HMAS Wollongong (J172)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMAS Wollongong.
HMAS Wollongong in 1943
HMAS Wollongong in 1943
Career (Australia)
Namesake: City of Wollongong, New South Wales
Builder: Cockatoo Docks and Engineering Co Ltd
Laid down: 29 January 1941
Launched: 5 July 1941
Commissioned: 23 October 1941
Decommissioned: 11 February 1946
Motto: "Heed the Call"
Honours and
Battle honours:
Pacific 1942–45
Indian Ocean 1942–45
Sicily 1943
Mediterranean 1943
East Indies 1943
Okinawa 1945
Fate: Transferred to RNN
Badge: Ship's badge
Career (Netherlands)
Name: Banda
Fate: Transferred to TNI-AL
Career (Indonesia)
Name: Radjawali
Acquired: April 1950
Fate: Sold for scrap in 1968
General characteristics
Class and type: Bathurst class corvette
Displacement: 650 tons
Length: 186 ft (57 m)
Beam: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Draught: 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m)
Propulsion: Triple expansion, 2 shafts. 2,000 hp
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 85
Armament: 1 × 4 inch gun, 3 × Oerlikons (later 2), 1 × Bofors (later), Machine guns, Depth charge chutes and throwers

HMAS Wollongong (J172), named for the city of Wollongong, New South Wales, was one of 60 Bathurst class corvettes constructed during World War II and one of 20 built for the Admiralty but manned by personnel of and commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).[1]


Wollongong was laid down by Cockatoo Docks and Engineering Co Ltd on 29 January 1941.[1] She was launched on 5 July 1941, by the wife of Jack Beasley, then Minister for Supply and Shipping, and was commissioned into the RAN on 23 October 1941.[1]

Operational history[edit]

World War II[edit]

After entering active service, 'Wollongong was deployed as a convoy escort in Australian waters.[1] On 11 January 1942, she was sent to Singapore.[1] The corvette was involved in patrols and the evacuation of Allied personnel from Malaya, Java, and Sumatra, and was the last Australian ship to leave Singapore before it was surrendered to the Japanese on 15 February.[1] She then provided a rear escort to a convoy fleeing Tanjong Priok, Batavia.[1] During this, Wollongong, stood by the tanker HMS War Sidar, which ran aground and eventually had to be abandoned, was forced to sink the minesweeper HMS Gemas, which attempted to turn back to the captured port, and broke off from the convoy to escort the damaged SS British Judge, which was torpedoed on the night of 28 February and could not keep up.[1] The main convoy and the escorting sloop HMAS Yarra was sunk on 4 March by a Japanese cruiser group.[1]

Wollongong was then ordered to Fremantle, where she served as an escort ship before sailing on 14 September to Diego Garcia to join the British Eastern Fleet.[1] She operated in the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and Mediterranean as a convoy escort and patrol vessel, and twice entered the Atlantic Ocean to meet Mediterranean-bound convoys.[1] In September 1943, while in the Mediterranean, Wollongong was called on to shell the beached German submarine U-617, and was awarded partial credit for the submarine's destruction.[1]

Wollongong returned to Australian waters in February 1945, then was assigned to the British Pacific Fleet. The corvette was involved in the Battle of Okinawa.[1] After the end of World War II, Wollongong was sent to the Far East, where she was involved in anti-piracy patrols, before returning to Australia at the end of 1945.[1]

The ship received six battle honours for her wartime service: "Pacific 1942–45", "Indian Ocean 1942–45", "Sicily 1943", "Mediterranean 1943", "East Indies 1943", and "Okinawa 1945".[2][3]

RNN service[edit]

After the end of the war, Wollongong was marked for transfer to the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNN).[1] She was decommissioned in Sydney on 11 February 1946, was recommissioned into the RNN, and renamed HNMLS Banda.[1]

The corvette remained with the RNN until April 1950.

TNI-AL service[edit]

The ship was transferred to the new Indonesian Navy in April 1950, and was renamed KRI Radjawali.[1]

The corvette left service in early 1968, and was scrapped in Hong Kong.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Royal Australian Navy. "HMAS Wollongong (I)". Ships, Boats & Craft. Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  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. 

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