HMAS Wagga

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HMAS Wagga in 1944
HMAS Wagga in 1944
Career (Australia)
Namesake: City of Wagga Wagga, New South Wales
Builder: Morts Dock & Engineering Co in Sydney
Laid down: 8 March 1942
Launched: 25 July 1942
Commissioned: 18 December 1942
Decommissioned: 28 November 1945
Recommissioned: 12 December 1951
Decommissioned: 28 October 1960
Reclassified: Training ship (12 December 1951)
Motto: "Uppermost ever"
Honours and
Battle honours:
New Guinea 1943-44[1]
Fate: Sold for scrap in 1962
General characteristics
Class and type: Bathurst class corvette
Displacement: 815 tons (standard)
Length: 189 ft (58 m)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Draught: 8 ft 4 in (2.54 m)
Propulsion: triple expansion engine, 2 shafts
Speed: 15.5 knots (28.7 km/h)
Complement: 85

1 x 4-inch gun
3 x 20 mm Oerlikons
machine guns
depth charge chutes and throwers

Training ship:
1 x 4-inch gun
1 x 40 mm Bofors

HMAS Wagga (J315), named after the city of Wagga Wagga, New South Wales was one of 60 Bathurst class corvettes constructed during World War II, and one of 36 initially manned and commissioned solely by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).[2] During the war, the ship operated primarily in New Guinea waters.[2] After war service, the corvette was placed in reserve, but she was recommisioned in 1951 as a training vessel, and was repeatedly moved into and out of reserve.[2] Wagga was decommissioned in 1960, making her the last of the Australian-operated corvettes.[2]


Wagga was laid down by Morts Dock & Engineering Co in Sydney, New South Wales on 8 March 1942.[2] She was launched on 25 July 1942 by Mrs H. E. Gissing, the mayor of Wagga Wagga, and commissioned into the RAN on 18 December 1942.[2]

Operational history

World War II

Wagga entered service in January 1943, escorting convoys along the eastern Australian coast.[2] Her area of operations extended into New Guinea in March, before the corvette operated in support of Operation Lilliput until June 1943.[2] During the operation, on 14 April 1943, Wagga and several British and Dutch ships were attacked by over 100 Japanese aircraft. Wagga was not damaged, although several other ships were set on fire.[2] Following Lilliput, she returned to convoy duties until the end of end of 1943.[2]

Wagga visited Williamstown, Victoria for refits over December 1943 and January 1944, before spending the rest of the war operating in New Guinea.[2] Wagga fulfilled many roles in this time; escorting convoys, performing anti-submarine patrols, transporting troops and supplies, and bombarding enemy land positions in support of Allied troops.[2] The ship's service was recognised with the battle honour "New Guinea 1943-44".[1]

At the conclusion of World War II, Wagga sailed for Hong Kong, arriving on 29 August 1945.[2] She remained there until October 1945, conducting mine sweeping and anti-piracy patrols.[2] The corvette returned to Melbourne on 7 November, and was decommissioned into reserve on 28 November.[2]

Training ship

The ship was reactivated and recommisioned as a training ship on 12 December 1951.[2] As well as training reservists and National Service trainees, Wagga was called on to tow the cruiser HMAS Hobart to Newcastle in August 1952, perform patrols of New Guinea in 1954 and 1956, and assist in oceanographic surveys.[2] Wagga underwent several refits and modernisations, and was decommissioned and recommissioned at least six times, one one occasion being in commission for only 11 days.[2]


Wagga decommissioned for the final time on 28 October 1960, after travelling 190,000 nautical miles.[2] She was the last of the Bathurst class to leave Australian service.[2] The corvette was sold to the South Australia Carrying Company for scrapping in March 1962.[2]


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Festberg, Alfred N. (1981). Heraldry in the Royal Australian Navy. Melbourne, VIC: Silverleaf Publishing. p. 71. ISBN 0949746002. OCLC 9780949746009. 
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 "HMAS Wagga". Sea Power Centre Australia. Retrieved 16 December 2008.