HMAS Kookaburra

HMAS Kookaburra (A331) was a Net-class boom defence vessel of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), which served during World War II.

HMAS Kookaburra docked at Garden Island
Builder: Cockatoo Docks & Engineering Company
Laid down: 4 July 1938
Launched: 29 October 1938
Commissioned: 28 February 1939
Decommissioned: 15 January 1946
Recommissioned: November 1950
Decommissioned: November 1950
Recommissioned: 11 May 1956
Decommissioned: 3 December 1958
Honours and
  • Battle honours:
  • Darwin 1942-43
Fate: Sold in August 1965, scuttled in March 1970
General characteristics
Class and type: Net-class Boom Defence Vessel
Displacement: 530 tonnes
Length: 160 ft (49 m)
Beam: 26 ft 6 in (8.08 m)
Draught: 10 ft 3 in (3.12 m)
Propulsion: Triple-expansion steam engine
Speed: 9.5 knots (17.6 km/h; 10.9 mph)
Armament: 1 × 3-inch anti-aircraft gun, 2 × Vickers machine guns


Kookaburra was of three ships ordered by the Royal Australian Navy for use as boom-net defence vessels.[1] She was laid down by the Cockatoo Docks & Engineering Company at Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney on 4 April 1938, launched on 29 October 1938, and commissioned into the RAN on 28 February 1939.[2]

Operational history

Originally used as boom defence ship and anti-submarine training vessel in Sydney, Kookaburra was transferred to Darwin in April 1940.[2] The ship served as a boom defense and examination vessel in Darwin, and remained there until the end of World War II, with the exception of a refit in Brisbane between September 1942 and February 1943.[2] Kookaburra received the battle honour "Darwin 1942-43" for her wartime service.[3][4]

On 15 January 1946, Kookaburra was paid off into reserve, was briefly recommissioned for a voyage to Sydney in 1950, and underwent conversion to a "Special Duties Vessel".[2] Kookaburra was recommissioned again on 11 May 1956 as a survey and general duties ship.[2]

In July 1952, the ship visited Brisbane.[2] During this visit, a paperboy delivering to the ship fell overboard and was rescued by two personnel from Kookaburra.[2]

Decommissioning and fate

Kookaburra was decommissioned for the final time on 3 December 1958.[2] She was marked for disposal on 24 June 1965,[2] sold in August 1965, and scuttled in March 1970.


  1. David Stevens (2005). A Critical Vulnerability, pg 103
  2. Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Kookaburra (I)
  3. "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.
  4. "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.

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