South West Pacific theatre of World War II
The South West Pacific theatre, during World War II, was a major theatre of the war between the Allies and the Axis. It included the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Borneo and its mandate Territory of New Guinea and the western part of the Solomon Islands; this area was defined by the Allied powers' South West Pacific Area command. In the South West Pacific theatre, Japanese forces fought against the forces of the United States and Australia. New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Philippines, United Kingdom, other Allied nations contributed forces; the South Pacific became a major theatre of the war following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. US warplans called for a counteroffensive across the Central Pacific, but this was disrupted by the loss of battleships at Pearl Harbor. During the First South Pacific Campaign, US forces sought to establish a defensive perimeter against additional Japanese attacks; this was followed by the Second South Pacific Campaign. The U. S. General Douglas MacArthur had been in command of the American forces in the Philippines in what was to become the South West Pacific theatre, but was part of a larger theatre that encompassed the South West Pacific, the Southeast Asian mainland and the North of Australia, under the short lived American-British-Dutch-Australian Command.
Shortly after the collapse of ABDACOM, supreme command of the South West Pacific theatre passed to MacArthur, appointed Supreme Allied Commander South West Pacific Area on 30 March 1942. In the other major theatre in the Pacific region, known as the Pacific Ocean theatre, Allied forces were commanded by US Admiral Chester Nimitz. Both MacArthur and Nimitz were overseen by the US Joint Chiefs and the Western Allies Combined Chiefs of Staff. Most Japanese forces in the theatre were part of the Southern Expeditionary Army, formed on November 6, 1941, under General Hisaichi Terauchi; the Nanpo gun was responsible for Imperial Japanese Army ground and air units in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. The Combined Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy was responsible for all Japanese warships, naval aviation units and marine infantry units; as the Japanese military did not formally utilize joint/combined staff at the operational level, the command structures/geographical areas of operations of the Nanpo gun and Rengō Kantai overlapped each other and those of the Allies.
Battle of the Philippines Battle of Bataan Battle of Corregidor Dutch East Indies campaign, 1941–42 Battle of Badung Strait 19–20 February 1942 Battle of the Java Sea 27 February 1942 Battle of Sunda Strait 28 February – 1 March 1942 Second Battle of the Java Sea 1 March 1942 Solomon Islands campaign 1943–45 New Georgia Campaign, June–August 1943 Battle of Kula Gulf 6 July 1943 Battle of Kolombangara 13 July 1943 Battle of Vella Gulf 6–7 August 1943 Naval Battle of Vella Lavella 6–7 October 1943 Battle of Empress Augusta Bay 2 November 1943 Battle of Cape St. George 25 November 1943 New Guinea campaign, 1942–45 Battle of Rabaul, January–February 1942 Invasion of Salamaua–Lae, March 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea 4–8 May 1942 Invasion of Buna-Gona, July 1942 Kokoda Track campaign, July–November 1942 Battle of Goodenough Island, October 1942 Battle of Buna-Gona, November 1942 – January 1943 Battle of Wau, January 1943 Battle of the Bismarck Sea 2 March 1943 Operation Chronicle 1943 Landing at Nassau Bay 1943 Salamaua-Lae campaign, April–September 1943 Finisterre Range campaign, September 1943 – April 1944 Huon Peninsula campaign, September 1943 – March 1944 Bougainville Campaign, November 1943 – August 1945 New Britain campaign 26 December 1943 Admiralty Islands campaign 29 February 1944 Invasion of Hollandia 22 April 1944 Battle of Biak 27 May 1944 Battle of Noemfoor 2 July 1944 Battle of Morotai 15 September 1944 Aitape-Wewak campaign November 1944 Battle of Timor 1942–43 Philippines campaign Battle of Leyte, October–December 1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf, 23-26 October 1944 Battle of Mindoro, December 1944 Battle of Lingayen Gulf, January 1945 Battle of Luzon, January–August 1945 Battle of Manila, February–March 1945 Battle of Corregidor, February 1945 Invasion of Palawan, February–April 1945 Battle of the Visayas, March–July 1945 Battle of Mindanao, March–August 1945 Battle of Maguindanao, January–September 1945 Borneo campaign, 1945 Battle of Tarakan, May–June 1945 Battle of North Borneo, June–August 1945 Battle of Balikpapan, July 1945 American-British-Dutch-Australian Command Cressman, Robert J..
