HMAS Gordon—formerly HMVS Gordon

January 20, 2009


G’day Mack,

I have been looking for information about HMAS Gordon—formerly HMVS Gordon. I can find no information about the fate of this vessel, except the cryptic information that she was rammed and sunk on 14/11/14, presumably in Port Phillip Bay.  She was later raised and was broken up.

Gordon was transferred to the RAN along with a number of Colonial warships in 1911.

I wonder if you have information about this ship, or can point me in directions where I might find same.

Thanks in anticipation,
Allen Lyne

October 19, 2009:
Allen. If you contact me via
www.cerberus.com.au/contact/index.phpI can advise you as to who recently acquired the wheel from HMVS Gordon.


There is certainly a dearth of information about the torpedo boat Gordon, but she was only 12.5 tons, but was our first turnabout torpedo vessel, going from the Victorian Navy to join the Commonwealth Naval Forces at Federation, and finally to the RAN when so designated in 1911.

Here is the little I could glean about her. 

1886 saw the arrival of the turnabout torpedo boat Gordon, launched in 1884, and designed to turn rapidly after discharging her torpedoes.

Gordon  2nd Class torpedo boat  Victoria  12.5 tons  1884-1914

When in 1877 a Russian attack was thought possible, Cerberus was placed on a war footing. In 1888 there was great activity at Williamstown by the Naval authorities, when both telegraph cables to Europe were cut. Before the church bells stopped ringing on Sunday morning, the entire fleet was in readiness. Two days later HMVS Nelson joined HMVS Cerberus, Victoria, Albert, Childers, Lonsdale, Nepean and Gordon at the entrance to Pt. Phillip Bay. In 1890 Cerberus was again sent to the Heads when both cables were broken a second time.

 The Victorian Fleet consisted of Nelson, cut down battleship; Cerberus, turret ship; Batman, armed auxiliary; Fawkner, armed auxiliary, Childers, torpedo boat; Nepean, torpedo boat; Lonsdale, torpedo boat; Victoria. gunboat; Albert, gunboat; Gordon, torpedo launch; Commissioner, torpedo launch; Lion, torpedo launch; Gannet, armed tug; and Lady Loch, armed auxiliary.

With Federation on the 1st. of January 1901, all the previous State Navies were transferred to the Commonwealth on the 1st. of March 1901 to form the Commonwealth Naval Forces, and in 1911 became the Royal Australian Navy.

Gordon  from Victoria.  Rammed and sunk 14/11/14.
Raised and scrapped.  
Harbour duties.

See Ross Gillett's Warships of Australia, ISBN: 0-7270-0472-7.



Thanks for the information.  You are surely one of the best naval historians in the land. 


Thank you, but you surely flatter me.

Pleased to help in a small way.


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