HMAS Lismore (J145)

HMAS Lismore (J145/B247/A121), named for the city of Lismore, New South Wales, was one of 60 Bathurst-class corvettes that were constructed during World War II, and one of 20 manned and commissioned by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) under Admiralty order.[1] During her Australian service, Lismore covered 191,132 nautical miles (353,976 km), and spent the longest period away from Australia of any RAN vessel during World War II: 1,409 days.[1] Serving with the RAN for five years, Lismore later spent twelve years as part of the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN), classified as the frigate HNLMS Batjan.[1]

HMAS Lismore during 1942
Namesake: City of Lismore, New South Wales
Builder: Morts Dock & Engineering Co in Sydney
Laid down: 26 February 1940
Launched: 10 August 1940
Commissioned: 24 January 1941
Decommissioned: 3 July 1946
Honours and
Fate: Transferred to RNLN
Name: Batjan
Commissioned: 3 July 1946
Decommissioned: 1958
Reclassified: Frigate (1946)
Fate: Removed from service in 1958
General characteristics
Class and type: Bathurst-class corvette
Displacement: 650 tons (standard), 1,025 tons (full war load)
Length: 186 ft (57 m)
Beam: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Draught: 8.5 ft (2.6 m)
Propulsion: triple expansion engine, 2 shafts, 1,750 hp
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 85
Armament: 1 × 4 inch Mk XIX gun, 3 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannons (later 4, later 2), 1 × 2-pounder gun (installed later), Machine guns, Depth charges chutes and throwers

Design and construction

In 1938, the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board (ACNB) identified the need for a general purpose 'local defence vessel' capable of both anti-submarine and mine-warfare duties, while easy to construct and operate.[2][3] The vessel was initially envisaged as having a displacement of approximately 500 tons, a speed of at least 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph), and a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 km; 2,300 mi)[4] The opportunity to build a prototype in the place of a cancelled Bar-class boom defence vessel saw the proposed design increased to a 680-ton vessel, with a 15.5 knots (28.7 km/h; 17.8 mph) top speed, and a range of 2,850 nautical miles (5,280 km; 3,280 mi), armed with a 4-inch gun, equipped with asdic, and able to fitted with either depth charges or minesweeping equipment depending on the planned operations: although closer in size to a sloop than a local defence vessel, the resulting increased capabilities were accepted due to advantages over British-designed mine warfare and anti-submarine vessels.[2][5] Construction of the prototype HMAS Kangaroo did not go ahead, but the plans were retained.[6] The need for locally built 'all-rounder' vessels at the start of World War II saw the "Australian Minesweepers" (designated as such to hide their anti-submarine capability, but popularly referred to as "corvettes") approved in September 1939, with 60 constructed during the course of the war: 36 ordered by the RAN, 20 (including Lismore) ordered by the British Admiralty but manned and commissioned as RAN vessels, and 4 for the Royal Indian Navy.[2][7][8][9][1]

Lismore was laid down by Morts Dock & Engineering Co in Sydney on 26 February 1940.[1] She was launched on 10 August 1940 by the wife of Commodore Gerard Muirhead-Gould, the Naval-Officer-in-Charge Sydney, and commissioned on 25 January 1941.[1]

Operational service

From December 1941 Lismore operated with the British Eastern Fleet. On 17 June 1943, when the British troopship Yoma was sunk off the coast of Libya, Lismore and her sister ship HMAS Gawler were among the ships that rescued 1,477 survivors.[10] In December 1944, Lismore was assigned to the British Pacific Fleet.[1]

The corvette earned four battle honours for her wartime service: "Indian Ocean 1941–44", "Sicily 1943", "Pacific 1945", and "Okinawa 1945".[11][12]

Lismore was paid off from RAN service on 3 July 1946, transferring immediately into the Royal Netherlands Navy, where she was renamed HNLMS Batjan and reclassified as a frigate.[1] She was removed from service in 1958.[1]


  1. "HMAS Lismore". Sea Power Centre Australia. Retrieved 15 September 2008.
  2. Stevens, The Australian Corvettes, p. 1
  3. Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, p. 103
  4. Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, pp. 103–4
  5. Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, pp. 103–5
  6. Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, p. 104
  7. Stevens, A Critical Vulnerability, pp. 105, 148
  8. Donohue, From Empire Defence to the Long Haul, p. 29
  9. Stevens et al., The Royal Australian Navy, p. 108
  10. Helgason, Guðmundur (1995–2013). "Yoma". Ships hit by U-boats. Guðmundur Helgason. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  11. "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.
  12. "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.


  • Donohue, Hector (October 1996). From Empire Defence to the Long Haul: post-war defence policy and its impact on naval force structure planning 1945–1955. Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs. No. 1. Canberra: Sea Power Centre. ISBN 0-642-25907-0. ISSN 1327-5658. OCLC 36817771.
  • Stevens, David (2005). A Critical Vulnerability: the impact of the submarine threat on Australia's maritime defense 1915–1954. Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs. No. 15. Canberra: Sea Power Centre Australia. ISBN 0-642-29625-1. ISSN 1327-5658. OCLC 62548623.
  • Stevens, David; Sears, Jason; Goldrick, James; Cooper, Alastair; Jones, Peter; Spurling, Kathryn (2001). Stevens, David (ed.). The Royal Australian Navy. The Australian Centenary History of Defence (vol III). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-554116-2. OCLC 50418095.
Journal and news articles
  • Stevens, David (May 2010). "The Australian Corvettes" (PDF). Hindsight (Semaphore). Sea Power Centre – Australia. 2010 (05). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2010.

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