|Career (United Kingdom)|
|Builder:||Montrose Shipyard, Scotland|
|Launched:||20 February 1953|
|Fate:||Sold to Australia|
|Commissioned:||21 August 1962|
|Decommissioned:||30 April 1990|
|Fate:||Sold on 17 June 1991|
|Class & type:||Ton class minesweeper|
|Length:||152 ft (46 m)|
|Beam:||28 ft (8.5 m)|
|Draught:||8 ft (2.4 m)|
|Propulsion:||Originally Mirrlees diesel, later Napier Deltic, producing 3,000 shp (2,200 kW) on each of two shafts|
|Speed:||15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
|Armament:||1 × Bofors 40 mm gun
1 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
1 × M2 Browning machine gun
HMAS Curlew (M 1121) was a Ton class minesweeper operated by the Royal Navy (as HMS Chediston) from 1953 to 1961, and the Royal Australian Navy from 1962 to 1991. During her Australian service, the ship operated off Malaysia during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation during the mid-1960s, then was modified for use as a minehunter. Delays in bringing a replacement class into service kept Curlew operational until 1990, and she was sold into civilian service in 1991.
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The ship was one of six sold to the Royal Australian Navy for A£5.5 million in 1961. Chediston was modified for tropical conditions, and commissioned on 21 August 1962 as HMAS Curlew.
During the mid-1960s, Curlew was one of several ships operating in support of the Malaysian government during the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation. This service was later recognised with the battle honour "Malaysia 1964-66".
Decommissioning and fate
The delay in bringing the Bay class minehunters into service kept Curlew operational until 2001. Curlew paid off on 30 April 1990 and was sold on 17 June 1991. The vessel was to operate as a salvage mothership, but was unable to be used as such because one of the main engines was unserviceable. Curlew was used in the films Paradise Road and The Thin Red Line. After several groundings on shallow mudbanks and a short salvage trip to a reef just off the coast of central Queensland, Curlew was sold to a new owner. As of mid-2003, the ship was operating out of Port Huon, Tasmania as a fishing vessel.
- Spurling, in Stevens, The Royal Australian Navy, p. 189
- "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.
- "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.
- Jones, in Stevens, The Royal Australian Navy, p. 222
- Australian Sea Heritage, Old ships find a new life
- Stevens, David, ed. (2001). The Royal Australian Navy. The Australian Centenary History of Defence (vol III). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-555542-2. OCLC 50418095.
- Jones, Peter. "Towards Self Reliance". The Royal Australian Navy.
- Spurling, Kathryn. "The Era of Defence Reform". The Royal Australian Navy.
- Journal articles
- "Old ships find a new life". Australian Sea Heritage (Australian Heritage Fleet) (75): 6. Winter 2003. ISSN 0813-0523.
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