The Official Chronology of the U. S. Navy in World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-149-1. Dull, Paul S.. A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. Potter, E. B.. Sea Power. Prentice-Hall. Silverstone, Paul H.. U. S. Warships of World War II. Doubleday and Company. Sulzberger, C. L.. The American Heritage Picture History of World War II. Crown Publishers. Drea, Edward J.. In the Service of the Emperor: Essays on the Imperial Japanese Army. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-1708-0. Eichelberger, Robert. Our Jungle Road to Tokyo. New York: Battery Press. ISBN 0-89839-132-6. Griffith, Thomas E. Jr.. MacArthur's Airman: General George C. Kenney and the War in the Southwest Pacific. Lawrence, Kansas, U. S. A.: University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-0909-1. Krueger, Walter. From Down Under to Nippon: Story of the 6th Army in World War II. Zenger. ISBN 0-89201-046-0. United State
Battle of Okinawa
The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, was a major battle of the Pacific War fought on the island of Okinawa by United States Marine and Army forces against the Imperial Japanese Army. The initial invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945, was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater of World War II; the 82-day battle lasted from April 1 until June 22, 1945. After a long campaign of island hopping, the Allies were planning to use Kadena Air Base on the large island of Okinawa as a base for Operation Downfall, the planned invasion of the Japanese home islands, 340 mi away; the United States created the Tenth Army, a cross-branch force consisting of the 7th, 27th, 77th, 96th infantry divisions of the US Army with the 1st, 2nd, 6th divisions of the Marine Corps, to fight on the island. The Tenth was unique in that it had its own tactical air force, was supported by combined naval and amphibious forces; the battle has been referred to as the "typhoon of steel" in English, tetsu no ame or tetsu no bōfū in Japanese.
The nicknames refer to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of Japanese kamikaze attacks, the sheer numbers of Allied ships and armored vehicles that assaulted the island. The battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific, with 160,000 casualties on both sides: at least 75,000 Allied and 84,166–117,000 Japanese, including drafted Okinawans wearing Japanese uniforms. 149,425 Okinawans were killed, committed suicide or went missing, a significant proportion of the estimated pre-war 300,000 local population. In the naval operations surrounding the battle, both sides lost considerable numbers of ships and aircraft, including the Japanese battleship Yamato. After the battle, Okinawa provided a fleet anchorage, troop staging areas, airfields in proximity to Japan in preparation for the planned invasion. In all, the Army had over 102,000 soldiers, over 18,000 Navy personnel. At the start of the Battle of Okinawa, the 10th Army had 182,821 personnel under its command, it was planned that General Buckner would report to Turner until the amphibious phase was completed, after which he would report directly to Spruance.
Although Allied land forces were composed of American units, the British Pacific Fleet provided about ¼ of Allied naval air power. It comprised a force. Although all the BPF aircraft carriers were provided by Britain, the carrier group was a combined British Commonwealth fleet with Australian, New Zealand and Canadian ships and personnel, their mission was to neutralize Japanese airfields in the Sakishima Islands and provide air cover against Japanese kamikaze attacks. Most of the air-to-air fighters and the small dive bombers and strike aircraft were US Navy carrier-based airplanes; the Japanese land campaign was conducted by the 67,000-strong regular 32nd Army and some 9,000 Imperial Japanese Navy troops at Oroku naval base, supported by 39,000 drafted local Ryukyuan people. The Japanese had used kamikaze tactics since the Battle of Leyte Gulf, but for the first time, they became a major part of the defense. Between the American landing on April 1 and May 25, seven major kamikaze attacks were attempted, involving more than 1,500 planes.
