HMAS Kalgoorlie

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HMAS Kalgoorlie.jpg
HMAS Kalgoorlie in Sydney Harbour during World War II
Career (Australia)
Namesake: City of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Builder: Broken Hill Pty Co Ltd
Laid down: 27 July 1940
Launched: 7 August 1941
Commissioned: 7 April 1942
Decommissioned: 8 May 1946
Honours and
Battle honours:
Darwin 1942–43
Pacific 1942–43
New Guinea 1943–44
Okinawa 1945
Fate: Transferred to RNN
Career (Netherlands)
Name: Ternate
Acquired: 8 May 1946
Commissioned: 8 May 1946
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
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) at 1,750 hp
Complement: 85
Armament: 1 × 4-inch gun, 3 × Oerlikons, 1 × Bofors, Machine guns, Depth charges chutes and throwers

HMAS Kalgoorlie (J192/B245/A119), named for the city of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, 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]


Kalgoorlie was laid down by Broken Hill Pty Co Ltd at Whyalla, South Australia on 27 July 1940.[1] She was launched on 7 August 1941 by the wife of Thomas Playford IV, then Premier of South Australia, and was commissioned into the RAN on 7 April 1942.[1]

Operational history[edit]

RAN service[edit]

After completing trials, Kalgoorlie was assigned as a convoy escort.[1] Initially operating along the east coast of Sydney, the corvette was moved to Darwin in August 1942 and taken with convoys between Australia, Thursday Island, and Timor.[1] On 25 September, Kalgoorlie and sister ship HMAS Warrnambool evacuated the ship's company of the destroyer HMAS Voyager, which had run aground at Betano Bay two days before.[1] In early December, Kalgoorlie was involved in the search for survivors from sister ship HMAS Armidale, which had been sunk by Japanese aircraft on 1 December.[1] Kalgoorlie eventually recovered 49 of the survivors.[1]

In April 1943, the corvette returned to the east coast of Australia, still operating as a convoy escort.[1] On 15 June, a thirteen-ship convoy heading for Brisbane and escorted by Kalgoorlie and sister ships HMAS Bundaberg, HMAS Cootamundra, HMAS Deloraine, and HMAS Warrnambool, was attacked off Smoky Cape.[1] The United States Army Transport Portmar and the US Navy Landing ship LST-469 were torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-174: the former sinking in minutes with the loss of only two lives, while 26 were killed aboard the latter ship, which survived and was towed to port.[1][2] Despite attempts to locate the submarine immediately after the attack, and a multiple-day search performed by Kalgoorlie, I-174 escaped unharmed.[1] This was the last submarine attack to be made on the east coast of Australia during World War II.[2]

Kalgoorlie spent the first half of 1944 as a convoy escort between Queensland and New Guinea, then joined sister ship HMAS Pirie in clearing the minefields laid by HMAS Bungaree throughout the Great Barrier Reef during the early part of the war.[1] During August and September, the two corvettes located and destroyed almost 500 mines.[1] Kalgoorlie spent the rest of the year on convoy escort duties, before joining the British Pacific Fleet at the end of 1944.[1] The corvette operated with the Pacific Fleet until 15 July 1945, when she arrived in Brisbane for a refit.[1] Kalgoorlie was still undergoing refit when the war ended.[1] After the refit, the corvette operated in New Guinea and Australian waters until early May 1946.

The corvette was awarded four battle honours for her wartime service: "Darwin 1942–43", "Pacific 1942–43", "New Guinea 1943–44", and "Okinawa 1945".[3][4]

RNN service[edit]

Kalgoorlie paid off on 8 May 1946, and was recommissioned on the same day into the Royal Netherlands Navy as HNLMS Ternate.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "HMAS Kalgoorlie (I)". HMA Ship Histories. Sea Power Centre – Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 26 December 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Gill, George Hermon (1968). Royal Australian Navy, 1942–1945 (PDF). Australia in the War of 1939–1945, Series 2, Volume II. Canberra: Australian War Memorial. pp. 261–2. OCLC 65475. NLA registry number Aus 68-1798. Retrieved 14 May 2007. 
  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. 

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