H11 & F3A
Scott’s Shipbuilding and Engineering Co Ltd, Greenock, Scotland
28 December 1918
Sold on 4 June 1937 and broken up
|Dimensions & Displacement|
|Beam||26 feet 9 inches|
|Draught||10 feet 10 inches|
|Range||2000 miles at 15 knots|
|Machinery||Brown-Curtis geared turbines, 2 screws|
|Torpedoes||4 x 21-inch torpedo tubes in 2 twin deck mountings|
Swordsman was one of 55 “S” class destroyers built for the British Admiralty under the Emergency Shipbuilding Program of World War I. She was completed in 1919 and shortly afterwards was gifted to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), along with her sister ships, Stalwart, Success, Tasmania and Tattoo, and the flotilla leader, Anzac, as replacements for the RAN’s obsolete River class destroyers.
She commissioned into the RAN as HMAS Swordsman at Devonport on 27 January 1920 under the command of Lieutenant Commander C.E. Hughes-White, DSC, RN. She sailed for Australia on 20 February in company with Success, Tasmania and Tattoo, and arrived in Sydney on 29 April via Gibraltar, Malta, Port Said, Suez, Aden, Bombay, Colombo, Singapore, Sourabaya and Thursday Island.
In September 1920 Swordsman assisted in the search for the missing schooner, SS Amelia J, which disappeared between Newcastle and Hobart in August. She was last seen off Jervis Bay on 5 September. The search was later extended to include the missing barquentine, SS Southern Cross, which had also disappeared after departing Williamstown for Hobart on 10 September. The search was again extended on 23 September when a De Havilland 9A biplane, ironically itself involved in the search for the two missing vessels vanished. No trace of Amelia J and her crew of twelve was ever found, while wreckage from Southern Cross, with a crew of ten, was later found on King Island. The aircraft and its pilot also were never found.
Post-war cuts to defence spending saw a number of RAN vessels decommissioned and Swordsman was one of those affected. She decommissioned at Sydney on 6 September 1922 and placed into reserve. She recommissioned as the flotilla leader on 4 August 1926. She subsequently served the remainder of her seagoing career in eastern Australian waters. She decommissioned again on 21 December 1929 and was once more placed into reserve. She was eventually sold for breaking up on 4 June 1937.