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HMAS Shoalhaven (K535)

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HMAS Shoalhaven.jpg
History
Australia
NameShoalhaven
NamesakeShoalhaven River
BuilderWalkers, Maryborough
Laid down18 December 1943
Launched14 December 1944
Commissioned2 May 1946
Decommissioned19 December 1955
Motto"Let us follow the heavenly light"[1]
Honours and
awards
  • Battle honours:
  • Korea 1950
FateSold for scrap
General characteristics
Class and typeModified River-class frigate
Displacement
  • 1537 tons standard
  • 2200 tons full load
Length301 ft 7 in (91.92 m)
Beam36 ft 6 in (11.13 m)
Draught12 ft (3.7 m)
PropulsionTriple expansion, 2 shafts
Speed19.5 knots (36.1 km/h; 22.4 mph)
Complement175
Armament

HMAS Shoalhaven (K535/M535/F535), named for the Shoalhaven River in New South Wales, was a modified River-class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy. She was laid down by Walkers at Maryborough on 18 December 1943, launched on 14 December 1944 by Senator Dorothy Tangney and commissioned at Urangan Pier in Hervey Bay in Queensland on 2 May 1946. Her first commander was Commander Rodney Rhoades.[2]

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Shoalhaven River

Shoalhaven River

The Shoalhaven River is a perennial river that rises from the Southern Tablelands and flows into an open mature wave dominated barrier estuary near Nowra on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia.

River-class frigate

River-class frigate

The River class was a class of 151 frigates launched between 1941 and 1944 for use as anti-submarine convoy escorts in the North Atlantic. The majority served with the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), with some serving in the other Allied navies: the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Free French Naval Forces, the Royal Netherlands Navy and, post-war, the South African Navy.

Frigate

Frigate

A frigate is a type of warship. In different eras, the roles and capabilities of ships classified as frigates have varied somewhat.

Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval force of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The professional head of the RAN is Chief of Navy (CN) Vice Admiral Mark Hammond AM, RAN. CN is also jointly responsible to the Minister of Defence (MINDEF) and the Chief of Defence Force (CDF). The Department of Defence as part of the Australian Public Service administers the ADF.

Keel laying

Keel laying

Laying the keel or laying down is the formal recognition of the start of a ship's construction. It is often marked with a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the shipbuilding company and the ultimate owners of the ship.

Walkers Limited

Walkers Limited

Walkers Limited was an Australian engineering company, based in Maryborough, Queensland. It built ships and railway locomotives. The Walkers factory still produces railway locomotives and rolling stock as part of Downer Rail.

Maryborough, Queensland

Maryborough, Queensland

Maryborough is a city and a suburb in the Fraser Coast Region, Queensland, Australia. At the 2021 Census, the suburb of Maryborough had a population of 15,287.

Dorothy Tangney

Dorothy Tangney

Dame Dorothy Margaret Tangney DBE was an Australian politician. She was a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and served as a Senator for Western Australia from 1943 to 1968. She was the first woman elected to the Senate and one of the first two women elected to federal parliament, along with Enid Lyons.

Ship commissioning

Ship commissioning

Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service and may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of project commissioning. The term is most commonly applied to placing a warship in active duty with its country's military forces. The ceremonies involved are often rooted in centuries-old naval tradition.

Urangan Pier

Urangan Pier

Urangan Pier is a historic pier in Urangan, Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.

Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay is a city on the coast of the Fraser Coast Region of Queensland, Australia. The city is situated approximately 290 kilometres (180 mi) or 3½ hours' highway drive north of the state capital, Brisbane. It is located on the bay of the same name open to the Coral Sea between the Queensland mainland and nearby Fraser Island. The local economy relies on tourism which is based primarily around whale watching in Platypus Bay to the north, ferry access to Fraser Island, accessible recreational fishing and boating and the natural north facing, calm beaches with wide undeveloped foreshore zones. In October 2019, Hervey Bay was named the First Whale Heritage Site in the world by the World Cetacean Alliance, for its commitment to and practices of sustainable whale and dolphin watching. A 2010 study by Deakin University showed that people on the Fraser Coast area including Hervey Bay, were the happiest in Australia. At June 2018, there were an estimated 54,674 people in Hervey Bay, having grown by an annual average of 1.31% year-on-year over the preceding five years.

Commander

Commander

Commander is a common naval officer rank as well as a job title or "billet" in many armies. Commander is also used as a rank or title in other formal organizations, including several police forces. In several countries this naval rank is termed frigate captain.

