1936 - 1939




Pendant No D29
Call Sign:    


Flag Hoist    
Displacement 6890 tons standard:  9130 tons full load.
 Dimensions: 532ft p.p - 562ft oa   x  56ft 8in x  15ft 6in.
 Machinery: 4 Admiralty 3-Drum Boilers - 4 Shaft Parsons geared Turbines - 72,500shp = 32.5 knots
 Oil Fuel:  1760 tons
Radius:  7400 miles at 13 knots - 1920 miles at 30.5 knots
Builders: H.M.Naval Dockyard, Portsmouth, England
Laid Down: 26 Jun 1933 - Launched 27 Jul 1934 - Completed 21 Jul 1936
Armament:  8 x 6"  in twin turrets    4 x Single 4"
12 x 0.5mgs    4 x 3pdr saluting guns
8 x 21" Torpedoes in quadruple mounts 12 Depth Charges


HMS AMPHION was the last of three Modified Leander Class cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the 1930's and later transferred to the Royal Australian Navy.

                 AMPHION  was launched at Portsmouth on the 27th July 1934  and commissioned on the 15th June 1936 under Capt. R.L.Burnett O.B.E. RN.  ( He would later win fame in World War ll at the Battle of the Barents Sea and at the sinking of the German battleship SCHARNHORST .)  

After trials at Spithead she left Portsmouth on 18th July 1936 for Simonstown , South Africa where she would become flagship of the 6th Cruiser Squadron under Vice Admiral Sir Francis L. Tottenham.

                On the way she stopped at Tennerife  in the Canary Islands where General Franco was trying to overthrow the Spanish Government.  She stayed there until relieved by HMS LEANDER in October.  After a brief stop at the island of Saint Helena, she proceeded to Simonstown arriving on 3rd October 1936.

                During her stay on the Africa Station,  AMPHION  was mainly involved in "Showing the flag" cruises.    In the latter part of 1936 she did a cruise of the West coast as far north as Freetown and Bathurst. A stop a Dakar was cancelled due to an outbreak of yellow fever.On Thursday 6th Aug 1936, Stoker 2/C Basil TINKER died of an illness. 



In April 1937  she did a short cruise up the East coast as far as New London calling at several ports on the way.  In June she once again cruised the East coast as far north as Port Amelia off the tip of Madagascar.   On the 14th July, while approaching her anchorage in Bazaruto Bay she ran aground on soft sand.  After being stuck for 49 minutes she managed to free herself with no damage. On 29th April one of AMPHION's aircraft, Osprey K5751, was attempting a landing on Simonstown Bay when it struck turbulent air. The nose of the port float collapsed and the aircraft overturned causing severe damage. The pilot Flt.Lt. F.Judd** survived the incident.

              In January 1938, AMPHION took part in the Navy Week celebrations at Simonstown Naval Base.   As well as AMPHION, HMSs NEPTUNE, PENZANCE, and  BRIDGEWATER were open to the public.  
An unfortunate incident occurred during the week when AMPHION's Osprey floatplane K5747, piloted by Lt. John Charles Hugh Price* from HMS NEPTUNE, crashed into a mountain opposite the base. The crash killed Lt.Price and AB Leslie.V Hammond (P/J113195). Lt. Price and AB Hammond were buried at sea with full military honours on 22nd January 1938.

continued her cruises up the West Coast in July and August. On the 9th September she hosted a day cruise for local politicians who were treated to gunnery and air attack displays.


April 1937

On the 3rd December 1938 the flag of the CinC was transferred to HMS NEPTUNE and AMPHION left Simonstown for the last time.  She arrived at Portsmouth on 15th December 1938 where she paid off and underwent a long refit. The refit at Portsmouth Dockyard, before being handed over to the R.A.N. as HMAS PERTH  involved, among other modifications, the installation of modern twin 4 inch anti-aircraft mountings in place of the original single 4 inch guns

During her commission, AMPHION  steamed over 58,000 naut. miles.
(Royal Navy Historical Branch)

      * Navy List shows Lt.Price as attached to NEPTUNE.
** Sturtivant & Cronin ("Fleet Air Arm aircraft, units and ships")       

Capt.R.L.Burnett and Vice Adm.F.L.Tottenham
RAF Armourer T.W.Mills
For Aircraft used on HMS Amphion click here


Entering Portsmouth


Crew Members
Crew Member Allan Biggs

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