History Of The Second WARREGO Swo

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The second WARREGO was a Grimsby Class Sloop. She was built at Cockatoo Dock in Sydney, launched on the 10th of February 1940 and commissioned on the 22nd of August the same year. She was 266 feet 3 inches in length, 36 feet in the beam, her draught was 15 feet and she weighed in at 1,060 tons (standard). Top speed was 17 knots.
WARREGO was armed with 4 x 4-inch guns, 7 x 20mm Oerlikons, Depth Charge Throwers and carried the 128 Asdic (later Sonar) set.
After her initial work-up trials, the ship spent a month at Fremantle as an escort vessel escorting inbound and outbound convoys.
In October she became leader of the 20th Minesweeping Flotilla working out of Port Phillip Bay. In this role she was engaged in clearing the minefields that were
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' Said Lieut. Byrne. 'They probably thought we were heavier craft. 'Meanwhile, our minesweepers were being heavily attacked from the air. Seven enemy planes had made suicide dives among them, and one assault craft stopped a direct hit. We looked after 11 injured men. 'One American officers (sic) handled his craft on his own for three days. We saw him make his run on the landing day, and he did a very gallant job. The Warrego 's task was to mark the beach lanes with buoys, so that the assault craft could see to make their runs in the early morning. For three days, their group was under fire. They saw the attack on H.M.A.S. Australia, two days before the landing at Zamboanga, said Lieut. Byrne. The Warrego was the only Australian craft present detailed to test the area and find suitable anchorages.
After serving in the Philippines area and playing a major part in support of the landings, Warrego took part in support of landings in New Guinea and Borneo. Apart from her usual survey, minesweeping and channel marking duties, the little sloop also bombarded Japanese positions in Wewak in support of Australian forces ashore.
The last action WARREGO took part in during WW 2 was the landing by Australian soldiers at Balikpapan in Borneo. This was in July 1945 a month from the end of hostilities.
When the war ended on the 15th of August, 1945, the sloop was undergoing a refit in Sydney. She had streamed for
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She was back in Sydney in December 1945 and in early 1946 commenced her peacetime survey duties. She was out of commission from May 1949 until she recommissioned on 14 June 1951. Between the end of WW 2 and final paying off in 1963, WARREGO steamed 271,000 miles surveying the coastlines of many parts of Australia, the Monte Bello islands prior to the nuclear tests there in the early 1950s and in the Timor Sea.
From commissioning on 22 August 1940 until she paid off on the 15th of August 1963, WARREGO steamed a total of 440,978 miles. This little ship--at first as a ship of war fighting the Japanese, and then as a survey vessel carrying out vital survey work for our country--made a mighty contribution to the RAN and to Australia.
It is a shame that there has not been a WARREGO 3 so far. It seems that the current policy of naming ships will preclude this at least for the foreseeable future. There was a WARREGO there at the very beginning of the RAN; both ships of the name served Australia well and it is a pity not to perpetuate the name WARREGO.

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