The 32nd Army consisted of the 9th, 24th, 62nd Divisions, the 44th Independent Mixed Brigade. The 9th Division was moved to Taiwan before the invasion, resulting in shuffling of Japanese defensive plans. Primary resistance was to be led in the south by Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima, his chief of staff, Lieutenant General Isamu Chō and his chief of operations, Colonel Hiromichi Yahara. Yahara advocated a defensive strategy, whilst Chō advocated an offensive one. In the north, Colonel Takehido Udo was in command; the IJN troops were led by Rear Admiral Minoru Ōta. They expected the Americans to land 6–10 divisions against the Japanese garrison of two and a half divisions; the staff calculated that superior quality and numbers of weapons gave each US division five or six times the firepower of a Japanese division. To this, would be added the Americans' abundant naval and air firepower. In Okinawa island, middle school boys were organized into front-line-service Tekketsu Kinnōtai, while Himeyuri students were organized into a nursing unit.
The Japanese Imperial Army mobilized 1,780 middle school boys aged 14–17 years into front-line-service. They were named "Tekketsu Kinnōtai"; this mobilization was conducted by the ordinance of the Ministry of Army, not by law. The ordinances mobilized the student as a volunteer soldier for form's sake. In reality, the military authorities ordered schools to force all students to "volunteer" as soldiers. Sometimes they counterfeited the necessary documents. About half of Tekketsu Kinnōtai were killed, including in suicide bomb attacks against tanks, in guerrilla operations. After losing the Battle of Okinawa, the Japanese government enacted new laws in preparation for the decisive battles in the main islands; these laws made it possi
New Guinea campaign
The New Guinea campaign of the Pacific War lasted from January 1942 until the end of the war in August 1945. During the initial phase in early 1942, the Empire of Japan invaded the Australian-administered territories of the New Guinea Mandate and Papua and overran western New Guinea, a part of the Netherlands East Indies. During the second phase, lasting from late 1942 until the Japanese surrender, the Allies—consisting of Australian and US forces—cleared the Japanese first from Papua the Mandate and from the Dutch colony; the campaign resulted in heavy losses for the Empire of Japan. As in most Pacific War campaigns and starvation claimed more Japanese lives than enemy action. Most Japanese troops never came into contact with Allied forces, were instead cut off and subjected to an effective blockade by the US Navy. Garrisons were besieged and denied shipments of food and medical supplies, as a result, some claim that 97% of Japanese deaths in this campaign were from non-combat causes. According to John Laffin, the campaign "was arguably the most arduous fought by any Allied troops during World War II".
The struggle for New Guinea began with the capture by the Japanese of the city of Rabaul at the northeastern tip of New Britain Island in January 1942. Rabaul overlooks Simpson Harbor, a considerable natural anchorage, was ideal for the construction of airfields. Over the next year, the Japanese built up the area into naval base; the Japanese 8th Area Army, under General Hitoshi Imamura at Rabaul, was responsible for both the New Guinea and Solomon Islands campaigns. The Japanese 18th Army, under Lieutenant General Hatazō Adachi, was responsible for Japanese operations on mainland New Guinea; the colonial capital of Port Moresby on the south coast of Papua was the strategic key for the Japanese in this area of operations. Capturing it would both neutralize the Allies' principal forward base and serve as a springboard for a possible invasion of Australia. For the same reasons, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander Allied Forces South West Pacific Area was determined to hold it. MacArthur was further determined to conquer all of New Guinea in his progress toward the eventual recapture of the Philippines.
General Headquarters Southwest Pacific Area Operational Instruction No.7 of 25 May 1942, issued by Commander-Allied-Forces, General Douglas MacArthur, placed all Australian and US Army, Air Force and Navy Forces in the Port Moresby Area under the control of New Guinea Force. Due north of Port Moresby, on the northeast coast of Papua, are the Huon Peninsula; the Japanese entered Lae and Salamaua, two locations on Huon Gulf, unopposed in early March 1942. MacArthur would have liked to deny this area to the Japanese, but he had neither sufficient air nor naval forces to undertake a counterlanding; the Japanese at Rabaul and other bases on New Britain would have overwhelmed any such effort. The only Allied response was a bombing raid of Lae and Salamaua by aircraft flying over the Owen Stanley Range from the carriers USS Lexington and USS Yorktown, leading the Japanese to reinforce these sites. Operation Mo was the designation given by the Japanese to their initial plan to take possession of Port Moresby.
