HMAS Junee

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HMAS Junee as a training ship in 1954. Her wartime armament has been replaced with two 40 mm Bofors guns.
HMAS Junee as a training ship in 1954. Her wartime armament has been replaced with two 40 mm Bofors guns.
Career (Australia)
Namesake: Town of Junee, New South Wales
Builder: Poole & Steel
Laid down: 17 February 1943
Launched: 16 November 1943
Commissioned: 11 April 1944
Decommissioned: 21 January 1946
Recommissioned: 25 February 1953
Decommissioned: 21 August 1957
Reclassified: Training ship (1953)
Honours and
awards:
Battle honours:
New Guinea 1943
Pacific 1944–45
Fate: Sold for scrap in 1958
General characteristics
Class and 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, 1,800 horspeower
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) at 1,750 hp
Complement: 85
Armament: 1 × 4-inch gun, 1 × 40 mm anti-aircraft gun

HMAS Junee (J362/M362), named for the town of Junee, 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]

Design and construction[edit]

In 1938, the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board (ACNB) identified the need for a general purpose 'local defence vessel' capable of both anti-submarine and mine-warfare duties, while easy to construct and operate.[2][3] The vessel was initially envisaged as having a displacement of approximately 500 tons, a speed of at least 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph), and a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 km; 2,300 mi)[4] The opportunity to build a prototype in the place of a cancelled Bar-class boom defence vessel saw the proposed design increased to a 680-ton vessel, with a 15.5 knots (28.7 km/h; 17.8 mph) top speed, and a range of 2,850 nautical miles (5,280 km; 3,280 mi), armed with a 4-inch gun, equipped with asdic, and able to fitted with either depth charges or minesweeping equipment depending on the planned operations: although closer in size to a sloop than a local defence vessel, the resulting increased capabilities were accepted due to advantages over British-designed mine warfare and anti-submarine vessels.[2][5] Construction of the prototype HMAS Kangaroo did not go ahead, but the plans were retained.[6] The need for locally built 'all-rounder' vessels at the start of World War II saw the "Australian Minesweepers" (designated as such to hide their anti-submarine capability, but popularly referred to as "corvettes") approved in September 1939, with 60 constructed during the course of the war: 36 (including Junee) ordered by the RAN, 20 ordered by the British Admiralty but manned and commissioned as RAN vessels, and 4 for the Royal Indian Navy.[2][7][8][9][1]

Junee was laid down by Poole & Steel at Balmain, New South Wales on 17 February 1943.[1] She was launched on 16 November 1943 by the wife of John Solomon Rosevear, Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, and commissioned into the RAN on 11 April 1944.[1]

Operational history[edit]

World War II[edit]

After entering active service, Junee was briefly assigned to New Guinea before being redeployed to Darwin, where she served as an anti-submarine patrol ship until February 1945, when the corvette underwent refit in Melbourne.[1]

In April 1945, Junee was sent to New Guinea, to serve as a convoy escort and anti-submarine patrol ship.[1] In August, the corvette fired her weapons in anger for the first time; sinking three Japanese supply barges while in the Sangir Islands.[1] The corvette was later assigned to Balikpapan as a guard ship, where she remained until the end of World War II.[1]

Following the end of the war, Junee evacuated Australian prisoners-of-war and civilians, assisted in the transportation of occupation forces, and aided in the reestablishment of Dutch authority in the Netherlands East Indies.[1] After fulfilling these duties, Junee returned to Australia, and was paid off into reserve in Melbourne on 21 January 1946.[1]

Junee received two battle honours for her wartime service: "New Guinea 1943" and "Pacific 1944–45".[10][11]

Post-war[edit]

The corvette was reactivated and recommissioned as a training ship on 25 February 1953.[1] Initially operating along the east coast, Junee was reassigned to the west coast on 25 August, operating from Fremantle.[1]

Decommissioning and fate[edit]

HMAS Junee paid off to reserve for the final time at Fremantle on 21 August 1957.[1] She was sold for scrap to W. G. Davies of Fremantle on 18 June 1958.[1] The ship was stripped and the hull sunk 20 miles (32 km) from Rottnest Island, WA, in 1968.[1]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "HMAS Junee (I)". HMA Ship Histories. Sea Power Centre – Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 26 December 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c Stevens, The Australian Corvettes, p. 1
  3. ^ Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, p. 103
  4. ^ Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, pp. 103–4
  5. ^ Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, pp. 103–5
  6. ^ Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, p. 104
  7. ^ Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, pp. 105, 148
  8. ^ Donohue, From Empire Defence to the Long Haul, p. 29
  9. ^ Stevens et al., The Royal Australian Navy, p. 108
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours" (PDF). Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 

References[edit]

Books
  • Donohue, Hector (October 1996). From Empire Defence to the Long Haul: post-war defence policy and its impact on naval force structure planning 1945–1955. Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs. No. 1. Canberra: Sea Power Centre. ISBN 0-642-25907-0. ISSN 1327-5658. OCLC 36817771. 
  • Stevens, David (2005). A Critical Vulnerability: the impact of the submarine threat on Australia's maritime defense 1915–1954. Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs. No. 15. Canberra: Sea Power Centre Australia. ISBN 0-642-29625-1. ISSN 1327-5658. OCLC 62548623. 
  • Stevens, David; Sears, Jason; Goldrick, James; Cooper, Alastair; Jones, Peter; Spurling, Kathryn, (2001). Stevens, David, ed. The Royal Australian Navy. The Australian Centenary History of Defence (vol III). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-554116-2. OCLC 50418095. 
Journal and news articles
  • Stevens, David (May 2010). "The Australian Corvettes" (PDF). Hindsight (Semaphore) (Sea Power Centre – Australia) 2010 (05). Retrieved 13 August 2010. 

External links[edit]