HMAS Stawell during 1944
|Namesake:||Town of Stawell, Victoria|
|Builder:||HMA Naval Dockyard at Williamstown, Victoria|
|Laid down:||18 June 1942|
|Launched:||3 April 1943|
|Commissioned:||7 August 1943|
|Decommissioned:||26 March 1946|
|Motto:||"Without Fear or Favour"|
New Guinea 1943–44
|Fate:||Sold to RNZN|
|Career (New Zealand)|
|Acquired:||5 March 1952|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap in 1968|
|General characteristics during RAN service|
|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, 2,000 horsepower|
|Speed:||15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) at 1,750 hp|
|Armament:||1 × 4-inch gun
3 × 20 mm Oerlikons
Depth charges chutes and throwers
HMAS Stawell (J348/M348) was a Bathurst-class corvette named for the town of Stawell, Victoria. Sixty Bathurst class corvettes were constructed during World War II, and Stawell was one of 36 initially manned and commissioned solely by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The corvette later served in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) as HMNZS Stawell.
Design and construction
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. 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) 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. Construction of the prototype HMAS Kangaroo did not go ahead, but the plans were retained. 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 Stawell) ordered by the RAN, 20 ordered by the British Admiralty but manned and commissioned as RAN vessels, and 4 for the Royal Indian Navy.
Stawell was laid down by HMA Naval Dockyard at Williamstown, Victoria on 18 June 1942. She was launched on 3 April 1943 by Mrs. J. J. Dedman, wife of the Minister for War Organisation, and commissioned into the RAN on 7 August 1943.
The majority of Starwell’s career was spent in three areas. Initially, she served as a convoy escort along the east coast of Australia. Following this, Stawell participated in a variety of escort, minesweeping, and combat roles throughout New Guinea waters. In the final third of her career, the ship spent time in Hong Kong waters, performing minsweeping and anti-piracy duties. Stawell returned to Brisbane in November 1945.
Stawell was removed from RAN service on 26 March 1946. On 5 March 1952, Stawell and three other Bathurst class corvettes (HMA Ships Echuca, Inverell, and Kiama) were transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN).
- "HMAS Stawell (I)". HMA Ship Histories. Sea Power Centre – Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
- Stevens, The Australian Corvettes, p. 1
- Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, p. 103
- Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, pp. 103–4
- Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, pp. 103–5
- Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, p. 104
- Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, pp. 105, 148
- Donohue, From Empire Defence to the Long Haul, p. 29
- Stevens et al., The Royal Australian Navy, p. 108
- "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" (PDF). Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- "HMAS Inverell (I)". HMA Ship Histories. Sea Power Centre – Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
- 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.