Their operation plan decreed a five-pronged attack: one task force to establish a seaplane base at Tulagi in the lower Solomons, one to establish a seaplane base in the Louisiade Archipelago off the eastern tip of New Guinea, one of transports to land troops near Port Moresby, one with a light carrier to cover the landing, one with two fleet carriers to sink the Allied forces sent in response. In the resulting 4–8 May 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea, the Allies suffered higher losses in ships, but achieved a crucial strategic victory by turning the Japanese landing force back, thereby removing the threat to Port Moresby, at least for the time being. After this failure, the Japanese decided on a longer term, two-pronged assault for their next attempt on Port Moresby. Forward positions would first be established at Milne Bay, located in the forked eastern end of the Papuan peninsula, at Buna, a village on the northeast coast of Papua about halfway between Huon Gulf and Milne Bay. Simultaneous operations from these two locations, one amphibious and one overland, would converge on the target city.
Buna was taken as the Allies had no military presence there. The Japanese occupied the village with an initial force of 1,500 on 21 July and by 22 August had 11,430 men under arms at Buna. Began the grueling Kokoda Track campaign, a brutal experience for both the Japanese and Australian troops involved. On 17 September, the Japanese had reached the village of Ioribaiwa, just 30 kilometres from the Allied airdrome at Port Moresby; the Australians began their counterdrive on 26 September." "...the Japanese retreat down the Kokoda Trail had turned into a rout. Thousands perished from disease, thus was the overland threat to Port Moresby permanently removed. Since Port Moresby was the only port supporting operations in Papua, its defence was critical to the campaign; the air defences consisted of P-40 fighters. RAAF radar could not provide sufficient w
A battle honour is an award of a right by a government or sovereign to a military unit to emblazon the name of a battle or operation on its flags, uniforms or other accessories where ornamentation is possible. In European military tradition, military units may be acknowledged for their achievements in specific wars or operations of a military campaign. In Great Britain and those countries of the Commonwealth which share a common military legacy with the British, battle honours are awarded to selected military units as official acknowledgement for their achievements in specific wars or operations of a military campaign; these honours take the form of a place and a date. Theatre honours, a type of recognition in the British tradition allied to battle honours, were introduced to honour units which provided sterling service in a campaign but were not part of specific battles for which separate battle honours were awarded. Theatre honours could be listed and displayed on regimental property but not emblazoned on the colours.
Since battle honours are emblazoned on colours, artillery units, which do not have colours in the British military tradition, were awarded honour titles instead. These honour titles were permitted to be used as part of their official nomenclature, for example 13 Field Regiment. Similar honours in the same tenor include unit citations. Battle honours, theatre honours, honour titles and their ilk form a part of the wider variety of distinctions which serve to distinguish military units from each other. For the British Army, the need to adopt a system to recognise military units' battlefield accomplishments was apparent since its formation as a standing army in the part of the 17th century. Although the granting of battle honours had been in place at the time, it was not until 1784 that infantry units were authorised to bear battle honours on their colours. Before a regiment's colours were practical tools for rallying troops in the battlefield and not quite something for displaying the unit's past distinctions.
The first battle honour to be awarded in the British Army was granted to the 15th Hussars for the Battle of Emsdorf in 1760. Thereafter, other regiments received battle honours for some of their previous engagements; the earliest battle honour in the British Army is Tangier 1662–80, granted to the Tangier Horse, the oldest line cavalry regiment of the British army, who in 1969 amalgamated with the Royal Horse Guards to become The Blues and Royals. Awarded the honour was the 2nd Regiment of Foot, or the Tangier Regiment now The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, the senior English regiment in the Union, for their protracted 23-year defence of the Colony of Tangier; the battle honour is still held by the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. During these early years of the British standing army, a regiment needed only to engage the enemy with musketry before it was eligible for a battle honour. However, older battle honours are carried on the standards of the Yeomen of the Guard and the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, neither of which are part of the army, but are instead the Sovereign's Bodyguard, in the personal service of the sovereign.
