- Old, Commander R.H., RAN
- Ship design and development
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Parramatta III, HMAS Parramatta II, HMAS Parramatta I, HMAS Avondale
- December 1986 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
During later deployment to the Mediterranean, Parramatta I became the first RAN ship to successfully use a submarine spotting balloon, spotting a German sub- marine on the surface. In October 1917, Parramatta I also became the first RAN ship to sink an enemy submarine. The attack was executed using a single depth charge manhandled over the stern.
At the end of World War I Parramatta I was assigned to training until 1922 when she was decommissioned and placed in reserve. The ship remained in reserve until 1928 when she was stripped of her armament and transferred to the NSW Government to be used as a prison ship. This plan was abandoned and the ship was towed up the Hawkesbury River and grounded. To this day the badly corroded hull of Parramatta I can be seen at the mouth of Cowan Creek. The bow and stern have since been raised; the stern is in memorial at Parramatta City, the bow resides at the northern end of GID.
HMAS Parramatta II
The second HMAS Parramatta was built at Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney. She was commissioned on 8 April 1940, armed with three 4-inch guns and depth charges. The ship displaced 1060 tonnes, had a speed of 18 knots and carried a complement of 185.
In July 1940, Parramatta II deployed to the Middle East to serve with the Royal Navy’s Red Sea Force for almost a year, carrying out minesweeping and convoy escort duties.
In June 1941 Parramatta II was transferred to the Mediterranean Station for convoy escort duties in the Gulf of Suez. Three weeks after she arrived, Parramatta II in company with the sloop, HMS Auckland, was escorting a tanker carrying vital supplies of fuel to Tobruk. The convoy came under attack by 48 Italian dive bombers. In the ensuing battle, Auckland was hit and lost steering, resulting in a near collision with Parramatta II, before she broke up and sank. Parramatta II was unharmed and succeeded in shooting down three aircraft then rescuing 167 Auckland survivors from the water. The tanker arrived safely at Tobruk.
On the night of 27 November 1941, Parramatta II, in company with HMAS Avonvale, was escorting an ammunition freighter to Tobruk when she came under attack from a German U-Boat. She was hit by two torpedoes and sank within a minute. 141 of her crew of 171 were lost.