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With the end of hostilities and the demobilization of many of the RAN men who were ‘time expired’ the crew of Encounter was reduced in size and some of her armament was removed. Fisher’s doctrine had always been: ‘destroy opposition wherever it presents itself with overwhelming force.’, None of this belated activity could undo the damage done by weeks of dithering and lack of attention to what von Spee was most likely to be doing. Note: This video is hosted on YouTube and has no audio. It was now asked to do so by the Secretary of State for War, Kitchener. A junior French naval officer, who knew from Samoa’s wireless warning that von Spee was coming, set fire to the island’s coal supplies. [19][67] On return to Sydney, Melbourne entered a short refit, which concluded on 13 October and was immediately followed by a visit to Port Phillip, where the carrier was displayed to Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force officer cadets before the carrier returned to Sydney. [7][9] As Terrible was the closer of the two ships to completion, she was finished without modification, and was commissioned into the RAN on 16 December 1948 as HMAS Sydney. Her deployment took her to Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong where she participated in Exercise ALBATROSS, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea before arriving back in Sydney on 11 November. When it came to No 4 gun Starboard it was fired and it immediately recoiled right out of its cradle and came to rest on the upper deck to the rear of the gun-shield. She visited Hong Kong, cruised along the coast of Borneo and Java, and visited Christmas Island before going to Singapore for repairs to her hull in December 1915. It was formally announced on 7 August 1912 that he would be in command of the new cruiser Melbourne and that he “…has an excellent record of service in the Royal Navy”[2]. The diary continues with entries on most days, detailing what the ship was doing, and what others were doing. Congratulations to Andrew Kilsby and Greg Swinden for bringing this treasure chest onto public display and on the quality of the detailed research and technical command of their subject. The arrival of the RAN’s warships on their first ceremonial entry to Sydney was yet another visible sign of Australia’s steps towards nationhood. [26] Melbourne re-entered service at the conclusion of the refits on 14 February, and performed sea trials in Jervis Bay from 17 February until 5 May. But this menace at large in the Indian Ocean complicated the situation, and the pursuit of the von Spee became of secondary importance. Every day Melbourne provided some 200 personnel to act as marshals in various stadia, additionally, signalmen, carpenters and sick berth attendants were utilised to perform special duties. Her nemesis HMAS Sydney (Captain John Glossop, RAN) skulked in the dusky horizon. [161][162], The carrier was initially sold for breaking up as scrap metal for A$1.7 million, although the sale fell through in June 1984. At Fremantle the New Zealand troopships joined up with Australian troopships and proceeded to Colombo, but with the more modern Japanese cruisers as the escorts. [60] The carrier was also called on to perform underway replenishments and command and control functions. [8] Initial plans were for three carriers, with two active and a third in reserve, although funding cuts led to the purchase of only two carriers in June 1947: Majestic and sister ship HMS Terrible, for the combined cost of AU£2.75 million,(II) plus stores, fuel, and ammunition. She subsequently discovered KOMET on 11 October and seized the vessel without casualties on either side. He had served his Admiral well and demonstrated with his single light cruiser just how severe the disruption to the Empire’s trade routes could be in a period of six weeks. [166] The Australian government received a Telex on this day, reading:[note 4] .mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}. [60] The majority of Melbourne's commanders later reached flag rank. She returned to sea on 19 July to commence shakedown exercises and post-refit trials. Jose, A.W,  Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918. Whether as evident in the decision by the Captain of the Melbourne to protect the Australian/New Zealand convoy or pass the honour and glory to Sydney, or the 40 ft. near miss by a German torpedo in the English Channel en route to Plymouth there to have the first leave since the war began, to the other near misses as seen in the fate of other ships, or a member of the RN’s ‘Suicide Squadron’ on convoy duty in the North Sea. Melbourne was back in dock from November 1972 until August 1973, with further work done to her catapult. [143] On return in July, the carrier entered a major refit, which continued until 3 August 1979. She performed sea trials in Jervis Bay from 17 February until 5 May, then sailed for Subic Bay, Philippines, to participate in SEATO Exercise Sea Spirit. Pitt, Barrie, Coronel and the Falklands, Cassell & Co, 1960. That absence probably saved her from destruction. [iii], Throughout September and October, as von Spee made his way across the Pacific, Churchill had denied Cradock the powerful reinforcements for which he had asked. The old cruisers sea cocks were opened and a scuttling charge lit, however the charge failed to explode and as a result the ship drifted south and eventually sank, stern first, some five miles south east of the South Head Signal Station. ^(I) For the purpose of this article, a conventional aircraft carrier is defined as a ship designed primarily to launch and recover multiple fixed-wing aircraft from a flight deck, and operated as such. Australian Naval History Podcasts [146] In June 1977, the Defence Force Development Committee approved an investigation into acquiring a STOVL/helicopter carrier. This gave Australia a capability at that time not possessed by any land based air force operating jet aircraft in the region. The text of the telex message has been altered for readability. [114][120] At approximately the same time, Evans turned hard to starboard to avoid the approaching carrier. A copy of this book is held in the ADFA Library under DU 112.4 W5 E5 1912). [39] A reduction of embarked plane numbers to four Sea Venoms and six Gannets, along with regular rotation and careful use of the aircraft, extended their service life until the mid-1960s, while the size of the air group was maintained by carrying up to ten Wessex helicopters. [36] Approximately 350 Fleet Air Arm personnel were stationed aboard the carrier. Later that month, after rounding Cape Horn, as the flagship steamed through the waters off the Falklands where Fisher’s other two ‘greyhounds’ had avenged Cradock, Australia stopped to pick up a souvenir of the battle spotted by the officer of the watch. A replacement for Melbourne was under consideration as early as 1956, and the question was revisited on several occasions until the 1980s. Thus Encounter became the first cruiser to serve in the RAN. Reported Killed in Action 16 September 1916. It was a life buoy with the word Scharnhorst on it. —Telex communication to the Australian Government, Aircraft carriers of the Royal Australian Navy. Died of Tuberculosis 12 June 1915. This had always been a possibility. 1355 (includes 347 Carrier Air Group personnel), Parsons single reduction geared turbines, 2 shafts, Westland Wessex anti-submarine helicopters (later), Sea King anti-submarine helicopters (later). At the time of purchase, it was decided to incorporate new aircraft carrier technologies into the design, making Melbourne the third ship to be constructed with an angled flight deck. HMS Encounter’s role on the Australia Station was to conduct regular ‘showing the flag’ cruises to Australian and New Zealand ports and to the islands of New Guinea and the South West Pacific. [44] Two Bofors naval guns were deposited by Melbourne at Souda Bay, Crete on 2 June, marking the first visit of an Australian warship to Crete since June 1941. And so ended George Iles’s reminiscences. [4] Construction resumed in 1946, and major modifications to the design were incorporated. This definition does not include seaplane tender. [3] During this deployment, on 21 June 1981, Melbourne rescued 99 Vietnamese refugees from a disabled fishing vessel in the South China Sea. With the flagship were two Chatham class light cruisers: Sydney and Melbourne, built for the RAN; a third older cruiser, Encounter, on loan from the RN; and three new destroyers. Von Spee, having heard of the New Zealand army seizure of German Samoa, diverted from his easterly course across the Pacific, left his fleet train and sailed his warships south to the now occupied colony. AE2 – Stoker’s Submarine, Musical Composition by Lieutenant Matthew Klohs RAN. [15][57] Aboard were the 64 aircraft of RAN squadrons 808, 816, and 817, as well as the racing yacht Samuel Pepys (named after the English naval administrator and diarist), which was a gift to the RAN Sailing Association from the Royal Navy.

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