HMAS Parkes

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HMAS Parkes
HMAS Parkes
Namesake: Town of Parkes, New South Wales
Builder: Evans Deakin & Co in Brisbane
Laid down: 16 March 1943
Launched: 30 October 1943
Commissioned: 25 May 1944
Decommissioned: 17 December 1945
Motto: "Equals with Equals"
Honours and
Fate: Sold for scrap in 1957
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, 2,000 horsepower
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) at 1,750 hp
Complement: 85
Armament: 1 × 4 inch Mk XIX gun, 3 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannons, Machine guns, Depth charges chutes and throwers

HMAS Parkes (J361), named for the town of Parkes, New South Wales, was one of 60 Bathurst-class corvettes constructed in Australia during World War II, and one of 36 initially manned and commissioned by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).[1]

Design and construction[edit]

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.[2][3] 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)[4] 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.[2][5] Construction of the prototype HMAS Kangaroo did not go ahead, but the plans were retained.[6] 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 Parkes) ordered by the RAN, 20 ordered by the British Admiralty but manned and commissioned as RAN vessels, and 4 for the Royal Indian Navy.[2][7][8][9][1]

Parkes was laid down by Evans Deakin and Company at Brisbane on 16 March 1943.[1] She was launched on 30 October 1943 by Mrs Brown, wife of the President of the Senate, and commissioned into the RAN on 25 May 1944.[1] The ship was originally to be named Mudgee, for the town of Mudgee, New South Wales.[10]

Operational history[edit]

The corvette earned two battle honours for her wartimes service: "Pacific 1944" and "New Guinea 1944".[11][12]


Parkes paid off to reserve on 17 December 1945 in Fremantle, Western Australia.[1] The vessel was sold for scrap to Hong Kong Rolling Mills Ltd on 2 May 1957.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "HMAS Parkes (I)". Sea Power Centre Australia. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2008.
  2. ^ a b c Stevens, The Australian Corvettes, p. 1
  3. ^ Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, p. 103.
  4. ^ Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, pp. 103–104.
  5. ^ Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, pp. 103–105.
  6. ^ Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, p. 104.
  7. ^ Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, pp. 105, 148.
  8. ^ Donohue, From Empire Defence to the Long Haul, p. 29.
  9. ^ Stevens et al., The Royal Australian Navy, p. 108.
  10. ^ Straczek, Joe (Winter 2003). "What's in a name: a chronological list - part 2". Australian Sea Heritage. Australian Heritage Fleet (75): 13. ISSN 0813-0523.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "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.


  • 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). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2010.