HMAS
Alexander Thompson

Type
Motor Launch
Pennant
623
Commissioned
16 January 1943
Decommissioned
22 November 1944
Dimensions & Displacement
Length 56 feet
Beam 14 feet
Draught 6 feet
Performance
Speed 9.5 knots
Armament
Guns 1x .303 inch machine gun

With much of the Royal Australian Navy fleet deployed to foreign waters in the early years of World War II, the defence of Australia’s coastlines became a primary concern for the Naval Board. The Naval Auxiliary Patrol (NAP) was a war-raised unit approved on 25 June 1941, charged with patrolling and safeguarding Australia's inner harbours, ports, rivers and estuaries against enemy sabotage or attack. The NAP fleet was comprised primarily of former pleasure craft, offered freely by their owners.

In May 1942, the NAP was transferred to the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RANVR) and was thereafter known as the RANVR NAP. By October 1942 the total strength of the NAP had increased to over 3000 mobilised and unmobilised reserves. This was to remain the case until early 1944 when it was considered that the danger of enemy attack was remote enough to reduce the strength of the NAP to a minimum. https://www.navy.gov.au/media-room/publications/naval-auxiliary-patrol.

Alexander Thompson was a 56 foot motor launch that served as a Naval Auxiliary Patrol and Examination Vessel. The boat was requisitioned on 12 December 1942 for naval service and commissioned into the RAN on 16 January 1943, under the command of Naval Auxiliary Patrol Skipper Thomas H Naylor. HMAS Alexander Thompson was purchased by the Australian government on 13 April 1943, before decommissioning in November 1944. The boat was sold on 18 June 1946.

HMAS Alexander Thompson first appeared in the April 1943 edition of the Navy List: https://www.navy.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/Navy_List-April-1943.pdf