HMAS Maryborough (I)
Bathurst Class
Australian Minesweeper
Walkers Ltd, Maryborough
Laid Down
16 April 1940
17 October 1940
Launched by
Mrs Goldsmith, wife of the General Manager, Walkers Ltd
12 June 1941
December 1945
Paid off December 1945
Dimensions & Displacement
Displacement 650 tons
Length 185 feet 8 inches
Beam 31 feet
Draught 8 feet 6 inches
Speed 15 knots
Crew 85
Machinery Triple Expansion, 2 Shafts
Horsepower 1,750
Guns 1 x 4-inch gun
Other Armament 3 x Oerlikons
Battle Honours

HMAS Maryborough was one of sixty Australian Minesweepers (commonly known as corvettes) built during World War II in Australian shipyards as part of the Commonwealth Government's wartime shipbuilding programme. Twenty (including Maryborough) were built on Admiralty order but manned and commissioned by the Royal Australian Navy. Thirty-six were built for the Royal Australian Navy and four for the Royal Indian Navy.

HMAS Maryborough under construction at Walkers Ltd, Maryborough, Queensland.

Maryborough on the slip in her namesake town, Maryborough, Queensland, on the occasion of her launching 17 October 1940.

Maryborough commissioned at Maryborough on 12 June 1941 under the command of Lieutenant Commander Glen L. Cant, RAN.

Maryborough, after a brief period of service on the east coast of Australia, proceeded in November 1941 to Singapore. There on 28 November she became a unit of the 21st Minesweeping Flotilla. Following the outbreak of the Pacific War, Maryborough with six of her sister ships played a notable part in the Malayan-Java-Sumatran operations ending on 2 March 1942, when she departed Tjilatjap for Fremantle.

The period of March to November 1942 was spent on escort and patrol duties in Western Australian waters based on Fremantle. It was an uneventful period. During April 1942 Maryborough took the submarine USS Sea Raven in tow and brought her to Fremantle. The submarine, which had rescued a party of servicemen from Timor, had broken down. On 3 November 1942 Maryborough departed Fremantle for Diego Garcia en route to join the Eastern Fleet. The following four months were spent escorting shipping from Colombo to Bombay and to the Persian Gulf.

Maryborough in Alexandria c.1942. Note the disruptive pattern camouflage.

In May 1943 Maryborough entered the Mediterranean. Five months were spent in this theatre on convoy, escort and anti-submarine patrol, including the operations for the Sicily landings.

Lieutenant-Commander G.L. Cant, RAN with his ship's company in Alexandria 1943. Note the disruptive pattern camouflage.
Lieutenant Commander G.L. Cant, RAN with his ship's company in Alexandria 1943.

In November 1943 Maryborough returned to the Indian Ocean and resumed her convoy escort duties. After a year of these activities she returned to Fremantle on 3 December 1944 after more than two years of overseas service.

Three and a half months in Australian waters had elapsed when on 16 March 1945 she departed Sydney for Seeadler Harbour. Maryborough spent the remaining months of the war on patrol in Australian and New Guinea. On 15 August 1945 ('VJ' Day) Maryborough was en route from Milne Bay to Seeadler.

The remainder of her active service with the RAN was spent as a unit of the 21st Minesweeping Flotilla based on Hong Kong. In December 1945 she finally returned to Australian and was paid off for disposal. She was sold to Australian General Trading and Shipping Syndicate, Sydney (Comino Bros Pty Ltd) on 9 May 1947 and renamed Isobel Queen. She was resold to Carr Enterprises Ltd, Sydney, in 1953 for breaking up.

Further Reading

  1. The history of H.M.A.S. Maryborough: Corvettes in World War 11 1940-1946 by Brian Ogle - published by F. Ogle, 1992