The “MOA” was one of a three ship order for the New Zealand Navy, a “Bird Class” armed trawler. This class was based on the same design as H.M.S. Bassett, with further improvements over a period of time. They were the first new ships to enter service with the Royal New Zealand Navy.
This class of vessel was designed for training in seamanship, gunnery, minesweeping, and torpedo work. They were quickly converted for use as minesweepers and escort duties.
(Photograph's courtesy of RNZN. Museum)
Type: Bird Class Trawlers
Displacement (full load): 937 tonnes
Dimensions: 51.2m length, 48m height, 9.1m beam, 4.7m draught
Engines: 1-shaft reciprocating engine, oil fired, max speed 13 knots
Armament: 1 x 102mm [4”] gun
ASDIC [anti-submarine equipment]
1 x twin Hotchkiss light MG mounting
1 x 20mm gun (from 1942), a further 2 x 20mm fitted unofficially in 1943
Complement: 33-35 officers and ratings
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H.M.N.Z.S MOA (T233) had an eventful war serving as part of a minesweeper flotilla in the Solomon Islands, and working long and dangerous hours in the area of Guadalcanal,
She took part in the sinking of the Japanese submarine I-1 and many other adventures, before being sunk by Japanese dive bombers.
Japanese Submarine I-1
(Photograph's courtesy of RNZN. Museum)H.M.N.Z.S. MOA (7th April 1943) was hit by two bombs in Tulagi, Harbour while re-fuelling and she sank within 4 minutes with the loss of five crewmen, and a total of 15 wounded.