HMAS
Shepparton
(I)

HMAS Shepparton (I)
Class
Bathurst Class
Type
Australian Minesweeper
Pennant
J248
Builder
Melbourne Harbour Trust, Williamstown
Laid Down
14 November 1941
Launched
15 August 1942
Launched by
Lady Alice Goudie, wife of the Commissioner of Public Works, Victoria
Commissioned
1 February 1943
Decommissioned
10 May 1946
Dimensions & Displacement
Displacement 650 tons
Length 186 feet 2 inches
Beam 31 feet
Performance
Speed 15 knots
Complement
Crew 81
Propulsion
Machinery Triple Expansion, 2 Shafts
Horsepower 1,800
Armament
Guns
  • 1 x 4-inch gun
  • 1 x Bofors (later)
  • Machine Guns
Other Armament
  • 4 x Oerlikons (later 3)
  • Depth charge chutes and throwers
Awards
Battle Honours

HMAS Shepparton 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 were built on Admiralty order but manned and commissioned by the Royal Australian Navy. Thirty-six (including Shepparton) were built for the Royal Australian Navy and four for the Royal Indian Navy.

Shepparton commissioned at Melbourne on 1 February 1943 under the command of Lieutenant Commander L.N. Morison RANR(S).

Following successful completion of her trials in home waters Shepparton proceeded to New Guinea at the end of April 1943 where she began operations as a Survey Ship. For the next seventeen months, except for occasional visits to Queensland ports, Shepparton was operational on survey duties in New Guinea and New Britain waters. This period of her service ended with a survey of Endeavour Strait and Scotts Reef.

HMAS Shepparton was one of sixty Australian Minesweepers commissioned for service during World War II
HMAS Shepparton was one of sixty Australian Minesweepers commissioned for service during World War II

On 8 October 1944 Shepparton arrived at Darwin where she became attached to the Survey Task Unit operating in the area to begin a series of surveys in north west Australian waters. On 1 February 1945 she began refitting at Brisbane, returning to Darwin on 2 April to resume survey work between Cape Croker and New Year Island.

On 13 June 1945 Shepparton's work in the Darwin area ended and the next day she sailed for Thursday Island to resume operations in Torres Strait. On 2 September she sailed for Jacquinot Bay (New Britain) and thence to Rabaul where she spent ten days surveying in Simpson Harbour, returning to Jacquinot Bay on 17 September to take soundings of the anchorage. This work was completed in two days and Shepparton proceeded to the Solomons where she spent three weeks surveying the approaches to Torokina.

On 21 October 1945 she arrived at Brisbane, bringing her service outside home waters to a close. After some further survey work on the Australian coast, including six weeks operating in Moreton Bay, Shepparton's seagoing career ended early in February 1946. One of her last duties shortly before preparing to pay off was to assist in the refloating of her sister ship HMAS Cairns (I), which had grounded on Shark Spit, Moreton Island.

Shepparton paid off into Reserve at Brisbane on 10 May 1946. During her war service she steamed some 62,000 miles.

On 4 November 1947 Shepparton's sister ship HMAS Deloraine (I) sailed from Brisbane for Sydney with Shepparton in tow. On 7 November the ships arrived at Sydney, where Shepparton remained in Reserve. On 20 February 1958 the ship was sold for scrap to Mitsubishi Shoji Kaisha Ltd of Tokyo.

Further Reading

  1. The Corvettes: Forgotten Ships of the Royal Australian Navy by Iris Nesdale - published by the Author, October, 1982.
  2. Corvettes - Little Ships for Big Men by Frank B. Walker - published by Kingfisher Press, NSW, 1996.