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  HMAS Katoomba (J204/M204)
Bathurst class corvette

650 Tons (standard)
1,025 Tons (full)
186' x 31' x 8.5'
1 x 12 pound gun
3 x Oerlikons
(Replaced by a 40mm)
Machine Guns
Depth Charges

Click For Enlargement
August 16, 1942

Ship History
Built by Poole & Steel at Balmain, New South Wales. Laid down on September 9, 1940. Launched April 16, 1941 by Mrs. Lloyd, then deputy mayoress of Katoomba. Commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) on December 17, 1941.

Wartime History
Arrived at Darwin on December 19, 1941. The next day, with HMAS Deloraine, HMAS Lithgow, and the USS Edsall, followed and sank Japanese submarine I-124, the first enemy submarine sunk in Australian waters.

On February 19, 1942 Katoomba was anchored in Darwin Harbor when Japanese aircraft attacked, but was not significantly damaged during the raid. At the end of June, Katoomba was assigned to convoy escort and anti-submarine patrol off northern Queensland and New Guinea.

On August 14, Katoomba was sent to assist SS-144 (S-39) grounded on a reef off Rossel Island (Yela), arriving the next day. Attempts to refloat the submarine were unsuccessful, and on August 16 the crew were rescued aboard Katoomba's lifeboats over three trips and taken aboard. The entire crew of 47 were transported to Townsville.

On November 28, 1942 Katoomba and HMAS Ballarat were attacked by ten Japanese dive bombers, but escaped without serious damage.

During January 1943 while escorting Dutch merchant ship Van Heutz, attacked by six Japanese aircraft. Katoomba escaped serious damage, but the merchantman was hit, with one man killed and three injured.

During February 1944, Katoomba ended her escort duties and was sent to Sydney for refit then returned to New Guinea during early May 1944 as an anti-submarine ship until March 1945, also serving as an escort ship. Then operated from Fremantle and Darwin until the end of the war.

At the end of the war, Katoomba was sent to Timor for the Japanese surrender. Afterwards, performed mine-clearance duties in New Guinea. Returned to Sydney in October 1946, and was prepared for decommissioning, but was reactivated to clear the Queensland coast of mines. For her wartime service, Katoomba received three battle honors: "Darwin 1942", "Pacific 1942-45" and "New Guinea 1942-44".

On January 16, 1948 arrived at Fremantle and placed into reserve duty on August 2 until May 2, 1957, when she was sold for scrap to the Hong Kong Rolling Mills.

Katoomba is recognized on a memorial plaque In memory of those who served HMA Ships [location unknown] dedicated by the RAN Corvette Associations of Australia in recognition of each of the 56 Australian built Second World War RAN corvettes.

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Last Updated
August 10, 2019


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