HMAS Tasmania
William Beardmore & Co Ltd, Dalmuir, Scotland
Laid Down
18 December 1917
22 November 1918
27 January 1920
09 January 1928
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 36 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
Torpedoes 4 x 21-inch torpedo tubes in 2 twin deck mountings
Other Armament
  • 2 x depth-charge throwers
  • 4 x depth-charge chutes

Tasmania 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 Tasmania in January 1919. She was not long in commission, however, when she and her sister ships, Stalwart, Success, Swordsman, 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.

Tasmania following her transfer to the Royal Australian Navy
Tasmania following her transfer to the Royal Australian Navy.
Loading HMAS Tasmania's 21-inch torpedos
Loading HMAS Tasmania's 21-inch torpedos.

She recommissioned into the RAN as HMAS Tasmania at Devonport, England on 27 January 1920 under the command of Lieutenant Commander HO Joyce, RN. She sailed for Australia on 20 February in company with Success, Swordsman and Tattoo, and arrived in Sydney on 29 April via Gibraltar, Malta, Port Said, Suez, Aden, Bombay, Colombo, Singapore, Surabaya and Thursday Island.

HMAS Tasmania in dry dock at Cockatoo Island 1924
HMAS Tasmania in dry dock at Cockatoo Island 1924.

Post-war cuts to defence spending saw a number of RAN vessels decommissioned and Tasmania was one of those affected. She decommissioned at Sydney on 6 October 1921 and was placed in reserve. She recommissioned in September 1922 and, except for a visit to New Guinea in June-July 1924, served the remainder of her seagoing career in eastern and southern Australian waters. She decommissioned again on 9 January 1928 and was placed in reserve. Tasmania was eventually sold for breaking up on 4 June 1937.

HMAS Tasmania's whaler boat crew in Port Arthur 1924
HMAS Tasmania's whaler boat crew in Port Arthur, 1924.