HMAS Hobart (I)

About This Unit

HMAS Hobart (I)

Leander-class light cruiser, in Australian service 1938-1947. The Hobart was originally commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Apollo in 1936 and was transferred to Australia in September 1938, at the time of the Munich crisis. She was the first HMAS Hobart; the second saw service in the 1960s, a Charles F Adams class destroyer.

She was 171 metres long, with a beam of 56 metres, and displaced 7105 tons. She carried eight 6-inch guns, eight 4-inch guns and four 3-pounder guns, as well as eight torpedo tubes. The official complement was 35 officers and 611 ratings (646 total) and she could reach a speed of 32 knots.

Hobart saw service all over the world. In 1940 she fought around British Somaliland and Aden, and endured multiple bombing raids by Italian planes. In 1941 she served in the Mediterranean (/explore/campaigns/17) but moved to Singapore with Japan’s entry into the war. February 1942 saw evacuation from Singapore to Australia.  Hobart just missed the Battle of the Sunda Strait  in which her sister ship HMAS Perth and USS Houston were lost. 

Hobart took part in the Battle of the Coral Sea (/explore/campaigns/50) in May 1942 and covered the American landings at Guadalcanal in August. On 20 July 1943 she was damaged  by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine but managed to make it back to Sydney for extensive repairs.

Back at sea in early 1945, Hobart supported the landings at Cebu in the Philippines in March, at Tarakan on Borneo (/explore/campaigns/76) in April, at Wewak (/explore/campaigns/105) in May. She also saw service off Balikpapan in Borneo as part of Operation 'Oboe' landings in July 1945.  She arrived at Tokyo Bay on 31 August and was one of the Australian ships present at the Japanese surrender on 2 September 1945.



Middle East / Mediterranean 1939-42 (/explore/campaigns/17)

RAN SW Pacific / Indian Ocean 1941-43 (/explore/campaigns/96)

Battle of the Coral Sea 1942 (/explore/campaigns/50)

Guadalcanal 1942

Savo Island 1942

Borneo 1945 (/explore/campaigns/76)

Post World War II Occupying Forces

In the two years following the end of hostilities, Hobart remained in service as a unit of the Australian Squadron. Three periods were spent in Japanese waters in support of the occupation forces; November 1945 to March 1946; September to November 1946; and April to July 1947.

Commanding Officers

Captain Harry Howden CBE, RAN (/explore/people/1174782) (August 1939-June 1942)
Captain Henry Showers, RAN (/explore/people/1173467) (June 1942-October 1943)
Commander Frederick Cook, DSC, RAN (/explore/people/1173963) (October 1943-November 1944)
Captain Roy Dowling, DSO, RAN (/explore/people/803130) (November 1944-April 1946)