Allied Warships

HMAS Swan (L 74 / U 74)

Sloop of the Grimsby class

NavyThe Royal Australian Navy
PennantL 74 / U 74 
Built byCockatoo Docks and Engineering Co. Ltd. (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) 
Ordered2 Jan 1935 
Laid down1 May 1935 
Launched28 Mar 1936 
Commissioned21 Jan 1937 
End service20 Sep 1962 

Decommissioned on 20 September 1962.
Sold to be broken up for scrap on 5 June 1964.


Commands listed for HMAS Swan (L 74 / U 74)

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1Lt.Cdr. Edward James Prevost, RN1 Sep 193914 May 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Alan Jeger Travis, RAN15 May 19408 Jul 1942
3Cdr. George Carmichael Oldham, RAN9 Jul 194218 Sep 1943
4Lt.Cdr. Andrew Veitch Bunyan, RANR(S)19 Sep 194315 Sep 1944
5T/A/Lt.Cdr. Douglas Winston Hodges, RANR(S)15 Sep 194417 Nov 1944

6Lt. William John Dovers, RAN10 Feb 194515 Oct 1945

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Notable events involving Swan include:

23 May 1942
At 1000 hours, HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN) and HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN), turned over the escort of convoy ZK 8 over to HMAS Swan (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Travis, RAN), HMAS Goulburn (Lt. B. Paul, RANR(S)) and HMAS Cessnock (A/Lt.Cdr. T.S. Marchington, RANR(S)).

HrMs Tromp and HMAS Arunta then reversed course to return to Sydney. (1)

9 May 1945
Around 1430K/9 the destroyer HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN) departed Manus followed around 1800K/9 by the light cruiser HMS Newfoundland (Capt. R.W. Ravenhill, CBE, DSC, RN).

Around 1700I/9, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyer HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN) departed Hollandia.

Both forces made rendezvous off Cape Wom around 0800K/10 and the 'Wewak support force' arrived off Wewak around 1300K/10.

After a preliminary run along the coast to search for the targets the sheduled bombardment commenced.

Around 1600K/10, the force retired to seaward for the night.

At 0630K/11, the 'Wewak support force' made rendezvous with the 'Wewak force' made up of the sloop HMAS Swan (Lt. W.J. Dovers, RAN) and minesweepers/corvettes Colac (Lt. K.J. Hopper, RANR(S)) and HMAS Dubbo (T/Lt. F.W. Roberts, RANR(S)) and the assault forces proceeded to their fire support areas. From 0730K/11, targets were successfully engaged to cover the assault on Red Beach. The bombardment was completed at 0840K/11.

After the landing the 'Wewak support force' retired to seaward.

Around 1230K/11, HMS Newfoundland obtained an A/S contact which was subsequently depth charged by HMAS Arunta. Both destroyers then continued to search the area during the afternoon but no further contact was obtained.

Around 1700 hours, HMAS Hobart and HMS Newfoundland carried out another bombardment after which the force was released and proceeded to Hollandia arriving there at 0700I/9. (2)


  1. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. ADM 53/121909 + Report from HMAS Hobart

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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