Millionaire’s Yacht’s Naval Service
- December 1972
- Ware, John
- Ship histories and stories
- HMAS Adele, HMAS Franklin
- Originally published in the Naval Historical Review edition (all rights reserved)
HMAS Adele (ex Franklin)
WE ARE ONCE MORE INDEBTED to naval archivist, Mr. John Ware, for this history of HMAS Adele. [The beautiful steam yacht is here depicted in the early 1920s as HMAS Franklin.]
Type – Steam Yacht (Steel) Clipper Bow
Displacement – 350 tons
Tonnage – 288 tons gross; 130.99 tons net
Nominal HP – 68 Single Screw Triple Expansion Steam Engine
Speed – 12 knots
Length – 145 feet (overall)
Beam – 22 feet 4 inches
Draught – 9 feet l0½ inches (mean)
Builder – Hawthorne & Co, Leith, Scotland
Launched – 1906
Adele was purchased from the estate of Henry Dutton, Kapunda, South Australia, by the Australian Commonwealth Government on 31st May 1915, for $21,500. She commissioned as HMAS Franklin, tender to the Royal Australian Naval College, Jervis Bay, on 14th September 1915. She paid off on 31st March 1921, recommissioned on 21st September 1921, and finally paid off for disposal out of the service on 18th September 1922. On 1st of June 1924, she was transferred (as a free gift) to the Administration of the Mandated Territory of New Guinea for the use of the Administrator and served this purpose in New Guinea waters for seven years. In 1932, for reasons of economy, she was laid up at Rabaul (New Britain) and was sold on 7th December 1932 to Mr. W. L. Buckland of Melbourne for $1,652. Subsequently, she was refitted as a private yacht for ocean cruising. Resold to C. H. Relph of Sydney, she lay for some years anchored in Rose Bay, Port Jackson.
On 18th September 1939, Adele was requisitioned for war service by the RAN and commissioned HMAS Adele (Examination Vessel) on 20th October 1939. During World War II she served as a unit of the RAN Examination Service at Sydney and Darwin. In May 1943 she was operating on relief service at Port Kembla, NSW, when, on the night of 7th May during a storm, she collided with a breakwater and became a total wreck. She was named Franklin (1915- 1932) in honour of Sir John Franklin – Naval Officer, explorer and one time Governor of Tasmania.
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