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  HMAS Swan (U74)
Grimbsy-class sloop

1,060 Tons (Standard)
1,500 Tons (Full Load)
266' 3" x 36' x 7.5-10'
(Armament 1942)
2x2 QF 4" Mark XVI guns
1 x 40mm AA gun
6 x 20mm AA guns
Depth Charge Throwers

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RAN March 15, 1944

Click For Enlargement
RAN Sept 19, 1945
Ship History
Built by Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney. Laid down May 1, 1935 as Grimbsy-class sloop as one of thirteen sloops built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Launched January 21, 1937 as HMAS Swan (U74) the second ship with that name. Commissioned January 21, 1937 in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) under the command of  Commander Roy R Dowling.

During April 1937 visited New Zealand. In September 1937 visited the Solomon Islands. Between June 1939 until July 1939 visited Timor, Bali, Batavia and Singapore. In September 1939 fitted out as a minesweeper. On December 9, 1939 became the lead ship of the 20th Minesweeping Flotilla with HMAS Yarra, HMAS  Doomba and HMAS Orara and operated off Australia.

In October 1940 HMAS Warrego became the flagship instead. In November 1940 the first enemy mines laid by auxiliary minelayer Passat in Bass Strait were successfully swept. In late 1940 and early 1941, another enemy minefield laid by Passat in Bass Strait was cleared. Another minefield laid by Pinguin off Newcastle, Hobart and Spencer Gulf were cleared sweeping ten sea mines.

Wartime History
During World War II, operated as an escort and patrol vessel escorting convoys off Australia and New Guinea. In late 1941, escorted the Pensacola Convoy.

On January 12, 1942 Swan arrives at Ambon escorting Bantam. Between January 15-16, 1942 while off Ambon targeted by Japanese aircraft for the first time and returned anti-aircraft fire at the attackers. During late January 1942 assigned to the American British Dutch Australian Command (ABDA).

On February 15, 1942 at 2:00am departed Darwin Harbor escorting a convoy bound for Koepang on Timor led by USS Houston with destroyers USS Peary and HMAS Warrego with transports USAT Meigs, USAT Mauna Loa, USS Portmar and MV Tulagi. By 11:00am, the convoy was spotted by a Japanese flying boat and shadowed, dropped bombs that missed then departed. On February 16, 1942 another aircraft arrived at noon and next the convoy was attacked by two waves of bombers and flying boats. Afterwards, Houston launched a seaplane and the convoy aborted their mission and on February 18, 1942 before noon returned to Darwin Harbor.

On February 19, 1942 anchored at Darwin Harbor alongside MV Neptuna when Japanese aircraft attacked Darwin. During the attack, Swan managed to get underway and contributed anti-aircraft fire but was heavily damaged by a near miss bomb that killed three crew member. The next day, HMAS Warrego escorted Swan through Clarence Strait to escape the area and afterwards was repaired.

On September 2, 1942 departed Townsville with HMAS Castlemaine escorting Sea Witch, Taroona, Anshun and s'Jacob bound for Port Moresby. During the voyage, HMAS Arunta joined Swan to escort MV Anshun and s'Jacob to Milne Bay. On September 5, 1942 the convoy held in the China Strait because Japanese warships were expected to attack Milne Bay.

On November 4, 1944 escorted a convoy to Jacquinot Bay.

On January 25, 1945 participates in operations against Halmahera Island in cooperation with Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft.

Under the command of Lieutenant W. J. Dovers.

On February 26, 1945 provided 4" gunfire support for Australian Army operations at But-Kuak area of New Guinea. On February 28, 1945 embarked Australian Army Major General Jack E. S. Stevens, commander 6th Division.

On September 19, 1945 Swan anchors in Fangalawa Bay at Namatanai on New Ireland. A Japanese delegation led by Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) General Ito commander Japanese forces on New Ireland was embarked to surrender to Australian Army Major General Kenneth W. Eather, commander 11th Division. Afterwards, embarked seven Europeans found alive in the Namatanai area: Rudolf Diercke at Namatanai and Father Gerard Peekel and five Catholic nuns Sisters M. Brigitta, M. Aquilina, M. Arkadia, M. Gustava and M. Aggesta and transported to Rabaul.

For her World War II service, Swan earned three battle honors including Darwin 1942, Pacific 1941–45 and New Guinea 1943–44.

During late 1945 until August 1948 Swan was the lead ship of the 20th Minesweeping Flotilla performing minesweeping operations off Australian and New Guinea. On Agusut 18, 1950 placed into reserve. Starting in October 1954 until February 1956 converted into a training vesseland recommissioned on February 10, 1956. On September 20, 1962 decommissioned. On June 5, 1964 sold to Hurley and Dewhurst.

On June 5, 1964 sold to Hurley and Dewhurst in Sydney and broken up for scrap.

Royal Australian Navy - HMAS Swan (II)

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Last Updated
February 16, 2021


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