Motor Yacht
5 September 1943
16 February 1944
Dimensions & Displacement
Length 41 feet
Beam 10 feet 8 inches
Draught 5 feet
Guns 1 x .303 inch Vickers machine gun
Other Armament 10 x 25lb depth charge

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.

Tonga was a 41 foot Motor Yacht that served as a Combined Operations Training, Air/Sea Rescue and Naval Auxiliary Patrol Vessel. The boat was requisitioned for naval service on 31 July 1942, before being purchased by the Australian Government on 13 January 1943. HMAS Tonga was commissioned into the RAN on 2 March 1943 under the command of Naval Auxiliary Patrol Skipper Maxwell AP Mattingley. HMAS Tonga was decommissioned in February 1944 and later sold.

HMAS Tonga first appeared in the January 1944 edition of the Navy List:
HMAS Tonga first appeared in the January 1944 edition of the Navy List: