HMAS Barcoo (K375)

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HMAS Barcoo (300353).jpg
HMAS Barcoo (K375) in 1944.
Career (Australia)
Namesake: Barcoo River
Builder: Cockatoo Docks and Engineering Co. Ltd., Sydney
Laid down: 21 October 1942
Launched: 26 August 1943
Commissioned: 17 January 1944
Decommissioned: 21 February 1964
Honours and
Battle honours:
Pacific 1944–45
New Guinea 1944
Borneo 1945[1][2]
Fate: Sold for scrap on 15 February 1972 to N.W. Kennedy Ltd., Vancouver. Scrapped in Taiwan.
General characteristics
Class & type: River class frigate
Displacement: 1,420 long tons (1,440 t; 1,590 short tons)
2,020 long tons (2,050 t; 2,260 short tons) (deep load)
Length: 283 ft (86.26 m) p/p
301.25 ft (91.82 m)o/a
Beam: 36.5 ft (11.13 m)
Draught: 9 ft (2.74 m); 13 ft (3.96 m) (deep load)
Propulsion: 2 × Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 shafts, reciprocating vertical triple expansion, 5,500 ihp (4,100 kW)
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Range: 500 long tons (508 t; 560 short tons) oil fuel; 5,180 nautical miles (9,590 km; 5,960 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 140

2 × QF 4 in (102 mm) /45 Mk.XVI guns, single mounts HA/LA Mk.XX
8 × QF 20 mm Oerlikon, single mounts Mk.III, later;
3 × QF 40 mm Bofors, single mounts Mk.VII
4 × QF 20 mm Oerlikon, twin mounts Mk.V
1 × Hedgehog 24 spigot A/S projector

up to 50 depth charges

HMAS Barcoo (K375/F375/A245) was a River class frigate that served the Royal Australian Navy from 1944–1964.

She was named for the Barcoo River in Queensland and was one of twelve River class frigates built for the RAN during World War II. The vessel logged 342,579 nautical miles (634,456 km) in her career.


Barcoo was laid down by the Cockatoo Docks and Engineering Company, Ltd., Sydney on 21 October 1942, and launched on 26 August of the following year by the wife of Richard Keane, the Minister for Trade and Customs. Barcoo was commissioned at Sydney on 17 January 1944.

Operational history[edit]

World War II[edit]

After several weeks of working up, Barcoo was tasked to New Guinea in March 1944 for convoy escort duty. That year, the ship also participated in the bombardments of Japanese Army positions in eastern New Guinea, rescued two downed American P-47 Thunderbolt pilots, and conducted convoy escort and patrol duties in the waters around New Guinea. The frigate's last hostile action occurred on 3 August 1945, during a bombardment of the village of Soengaipaten in Borneo.

Barcoo received the three battle honours for her wartime service: "Pacific 1944–45", "New Guinea 1944", and "Borneo 1945".[1][2]


In August 1946, Barcoo was refitted as a survey vessel. During her remaining career, she carried the pennant numbers F375 and A245 at various times.

On 11[citation needed] April 1948, Barcoo ran aground at West Beach, South Australia,[3] during a violent storm.[citation needed] Initial attempts to refloat the ship failed, but Barcoo was able to pull herself off the beach after a channel was dug behind the destroyer, and she had been lightened by the removal of stores and fuel.[3] HMAS Warrego towed Barcoo to Adelaide for inspection and repairs.[3]

She logged approximately 54,000 miles on survey duty before being retired in 1949. However, she was reactivated for survey duties in 1952.

Barcoo spent from October 1955 until she paid off in 1956 in October 1956 in both coastal and off shore survey work. The waters around Coffs Harbour were surveyed then, with her own boats and the little HMAS Warreen, the waters inside and outside Port Stephens. Tide pole parties were left on Broughton Island to measure the tides there. By the winter of 1956 she was alongside the wharf at Watsons Bay, waiting to be 'paid off' (placed in the Mothball Fleet) On the other side of the Watson Bay jetty lay the old WW1 HMAS Platypus. It is here Barcoo's crew were billeted whilst the work was done and the crew were gradually allocated drafts to other ships.

But she was obviously thought to be in good enough condition to be placed back on survey work for a final time in 1959. Modifications were made and she now sported an enclosed bridge. She continued with her surveying work until her final decommission in 1964.

Decommissioning and fate[edit]

Anchor of HMAS Barcoo, a 'gate guard' at Morshead War Veterans Home, Lyneham, Australian Capital Territory.

Barcoo was decommissioned from the RAN on 21 February 1964. She was sold on 15 February 1972 to N. W. Kennedy, Ltd., Vancouver for scrap. She was later scrapped in Taiwan.


  1. ^ a b "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 Gillett, Ross (1989). Australian Ships. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Child & Associates. p. 117. ISBN 0-86777-107-0. 

External links[edit]