HMAS Wollongong

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HMAS Wollongong
HMAS Wollongong.jpg
Name HMAS Wollongong
Owner British Admiralty
Builder Cockatoo Docks & Engineering Co, Sydney
Launched 5 Jul 1941
Completed 22 Oct 1941
In service 23 Oct 1941
Out of service 11 Feb 1946
Fate Scrapped in Hong Kong 1968
General characteristics
Type Australian Minesweeper (Corvette)
Tonnage 650 tons
Length 186 feet (56.69m)
Beam 31 feet (9.45m)
Depth 8 feet 6 inches (2.59m)
Propulsion Twin shaft, 2,000 HP
Speed 15 knots
Capacity Crew of 85


One of the 60 minesweepers (corvettes) built in Australia during WW2, Geraldton was one of the twenty built on Admiralty order but crewed and commissioned by the Australian Navy. Laid down on 21 Jan 1941 she was launched on 5 Jul 1941, and commissioned on 23 Oct 1941. As with most of her sister ships she began here service by escorting convoys and carrying out patrols on the east coast.

HHMAS Wollongong sailed from Darwin for Singapore on 11 Jan 1942 and was engaged in escort, patrol and evacuation duties during the Malaya, Singapore, Java, and Sumatra campaigns. She was the last Australian ship to escape Singapore before it fell. Soon after she was part of an escort for a small convoy that left Java. HMAS Wollongong was detached from the escort at one point, and while she subsequently made it to Fremantle, the other ships were sunk by a strong Japanese fleet.

After a period patrolling WA waters she was sent to Diego Garcia to join the Eastern Fleet. Apart from mid 1943 to the end of September 1943 when she served in the Mediterranean, she was to spend more than 2 years with the Eastern Fleet. While detached she was a participant in the invasion of Sicily, and dipped her toes in the Atlantic to receive two convoys that she was to escort. Before returning to the Indian Ocean she was past of a force that shelled a German U-Boat (U-617) that had run aground from their action.

HMAS Wollongong returned to Fremantle on 16 May 1944 for a two month refit before again joining the Eastern Fleet until February 1945. She spent most of the rest of the war in the Manus island waters, north of Papua New Guinea, including participation in the capture of Okinawa between March and May 1945. Following the conclusion of hostilities, she carried out anti-piracy patrols, and then a time based on Morotai. Her service for Australia concluded on 11 Feb 1946 when she paid off in Sydney.

Renamed Banda she served with the Royal Netherlands Navy until April 1950, when she was handed over to the newly created Indonesian Navy, being renamed Radjawali. ‘Jane's Fighting Ships’ reported that Radjawali arrived at Hong Kong in April 1968 for scrapping.

Battle Honours

  • Mediterranean 1940-43
  • East Indies 1940-44
  • Indian Ocean 1941-45
  • Pacific 1941-45
  • Sicily 1943
  • Okinawa 1945

Crew Members