HMAS Perth (D29)

Perth in early 1942, shortly before her loss. Photo in the collection of the Australian War Memorial.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1933
Launched
1934
Commissioned
1936
AD/BC
AD
History

HMS Amphion (I29) was laid down in 1933 as part of the Leander-class. She commissioned in the Royal Navy in 1936, and spent the next two years off Africa as the flagship of the station. Amphion was decommissioned and transferred to the Australians in 1939. She recommissioned as Perth on 29 June, and was assigned to patrol duty in the Atlantic from the outbreak of World War II, until November, 1940. She survived the campaigns in Greece and Crete, and participated in the Battle of Cape Matapan (28-29 March) and the invasion of Syria and Lebanon (June-July, 1941). Perth then finally headed for Australia, arriving in August for an overhaul. She spent the next few months escorting convoys near Australia, but was transferred to the ABDA command in February, 1942. She managed to escape the debacle at the Java Sea, and attempted to escape through the Sunda Strait with the USS Houston and HNLMS Evertsen, but they had the misfortune there to run into a Japanese landing force. Completely outgunned, Perth acquitted herself well, but was sunk by torpedoes and gunfire, 25 minutes after midnight, 1 March, 1942. 328 of her crew survived the battle, but only 218 survived the war.

Bonus Information

Sad Fact: Perth's wreck was discovered in 2013 to have been violated by Indonesian marine salvagers. Unfortunately, she is not protected as a War Grave.