Allied Warships

HMAS Warramunga (I 44)

Destroyer of the Tribal class

NavyThe Royal Australian Navy
PennantI 44 
Built byCockatoo Docks and Engineering Co. Ltd. (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) 
Ordered24 Jan 1939 
Laid down10 Feb 1940 
Launched7 Feb 1942 
Commissioned23 Nov 1942 
End service7 Dec 1959 

Pennant numbers: I44 October 1942 - January 1952; D123 February 1952 - 1963.

Warramunga's career, like that of her sister ship HMAS Arunta, almost reads like a history of the war in the South-West Pacific. Like Arunta, she saw her first action in Australian waters soon after completing workups in 1942. During March and April 1943, she was assigned to convoy escort duty between Queensland Territory and New Guinea, but in May, Warramunga joined Task Force 74 in the Coral Sea. There, she participated in almost all of the South-West Pacific landings. The ship continued with general destroyer duties around the Philippines during the first part of 1945 and was present at the official Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay on 2nd September 1945. At the end of the war, Warramunga's close range AA armament consisted of six, single 40 mm Bofors and a quadruple pompom mounting. She retained this armament during the post war years although a lattice foremast subsequently replaced the tripod mast. Peacetime exercises, cruises and refits were interrupted by the Korean war. On 6th August 1950, Warramunga left Sydney, Australia to join HMAS Bataan in Korea where the two ships spent most of their time screening carriers off the Korean west coast and in the company of RCN Tribals. After completing her first tour of duty, she sailed for Australia on 5th August 1951 and after a refit she returned to start a second tour of duty. In November 1952, Warramunga began conversion to an anti-submarine destroyer. A twin 40mm mounting replaced the quadruple 2 pounder and a triple barreled Squid mortar was mounted in the 'Y' position. Her after- superstructure was extended to accommodate the extra gear and personnel. As a result, her standard displacement rose to 2,200 tons. The refit was completed on 5th October 1954 and for the next five years, Warramunga exercised and cruised with other ships of the Royal Australian Navy. on 7 December 1959 she was placed in reserve and was scheduled for disposal in 1962. She was sold to a Japanese firm for break-up, and on 15 February 1963 she began her last voyage from Sydney - under tow.


Commands listed for HMAS Warramunga (I 44)

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1Cdr. Emile Frank Verlaine Dechaineux, DSC, RANOct 19426 Mar 1944
2Cdr. Neil Alexander Mackinnon, RAN6 Mar 194430 Sep 1944
3Lt.Cdr. John Melvill Alliston, DSC, RN30 Sep 19443 Oct 1944
4Cdr. Neil Alexander Mackinnon, RAN3 Oct 19445 Oct 1944
5Lt.Cdr. John Melvill Alliston, DSC, RN5 Oct 194413 Oct 1944
6Cdr. Neil Alexander Mackinnon, RAN13 Oct 194417 Oct 1944
7Lt.Cdr. John Melvill Alliston, DSC, RN17 Oct 194419 Apr 1945
8Cdr. Max Joshua Clark, DSC, RAN19 Apr 19452 Dec 1946

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Notable events involving Warramunga include:

9 Jan 1943
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Lewis, USN) departed Brisbane for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Solomon Islands.

During 9 and 10 Janaury 1943 exercises were carried out with the Australian destroyers HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Stephenson, RAN).

Media links

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

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