HMAS Rockhampton

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HMAS Rockhampton in Sydney Harbour during 1944
HMAS Rockhampton in Sydney Harbour during 1944
Career (Australia)
Namesake: City of Rockhampton, Queensland
Builder: Walkers Limited in Maryborough, Queensland
Laid down: 6 November 1940
Launched: 26 June 1941
Commissioned: 21 January 1942
Decommissioned: 5 August 1946
Honours and
Battle honours:
Pacific 1942–45
New Guinea 1944
Fate: Sold for scrap in 1961, scrapped in 1962
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 1.5 in (9.487 m)
Draught: 8.5 ft (2.6 m)
Propulsion: triple expansion engine, 2 shafts
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) at 1,750 hp
Complement: 85
Armament: 1 × QF 12-pounder gun
3 × 20 mm Oerlikons
Machine guns
Depth charges chutes and throwers

HMAS Rockhampton (J203/M203), named for the city of Rockhampton, Queensland, 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]


Rockhampton was laid down by Walkers Limited at Maryborough, Queensland on 6 November 1940, launched on 26 June 1941, and commissioned into the RAN on 21 January 1942.[1]

Rockhampton had a slightly wider beam than other Bathurst class corvettes; 1.5 inches (38 mm) greater.[1]

Operational history[edit]

Rockhampton began her career as a convoy escort along the east coast of Australia.[1] Following a series of Japanese submarine attacks along the east coast of Australia, a convoy system was established.[1] Rockhampton and USS Selfridge escorted the first Sydney to Brisbane convoy.[1] The corvette remained in this role until January 1944, when she began escorting convoys to and from New Guinea.[1] She underwent refit in Sydney over April and May 1944, before returning to escort duties in New Guinea waters.[1] Rockhampton operated in both Australian and New Guinea waters up until the end of World War II.[1]

Following the end of the war, Rockhampton was involved in the rescue of Dutch and Indonesian prisoners-of-war and the occupation of Ambon.[1] On 8 October 1945, the corvette carried the Sultan of Ternate on his return home.[1] Rockhampton returned to Sydney in November 1945, where she was assigned to minesweeping duties off the east coast of Australia.[1] She later participated in survey duties off the coast of South Australia, before returning to Sydney on 29 April 1946.[1]

The corvette received two battle honours for her wartime service: "Pacific 1942–45" and "New Guinea 1944".[2][3]


Rockhampton paid off to reserve on 5 August 1946, and was sold to Kino Shito (Australia) Pty Ltd for scrap on 6 January 1961.[1] She departed Australia for Japan under tow by the tug Benton Maru in 1962.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "HMAS Rockhampton". Sea Power Centre Australia. Retrieved 15 September 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.