Allied Warships

HMAS Wollongong (J 172)

Minesweeper of the Bathurst class

NavyThe Royal Australian Navy
PennantJ 172 
Built byCockatoo Docks and Engineering Co. Ltd. (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) 
Ordered29 Jul 1940 
Laid down29 Jan 1941 
Launched5 Jul 1941 
Commissioned23 Oct 1941 
End service11 Feb 1946 

Decommissioned on 11 February 1946.
Transferred to the Royal Netherlands Navy being renamed Banda.
In April 1950 Banda was transferred to the Indonesian Navy being renamed Radjawali.


Commands listed for HMAS Wollongong (J 172)

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1T/Lt. Gordon Alexander Keith, RANR(S)27 Jul 19417 Mar 1943
2Lt. Thomas Hartley Smith, RANR(S)8 Mar 1943

3T/Lt. John Hare, RANR(S)26 Jun 194411 Feb 1946

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Notable events involving Wollongong include:

12 Sep 1943
German U-boat U-617 was beached, in the Mediterranean Sea near Melilla, in position 35°13'N, 03°21'W, after being damaged by depth charges from two British Wellington aircraft (179 Sqn RAF). The wreck was subsequently attacked by British Hudson aircraft (48 and 233 Sqn RAF) and two British Swordfish aircraft (833 and 886 Sqn FAA) and finally destroyed by gunfire from the British corvette HMS Hyacinth (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Hayes, DSO, RN) and the Australian minesweeper HMAS Wollongong (Lt. T.H. Smith, RANR(S)).

26 Jan 1945
Ships belonging to the Fleet Train of the British Pacific Fleet departed Trincomalee for Fremantle. These were the destroyer deport ship Tyne (Capt. S. Boucher, RN), repairs ships HMS Resource (Capt.(Retd.) D.B. O’Connell, RN), Artifex (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN) and the target ship HMS Lewes (T/Lt. M.H. Grylls, SANF(V)). The tanker Battle Rock (American, 10448 GRT, built 1944) was also in company with these ships.

Escort was provided by the heavy cruiser London and the minesweepers HMAS Cairns (T/Lt. N.G. Weber, RANR(S)), HMAS Cessnock (Lt. A.G. Chapman, RANR(S)), HMAS Gawler (Lt.Cdr. J.H.P. Dixon, RANR(S)), HMAS Geraldton (Cdr. J.K. Walton, RAN), HMAS Ipswich (T/Lt. R.H. Creasey, RANR(S)), HMAS Tamworth (T/Lt. D.B. Lloyd-Jones, RANR(S)) and HMAS Wollongong (T/Lt. J. Hare, RANR(S)).

They arrived at Fremantle on 9 February 1945. (1)

10 Aug 1945
HMS Virtue (Lt. R.D. Cairns, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Sydney with (at least) HMAS Wollongong (T/Lt. J. Hare, RANR(S)). (2)


  1. ADM 199/1457
  2. ADM 173/20293

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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