HMAS Geraldton (J 178)
Minesweeper of the Bathurst class
|Navy||The Royal Australian Navy|
|Built by||Poole & Steel Pty. Ltd. (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia)|
|Ordered||31 Jul 1940|
|Laid down||20 Mar 1941|
|Launched||16 Aug 1941|
|Commissioned||6 Apr 1942|
Sold to Turkey in August 1946 being renamed Antalya.
Commands listed for HMAS Geraldton (J 178)
Please note that we're still working on this section.
|1||Cdr. (retired) Harold Mayo Harris, RNR||Feb 1942||26 Dec 1943|
|2||Lt.Cdr. Lex McLean Carter, RANR||27 Dec 1943||15 Oct 1944|
|3||Lt. Alan Gordon Chapman, RANR(S)||16 Oct 1944||24 Nov 1944|
|4||Cdr. James Kenneth Walton, RAN||24 Nov 1944||16 May 1945|
|5||T/Lt. Geoffrey Lincoln Brandreth Parry, RANVR||17 May 1945||22 Jun 1945|
|6||A/Cdr. Alan Jeger Travis, RAN||23 Jun 1945||30 Oct 1945|
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Notable events involving Geraldton include:
26 Jan 1945
Ships belonging to the Fleet Train of the British Pacific Fleet departed Trincomalee for Fremantle. These were the destroyer deport ship Tyne (Capt. S. Boucher, RN), repairs ships HMS Resource (Capt.(Retd.) D.B. O’Connell, RN), Artifex (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN) and the target ship HMS Lewes (T/Lt. M.H. Grylls, SANF(V)). The tanker Battle Rock (American, 10448 GRT, built 1944) was also in company with these ships.
Escort was provided by the heavy cruiser London and the minesweepers HMAS Cairns (T/Lt. N.G. Weber, RANR(S)), HMAS Cessnock (Lt. A.G. Chapman, RANR(S)), HMAS Gawler (Lt.Cdr. J.H.P. Dixon, RANR(S)), HMAS Geraldton (Cdr. J.K. Walton, RAN), HMAS Ipswich (T/Lt. R.H. Creasey, RANR(S)), HMAS Tamworth (T/Lt. D.B. Lloyd-Jones, RANR(S)) and HMAS Wollongong (T/Lt. J. Hare, RANR(S)).
They arrived at Fremantle on 9 February 1945. (2)
7 Aug 1945
Having completed replenishment on 7 August, Task Force 37 set course to close the coast of Japan for flying operations.
Task Force 37 was at that moment made up the following units; CTF 37; battleship HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN, 2nd in command British Pacific Fleet).
CTU 37.1.1; aircraft carriers HMS Formidable (Capt. P. Ruck-Keene, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), Implacable (Capt. C.C. Hughes-Hallett, RN) and HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN).
CTU 37.1.4; light cruisers HMS Newfoundland (Capt. R.W. Ravenhill, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. R.A.B. Edwards, CBE, RN), HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. W.P. McCarthy, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellesis, RN) and HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN).
CTU 37.1.5; HMS Barfleur (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSO, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN), HMS Grenville (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN, Capt. D 25), HMS Ulysses (Lt.Cdr. B.G.B. Bordes, DSC, RN), HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN), HMS Quality (Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. F.G.E. Knox, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. J.K. Walton, RAN). HMS Troubridge (Capt. G.F. Burghard, RN, Capt. D 24), HMS Teazer (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, DSC, RN), HMS Tenacious (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN), HMS Termagent (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Scatchard, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Terpsichore (Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Wakeful (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN), HMS Wrangler (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Warren, RN), HMAS Napier (Capt. H.J. Buchanan, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Nizam (A/Lt.Cdr. W.F. Cook, RAN).
When Task Force 37 arrived in the operations area on the 8th, the weather was found unsuitable for flying operations. Course was then set to the south-east in search of better weather.
At 0330/9, Vice-Admiral Vian assumed tactical control for the duration of the flying operations. Shortly afterwards, when Task Force 37 was in approximate position 38°35'N, 144°12'E the first Combat Air Patrol and strike aircraft were launched. The target for the first air strikes was Matsushima.
At 0500/9, HMS Newfoundland, HMNZS Gambia, HMS Tenacious, HMS Termagent and HMS Terpsichore were detached from Task Force 37. They were known as Task Unit 37.1.8 and were to join a US Task Unit of battleship, cruisers and destroyers (Task Unit 38.8.1) for a bombardment of the steel works and docks at Kamaishi. The bombardment commenced around 1300/9 and was completed around 1445/9. The detached ships rejoined Task Force 37 around 2100/9.
