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  HMAS Whyalla (J153) (Rip)
RAN
Bathurst class corvette

733 Tons
186' x 31' x 8.5'
1 x 4" Mark IX gun
3 x 20mm cannon (later 2)
1 x Bofors (installed later)
Machine guns
Depth charge chutes and throwers

PacificWrecks.com
RAN March 15, 1944

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Whyalla Maritime Museum 2000s
Ship History
Built by Broken Hill Pty Co Ltd. Laid down July 24, 1940 as Bathurst class corvette. Launched May 12, 1941 as HMAS Whyalla (J153) named for the city of Whyalla in South Australia in Australia. Commissioned January 8, 1942 in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Wartime History
During 1942 supported convoys operating off southeastern Australia. During the night of May 31, 1942 to June 1, 1942 during the Japanese midget submarine attack in Sydney Harbor. Twelve days later, escorting a southbound convoy when the freighter Guatemala was torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-21, the only ship lost in a convoy escorted by Whyalla.

During December 1942, operated off New Guinea and performed convoy escort, hydrographic survey work. On January 2, 1943, Whyalla and two small Australian survey ships were attacked by Japanese dive-bombers while in McLaren Harbour on Cape Nelson. The corvette sustained minor damage from near miss bombs with two crew injured by shrapnel.

Afterwards, continued survey work until relieved by sister ship Shepparton in April 1943. Whyalla proceeded to Milne Bay, and was present when the anchorage was attacked by a force of approximately 100 Japanese aircraft. Again, Whyalla was not seriously damaged, and the corvette assisted sister ships Kapunda and Wagga during rescue and salvage effort.

In June 1943 returns to Australia for a refit then assigned to convoy duty off the east coast of Australia until February 1944. Between February 1944 until June 1944, performed anti-submarine patrols off Sandy Cape, then was returned to New Guinea. During June 1944 undergoes a short refit in Australia.

During December 1944, Whyalla was one of nine Australian Bathurst class corvette assigned to the British Pacific Fleet's 21st Minesweeping Flotilla. Afterwards, performs minesweeping duties, escort and anti-submarine duties with the Royal Navy (RN) Pacific Fleet. Between March 1945 until May 1945 operates off Okinawa.

Postwar
After the end of hostilities, operates from Hong Kong. During October 1945 returns to Brisbane. On May 16, 1946 decommissioned. On February 10, 1947 sold to the Victorian Public Works Department and afterwards modified for civilian service and renamed "Rip" then towed to Melbourne and used as a lighthouse maintenance vessel based at Port Phillip Bay until 1984.

Fate
During 1984 sold for scrap and afterward broken up.

Memorials
Whyalla is recognized on a memorial plaque In memory of those who served HMA Ships [location unknown] dedicated by the RAN Corvette Associations of Australia in recognition of each of the 56 Australian built Second World War RAN corvettes.

Display
In 1984, she was purchased by Whyalla City Council, who put her on display as a landlocked museum ship in 1987 at the Whyalla Maritime Museum.

References
Whyalla Maritime Museum - HMAS Whyalla
Whyalla Maritime Museum - The Ship HMAS Whyalla via Wayback Machine February 27, 2015

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Last Updated
March 19, 2021

 

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