Design and construction

Shoalhaven was originally ordered as part of an Australian shipbuilding program during World War II that would provide 22 River-class frigates for the RAN. The first eight ships were completed to this specification, before the design was modified, now based on the British Bay-class frigate. Despite this change, the remaining planned ships would still be named after Australian rivers. At the end of the war, the order was cancelled, except for four, including Shoalhaven, which had already been launched. HMAS Shoalhaven was the third of the four modified River-class ships to enter service and was the lead ship of the Navy's First Frigate Flotilla.[2][3]

Operational History

1940s

After her commissioning, Shoalhaven made several trips to New Guinea between 1946 and 1948, supporting a mines clearance unit. Between January and April 1949, she participated in exercises with the Royal Navy and United States Navy in Asia, visiting both Shanghai and Hong Kong.[2] While assigned to the Royal Navy's Far East Fleet in April of that year, the Admiralty identified Shoalhaven to relieve HMS Consort as guard ship to support Chinese nationalist diplomats in the port of Nanking. The Menzies government in Canberra denied permission for the ship to be used for a mission that was viewed as purely symbolic, with no apparent objective.[4] Shoalhaven would only be made available to sail up the Yangtze River for mercy missions in the event the nationalists fell to communist forces with no other means of evacuation. This restriction forced the Admiralty to instead dispatch HMS Amethyst from Hong Kong to relieve Consort, with both British vessels subsequently attacked by the People's Liberation Army in what is now known as the Yangtze Incident.[4]

Shoalhaven returned to Australia in June 1949. She was again assigned to the Far East to support the Commonwealth occupation forces in Japan, arriving at Kure in January 1950.[2] Shoalhaven was in Kure on 25 June 1950 when North Korea unexpectedly invaded South Korea, escalating the conflict on the peninsula to open warfare.

Korean War

Shoalhaven was committed to military action in support of South Korea on 29 June, again assigned to the British Far East Fleet commanded by Rear-Admiral William Andrewes.[5] The ship carried out the first Australian operation of the war on 1 July under the command of Commander Ian McDonald with 6 officers and 177 sailors aboard,[6][7] providing escort for United Nations ships carrying troops and ammunition to Korean ports from Japan. Having successfully escorted an American ship Sergeant George D. Keathley from Tsushima Island into the port of Busan, on 2 July she departed for the American base at Sasebo, Japan carrying a South Korean liaison party.[6] On 6 July, Shoalhaven joined the destroyer USS Collett off the west coast of Korea where she was performed blockade duties during a three day patrol. The frigate then resumed her escort role through July and August, successfully escorting 14 convoys during her tour.[2][6] Shoalhaven also performed routine anti-submarine duties and bombardment of coastal targets, coming under enemy fire on several occasions.[5]

At the outbreak of the war, Shoalhaven had been due to return to Australia for refit. With the arrival of HMAS Warramunga on 6 September, she completed her brief tour, arriving at Garden Island on 22 September.[6] Following the Korean Armistice Agreement in July 1953, Shoalhaven was again sent to Korea to participate in allied patrols during 1954.[6] For her role in the conflict, the ship would later receive the battle honour "Korea 1950".[8][9]

1950s

After her return from Korea, Shoalhaven operated mostly within Australian and New Guinea waters, including participating in a British nuclear weapons test in the Montebello Islands off the coast of Western Australia as part of Operation Hurricane. Her last foreign deployment lasted from July 1954 to March 1955, patrolling waters between Hong Kong, Japan and Korea to enforce the Korean Armistice.[2]

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New Guinea

New Guinea

New Guinea is the world's second-largest island, with an area of 785,753 km2 (303,381 sq mi). Located in Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, the island is separated from Australia by the 150-kilometre wide Torres Strait, though both landmasses lie on the same continental shelf. Numerous smaller islands are located to the west and east.

Naval mine

Naval mine

A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to damage or destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, any vessel or a particular vessel type, akin to anti-infantry vs. anti-vehicle mines. Naval mines can be used offensively, to hamper enemy shipping movements or lock vessels into a harbour; or defensively, to protect friendly vessels and create "safe" zones. Mines allow the minelaying force commander to concentrate warships or defensive assets in mine-free areas giving the adversary three choices: undertake an expensive and time-consuming minesweeping effort, accept the casualties of challenging the minefield, or use the unmined waters where the greatest concentration of enemy firepower will be encountered.

Royal Navy

Royal Navy

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years' War against France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is consequently known as the Senior Service.

Shanghai

Shanghai

Shanghai is one of the four direct-administered municipalities of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The city is located on the southern estuary of the Yangtze River, with the Huangpu River flowing through it. The population of the city proper is the third most populous in the world, with 24.89 million inhabitants in 2021, while the urban area is the most populous in China with 39,300,000 residents. As of 2018, the Greater Shanghai metropolitan area was estimated to produce a gross metropolitan product (nominal) of nearly 9.1 trillion RMB. Shanghai is one of the world's major centers for finance, business and economics, research, science and technology, manufacturing, transportation, tourism, and culture, and the Port of Shanghai is the world's busiest container port.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a city and special administrative region of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta in South China. With 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Hong Kong is also a major global financial centre and one of the most developed cities in the world.

