards:
Battle honours:
Pacific 1943–45
New Guinea 1943–44[1][2]
Fate: Sold into civilian service. Later scrapped.
General characteristics
Class & type: Bathurst class corvette
Displacement: 650 tons (standard), 1,025 tons (full war load)
Length: 186 ft (57 m)
Beam: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Draught: 8.5 ft (2.6 m)
Propulsion: triple expansion engine, 2 shafts, 2,000 horsepower
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) at 1,750 hp
Complement: 85
Armament: 1 × 4-inch gun
3 × Oerlikons
Machine guns
Depth charges chutes and throwers

HMAS Ararat (K34/M34), named for the city of Ararat, Victoria, was one of 60 Bathurst class corvettes constructed during World War II, and one of 36 initially manned and commissioned solely by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).[3]

Ararat is the only ship of the Bathurst class to carry a pennant number with the flag superior 'K': to honour Flower class corvette lead ship HMS Gladiolus, which was sunk in October 1941.[4](I)

Construction[edit]

Ararat was laid down by Evans Deakin & Co in Brisbane on 6 July 1942.[3] She was launched on 20 February 1943 by the wife of Arthur Fadden, then leader of the Australian Country Party and the Federal Opposition, and commissioned on 16 June 1943.[3]

Operational history[edit]

Ararat entered active service in August 1943 escorting convoys firstly along the east coast of Australia, and later between Queensland and New Guinea.[3] She continued in this role until March 1944, when she was transferred to Langemak, New Guinea for two months, performing escort and patrol duties in the waters of New Guinea and New Britain.[3] During this time, she was the first ship of her class to visit several recently recaptured areas in New Britain.[3]

The corvette was under refit in Melbourne from May until July 1944, and on completion returned to New Guinea.[3] She was transferred to United States Naval command on 11 August 1944, and was used to patrol the forward areas of the Allied offensive.[3] During this time, Ararat was involved in the transportation of survivors from sister ship HMAS Geelong following her collision with United States tanker York on 19 October.[3] Ararat left US command at the end of 1944, and spent the early part of 1945 operating in the Morotai area. She briefly visited Townsville in March 1945, and in June, the corvette was deployed to Borneo to support Australian troops.[3] Ararat returned to Australia on 22 July for refits, and was in dock when the war ended.[3] The corvette's wartime service was recognised by the battle honours "Pacific 1943–45" and "New Guinea 1943–44".[2]

Ararat was assigned to the 20th Minesweeping Flotilla on 22 October 1945, and was involved in clearing mines laid during the war; first in Australian waters, then around New Britain, New Ireland, and the Solomon Islands.[3] This assignment was completed in November 1946, and on 11 April 1947 was decommissioned into reserve.[3]

Ararat remained in reserve until 6 January 1961, when she was sold to Burns Philip & Co Ltd of Darwin.[3] She was later sold on to the Fujita Salvage Company of Japan, who used her to perform salvage operations in Darwin Harbour.[3] Ararat left Darwin for Japan on 20 July 1961, towing a crane.[3] After arriving in Japan, she was broken up for scrap.[citation needed]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^(I) Although the source states that Gladiolus was a ship of the Royal Canadian Navy, the only ship of that name and pennant served with the Royal Navy.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "HMAS Ararat (I)". HMA Ship Histories. Sea Power Centre – Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  4. ^ HMAS Mildura Association (16 March 2007). "Corvette Links". Retrieved 22 January 2008. 

External links[edit]