HMAS Strahan

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HMAS Strahan IWM FL 19390.jpg
Career (Australia)
Namesake: Town of Strahan, Tasmania
Builder: NSW State Dockyard at Newcastle, New South Wales
Laid down: 9 October 1942
Launched: 12 July 1943
Commissioned: 14 March 1944
Decommissioned: 25 January 1946
Motto: "With Fair Winds"
Honours and
awards:
Battle honours:
Pacific 1944–45
New Guinea 1944
Fate: Sold for scrap in 1961, broken up in 1963
General characteristics
Class & type: Bathurst class corvette
Displacement: 815 tons
Length: 186 ft 2 in (56.74 m)
Beam: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Draught: 8.5 ft (2.6 m)
Propulsion: triple expansion engine, 2 shafts, 2,000 horsepower
Speed: 15.5 knots (28.7 km/h; 17.8 mph)
Complement: 85
Armament: 1 × 4-inch gun
2 × 20 mm Oerlikons
1 × 40 mm Bofors
Machine guns
Depth charges chutes and throwers

HMAS Strahan (J363/M363), named for the town of Strahan, Tasmania, 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]

Construction[edit]

Strahan was laid down by the NSW State Dockyard at Newcastle, New South Wales on 9 October 1942.[1] She was launched on 12 July 1943 by Mrs. J. J. Cahill, wife of the Minister for Public Works and Local Government, and commissioned into the RAN on 14 March 1944.[1]

Operational history[edit]

Strahan began her career in May 1944, arriving in New Guinea after completing trials to serve as an escort and anti-submarine vessel.[1] In October 1944, Strahan was present in Morotai Harbour when the recently captured island was attacked by Japanese aircraft.[1] The corvette was attacked by a dive-bomber, but was able to drive off the Japanese plane before she was damaged.[1] The aircraft was then destroyed by an American Bofors shore installation, but there claims that Strahan '​s 4-inch gun had seriously damaged the aircraft, and that it was in an uncontrollable dive when the Bofors blew it up.[2]

In May 1945, Strahan travelled to Adelaide via Sydney, where she underwent a refit.[1] Following this, she was immediate deployed back in New Guinea, and in June 1945 fired upon Japanese gun emplacements on Kairiru Island.[1] In August, the corvette sank a Japanese supply craft off Tarakan, and captured three survivors.[2]

Following the end of World War II, Strahan was assigned to the 21st Minesweeping Flotilla in Hong Kong, and performed in minesweeping and anti-piracy patrols.[1] On 26 September, an acoustic mine detonated under Strahan '​s stern while the corvette was pursuing Chinese pirates.[2] Her rudder was damaged, and she had to be towed into Hong Kong Harbour by sister ship Wagga.[2] She was repaired, and returned to Australia.[1] In November, Strahan visited her namesake town.[2] During the visit, a leading seaman drowned; the only casualty in the ship's life.[2] Strahan was decommissioned into reserve in Sydney on 25 January 1946, having sailed almost 60,000 nautical miles (110,000 km; 69,000 mi) in her two-year career.[2]

The corvette received two battle honours for her wartime service: "Pacific 1944–45" and "New Guinea 1944".[3][4]

Fate[edit]

Strahan was sold to the Kinoshita Australia company for scrap on 6 January 1961.[1] She was broken up at Green Point in Sydney during March 1963.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "HMAS Strahan". Sea Power Centre Australia. Retrieved 15 September 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Morley, Dave (24 October 2013). "Strahan's stolen success". Navy News. p. 15. 
  3. ^ "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. 
  4. ^ "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. 

External links[edit]