Allied Warships

HMAS Moresby

Sloop of the 24 class

NavyThe Royal Australian Navy
Built byBarclay, Curle & Co. Ltd. (Glasgow, Scotland) 
Laid down27 Nov 1917 
Launched12 Apr 1918 
Commissioned20 Jun 1925 
End service14 Mar 1946 

Commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Silvio on 25 May 1918.
Transferred to Australia and commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy on 25 June 1925.
Used as a survey ship between the wars.
Reverted to a Anti-submarine training vessel at the outbreak of the Second World War but back on survey work in January 1941.
After the outbreak of the war with Japan she served as a escort vessel until November 1943 when she once again reverted back to survey work.
Decommissioned on 14 March 1946 and sold to be broken up for scrap on 3 February 1947 to Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd.

Former nameHMS Silvio

Commands listed for HMAS Moresby

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt.Cdr. William Harold Martin, RAN23 Mar 193917 Dec 1939
2Cdr. (retired) Harold Exton Turner, RN17 Dec 193925 May 1940
3Lt.Cdr. (retired) Basil Theodore Brewster, DSC, RN25 May 194026 Jul 1940
4Cdr. William Harold Martin, RAN26 Jul 194013 Oct 1940
5Lt. John Midford Little, RANR(S)13 Oct 19408 Nov 1940
6Cdr. William Harold Martin, RAN8 Nov 194028 Apr 1941
7Lt.Cdr. Robert Bagster Atlee Hunt, RAN28 Apr 194119 Jan 1942
8T/Lt. Charles Hugh Brown, RANR(S)19 Jan 1942Jan 1944
9A/Cdr. Colin Goyder Little, RANJan 194415 May 1945
10A/Cdr. Robert Bagster Atlee Hunt, OBE, RAN15 May 19459 Aug 1945
11Lt.Cdr. D'Arcy Thomas Gale, DSC, RAN9 Aug 194514 Mar 1946

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Notable events involving Moresby include:

10 Mar 1942
HMAS Vendetta (Lt. W.G. Whitting, RANR(S)) departed Fremantle for Melbourne. Once again she was in tow of the naval auxiliary HMS Ping Wo (T/Lt. J. Fant, RNR).

On 12 March 1942, HMS Ping Wo developed engine trouble and course was set for Albany where they arrived on the 15th. HMAS Vendetta then anchored outside Albany harbour. Due to the bad weather conditions and the risk of dragging anchor she was towed into the harbour on the 19th.

On 24 March 1942, HMS Ping Wo towed HMAS Vendetta out of the harbour where the merchant vessel Islander (British, 1619 GRT, built 1929) took over the tow.

Early on the 25th the tow parted and later HMS Ping Wo took over while the Islander prepared a new tow line. The Islander was able to resume towing HMAS Vendetta late in the afternoon.

Early the 29th, weather had become so bad that the ships had to hove to. HMS Ping Wo then parted company and continuing on to Melbourne independently. Late on the 29th the Islander resumed towing.

Around noon on 31 March the tow again parted and due to the bad weather conditions a new tow could not be established. HMAS Vendetta was at the mercy wind and sea.

On 1 April weather had cleared a little and an attempt was made to pass another tow line but while doing so the Islander fouled the line and as a result also lost propulsion to her port screw decreasing her manoeuvring capabilities.

Shortly before noon on the 3rd of April a new tow line was finally established and the ships got underway again. It had been decided to proceed to Adelaide.

Around mid afternoon of 5 April 1942, the sloop / escort vessel HMAS Moresby (T/Lt. C.H. Brown, RANR(S)) joined.

Around mid afternoon of 6 April 1942, the tug Woonda joined and shortly afterwards she took over the tow and towed HMAS Vendetta into Adelaide harbour. (1)

21 Jul 1942

Convoy ZK 15.

This convoy departed Sydney on 21 July 1942.

It was made up of the transports; Oakbank (Australian, 5154 GRT, built 1926), Sea Witch (American, 6021 GRT, built 1940) and Van der Lijn (Dutch, 2464 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Sydney the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Stuart (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN) and the sloop / escort vessel HMAS Moresby (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.H. Brown, RANR(S)).

On 24 July 1942, the escorts parted company with the convoy near Lady Elliott Island. The convoy was then dispersed. (2)

27 Jul 1942
on this day both HMAS Stuart (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Moresby (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.H. Brown, RANR(S)) arrived at Sydney after escort duty with convoy ZK 15. (3)

1 May 1943

Convoy CO 92.

This convoy departed Newcastle, NSW, on 1 May 1943.

It was made up of 12 merchant vessels.

On departure from Newcastle the convoy was escorted by the sloop HMAS Moresby (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.H. Brown, RANR(S)), minesweeper HMAS Warrnambool (Lt.Cdr. N.R. Read, RAN) and the auxiliary A/S vessel HMAS Bingera (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Little, RANR(S)).

Later the same day the Sydney section of 9 merchant vessels joined. As did their escort, the minesweepers HMAS Ballarat (T/Lt. D. MacLeman, RANR(S)) and HMAS Bundaberg (Lt.Cdr. N.D. Pixley, RANR).

The convoy now was made up of the following transports;
Age (Australian, 4734 GRT, built 1936), Carlisle (Australian, 1861 GRT, built 1919), Corinda (Australian, 3376 GRT, built 1937), Dan Beard (British, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Doris (Greek, 4604 GRT, built 1917), Evi Livanos (Greek, 4839 GRT, built 1937), Iron Warrior (British, 3345 GRT, built 1923), Kooyong (Australian, 2296 GRT, built 1907), Lansing (British, 4422 GRT, built 1890), Maria Mitchell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Mary Livanos (Greek, 4771 GRT, built 1938), Michael J. Goulandris Greek, 6669 GRT, built 1921), Michael L. Embriricos (Greek, 5202 GRT, built 1918), Mount Robson Park (American, 7132 GRT, built 1942), Murada (Australian, 3345 GRT, built 1921), Pegasus (Swedish, 9583 GRT, built 1930), Rahmani (British, 5463 GRT, built 1928), Tanda (British, 7174 GRT, built 1914), Wear (Australian, 1869 GRT, built 1911), William B. Ogden (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and William McArthur (Australian, 2393 GRT, built 1924).

During the night of 2/3 May the destroyer HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNethN) joined as reinforcement for the escort. She had departed Sydney on 2 May 1943.

Around 1230K/3, the merchant vessel Lansing parted company with to convoy to proceed independently to Hobart.

Around 1042K/3, convoy OC 92 was encountered and the escorts, except HrMs Van Galen, changed over from one convoy to the other. The original escort of convoy OC 92 therefore now joined convoy CO 92. This was the A/S patrol vessel HMAS Doomba (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F.J. Reading, RANR(S)).

Convoy CO 92 arrived in Port Phillip on 4 May 1943.


  1. Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta from 6 December 1941 to 15 April 1942
  2. Report of proceedings of HMAS Moresby for July 1942
  3. War diary Naval Officer in Charge, Sydney for July 1942

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