The need to develop a centralised system to oversee the selection and granting of battle honours arose in the 19th century following the increase of British military engagements during the expansion of the Empire. Thus in 1882, a committee was formed to adjudicate applications of battle honour claims; this committee called the Battles Nomenclature Committee, still maintains its function in the British Army today. A battle honour may be granted to infantry/cavalry regiments or battalions, as well as ships and squadrons. Battle honours are presented in the form of a name of a country, region, or city where the unit's distinguished act took place together with the year when it occurred. Not every battle fought will automatically result in the granting of a battle honour. Conversely, a regiment or a battalion might obtain more than one battle honour over the course of a larger operation. For example, the 2nd Battalion of the Scots Guards were awarded two battle honours for their role in the Falklands War.
While in Korea, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry earned both "Kapyong" and "Korea 1951–1953". A unit does not have to defeat their adversary to earn a battle honour: the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps received the battle honour "Hong Kong" despite the defeat and capture of most of the force during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, while the cruiser HMAS Sydney was awarded the naval engagement honour "Kormoran 1941" after being sunk with all aboard by the German raider Kormoran. Supporting corps/branches such as medical, ordnance, or transport do not receive battle honours; however and uniquely the Royal Logistic Corps has five battle honours inherited from its previous transport elements, such as the Royal Waggon Train. Commonwealth artillery does not maintain battle honours as they carry neither colours nor guidons—though their guns by tradition are afforded many of the same respects and courtesies. However, both the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers were in 1832 granted by King William IV the right to use the Latin "Ubique", meaning everywhere, as a battle honour.
This is worn on the cap badge of both the Corps of Royal Enginee
Whyalla was founded as "Hummocks Hill", was known by that name until 1916. It is the third most populous city in the Australian state of South Australia after Adelaide and Mount Gambier. At the 2016 Census, Whyalla had an urban population of 21,751, it is a seaport located on the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula and is known as the "Steel City" due to its integrated steelworks and shipbuilding heritage. The port of Whyalla has been exporting iron ore since 1903; the city consists of an urban area bounded to the north by the railway to the mining town of Iron Knob, to the east by Spencer Gulf and to the south by the Lincoln Highway. The urban area consists of the following suburbs laid from east to west extending from a natural hill known as Hummock Hill – Whyalla, Whyalla Playford, Whyalla Norrie, Whyalla Stuart and Whyalla Jenkins. A port facility, a railyard serving the railway line to Iron Knob and an industrial complex are located to the immediate north of Hummock Hill. Whyalla Barson and the Whyalla Conservation Park are located about 10 kilometres north of the city.
The origin of the name Whyalla is disputed. In 1916 it was referred to as the "native" name, having been ascribed during a survey conducted a few years beforehand. During the 1940s, Mr Tindale, the ethnologist at the South Australian Museum believed that the name could have been derived from aboriginal words "Wajala" meaning "west" in a language common to Port Pirie, or "Waiala" meaning "I don't know" in a language more common to Port Augusta. In 1945, BHP advised that the name had been taken from nearby Mount Whyalla, which lies north-west of Whyalla midway between the town and Iron Knob. Other meanings ascribed to the word Whyalla include "dingo", "by the water" and "a place of water". Another hypothesis is that the name was brought by European settlers and was derived from a place called Whyalla in Durham, England, it was founded as Hummock's Hill in 1901 by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company as the end of a tramway bringing iron ore from Iron Knob in the Middleback Range to sea. Its first shipment was transported across Spencer Gulf to Port Pirie where it was used in lead smelters as a flux.
