HMAS
Kara Kara

HMAS Kara Kara (I)
Type
Boom Gate Vessel
Pennant
Y276
Builder
J. Crichton and Co Ltd, Saltney, near Chester, England
Commissioned
14 October 1941
Decommissioned
8 December 1945
Dimensions & Displacement
Displacement 525 tons
Length 199 feet
Beam 35 feet 6 inches
Draught 13 feet 6 inches
Performance
Speed 13 knots
Complement
Crew 39
Propulsion
Machinery Triple expansion steam engines - 148 NHP
Armament
Guns
  • 1 x 12 pounder CWT QF
  • 2x .303 inch Vickers MG
  • 2x .30 inch Marlin MG
Awards
Battle Honours DARWIN 1942–43

The steel vehicle ferry Kara Kara was built for a special service which was discontinued after the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932. She was then laid up and maintained in anticipation of an expected requirement by her owners, Sydney Ferries Ltd.

On 27 February 1941 Kara Kara was requisitioned by the RAN for naval service and was subsequently purchased on 6 January 1942.

HMAS Kara Kara was aquired by the Royal Australian Navy for service as a boom gate vessel
HMAS Kara Kara was aquired by the Royal Australian Navy for service as a boom gate vessel

After fitting out as a boom gate vessel and commissioning, she departed Sydney on 23 October 1941 for Darwin, where she arrived on 14 November 1941. She took up duty immediately on the maintenance of the Darwin boom defences and served in that capacity almost continuously until mid-1945.

Kara Kara came under heavy air attack at Darwin on 19 February 1942, when the Japanese Admiral Nagumo's carrier borne aircraft made the first enemy attack on the Australian mainland. She suffered several casualties, including two ratings killed by machine gun fire, and was lucky to escape serious damage.

On 8 December 1945 Kara Kara paid off into reserve at Darwin. After five years in reserve she departed Darwin on 6 December 1950, arriving at Sydney on 22 December 1950. Without further sea-going service she was transferred to un-maintained reserve at Waverton Depot on 30 December 1960 and was later used as a Reserve Amenities Ship at Sydney.

When Darwin came under air attack in October 1941, HMAS Kara Kara suffered several casualties and was lucky to escape serious damage
When Darwin came under air attack in October 1941, HMAS Kara Kara suffered several casualties and was lucky to escape serious damage

Kara Kara was sold out of the service to Marrickville Metals, Marrickville, NSW, for breaking up on 15 Feb 1972. After being stripped of useful material the hulk was handed back to the RAN for use as a target. On 31 January 1973 Kara Kara was sunk forty miles east of Jervis Bay after serving as a target for ships and aircraft.