HMAS Cairns (J183)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMAS Cairns.
HMAS Cairns
HMAS Cairns
Career (Australia)
Namesake: City of Cairns, Queensland
Builder: Walkers Limited
Laid down: 31 March 1941
Launched: 7 October 1941
Commissioned: 11 May 1942
Decommissioned: 17 January 1946
Honours and
Battle honours:
Pacific 1942–45
Indian Ocean 1942–45
Sicily 1943
Okinawa 1945
Fate: Transferred to RNN
Career (Netherlands)
Name: Ambon
Commissioned: 17 January 1946
Fate: Transferred to TNI-AL
Career (Indonesia)
Name: Banteng
Commissioned: 6 April 1950
Fate: Broken up for scrap in 1968
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 hp
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) at 1,750 hp
Complement: 85
Armament: 1 × 4-inch gun, 3 × Oerlikons (later 4), 1 × Bofors (installed later), Machine guns, Depth charges chutes and throwers

HMAS Cairns (J183), named for the city of Cairns, Queensland, was one of 60 Bathurst class corvettes constructed during World War II and one of 20 built for the Admiralty but manned by personnel of and commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).[1]


Cairns was laid down by Walkers Limited at Maryborough, Queensland on 31 March 1941.[1] She was launched on 7 October 1941 by Mrs. R. D. Walker, wife of the Works Manager of Walkers Limited, and commissioned into the RAN on 11 May 1942.[1]

Operational history[edit]

Royal Australian Navy[edit]

From entering service until 16 October 1942, Cairns was based in Fremantle and operated as a convoy escort, anti-submarine patroller, and minesweeper.[1] On 16 October, the corvette was reassigned to the British Eastern Fleet and ordered to Kilindini, Kenya, arriving on 14 November.[1]

Cairns remained with the Eastern Fleet until January 1945.[1] Most of this time was spent on patrol or escort duties in the Indian Ocean. The corvette was reassigned to the Mediterranean from June until September 1943. [1] During this time, Cairns was involved in the Allied invasion of Sicily.[1] On 11 February 1944, a convoy Cairns was assigned to was attacked by Japanese submarine RO-110.[1] The corvette was involved in the successful destruction of the submarine, but one convoy ship was torpedoed.[1] Following a refit in Adelaide from May to July 1944, Cairns was redeployed to Colombo, which was her base of operations until January 1945, when the corvette was sent back to Australia.[1]

On arrivial in Australian waters, Cairns was assigned to the British Pacific Fleet.[1]

The ship received four battle honours for her wartime service: "Pacific 1942–45", "Indian Ocean 1942–45", "Sicily 1943", and "Okinawa 1945".[2][3]

Royal Netherlands Navy[edit]

Following the end of World War II, all Admiralty-owned Bathurst class corvettes were disposed of. Cairns was paid off in Brisbane on 17 January 1946.[1] She was immediately recommissioned into the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNN) and renamed HNLMS Ambon.[1]

Indonesian Navy[edit]

Following four years of service with the RNN, the ship was transferred to the Indonesian Navy on 6 April 1950 and renamed KRI Banteng.[1]


The corvette was broken up for scrap in April 1968.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "HMAS Cairns (I)". HMA Ship Histories. Sea Power Centre – Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 18 December 2008. 
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ "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. 

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