A jetty was built to transfer the ore and the first shipment was sent in 1903. The early settlement consisted of small tents clustered around the base of the hill; the Post Office opened in 1901 as Hummock's Hill and was renamed Whyalla on 1 November 1919. The arid environment and lack of natural fresh water resources made it necessary to import water in barges from Port Pirie. In 1905 the town's first school opened, it was called Hummock Hill School, was subsequently renamed as Whyalla Primary School and Whyalla Higher Primary School. The school's current name is Whyalla Town Primary School. On 16 April 1920 the town was proclaimed as Whyalla; the ore conveyor on the jetty was improved, the shipping of ore to the newly-built Newcastle, New South Wales steelworks commenced. The town grew until 1938; the BHP Indenture Act was proclaimed in 1937 and provided the impetus for the construction of a blast furnace and harbour. In 1939 the blast furnace and harbour began to be constructed and a commitment for a pipeline from the Murray River was made.
A shipyard was built to provide ships for the Royal Australian Navy during World War II. The population began rising and many new facilities, including a hospital and abbatoirs, were built. In 1941 the first ship from the new shipyard, HMAS Whyalla, was launched and the blast furnace became operational. By 1943 the population was more than 5,000. On 31 March 1943, the Morgan-Whyalla pipeline became operational. In 1945 the city came under combined company and public administration and the shipyard began producing commercial ships. In 1948 displaced persons began arriving from Europe. In 1958 the Company decided to build an integrated steelworks at Whyalla and it was completed in 1965. In the following year, salt harvesting began and coke ovens were built; the population grew rapidly, the South Australian Housing Trust was building 500 houses a year to cope with the demand. Plans for a city of 100,000 were produced by the Department of Lands. A second pipeline from Morgan was built to cope with the demand.
In 1970 the city adopted full local government status. Fierce competition from Japanese ship builders resulted in the closing of the shipyards in 1978, which were at the time the largest in Australia. From a peak population of 33,000 in 1976 the population dropped rapidly. A decline in the BHP iron and steel industry since 1981 impacted employment; the BHP long products division was divested in 2000 to form OneSteel, the sole producer of rail and steel sleepers in Australia. On 2 July 2012, OneSteel formally changed its name to Arrium. From 2004 northern South Australia enjoyed a mineral exploration boom and Whyalla found itself well placed to benefit from new ventures, being situated on the edge of the Gawler Craton; the city experienced an economic upturn with the population increasing and the unemployment rate falling to a more typical level. Whyalla has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: Broadbent Terrace: Whyalla High School 13 Forsyth Street: Hotel Bay View, Whyalla 5 Forsyth Street: Spencer Hotel, Whyalla Gay Street: World War Two Gun Emplacements, Hummock Hill 3 Whitehead Street: Whyalla Court House Since its beginnings as Hummock Hill, the town has served as a port for the shipment of iron ore from deposits along the Middleback Range.
The port's first conveyor belt loading system was installed in 1915, was capable of loading 1,000 tonnes of ore per hour. In 1943, it took 5½ to 6 hours to load a single 5,000-ton freighter. In 2007, new transshipment handling processes were implemented, which allowed Arrium to load iron ore onto larger
HMAS Whyalla (J153)
HMAS Whyalla, named for the city of Whyalla, South Australia was one of 60 Bathurst-class corvettes constructed during World War II and one of 20 built on Admiralty order but manned by personnel of and commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy. The ship was sold to the Victorian Public Works Department at the end of the war, who renamed her Rip and used her as a maintenance ship. In 1984, she was purchased by Whyalla City Council, who put her on display as a landlocked museum ship in 1987. In 1938, the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board identified the need for a general purpose'local defence vessel' capable of both anti-submarine and mine-warfare duties, while easy to construct and operate; the vessel was envisaged as having a displacement of 500 tons, a speed of at least 10 knots, a range of 2,000 nautical miles The opportunity to build a prototype in the place of a cancelled Bar-class boom defence vessel saw the proposed design increased to a 680-ton vessel, with a 15.5 knots top speed, a range of 2,850 nautical miles, armed with a 4-inch gun, equipped with asdic, able to fitted with either depth charges or minesweeping equipment depending on the planned operations: although closer in size to a sloop than a local defence vessel, the resulting increased capabilities were accepted due to advantages over British-designed mine warfare and anti-submarine vessels.
