HMAS Sprightly
Salvage Tug
Levington Shipbuilding Company, Orange, Texas, USA
7 August 1942
23 February 1944
31 March 1958
Dimensions & Displacement
Displacement 800 tons
Length 143 feet
Beam 33 feet 1 inch
Draught 14 feet 7 inches
Speed 14.3 knots
Machinery Two General Motors diesel electric engines
  • 1 x 3-inch HA/LA gun
  • 1 x 5-inch machine gun
Other Armament 2 x 20mm Oerlikons

HMAS Sprightly and her sister ships Reserve and Tancred were built to an Admiralty design, on behalf of the Commonwealth Government, for the Commonwealth Salvage Board which was constituted on 14 March 1942 to organise an effective marine salvage area in Australian waters. She was of all-welded steel construction and was designed to maintain a towing speed of 10 knots in fair weather towing a 10,000 ton vessel. Sprightly was taken over by an Australian crew on 23 November 1942 and arrived in Melbourne from USA on 28 March 1943.

Until transferred to the RAN early in 1944, Sprightly, flying the Australian Red Ensign under Commonwealth Salvage Board control, was engaged in salvage operations in northern Australia and New Guinea waters.

On 23 February 1944, the ship commissioned at Brisbane as HMAS Sprightly, under the command of Lieutenant George Duck, RANR(S). Sprightly served as a naval tug in New Guinea and northern Australian waters from May 1944 until July 1946 when she returned to Sydney. She paid off to Reserve on 23 December 1946.

On 23 November 1953 Sprightly recommissioned at Sydney under the command of Lieutenant Commander Leslie Morison, RANVR. She remained in service until 31 March 1958 when she again paid off to Reserve.

In December 1961 Sprightly was leased on charter to the Pacific Tug and Salvage Corporation for a period of two years. On reverting to naval control she was placed in Reserve and was classified as a Submarine Rescue Ship.

On 29 August 1969 Sprightly was sold to T Korevaar and Sons Pty Ltd, Williamstown, Victoria.