HMAS
Fremantle
(II)

HMAS Fremantle (II)
Class
Fremantle Class
Type
Patrol Boat (PB)
Pennant
P203
International Callsign
VLRA
Motto
Incorruptible
Builder
Brooke Marine Shipyard, Lowestoft, England
Laid Down
11 November 1978
Launched
16 February 1979
Launched by
Lady Freeth, Wife of Australian High Commissioner
Commissioned
17 March 1980
Decommissioned
11 August 2006
Dimensions & Displacement
Displacement 250 tonnes
Length 42 meters
Beam 7.15 meters
Draught 1.8 meters
Performance
Speed 24 knots
Range 2,360 nautical miles at 12 knots
Complement
Crew 24
Propulsion
Machinery
  • Two MTU 538 series 16-cylinder main propulsion engines
  • One Dorman 12-cylinder auxiliary propulsion engine
Horsepower 6,140
Armament
Guns
  • 40/60 Bofors general purpose gun
  • 2 x .50 calibre (12.7mm) machine guns
Awards
Inherited Battle Honours
HMAS Fremantle (II) Badge

Fremantle and her 14 sister FCPBs were the Navy's principal contribution to the nation's fisheries protection, immigration, customs and drug law enforcement operations.

Fremantle, the first of the class, was built in the UK, while the other 14 were built in Cairns. The carry the names of the Bathurst class Australian Minesweepers which served during and after World War II.

 

HMAS Fremantle prior to launching.
HMAS Fremantle prior to launching at Brooke Marine Shipyard, Lowestoft, England on 16 February 1979.
Naming ceremony of HMAS Fremantle on 8 October 1979 at Brooke Marine Shipyard, Lowestoft, England.
Naming ceremony of HMAS Fremantle on 8 October 1979 at Brooke Marine Shipyard, Lowestoft, England.

The vessels worked hand-in-hand with other Government agencies and each year they provided up to 1800 patrol days as part of the Coastwatch-managed national surveillance effort. In the event of war they would have been tasked to control the waters close to the Australian mainland. They were well prepared for their patrol duties and other operational requirements.

In addition were central to Australia's engagement with countries in the South West Pacific region and deployed throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific in support of Australia's strategic interests. The Fremantle Class Patrol Boats (and now the Armidale Class Patrol Boats) also supported Special Forces operations and provided a useful transport capability, particularly in disaster relief and humanitarian assistance operations.

HMAS Fremantle II

 

Left: HMAS Fremantle II, with the Sydney Opera House in the background. Right: Image of HMAS Fremantle II's name plaque.
Left: HMAS Fremantle II, with the Sydney Opera House in the background. Right: Image of HMAS Fremantle II's name plaque.

Fremantle was equipped with high definition navigational radar, high and ultra high frequency communications equipment, gyro compasses and echo sounder. She was also fitted with a satellite navigation system that enabled the ship's position to be determined with great accuracy.

Fremantle was the second ship of this name within the RAN. HMAS Fremantle (I) was a Bathurst class corvette.

HMAS Fremantle with some of her sister ships from the Fremantle Class
HMAS Fremantle with some of her sister ships from the Fremantle Class.

Commanding Officers

Lieutenant R.J. Thomas, RAN 17 Mar 1980 - 16 May 1980
Lieutenant Commander R.J. Thomas, RAN 16 May 1980 - 19 Jun 1981
Lieutenant J.F. Cooper, RAN 19 Jun 1981 - 01 Aug 1982
Lieutenant Commander J.F Cooper, RAN 01 Aug 1982 - 24 Dec 1982
Lieutenant Commander S.M. Burrell, RAN  24 Dec 1982 - 17 Apr 1984
Lieutenant Commander M.A. Finnis, RAN 17 Apr 1984 - 29 Jan 1986
Lieutenant Commander B.J. Wilson, RAN 29 Jan 1986 - 26 May 1987
Lieutenant Commander D.L. Nield, RAN 26 May 1987 - 05 Feb 1989
Lieutenant N.J. Wark, RAN 05 Feb 1989 - 17 Nov 1989
Lieutenant W.J. O'Hagan, RAN 17 Nov 1989 - 26 Apr 1991
Lieutenant A.B. Belton, RAN 26 Apr 1991 - 09 Oct 1992
Lieutenant L.D. King, RAN 09 Oct 1992 - 01 Jan 1993
Lieutenant Commander L.D. King, RAN 01 Jan 1993 - 17 May 1994
Lieutenant Commander R.J. Dunn, RAN  17 May 1994 - 24 Oct 1995
Lieutenant Commander K.M. Jonas, RAN 24 Oct 1995 - 17 Apr 1997
Lieutenant Commander M.P. Gargiulo, RAN 17 Apr 1997 - 23 May 1999
Lieutenant Commander T.J. Gibson, RAN 23 May 1999 - 13 Sep 2000
Lieutenant Commander A.J. Allica, RAN 13 Sep 2000 - 10 July 2002
Lieutenant Commander M.D. Brown, RAN 10 July 2002 - 13 Dec 2003
Lieutenant Commander A.G. Morthorpe, RAN 13 Dec 2003 - 16 Dec 2005
Lieutenant Commander R.J. Scott, RAN 16 Dec 2005 - 13 Mar 2006
Lieutenant J.A. Harper, RAN 13 Mar 2006 - 11 Aug 2006