HMAS Inverell

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HMAS Inverell.jpg
HMAS Inverell transferring liberated prisoners of war to HMAS Maidstone off Makassar, Dutch East Indies in September 1945
Career (Australia)
Namesake: Town of Inverell, New South Wales
Builder: Mort's Dock & Engineering Co
Laid down: 7 December 1941
Launched: 2 May 1942
Commissioned: 17 September 1942
Decommissioned: 14 June 1946
Fate: Transferred to RNZN
Career (New Zealand)
Acquired: 5 March 1952
Commissioned: 10 April 1952
Decommissioned: 1952
Recommissioned: 15 August 1965
Decommissioned: 19 August 1976
Reclassified: Training and fisheries protection vessel
Honours and
Battle honours:
Darwin 1942
Pacific 1942–45
Fate: Sold for scrap on 1 November 1977
General characteristics (RAN service)
Class & type: Bathurst class corvette
Displacement: 650 tons standard
1,025 tons full 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 ihp
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) at 1,750 hp
Complement: 85
Armament: 1 × 4-inch gun
3 × 20 mm Oerlikons (later reduced to 2)
1 × 40 mm Bofors (installed later)
Machine guns
Depth charges chutes and throwers

HMAS Inverell (J233/M233), named for the town of Inverell, New South Wales, 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).[1]

After World War II, the corvette was transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), where she served from 1952 to 1976.


Inverell was laid down by Mort's Dock & Engineering Co at Balmain, New South Wales on 7 December 1941.[1] She was launched on 2 May 1942 by Mrs. T. S. Punch, Mayoress of Inverell, and commissioned into the RAN on 17 September 1942.[1]

Operational history[edit]

World War II[edit]

Inverell began service in November 1942 as a convoy escort along the eastern Australian coast.[1] At the end of December, she was relocated to Darwin, and primarily performed escort runs between Darwin and Thursday Island.[1] On 11 November 1943, Inverell arrived at Williamstown Naval Dockyard for a month-long refit.[1] On conclusion, she returned to Darwin and resumed escort duties.[1]

In early February 1943, Inverell was required to rescue the crew of a United States Army Air Forces Liberator bomber, which had crashed on Croker Island.[1] Of the eight survivors, one died onboard while the corvette was returning to Darwin.[1] On 22 September 1944, Inverell sailed to Fremantle.[1]

While based in Fremantle, the corvette's main duties was to perform training exercises with United States Navy and Royal Navy submarines, with secondary duties including convoy escort and patrol.[1] Inverell departed Fremantle for Darwin on 4 May 1945.[1] Between 22 May and 11 July, the corvette was involve in minesweeping, before she, sister ship HMAS Stawell, and Services Reconnaissance Department vessel HMAS River Snake were assigned to Morotai.[1] Inverell was required to tow River Snake for the first part of the voyage.[1]

Based in Morotai, Inverell was primarily used as a patrol vessel until the end of World War II, when she became involved in the transfer of Dutch East Indies territories from Japanese to Allied control.[1] From 21 September to 18 November, she was designated as the command ship for Port Directorate Macassar.[1] On 29 November, she left Morotai, and spent the next month operating off the coast of Queensland before arriving in Brisbane on 25 December 1945 and preparing for decommissioning.[1] Several delays meant that Inverell was not paid off into reserve until 14 June 1946.[1] On 4 November 1946, Inverell was towed to Sydney by sister ship HMAS Echuca, arriving on 17 November.[1]

The corvette received two battle honours for her wartime service: "Darwin 1942" and Pacific 1942–45".[2][3]

RNZN service[edit]

On 5 March 1952, Inverell and three other Bathurst class corvettes (HMA Ships Echuca, Kiama, and Stawell) were transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN).[1] Inverell was commissioned into the RNZN on 10 April 1952, but was decommissioned into reserve after a refit.[1]

In 1965, the corvette was refitted as a training and fisheries patrol ship to replace the frigate HMNZS Rotoiti.[1] The 4 inch gun was replaced by a second 40 mm Bofors gun, and minesweeping gear was removed.[4] She was recommissioned on 15 August 1965, and served until 19 August 1976, when she was decommissioned.[1]

On 1 November 1977, Inverell was sold to Pacific Scrap Limited of Auckland for scrapping.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "HMAS Inverell (I)". HMA Ship Histories. Sea Power Centre – Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 27 August 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. 
  4. ^ Blackman 1971, p. 241.
  • Blackman, Raymond V. B. (1971). Jane's Fighting Ships 1971–72. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd. ISBN 0-354-00096-9.