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Maintenance on board HMAS INVERELL

Date: 10 April 1952
Medium: Emulsion on nitrate film.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Nitrate negative
Object No: 00021094
Place Manufactured:Garden Island
Related Place:Woolloomooloo, Garden Island,

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    Description
    This photograph records the preparations for the handover of the Bathurst class minesweeper (corvette) HMAS INVERELL to the Royal New Zealand Navy on Thursday 10 April 1952 at Garden Island, Sydney. The New Zealand Navy sent men from HMNZS PHILOMEL (training base at Auckland) to assist in preparing the ship for deploying to New Zealand. Note the open sandals being worn!
    SignificanceThis photograph is one of 15 in a series showing the preparation and handover of HMAS INVERELL to the New Zealand Navy marking the strategic naval alliance between the two countries. The Samuel J Hood photographic collection records an extensive range of maritime activity on Sydney Harbour, including sail and steam ships, warships, crew portraits, crews at work, ship interiors, stevedores loading and unloading cargo, port scenes, pleasure boats and harbourside social activities from the 1890s through to the 1950s.
    HistoryHMAS INVERELL (pennant numbers J233, wartime; M233, post-war) was named for the New South Wales town of Inverell. It was one of 60 Bathurst class minesweepers (also known as corvettes) constructed during World War II in Australian shipyards as part of the Commonwealth Government's wartime shipbuilding program.

    INVERELL was laid down by Mort's Dock and Engineering Co Ltd, Balmain, New South Wales on 7 December 1941, and launched on 2 May 1942 by Mrs T S Punch, Mayoress of Inverell. The corvette was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) on 17 September 1942 and began service in November 1942 as a convoy escort along the eastern Australian coast. INVERELL was then deployed to Darwin for escort runs between Darwin and Thursday Island.

    In early February 1943, INVERELL rescued the crew of a US Army Air Force bomber which had crashed on Croker Island. From September 1944 the corvette was based in Fremantle, undertaking training exercises with USN and RN submarines, with secondary duties including convoy escort and patrol. This deployment lasted until May 1945 when she was sent back to Darwin for minesweeping duties. In July INVERELL was based in Morotai and used as a patrol vessel until the end of World War II. The corvette received two battle honours for wartime service: Darwin 1943; Pacific 1942-45.

    Post-war duties included the transfer of Dutch East Indies territories from Japanese to Allied control; and a month operating off the coast of Queensland before arriving in Brisbane on 25 December 1945 for decommissioning. Inverell was paid off into reserve on 14 June 1946 and in November was towed to Sydney by sister ship HMAS ECHUCA.

    On 5 March 1952, INVERELL and three other Bathurst class corvettes (HMA Ships ECHUCA, KIAMA and STAWELL) were transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN).

    Report from The Canberra Times, Saturday 5 April 1952:
    "Minesweeper Gift to N.Z. SYDNEY, Friday.
    The first of four minesweepers recently presented by Australia to New Zealand will be handed over to the New Zealand Government at Garden Island Dockyard next Thursday. The Minister for the Navy, (Mr. McMahon) said that the minesweeper was H.M.A.S. Inverell. The Minister for Defence (Mr. McBride) will perform the handing over."

    Report from the Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 10 April 1952:
    "MINESWEEPER FOR N.Z. Formal Handing Over To-day
    The Australian mine sweeper Inverell will be officially handed over to New Zealand at the Garden Island fitting-out wharf at 11.30 a.m. to-day. She is one of the four minesweepers recently presented to New Zealand by the Commonwealth Government, and the first to be prepared for sea. The New Zealand High Commissioner in Australia, Mr G. E. L. Alderton, will accept the ship on behalf of his Government from Australian Minister for Defence, Mr. P. A. McBride. The Minister for the Navy, Mr. W. McMahon, will be present at the ceremony, which will be performed on the forecastle of Inverell. After the ship's book has been transferred, the Australian flag will be lowered from Inverell's jack-staff and the New Zealand flag raised. Inverell will sail for New Zealand later in the day, manned by a New Zealand crew, which arrived recently in H.M.N.Z.S. Kiwi."


    INVERELL was commissioned into the RNZN on 10 April 1952, but was decommissioned into reserve after a refit. In 1965, the corvette was refitted as a training and fisheries patrol ship and served until 19 August 1976, when she was decommissioned for the final time. On 1 November 1977, INVERELL was sold to Pacific Scrap Limited of Auckland for scrapping.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Maintenance on board HMAS INVERELL

    Assigned title: Handover of HMAS INVERELL to New Zealand Navy

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