Guard ship

Guard ship

A guard ship is a warship assigned as a stationary guard in a port or harbour, as opposed to a coastal patrol boat, which serves its protective role at sea.

Robert Menzies

Robert Menzies

Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, was an Australian politician who was the 12th and longest-serving prime minister of Australia, holding office for over 18 years from 1939 to 1941 and again from 1949 to 1966. He played a central role in the creation of the Liberal Party of Australia, defining its policies and its broad outreach.

HMS Amethyst

HMS Amethyst

Six ships of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Amethyst, whilst another was planned:HMS Amethyst (1793) was a 36-gun fifth-rate frigate, originally the French frigate Perle, launched in 1790, captured in 1793, and wrecked off Alderney in 1795. HMS Amethyst (1799) was a Penelope-class 36-gun fifth rate launched in 1799 and wrecked in 1811. HMS Amethyst (1844) was a Spartan-class 26-gun sixth rate launched in 1844 and sold in 1869 for use as a cable vessel. HMS Amethyst (1873) was an Amethyst-class screw corvette launched in 1873 and sold in 1887. HMS Amethyst (1903) was a Topaze-class cruiser launched in 1903 and scrapped in 1920. HMS Amethyst (F116) was a modified Black Swan-class sloop launched in 1943. She was later designated as a frigate, was involved in the Yangtze Incident in 1949 and was broken up in 1957. HMS Amethyst was to have been a River-class minesweeper. She was renamed HMS Waveney before being launched in 1983, and was sold to the Bangladeshi Navy in 1994, being renamed Shapla.

People's Liberation Army

People's Liberation Army

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the principal military force of the People's Republic of China and the armed wing of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The PLA consists of five service branches: the Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, and Strategic Support Force. It is under the leadership of the Central Military Commission (CMC) with its chairman as commander-in-chief.

Kure, Hiroshima

Kure, Hiroshima

Kure is a port and major shipbuilding city situated on the Seto Inland Sea in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. With a strong industrial and naval heritage, Kure hosts the second-oldest naval dockyard in Japan and remains an important base for the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) named, JMSDF Kure Naval Base. As of 1 May 2015, the city has an estimated population of 228,030 and a population density of 646 persons per km2. The total area is 352.80 km2.

North Korea

North Korea

North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia. It constitutes the northern half of the Korean Peninsula and shares borders with China and Russia to the north at the Yalu (Amnok) and Tumen rivers, and South Korea to the south at the Korean Demilitarized Zone. North Korea's border with South Korea is a disputed border as both countries claim the entirety of the Korean Peninsula. The country's western border is formed by the Yellow Sea, while its eastern border is defined by the Sea of Japan. North Korea, like its southern counterpart, claims to be the legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands. Pyongyang is the capital and largest city.

South Korea

South Korea

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia. It constitutes the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and shares a land border with North Korea. The country's western border is formed by the Yellow Sea, while its eastern border is defined by the Sea of Japan. South Korea claims to be the sole legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands. It has a population of 51.75 million, of which roughly half live in the Seoul Capital Area, the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the world. Other major cities include Incheon, Busan, and Daegu.

Decommissioning and legacy

HMAS Shoalhaven paid off to reserve on 19 December 1955. With no need for her reactivation, Shoalhaven was sold in January 1962 to H. C. Sleigh and Company to be broken up for scrap by Mitsubishi Australia.[10][2]

In September 2008, the City of Shoalhaven and veterans from the HMAS Shoalhaven Association dedicated an 18 tonne stone monument in Walsh Park, Bomaderry to commemorate the ship's achievements during her service with the Royal Australian Navy.[3]

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Affiliations

Source: "HMAS Shoalhaven (K535)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, February 15th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Shoalhaven_(K535).

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References
  1. ^ "Souvenir pennant : HMAS Shoalhaven". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "HMAS Shoalhaven". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  3. ^ a b "A dedication to a special piece of local naval history". The South Coast Register. Australian Community Media. 23 September 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  4. ^ a b Woods, Desmond. "Lucky escape for Amethyst and Shoalhaven 1949". Australian Naval Institute. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  5. ^ a b Bartlett, Norman, ed. (1957). With the Australians in Korea (2nd ed.). Canberra: Australian War Memorial. pp. 125–127.
  6. ^ a b c d e Odgers, George (1989). Navy Australia, an illustrated history (4th ed.). Sydney: Child and Associates. pp. 155–169. ISBN 0-86777-390-1.
  7. ^ "Obituary: Ian Hunter McDonald RAN (1915-1996)". Naval Historical Society of Australia. Naval Historical Review. March 1997. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  8. ^ "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours" (PDF). Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  10. ^ "HMAS Shoalhaven (K 535)". uboat.net. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
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