HMAS Diamantina (K377/F377/A266/GOR266), named after the Diamantina River in Queensland, is a River-class frigate that served the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Diamantina was active from 1945 until 1946, was placed in reserve, then was recommissioned as a survey ship from 1959 until 1980.
Diamantina was committed to the Bougainville Campaign, providing fire support to the Australian Army units operating ashore in July and August 1945. Transiting through the Solomon Islands, she shelled Sohana Island and later provided counter-battery fire against Japanese positions on Taiof Island.
The frigate carried officers of the Japanese Imperial High Command to the surrender of Torokina in 1945. She was also involved in the surrenders of Nauru and Ocean Island ceremonies conducted on her quarterdeck. The ship was awarded the battle honour “Pacific 1945” for her wartime service.
Diamantina was recommissioned as an oceanographic survey ship in 1959. After successfully completing her first oceanographic survey, she embarked on her first oceanographic cruise. The ship performed the first survey of the Montebello Islands after the British atomic test, Operation Hurricane. Diamantina carried out the first survey of the waters around Christmas Island.
On this Quarterdeck, at the end of World War II, the surrender of the enemy was accepted on the Islands of Nauru and the Ocean Island.
Diamantina’s most notable achievement was the discovery of the deepest known part of the Indian Ocean in 1960, which was named Diamantina Deep after the ship. Diamantina remained in service as an oceanographic vessel until 1980.
HMAS Diamantina was the last World War II-era frigate to leave RAN service, and the only one of its kind preserved as a museum ship. Further pictures of the HMAS Diamantina are available at this link:
- Name: HMAS Diamantina (K377)
- Namesake: Diamantina River
- Launched: 1944
- Final Decommissioned: 1980
- Motto: “Whoever Leads Protects”
- Battle honours: Pacific 1945
- Class and type: River-class frigate
- Displacement: 1,420 long tons (1,440 t; 1,590 short tons)
- Length: 283 ft (86.3 m) p/p
- Beam: 36 ft 6 in (11.1 m)
- Draught: 9 ft (2.7 m); 13 ft (4.0 m) (deep load)
- Propulsion: 2 × Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 shafts, reciprocating vertical triple expansion, 5,500 ihp (4,100 kW)
- Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
- Range: 500 long tons (510 t; 560 short tons) oil fuel; 5,180 nautical miles (9,590 km; 5,960 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
- Complement: 140
- 2 × QF 4-inch (101.6 mm) Mk.XVI guns, single mounts HA/LA Mk.XX
- 8 × QF 20 mm Oerlikon, single mounts Mk.III, later;
- 3 × QF 40 mm Bofors, single mounts Mk.VII
- 4 × QF 20 mm Oerlikon, twin mounts Mk.V
- 1 × Hedgehog 24 spigot A/S projector with up to 50 depth charges
- Museum: Queensland Maritime Museum
“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
– William James
Photo Credit: GM