HMAS Deloraine (J232/M232)
, named for the town of Deloraine, Tasmania
, was one of 60 Bathurst class corvettes
constructed during World War II, and one of 36 initially manned and commissioned solely by the Royal Australian Navy
Deloraine was laid down at Morts Dock & Engineering Co in Balmain, New South Wales on 19 March 1941. She was launched on 26 July 1941 by Dame Mary Hughes, wife of the Minister for the Navy, and commissioned into the RAN on 22 November 1941.
World War II
After commissioning, Deloraine
sailed to Darwin, where she was based for the first part of her career as a convoy escort and anti-submarine patrol vessel. On 20 January 1942, following reports from the United States destroyer USS Edsall
that a Japanese submarine was in the area. The submarine, I-124
of the Imperial Japanese Navy
tried and failed to torpedo Deloraine
at 1:35 pm, with Deloraine
locating the submarine on asdic
and dropping her full load of depth charges over the course of the afternoon. Sister ships HMAS Katoomba
and HMAS Lithgow
arrived in the area; the two ships continuing to patrol and depth-charge the area while Deloraine
reloaded. They were successful, and the four ships were jointly credited with the kill of I-124
—the first enemy submarine to be sunk in Australian waters.
The ship was present in Darwin Harbour during the Japanese bombing of Darwin in February 1942. She was undamaged by the attack and assisted in rescue and recovery operations. On 5 March, Deloraine was attacked on several occasions by a Japanese flying boat, but was again undamaged.
In July 1942, the corvette returned to Sydney, and spent the next twenty months escorting supply convoys from Sydney to Newcastle, Brisbane, and New Guinea. In April 1943, Deloraine rescued 19 survivors from the torpedoed merchant ship Lydia M. Child. On 16 June 1943, Portmar and LST 469 were torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine: the only two ships lost in the convoys Deloraine was attached to during her entire service history.
In May 1944, Deloraine was redeployed to New Guinea waters for escort, patrol, and troop transport duties. She carried out bombardments in support of several Allied landings in New Guina. At the end of April 1945, the corvette sailed to Brisbane for refits: hostilities ended while she was in dock.
After refitting, Deloraine
was used to transport an occupation force from Morotai
, then returned to Sydney and commenced clearing minefields off the New South Wales coast. For the first half of 1946, Deloraine
was assigned to New Britain, again clearing minefields. She was paid off into reserve on 4 November 1946, but was recommissioned on 16 December, and recommenced minesweeping duties along the Australian coast.
Decommissioning and fate
was paid off into reserve at Fremantle, Western Australia
on 30 June 1948. She was sold for scrap to the Hong Kong Delta Shipping Company on 8 August 1956.