HMAS Biloela

HMAS Biloela was a fleet collier operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from 1920 to 1927.[1]

Australia (RAN)
Builder: Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney
Laid down: 21 October 1918
Launched: 10 April 1919
Commissioned: 5 July 1920
Decommissioned: 14 November 1927
Fate: Sunk
General characteristics
Type: Collier
  • 5,596 gross tons
  • 3,366 net tons
Length: 382 ft 1 in (116.46 m) (overall)
Beam: 54 ft (16 m)
Draught: 22 ft 6 in (6.86 m)
Propulsion: Triple expansion reciprocating engines. 1 screw
Speed: 11 knots (20 km/h)
Complement: 70
Armament: Mountings for two 4-inch B.L. guns

Biloela was built at Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney, and was the first ship to be entirely built from Australian materials to an Australian design. She was completed on 5 July 1920 and supported the RAN's coal burning warships during peacetime training cruises. These warships were decommissioned in the second half of the 1920s, and Biloela was decommissioned into reserve on 14 November 1927.[1]

While the RAN considered converting Biloela to a seaplane tender these plans did not eventuate and the ship was sold to a commercial company in March 1931. The ship was renamed several times, finally being renamed Cree. During World War II, the ship operated in European waters and was attacked by German aircraft and damaged by a mine in the early part of the war. Cree was eventually sunk by a German submarine on 21 November 1940.[1]

Biloela is Aboriginal for 'Big White Bird' and is the name of a town in Queensland. The town was named for the sulphur crested cockatoos that inhabit the region.[2]


  1. "HMAS Biloela". Seapower Centre. Royal Australian Navy. Archived from the original on 4 March 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  2. "Biloela". Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
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