HMS Boomerang 1891-1904

HMS Boomerang was a Sharpshooter-class torpedo gunboat which served at the Australia Station between 5 September 1891 and 22 August 1904.

She was originally named HMS Whiting when construction began but renamed Boomerang shortly before sailing for Australia.   The Boomerang was 74 metres long, 8.2 metres beam, 2.59 metres draft and displaced 735 tons.  

Crew on the deck of the HMS Boomerang firing a torpedo. Photo Courtesy State Library of Queensland.

She was armed with five torpedo tubes and carried 15 torpedos, two quick firing 4.7 inch guns and four three-pounders. The Boomerang had a tops speed of 35 km/h (19 knots) and had a crew of 91.

The Boomerang was part of the Royal Navy’s Australian Auxiliary Squadron which comprised 5 cruisers and two torpedo gunboats.   While there was no immediate or specified threat to Australia there was an underlying fear in this country of invasion from Russia dating back to the Crimean War.

Sailors during training exercise on HMS Boomerang in 1892. Photo Courtesy State Library of Queensland.

The Boomerang returned to England in August 1904 and was sold off in Plymouth the following year.

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