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The 650 tons Bathurst Class AMS Corvette, HMAS Warrnambool was launched on 8 May 1941. She joined the 20th Minesweeping Flotilla after her sea trials for 3 months of patrols and anti-submarine duties in Bass Strait before moving to the northern parts of Australia.

HMAS Warrnambool was in Darwin Harbour on 19 February 1942 when the Japanese carried out their first air raid on Darwin. HMAS Warrnambool was lucky to escape damage and suffered no casualties.

On 20 February 1942 HMAS Warrnambool rescued 73 survivors from the Filipino vessel Don Isidro which had been badly damaged and set ablaze by the Japanese attackers near Bathurst Island. While they were rescuing the survivors a Japanese float plane bombed HMAS Warrnambool. Again there was no damage.

HMAS Warrnambool visited Cairns during January and April 1942 for fuel and supplies.  The ship had cleared 325 mines in waters along the North Queensland coast both during and after the war. Then on 13 September 1947, it hit a mine and sank off North Cockburn Reef with the loss of four lives.

The mines had been laid by HMAS Bungaree in 1943.


Australian Coastline mined during WW2
by the Allies, the Japanese and the Germans



"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

Bradley, Vera (1943 AAMWS), "I Didn't Know that - Cairns and Districts Tully to Cape York, 1939-1946, Service Personnel and Civilians", Boolarong Press, 1995


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This page first produced 18 February 2002

This page last updated 16 December 2017