HMAS Success (I)
William Doxford & Sons Ltd. Sunderland, England
29 June 1918
27 January 1920
21 May 1930
Sold on 4 June 1937 and broken up
Dimensions & Displacement
Displacement 1075 tons
Length 276 feet
Beam 26 feet 9 inches
Draught 10 feet 10 inches
Speed 31 knots
Range 2000 miles at 15 knots
Crew 90
Machinery Brown-Curtis geared turbines, 2 screws
Horsepower 27000 shp
  • 3 x 4-inch guns
  • 1 x 2-pounder pom-pom
  • 4 x Lewis machine guns
  • 1 x Maxim machine gun
Torpedoes 4 x 21-inch torpedo tubes in 2 twin deck mountings
Other Armament
  • 2 x depth-charge throwers
  • 4 x depth-charge chutes

Success was one of 55 “S” class destroyers built for the British Admiralty under the Emergency Shipbuilding Program of World War I. She commissioned into the Royal Navy (RN) as HMS Success in April 1919. She was not long in commission, however, when she and her sister ships, Stalwart, Swordsman, Tasmania and Tattoo, along with the flotilla leader, Anzac, were gifted to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as replacements for the RAN’s obsolete River class destroyers.



Able seamen aboard Success circa 1930.
Able seamen aboard Success circa 1930.

She recommissioned into the RAN as HMAS Success at Devonport on 27 January 1920 under the command of Lieutenant O.R. Wace, RN. She sailed for Australia on 20 February in company with Swordsman, Tasmania and Tattoo, and arrived in Sydney on 29 April via Gibraltar, Malta, Port Said, Suez, Aden, Bombay, Colombo, Singapore, Sourabaya and Thursday Island. However, Success’ second commission was only marginally longer than her first as post-war cuts to defence spending saw a number of RAN vessels decommissioned. Success was one of those affected and she decommissioned at Sydney on 6 October 1921 and was placed into reserve.






Left: Success. Right: Success viewed from its port quarter (AWM P09219.009).


Left: A dog, wearing a studded collar and a naval cap, with a HMAS Success tally band, appearing to play a small piano. Original caption reads " 'Sons of the Sea' sung by 'Jack' mascot HMAS Success Sydney 11-5-20" (AWM P09219.029) Right: Success sweeping through rough seas, for torpedos fired from HMAS Canberra (AWM P09219.006).

Success recommissioned on 1 December 1925. She subsequently served in waters around Australia, with the exception of Western Australia, making a brief visit to Port Moresby in May 1926. 

HMAS Success circa 1929.
HMAS Success circa 1929.

She decommissioned again on 21 May 1930 and was once more placed into reserve. She was eventually sold for breaking up on 4 June 1937.

Success firing a Mk II torpedo during exercises
Success firing a Mk II torpedo during exercises.
Success (Allan C Green, State Library of Victoria).
Success (Allan C Green, State Library of Victoria).