Construction of the prototype HMAS Kangaroo did not go ahead. The need for locally built'all-rounder' vessels at the start of World War II saw the "Australian Minesweepers" approved in September 1939, with 60 constructed during the course of the war: 36 ordered by the RAN, 20 ordered by the British Admiralty but manned and commissioned as RAN vessels, 4 for the Royal Indian Navy. Whyalla was laid down by Broken Hill Pty Co Ltd at Whyalla, South Australia on 24 July 1940; the corvette was launched on 12 May 1941 by Lady Barclay-Harvey, wife of the Governor of South Australia, commissioned on 8 January 1942. Whyalla was the first ship built by the Whyalla shipyard; the ship was to be named Glenelg, for the city of Glenelg, South Australia. That name was used by another Bathurst-class vessel. In 1942, the corvette worked supporting convoys off the south eastern Australian coast, was in Sydney Harbour during the Japanese midget submarine attack of 31 May 1942. 12 days Whyalla was escorting a southbound convoy when the freighter Guatemala was torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-21, the only ship to be lost in a convoy escorted by Whyalla.
In December 1942, the corvette was assigned to New Guinea, where she performed convoy escort, hydrographic survey work, was involved in the leadup to the battle of Buna-Gona. On 2 January 1943, Whyalla and two small Australian survey ships and Polaris, were attacked by Japanese dive-bombers while in McLaren Harbour, Cape Nelson, New Guinea; the corvette received minor damage with two crew injured by shrapnel. The corvette continued survey work until relieved by sister ship Shepparton in April 1943. Whyalla proceeded to Milne Bay, was present when the anchorage was attacked by a force of 100 Japanese aircraft. Again, Whyalla was not damaged, the corvette assisted sister ships Kapunda and Wagga in the rescue and salvage effort. Whyalla returned to Australia for refits in June 1943, on completion was assigned to convoy duty off Australia's east coast, where she remained until February 1944. Between February and June, she was involved in anti-submarine patrols off Sandy Cape was again assigned to New Guinea.
In December 1944, Whyalla was one of nine Australian Bathursts assigned to the British Pacific Fleet's 21st Minesweeping Flotilla. Whyalla spent the rest of the war performing minesweeping and anti-submarine duties with the British Pacific Fleet, as well as participating in the occupation of Okinawa from March to May 1944, entering a short refit in June 1944. Following the conclusion of World War II, Whyalla spent a short time operating in Hong Kong before returning to Brisbane in October 1945, she was decommissioned on 16 May 1946. The corvette received three battle honours for her wartime service: "Pacific 1942–45", "New Guinea 1942–44", "Okinawa 1945". Whyalla was sold to the Victorian Public Works Department on 10 February 1947; the corvette was modified for civilian service, renamed Rip, towed to Melbourne, where she entered service as a lighthouse maintenance vessel at the entrance to Port Phillip Bay. The ship was in service until 1984, was to be sold for scrap; when the Whyalla City Council learned that the corvette was to be scrapped, they negotiated to purchase the ship.
Whyalla was purchased for A$5,000 and sailed back to Whyalla with a volunteer crew of 11 and under her own steam in late 1984. The corvette was located in her launching slipway until April 1987, when she was moved 2 kilometres inland to become the centrepiece of the Whyalla Maritime Museum, which opened on 29 October 1988. Whyalla is one of only two Bathurst-class corvettes still in existence as museum ships. BooksDonohue, Hector. From Empire Defence to the Long Haul: post-war defence policy and its impact on naval force structure planning 1945–1955. Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs. No. 1. Canberra: Sea Power Centre. ISBN 0-642-25907-0. ISSN 1327-5658. OCLC 36817771. Stevens, David. A Critical Vulnerability: the impact of the submarine threat on Australia's maritime defense 1915–1954. Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs