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HMAS Swan suffered her first attack by Japanese bombers while she was evacuating civilians from Amboina in the Moluccas in January 1942. She escaped this attack undamaged.

In February 1942, HMAS Swan was an escort vessel for a convoy of four troopships headed for Timor. The convoy was attacked by 45 Japanese aircraft when it was about 300 miles out from Darwin. They were forced to return to Darwin Harbour after this attack.

HMAS Swan was in Darwin Harbour when the Japanese carried out their first air raid on Darwin on 19 February 1942. There were 3 sailors killed on HMAS Swan during the attack. HMAS Swan manage dto get under way after the Japanese attack had started. The ship was attacked on seven occasions. Several near misses caused damage to HMAS Swan. Three sailors were killed and 19 wounded.


Breen, Alwyn John Signalman    PM2243
Purdon, Albert Samuel Able Seaman H1171
Sault, John Leading Seaman 17910

HMAS Swan left for Brisbane on the 20 February 1942 where she underwent a Refit until May 1942.

HMAS Swan took part in Convoy duties between Australia and New Guinea until October 1943. She was attacked by Japanese aircraft on a number of occasions.

HMAS Swan then underwent another extensive refit from November 1943 until March 1944. She then took part in more Escort and Patrol duties from May 1944 until June 1945. HMAS Swan was in the dockyards when the Japanese surrendered.

In September 1945, the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Forces, General Ito, signed the surrender papers on board HMAS Swan at New Ireland.

HMAS Swan became part of the 20th Minesweeping Flotilla which was reformed on 16 October 1945 to clear mines in Australian, New Guinea and Solomon Island waters after the war.


COMMANDING OFFICERS DURING THE WW2 YEARS                                

Commander Henry A. Showers, ADC, RAN  26 Jan 1939
Lieutenant Commander Edward J. Provost, RN 1 Sep 1939
Lieutenant Commander Alan J. Travis, RAN 15 May 1940
Commander George C. Oldham, RAN 9 Jul 1942
Lieutenant Commander Andrew V. Bunyan, RANR (S) 19 Sep 1943
Lieutenant Commander A.D.C. Inglis, RN 7 Aug 1944
Lieutenant Commander Douglas W. Hodges, RANR (S) 18 Sep 1944
A/Lieutenant Commander William J. Dovers, RAN 10 Feb 1945
Captain Ross V. Wheatley, ADC, RAN 16 Oct 1945



"Wrecks in Darwin Waters"
by Tom Lewis

"For Those in Peril - A comprehensive listing of the Ships and Men of the RAN who have paid the Supreme Sacrifice in the Wars of the 20th Century"
by Vic Cassells

Roll of Honour - Northern Territory Library



I'd like to thank John Richards for his assistance with this web page.


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 Peter Dunn 2015


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This page first produced 18 February 2002

This page last updated 23 October 2015