Rahul Sharma (Editor)

HMAS Bowen

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Laid down  9 February 1942
Decommissioned  17 January 1946
Construction started  9 February 1942
Length  57 m
Builder  Walkers Limited
Commissioned  9 November 1942
Fate  Scrapped
Launched  11 June 1942
Draft  2.59 m
HMAS Bowen httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Namesake  Town of Bowen, Queensland
Honours and awards  Battle honours Pacific 1942–45 New Guinea 1943–44

HMAS Bowen (J285/M285), named for the town of Bowen, Queensland, was a Bathurst class corvette of the Royal Australian Navy.


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. 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) 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. Construction of the prototype HMAS Kangaroo did not go ahead, but the plans were retained. 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 (including Bowen) ordered by the RAN, 20 ordered by the British Admiralty but manned and commissioned as RAN vessels, and 4 for the Royal Indian Navy.

Bowen was laid down by Walkers Limited at Maryborough, Queensland on 9 February 1942, launched on 11 June 1942 by Mrs. Crittal and commissioned on 9 November 1942.

Operational history

The corvette operated in the South West Pacific area during World War II, and earned the battle honours "Pacific 1942–45" and "New Guinea 1943–44" for her service.


Bowen paid off on 17 January 1946 and was sold for scrap to the Hong Kong Rolling Mills on 18 May 1956.


HMAS Bowen Wikipedia

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