HMAS Echuca (J252/M252)
, named for the town of Echuca, Victoria
, 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
was laid down by HMA Naval Dockyard
at Williamstown, Victoria
on 22 February 1941. She was launched on 17 January 1942 by Lady Royle, wife of Fist Naval Member Sir Guy Royle
, and commissioned into the RAN on 7 September 1942.
World War II
’s initial role was as an anti-submarine partol and convoy escort vessel alon the eastern Australia coast and in New Guinea waters. She stayed in this role from October 1942 until August 1944, when she was ordered to Darwin and attached to the United States Seventh Fleet
's Survey Group. She performed survey duties until the end of World War II, when she was refitted with minesweeping gear in Brisbane and assigned to the 20th Minesweeping Flotilla. The Flotilla was responsible for clearing minefields set up in the waters of Australia, New Guinea, New Britain, and the Solomon Islands.
Echuca was paid off into Reserve in August 1946, but recommissioned in January 1947 for mine clearance work in the Great Barrier Reef. The corvette performed this duty until August 1947, and in November 1947 towed the decommissioned corvette HMAS Inverell to Sydney. Echuca was decommissioned again in Fremantle on 29 June 1948. At the end of April 1952, the corvette was sailed to Melbourne.
On 5 March 1952, Echuca
and three other Bathurst
class corvettes (HMA Ships Inverell
, and Stawell
) were transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy
(RNZN). She was commissioned into the RNZN on 7 June 1952, and received the prefix HMNZS.
The corvette remained in service with the RNZN until 1967. She was sold to Pacific Scrap Limited of Auckland for scrapping on 11 April 1967.