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Auxiliary Minesweepers

The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History

Peter Dennis,

Jeffrey Grey,

Ewan Morris,

Robin Prior,

Jean Bou

Auxiliary Minesweepers 

When the Second World War broke out in 1939 there was a perceived need for a series of craft to sweep mines in Australian waters. For this purpose the Navy requisitioned a wide variety of ships including steamers, coasters, ferries and trawlers. In all, 35 vessels were taken over and stationed in groups in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Fremantle, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney. One converted trawler, HMAS Goorangi, was the first RAN loss of the war when she was run down in Port Phillip, with the loss of all hands, on 20 November 1940 by the troopship, MV Duntroon. Japanese aircraft sank another vessel, HMAS Patricia Cam, off the Northern Territory coast on 22 January 1943.