On this day:

1946-1959 > Post WW2

12 Jan 1946

The River class frigate HMAS BARWON, was commissioned. BARWON was laid down in Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney, on 31 May 1943, and launched on 3 August 1944.

20 Feb 1946

The armament store-carrier HMAS WOOMERA, was commissioned. WOOMERA was allocated to the Australian Army, and named ASHBURTON, and taken over by the RAN on 23 January 1946.

22 Feb 1946

The modified River class frigate HMAS CONDAMINE, (LCDR R. J. Hodge, RAN), was commissioned. CONDAMINE was laid down in the State Dockyard, Newcastle, NSW, on 30 October 1943, and launched on 4 November 1944.

26 Feb 1946

HMAS ADELAIDE, (light cruiser), was paid off for breaking up.

03 Mar 1946

HMAS TOLGA, (auxiliary minesweeper), was scuttled off New Guinea by HMAS CONDAMINE.

01 Apr 1946

HMAS TOLGA, (auxiliary minesweeper), was scuttled in New Guinea waters “because she had deteriorated so badly it was considered dangerous to attempt to run her home”.

05 Apr 1946

HMAS GAWLER, (minesweeper), was paid off for transfer to the Turkish Navy. The ship was renamed AYVALIK, and remained in service until 1963.

27 Apr 1946

HMAS STUART, (destroyer), the famous ‘Leader of the Crocks’, was paid off at Sydney for disposal. She was later broken up at Ryde Sydney.

30 Apr 1946

The total number of gallantry awards made to RAN personnel between 3 September 1939, and 30 April 1946, was 1107. This number included 28 awards bestowed by the USA, four by the Netherlands, and four by Greece. 29 awards were won by RN personnel serving in Australian ships.

Battle casualties suffered by the RAN in the period 3 September 1939, to 30 April 1946, totalled 2608. Officers – 183 killed, 75 wounded; Ratings – 1780 killed, 3 missing, 63 died as POWs, 504 wounded.

01 May 1946

The destroyer HMAS QUIBERON, (CMDR G. Knox, RAN), towed the Japanese submarine I-205 from Kure to sea, where she was subsequently scuttled.

02 May 1946

The modified River class frigate HMAS SHOALHAVEN, (CMDR R. Rhoades, RAN), was commissioned. SHOALHAVEN was laid down at Walker’s Yard, Maryborough, QLD, on 1 December 1943, and launched on 14 December 1944.

31 May 1946

HMAS DIAMANTINA, (frigate), towed ASR912 from Manus Island to Sydney.

08 Jun 1946

The Dutch submarine K9 was wrecked off Seal Rocks, NSW, while under tow to the Netherlands East Indies.

16 Jun 1946

The diesel tug HMAS MOLLYMAWK, was commissioned. MOLLYMAWK was laid down in Poole & Steel Ltd, Sydney, and launched on 3 May 1946.

01 Jul 1946

The landing ships tank Mark III, LST 3008, LST 3014, LST 3017, (TARAKAN), LST 3022, LST 3035, (LAE), and LST 3501, (LABUAN), were commissioned into the RAN. They were designated the 10th (Australian) LST Flotilla. The six vessels were laid down in different yards:-LST 3008 in Harland & Wolff, Belfast, N. Ireland.LST 3014 in Barclay Curle, Glasgow, Scotland.LST 3017 in Hawthorn, Leslie, Hebburn-on-Tyne, England.LST 3022 in Lithgows, Port Glasgow, Scotland.LST 3035 in W. Denny, Dumbarton, Scotland.LST 3501 in Canadian Vickers, Montreal, Canada.

06 Jul 1946

HMA Ships QUADRANT and QUEENBOROUGH, (destroyers), were docked in the Captain Cook Graving Dock at Garden Island. They were the first ships of the RAN to use the dock. All previous dockings were of ships of the British Pacific Fleet.

17 Jul 1946

LEUT J. F. Bell, RAN, qualified as the first officer in the RAN to be trained in ship construction. He achieved the highest marks in his course.

30 Jul 1946

The diesel tug HMAS EMU, was commissioned. EMU was laid down in Mort’s Dock, Sydney, and launched on 25 June 1946.

06 Aug 1946

HMAS PIRIE, (minesweeper), was transferred to the Turkish Navy, and renamed AMASRA.

07 Aug 1946

HMAS IPSWICH, (minesweeper), was transferred to the Netherlands Navy and renamed MOROTAI.