During the aircraft attacks on this day the Japanese frigate Amakusa (offsite link) is sunk in Onagawa Bay. Ths pilot that hit the ship was killed during the attack and he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross (Lt. R.H. Gray, RCNVR).
At 1202/9, the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.
During the attack on the 9th the following damage was claimed to have been inflicted on the ememy; Destroyed; 44 enemy aircraft on the ground (including 17 probably destroyed) as well as hangars and shops at Matsushima. 2 Locomotives and freight cars. Shipping sunk; 2 Destroyers, 1 old destroyer, 1 submarine chaser, 1 freighter, 2 small coasters, 4 junks and 2 launches (some of the above were shared with aircraft from Task Force 38).
Probably sunk were two destroyer escorts (shared with Task Force 38) and a torpedo boat as well as a lot of small craft.
Claimed to have been damaged were 22 aircraft on the ground as well as various ground installations.
Shipping that was claimed to have been damaged were 1 destroyer, 2 destroyer escorts, 1 freighter and many small craft including 9 coasters and 9 luggers.
7 Aircraft including 5 pilots were missing following these attacks.
At dusk, Vice-Admiral Rawlings again took control of Task Force 37.
At 0330/10, Vice-Admiral Vian took control of the force for the duration of the flying operations.
At 0400/10, the first Combat Air Patrol was launched followed about an hour later by the first strike aircraft. The target was shipping in Onagawa Bay and other targets of opportunity in northern Honshu.
During the attack on the 10th the following damage was claimed to have been inflicted on the ememy; Destroyed; 16 aircraft on the ground including one probably damaged, 4 locomotives, 2 coaches, 3 tank cars.
Shipping sunk; 3 freighters, 2 coasters, 8 small craft.
Shipping probably sunk; 1 freighter, 2 luggers,
Aircraft and installations damaged; 31 aircraft on the ground, several freight trains, factories, hangars and other installations.'
Shipping damaged; 2 destroyers, 2 destroyer escorts, 1 merchant vessel, 6 small coasters and 4 luggers.
6 aircraft and 4 pilots and 2 aircrewmen were missing.
At dusk all aircraft were recovered and Vice-Admiral Rawlings again assumed tactical command. Task Force 37 then set course to the eastwards for replenishment.
Around 0430/11, Task Force 37 made rendezvous with Task Unit 112 and fuelling commenced shortly afterwards from five tankers; Olna (12667 GRT, built 1945), San Adolpho (7365 GRT, built 1935), San Amado (7316 GRT, built 1935), San Ambrosio (7410 GRT, built 1935) and Wave Emperor (7196 GRT, built 1944). Also part of Task Unit 112 were the stores ship Fort Wrangell (7213 GRT, built 1944), hospital ship Tjitjalengka (10972 GRT, built 1939) and the escort carrier HMS Ruler (Capt. H.P. Currey, OBE, RN). Task Unit 112 was escorted by the sloops HMS Crane (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Jenkins, DSC, RN), HMS Pheasant (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), frigates HMS Barle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J. Duncan, DSC, RNR), HMS Findhorn (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.P. Burnett, RNVR), HMS Usk (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Medlycott, RNR) and the minesweepers/corvettes HMAS Ballarat (A/Cdr. N.R. Read, RAN), HMAS Burnie (Lt.Cdr. E.M. Andrewartha, RANR), HMAS Geraldton (A/Cdr. A.J. Travis, RAN) and HMAS Ipswich (T/Lt. R.H. Creasey, RANR(S)).
HMS King George V fuelled from the American Task Group 30.8 as Vice-Admiral Rawlings had been invited for a conferance by the American Commander-in-Chief aboard USS Missouri.
It had also been decided that the majority of the ships of Task Force 37 were to return to Manus so on the 12th the aircraft carriers HMS Formidable, HMS Victorious, HMS Indefatigable, light cruisers HMS Black Prince, HMS Euryalus, HMNZS Achilles and the destroyers HMS Grenville, HMS Ulysses, HMS Undaunted, HMS Undine, HMS Uranua, HMS Urchin, HMS Quality, HMS Quadrant, HMAS Quiberon and HMAS Quickmatch parted company. They were now known as Task Group 37.3. They arrived at Manus on 18 August 1945.
- ADM 173/18906
- ADM 199/1457
- ADM 173/20353
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.