HMAS Murchison (K442)

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Hmas murchison.jpg
HMAS Murchison operating off the coast of Korea, circa 1951–52
Name: Murchison
Namesake: Murchison River
Builder: Evans Deakin and Company, Brisbane, Queensland
Laid down: 3 June 1943
Launched: 31 October 1944
Commissioned: 17 December 1945
Decommissioned: 15 April 1954
Motto: "With Undaunted Heart"
Honours and
  • Battle honours:
  • Korea 1951–52
Fate: Sold for scrap
General characteristics
Class and type: Modified River (Bay)-class frigate
Displacement: 1,537 tons (standard), 2,200 tons (full load)
Length: 301 ft (92 m)
Beam: 36 ft (11 m)
Draught: 12 ft (3.7 m)
Propulsion: Triple expansion, 2 shafts, 5,500 ihp (4,100 kW)
Speed: 19.5 knots (36.1 km/h; 22.4 mph)
Complement: 175

HMAS Murchison (K442/F442) was a Modified River or Bay-class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The ship was laid down in 1943, but not commissioned until after the end of World War II. Murchison fought in the Korean War, was decommissioned in 1956, and sold for scrap in 1961.


Murchison was one of four Bay-class frigates constructed in Australia during World War II, being laid down by Evans Deakin and Company Limited in Brisbane on 3 June 1943. She was launched on 31 October 1944, and commissioned into the RAN on 17 December 1945. She was named for the Murchison River in Western Australia.[1]

Operational history[edit]

Completed too late in the war to take part in the fighting, Murchison began her career by visiting Morotai, Ternate, and the Celebes for surveillance duties and War Graves Commission tasks, before sailing to Japan and joining the British Commonwealth Occupation Force. The frigate returned to Australia in May 1946.[1]

Murchison later saw extensive operational service during the Korean War and was involved in the Naval Battle of Han River on 28–30 September 1951, during which she was heavily engaged by Chinese shore installations while conducting riverine operations. Four sailors were wounded in the encounter, while Murchison destroyed a number of Chinese gun positions.[2] The frigate was awarded the battle honour "Korea 1951–52" for her actions during the war.[3][4]

On 3 October 1952, Murchison was present of the Montebello Islands for the Operation Hurricane nuclear weapons test.[5]


Murchison paid off on 31 January 1956 and she was sold for scrap on 21 September 1961.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "HMAS Murchison". Sea Power Centre Australia. Retrieved 15 September 2008. 
  2. ^ Coulthard-Clark 2001, p. 265.
  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" (PDF). Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Trembath, Brendan (3 October 2012). "Atom bomb veterans remember life-changing blast". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 


  • Coulthard-Clark, Chris (2001). The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles (Second ed.). Crows Nest: Allen and Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-634-7. 

External links[edit]