Kent Sub-Class of County Class Cruiser
590' x 630' 1" x 68.25'
8 x 8" (4 twin mounts)
4 x QF 4" single AA guns
2 x quadruple 40 mm
4 x 3 pdr guns,
2 x quadruple 21" torpedo
1 x Walrus amphibian
RAN January 3, 1942
August 9, 1942
Pre War History
In early 1941 Canberra was involved in the fruitless hunt for the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer. In March, Canberra and Leander intercepted the German supply ship Coburg and the ex Norwegian tanker Ketty Brovig, which had been taken the previous month by the raider Atlantis. Canberra spent the rest of 1941 as a convoy escort in various parts of the Indian Ocean.
During December 27, 1941 to January 4, 1942 Canberra provided escort for convoy ZK.5 from Sydeny to Port Moresby. Afterwards, Canberra underwent a three month refit in Sydney. As part of US Navy Task Force 44, in June she participated in offensive sweeps of the Coral Sea. In August Canberra operated with the naval force supporting the Allied invasions of Guadalcanal and Tulagi.
Rear Admiral R. K. Turner ordered that if Canberra could not steam by 0630 hours, she would be abandoned and scuttled. At 0800 hours she was sunk by USS Ellet and USS Selfridge, who fired over 260 five inch shells and several torpedoes into her hulk. She was one of the first ships sunk the sea off Guadalcanal and Savo, later known as Iron Bottom Sound on August 9, 1942.
The crew of Canberra suffered 193 casualties during the Battle of Savo Island, including her captain, Frank Getting. Nine officers and 65 ratings were missing believed killed. One officer (the captain) and nine ratings died of wounds. Survivors were rescued by the USS Patterson and taken to Noumea, where they were transferred to the President Grant and transported to Sydney.