HMAS Yarra (U77)

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HMAS Yarra
Career (Australia (RAN)) Naval Ensign of Australia.svg
Namesake: Yarra River
Builder: Cockatoo Island Dockyard
Laid down: 24 May 1934
Launched: 28 March 1935
Commissioned: 19 December 1935
Motto: "Hunt and Strike"
Honours and
Battle honours:
Libya 1941[1]
Fate: sunk by Japanese cruisers Atago and Takao 300 mile south of Java on 4 March 1942
Badge: HMAS yarra crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Grimsby class sloop
Displacement: 1,060 tons (standard), 1,515 tons (full load)
Length: 266 ft (81 m)
Beam: 36 ft (11 m)
Draught: 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m)
Propulsion: Parsons, steam turbines, 2 shafts. 2,000 shp
Speed: 16.5 knots
Complement: 135
Armament: 3 x QF 4-inch (101.6 mm) Mk XVI anti-aircraft guns
4 x QF 3 pounder guns
1 x MG
2 x Depth Charge Throwers
2 x twin tubes for 21 inch torpedoes

HMAS Yarra (U77), named for the Yarra River, was a Grimsby class sloop of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) that served during World War II. Commissioned in 1936, Yarra remained in service until 4 March 1942, when she was sunk while defending a convoy from five Japanese warships.


Yarra was laid down by the Cockatoo Island Dockyard at Sydney, New South Wales on 24 May 1934, launched on 28 March 1935 by Mrs Parkhill, wife of Archdale Parkhill, Minister for Defence, and commissioned into the RAN on 21 January 1936.

Operational history


Early on 4 March 1942, Yarra, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Robert William Rankin RAN, was escorting a convoy near Tjilatjap in the Indian Ocean. Yarra was attacked by the Japanese cruisers Atago, Takao, and Maya, which were accompanied by two destroyers of Japanese Destroyer Division 4: Arashi and Nowaki.

Commander Rankin ordered the convoy to scatter and ordered Yarra to turn and engage the enemy. The sloop was able to engage the Japanese ships for over an hour and a half, before she sank with the loss of 138 of the 172 aboard at the time (Yarra had rescued survivors from the Dutch ship Parigi the day before). Of the 34 survivors, 13 were rescued by Dutch submarine K-XI five days after the sinking, while 21 either died on the liferafts or were never seen again.

Australian War Memorial historian Daniel Oakman wrote that the defence mounted by Yarra was "widely regarded as one of the bravest acts in Australian naval history".[citation needed]

See also


  1. Festberg, Alfred N. (1981). Heraldry in the Royal Australian Navy. Melbourne, VIC: Silverleaf Publishing. p. 73. ISBN 0949746002. OCLC 9780949746009. 
  • Warships of Australia, Ross Gillett, Illustrations Colin Graham, Rigby Limited, 1977, ISBN 0-7270-0472-7

External links

de:HMAS Yarra (U77) pl:HMAS Yarra (1936)