AUSTRALIA 1940

       


ENTERING SYDNEY HARBOUR

 

After calls at Tahiti and Fiji PERTH arrived in Australia, sailing through Sydney Heads just after 10am on 31st March 1940 .  She tied up at the cruiser wharf, Garden Island at 10.40am.  Since commissioning she had steamed over 73000 miles. 

 

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HMAS Perth about to berth at Garden Island

HMAS PERTH spent April 1940 refitting.  In May, she carried out convoy escorts and exercises and on 17th was off the coast of Queensland shadowing the Italian liner "Romolo".  On her return from there she ran into a violent storm and was subsequently docked for repairs at Sydney.  She then proceeded to Melbourne with HMAS SWAN.

Sir Philip Weyland Bowyer-Smyth
1894 - 1978
Captain of PERTH

6th June 1940 to
1st Sept 1941

          On June 6th, Capt. Sir Philip Bowyer-Smyth relieved Capt. Farncomb and for the rest of the month PERTH escorted liners to Melbourne and patrolled the Bass Strait.  In July she escorted the liner ORONTES to Adelaide and then carried out patrols in that area.  August was spent patrolling the Tasman and on the 30th August,  Perth took over escort of a convoy from HMNZS ACHILLES in the Tasman and escorted it to Melbourne.

HMAS PERTH in Sydney Harbour, May 1940

 

           In early September, PERTH carried out exercises off  Sydney and then spent the rest of the month and October escorting convoys from Melbourne to Fremantle.  In late October she escorted a convoy,  which included  "Queen Mary" and "Aquitania", 1500 miles into the Indian Ocean and then proceeded to Cocos Islands.

November was spent  on escorts and patrols from Fremantle and on November 30th , with HMAS CANBERRA, she steamed 800 miles into the South Indian Ocean to find a German raider but the search was unsuccessful.   On 28th PERTH and CANBERRA left Fremantle  as escorts for the liners, "Orion",  "Strathnaver" and "Stratheden" bound for Colombo.

           After performing some convoy duties in the Colombo - Aden area with the Royal Indian Navy, PERTH sailed through the Suez Canal and arrived at Alexandria on 24th December 1940.  On the 27th, the ship was painted in her first camouflage pattern designed by AB Ross Birbeck.

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