HMAS Stuart

Three ships hof the Royal Australian Navy have borne the name Stuart for John McDouall Stuart (1815-1866), explorer and surveyor.

The first HMAS Stuart (D-00/100) was a Scott class destroyer laid down by Hawthorn, Leslie and Company at Newcastle-on-Tyne in England on 18 October 1917, launched on 22 August 1918, commissioned into the Royal Navy on 21 December 1918, transferred to the Royal Australian Navy on 11 October 1933 and commissioned as HMAS Stuart. Stuart paid off at Sydney on 1 June 1938, was placed in commission from 29 September to 30 November 1938, recommissioned on 1 September 1939 under the command of Commander H.M.L. Waller RAN, served in the Mediterranean with the 19th Destroyer Division, the famous ‘Scrap Iron Flotilla’, where she took part in coastal bombardments of enemy strong points in Libya, led the 10th Destroyer Flotilla at the Battle of Calabria in July 1940, attacked and sank the enemy Italian submarine Gondar while in company with a Royal Air Force Sunderland flying boat on 30 September 1940, supported the 6th Australian Division when it captured Tobruk on 22 January 1941, participated in the Battle of Matapan in March 1941, assisted in the evacuation of Allied troops to Crete in April 1941 and the evacuation from Crete in May 1941, patrolled in support of the inshore bombarding forces in the Syrian campaign in June 1941, served with the ‘Tobruk Ferry Service’ for the supply and reinforcement of the beleaguered Australian garrison at Tobruk and made 24 runs in June and July 1941, returned to Australia in August 1941 and conducted escort duties in New Guinea and Australian waters until January 1946. HMAS Stuart paid off on 27 April 1946 and was sold for scrap to T. Carr and Company, Limited, of Sydney on 3 February 1947.

The second HMAS Stuart (F-21/48) was a River class destroyer escort laid down by the Cockatoo Docks and Engineering Company at Sydney in New South Wales on 20 March 1959, launched on 8 April 1961 by Mrs. J. G. Gorton, wife of the Minister for the Navy and commissioned at Sydney on 28 June 1963. HMAS Stuart, nicknamed the Tartan Terror, paid off on 26 July 1991.

The third HMAS Stuart (153) is an Anzac class frigate laid down by Tenix Defence Systems Propriety Limited at Williamstown in Victoria on 25 July 1998, launched on 17 April 1999 by Mrs. Maxine Barrie, the wife of Admiral Chris Barrie the Chief of the Defence Force and commissioned on 24 August 2002. HMAS Stuart is an active unit of the Royal Australian Navy.

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