08 Aug 1946

HMAS TOWNSVILLE, (minesweeper), was sold out of service for breaking up.

10 Aug 1946

HMAS GAWLER, (minesweeper), was transferred to the Turkish Navy and renamed AYVALIK.

14 Aug 1946

HMAS KALGOORLIE, (minesweeper), was transferred to the Netherlands Navy and renamed TERNATE.

21 Aug 1946

HMAS BROOME, (minesweeper), was transferred to the Turkish Navy and renamed ALANYA.

27 Aug 1946

The diesel tug HMAS BRONZEWING, was commissioned. BRONZEWING was laid down in Mort’s Dock, Sydney, and launched on 2 February 1946.

19 Sep 1946

HMAS WESTRALIA, (landing ship infantry), was paid off and returned to her owners.

24 Sep 1946

The merchant ship BANTAM was sunk as a gunnery target off Sydney by HMAS CONDAMINE, (frigate).

30 Sep 1946

Three seamen from HMAS QUIBERON, (destroyer), were washed overboard during exercise off Port Phillip, VIC. Despite immediate action to recover the sailors, two, Ordinary Seamen, D.R. Egglestone and C. E. Revitt, were lost.

03 Feb 1947

HMAS STUART, (destroyer), was sold out of service and broken up at Ryde, Sydney.

16 Mar 1947

HMAS GOULBURN, (minesweeper), was sold out of service and renamed BENITA.

01 Apr 1947

The modified River class frigate HMAS CULGOA, (CMDR H. L. Gunn, RAN), was commissioned. CULGOA was laid down at Williamstown Naval Dockyard, VIC on 15 July 1943, and launched on 22 September 1945. Mrs Showers, (Wife of CAPT H. A. Showers, RAN), performed the launching ceremony. She was to have originally to have been called Macquarie, but the name was changed while she was still on the stocks.

03 Apr 1947

HMAS STUART, (destroyer), was sold out of service for breaking up. The keel of the ship is now buried in Kissing Point Bay, Sydney. A plaque put in place by Ryde Council marks the place.

Correction:26 February 2015
Previously it was stated the the hull of HMAS Stuart “is now buried in the mud below Ryde Bridge, Sydney.” This was incorrect.

20 May 1947

HMAS QUICKMATCH, (destroyer), arrived at Nanking with Professor Copeland, the newly appointed Australian Ambassador to China and his staff. QUICKMATCH was the first ship of the RAN to visit the port.

03 Jul 1947

The Australian Government approved the establishment of the RAN Fleet Air Arm.

10 Jul 1947

HMAS BALLARAT, (minesweeper), was sold out of service and renamed CARMENCITA.

13 Sep 1947

HMAS WARRNAMBOOL, (minesweeper), sank after striking an Allied laid mine near Cockburn Reef, QLD. Two of the ship’s complement were killed in the initial explosion, and a third was drowned. Twenty-six sailors were injured. Survivors were picked up by HMAS SWAN, (sloop). WARRNAMBOOL was listed as a war loss because Australia was still technically at war with Japan.

31 Oct 1947

LST 3501, (renamed HMAS LABUAN on 16 December, 1948), LCDR G. M. Dixon, RANVR, in command, sailed from Sydney on the first of seven voyages to Antarctica.

14 Nov 1947

HMAS WHYALLA, (minesweeper), was transferred to the Melbourne Harbour Board and renamed RIP. The previous vessel of this name was the Queensland gunboat PALUMA.

17 Nov 1947

The Antarctic Research Vessel HMAS WYATT EARP, (CMDR K. E. Oom, OBE, RAN), was commissioned. As FANEFJORD, (wooden steamer), she was laid down in Norway in 1919. Purchased, and re-named WYATT EARP by US millionaire Lincoln Ellsworth in 1933, she made several runs to the Antarctic. In 1939 the Australian Government purchased her for Antarctic exploration, then re-named HMAS WONGALA for WWII service. WYATT EARP made seven voyages to the Antarctic for ANARE, 1947-1948.

21 Nov 1947

Nine members of the crew of HMAS TARAKAN, (landing ship tank), were injured, when a box of fuses in a cargo of obsolete ammunition, being dumped off Sydney Heads, exploded.

'On This Day' is based on the book "Navy Day by Day: Historic Naval Events in Australia and Abroad" written by the late Lew Lind. More information.

Browse entries