The Naval Auxiliary Patrol

The Naval Auxiliary Patrol (NAP) was a war-raised unit approved on 25 June 1941. It, along with a number of channel patrol boats, was charged with patrolling and safeguarding Australia's inner harbours, ports, rivers and estuaries against enemy sabotage or attack.

Prior to June 1941, two organisations, the Volunteer Coastal Patrol (VCP) and the National Emergency Service Yachting Auxiliary (NEYSA), carried out patrols in New South Wales, Queensland and Victorian waters. These two organisations comprised patriotically minded yachtsmen who worked in an entirely honorary capacity and provided their own boats. This changed after the NAP was formed when members were sworn in for full or part time service. Those volunteering for full time service became members of the RAN and received naval rates of pay and wore naval uniform.

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.

NAP members wore their own distinctive uniform and held the relative rank or rating as indicated in the tables below:

 

NAP RANVR NAP RANVR
Squadron Skipper Lieutenant-Commander Recruiting Officer Sub-Lieutenant
Flotiila Skipper Lieutenant Cadet Skipper Sub-Lieutenant
Surgeon Skipper Lieutenant Skipper (Boat owner confirmed) Sub-Lieutenant
Chaplain Lieutenant Skipper (Non boat owner and not in command of a vessel) Sub-Lieutenant
Squadron Engineer Officer Lieutenant Skipper (Non boat owner and not in command of a vessel) Chief Petty Officer
Divisional Skipper Sub-Lieutenant Skipper (Boat owner probationary) Chief Petty Officer
Instructional Officer Sub-Lieutenant Senior Mate Petty Officer
Communications Officer Sub-Lieutenant Engineer (Divisional) Petty Officer
Military Liaison Officer Sub-Lieutenant Signal Instructor Petty Officer
Liaison Officer Sub-Lieutenant Other Instructors Petty Officer
Accounting Officer Sub-Lieutenant Mate Leading Seaman
Regulating Officer Sub-Lieutenant Signal Mate Leading Signalman
Survey Officer Sub-Lieutenant Sick Bay Attendant Able Seaman
Staff Skipper Sub-Lieutenant Seaman Able Seaman
Area Skipper Sub-Lieutenant Clerk Writer

Uniforms approved for members of the NAP consisted of the following:

 

No. 1 Rig Blue double breasted reefer jacket (8 N.A.P. Buttons), blue trousers with cuffs, white shirt, black tie, blue cloth peaked cap and brass N.A.P. cap badge, black shoes and socks.
No. 2 Rig Reefer jacket, as above, grey trousers with cuffs, grey tie, blue, long sleeved shirt with shoulder straps and two pockets, black shoes and socks (white sandshoes afloat)
No. 3 Rig Same as No. 2, but without reefer jacket, and tie tucked into shirt
No. 4 Rig Same as No. 2, but without reefer jacket, and woolen navy blue lumber jacket worn in lieu
No. 5 Rig Khaki, grey or white shorts worn by all ranks as a working dress during summer months

* Nos. 3 or 4 rig were the only rigs to be worn by any cadet member under the age of 18 years.

 


Members of the Naval Auxiliary Patrol dressed in an assortment of uniforms.
The Naval Auxiliary Patrol fleet was comprised primarily of former pleasure craft, offered freely by their owners. HMAS Esmeralda commissioned in the RAN on 20 November 1941, and served as a Channel Patrol Boat, and Naval Auxiliary Patrol vessel.
The Naval Auxiliary Patrol fleet was comprised primarily of former pleasure craft, offered freely by their owners. HMAS Esmeralda commissioned in the RAN on 20 November 1941, and served as a Channel Patrol Boat, and Naval Auxiliary Patrol vessel.

By the end of 1944 most of the boats that had been bought by the Navy for NAP duties had been resold or returned to their original owners.

 

On this page you will find a collection of surviving registration papers and records for many of the small vessels requisitioned by the RAN.

Alert: These pdf documents have been created from scanned images and accordingly are large in file size. They may take time to download.

Registrations - Registration Numbers 8 - 85

1941


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pdf : 38.51 MB
Areas and Numbers Not Used

1941


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pdf : 3.3 MB
Registrations - Registration Numbers 86 - 204

1942


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pdf : 38.66 MB
Registrations - Registration Numbers 205 - 323

1943


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pdf : 31.21 MB