- Lind, L.J.
- Ship histories and stories
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Bingera, HMAS Rockhampton, HMAS Canberra I, HMAS Whyalla I, HMAS Yandra, HMAS Kybra, HMAS Kalgoorlie, HMAS Doomba, HMAS Arunta I
- September 1984 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
IT IS A PLEASURE to present a pictorial profile of a ship that served the Royal Australian Navy in comparative obscurity. HMAS Bingera, according to the official histories, never fired a shot in anger; yet her five years of plodding service as an auxiliary anti-submarine vessel typifies the silent contribution of so many small ships.
She was built at Dumbarton, Scotland in 1935 by the famous firm of shipbuilders, Denny Bros., for the Australian Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. Her dimensions were: 922 tons, 200 foot long and 34 foot beam. Her speed was a modest 12 knots.
In the years 1936 to 1939 she was engaged in the Queensland coastal trade and soon after the declaration of war was taken up by the Navy as an auxiliary anti- submarine vessel. She was converted at Garden Island and armed with one 4 inch and one 2 pounder guns. Fully armed she carried 60 depth charges.
HMAS Bingera was commissioned on 5 February 1940.
During 1940-41 she was engaged in anti- submarine patrols and training off the east coast. On 31 May 1942 she was ‘stand off’ ship in Sydney Harbour when the Japanese Navy launched its midget submarine at-tack. During the action HMAS Bingera patrolled between Garden Island and Farm Cove screening the cruiser HMAS Canberra. Although one of the midget submarines passed within 100 metres of the ship no sighting was recorded.
On the evening of 3 June Bingera was ordered to sea to search for survivors from the BHP ore carrier Iron Chieftain torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese submarine I-21 27 miles east of Sydney. A raft from the ship was sighted at 3.30 a.m. on 4 June and 12 survivors including the ship’s Chief Officer were picked up.
Bingera, together with HMA ships Doomba, Rockhampton, Yandra, Whyalla, Kybra, Arunta, Kalgoorlie and HMIS Bombay, was a part of the first convoy escort group formed on the east coast. It commenced escorting on 8 June 1942.
In 1944-45 she operated in New Guinea waters patrolling from Port Moresby to the north coast.
HMAS Bingera was paid off on 12 August 1946. She was returned to the Australian Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. who sold her to ICI who renamed her Taranui. She continued in Australian waters until 1971 when she was sold to a Panamanian syndicate who renamed her Locilina.