HMAS Perth

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HMAS Perth
HMAS Perth in Sydney Harbour Navy photo
HMAS Perth in 1942 warpaint Navy photo
Name HMAS Perth (D29)
Owner Royal Australian Navy
Builder Portsmouth Naval Dockyard
Launched 26 Jul 1934
In service 10 Jul 1939
Out of service 28 Feb / 1 Mar 1942
Fate Sunk by Japanese Naval forces
General characteristics
Type Modified Leander Class Light cruiser
Tonnage 6830 tons
Length 555 feet (169.16m)
Beam 56 feet 8 inches (17.27m)
Depth 15 feet 8 inches (4.78m)
Propulsion 4 x turbines 72,000 HP
Speed 32.5 knots (60.19 km/h)
Capacity 681 crew


Originally constructed as one of three modified Leander class Cruisers for the Royal Navy and named HMS Amphion. Constructed in 1934 she wasn't commissioned until 1936 and then sold to the Australian Navy in 1939, and recommissioned as HMAS Perth. Her main armament comprised eight 6 inch guns in four twin turrets. She also carried four 4 inch guns, later upgraded to eight guns; 12 x 50 calibre machine guns in three quadruple mounts; and ten x .303 inch machine guns for close defence. She was also armed with eight Mark VII 21-inch torpedo tubes and an amphibious aircraft on a catapult.

When war was declared, the Perth began by patrolling local Australian waters until the end of 1940 when she was sent to the Mediterranean. There she was involve in the Battle of Greece, the Battle of Crete, and the Syria-Lebanon Campaign against the Vichy French. She returned to Australian waters in late 1941 with the entry of Japan in the war.

In February 1942 the Perth survived the Battle of the Java Sea, only to be sunk by Japanese torpedos during the Battle of Sunda Strait that occurred several days later on the evening of 28 February/1 March when she was in company with USS Houston. Of the 681 men aboard, 357 died from the action, 324 were captured by the Japanese, and of these a further 106 died in brutal captivity. The 218 survivors were repatriated to Australian at the end of the war.

A memorial is proposed for 77 Riverside road, East Fremantle.

Battle Honours

  • Atlantic 1939-43
  • Mediterranean 1940-43
  • Matapan 1941
  • Greece 1941
  • Crete 1941
  • Malta Convoys 1941-42
  • Pacific 1941-45
  • Sunda Strait 1942.

Crew Members