HMAS Australia

Two ships of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) have been named HMAS Australia. A third ship was to receive the name, but her transfer from the Royal Navy to the Royal Australian Navy was cancelled:

Battle honours

Ships named HMAS Australia are entitled to carry ten battle honours:[1][2]

See also


  1. ^ "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours" (PDF). Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
1944 in Australia

The following lists events that happened during 1944 in Australia.

2nd Battlecruiser Squadron

The 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron was a Royal Navy squadron of battlecruisers that saw service as part of the Grand Fleet during the First World War.

Alan McNicoll

Vice Admiral Sir Alan Wedel Ramsay McNicoll, (3 April 1908 – 11 October 1987) was a senior officer in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and a diplomat. Born in Melbourne, he entered the Royal Australian Naval College at the age of thirteen and graduated in 1926. Following training and staff appointments in Australia and the United Kingdom, he was attached to the Royal Navy at the outbreak of the Second World War. As torpedo officer of the 1st Submarine Flotilla in the Mediterranean theatre, McNicoll was decorated with the George Medal in 1941 for disarming enemy ordnance. He served aboard HMS King George V from 1942, sailing in support of several Arctic convoys and taking part in the Allied invasion of Sicily. McNicoll was posted for staff duties with the Admiralty from September 1943 and was involved in the planning of the Normandy landings. He returned to Australia in October 1944.

McNicoll was made executive officer of HMAS Hobart in September 1945. Advanced to captain in 1949, he successively commanded HMAS Shoalhaven and HMAS Warramunga before being transferred to the Navy Office in July 1950. In 1952, McNicoll chaired the planning committee for the British nuclear tests on the Montebello Islands, and was appointed commanding officer of HMAS Australia. He commanded the ship for two years before it was sold off for scrap, at which point he returned to London to attend the Imperial Defence College in 1955. He occupied staff positions in London and Canberra before being posted to the Naval Board as Chief of Personnel in 1960. This was followed by a term as Flag Officer Commanding HM Australian Fleet.

McNicoll's career culminated with his promotion to vice admiral and appointment as First Naval Member and Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) in February 1965. As CNS, McNicoll had to cope with significant morale and recruitment issues occasioned by the February 1964 collision between HMAS Melbourne and Voyager and, furthermore, oversaw an extensive modernisation of the Australian fleet. In 1966, he presided over the RAN contribution to the Vietnam War, and it was during his tenure that the Australian White Ensign was created. McNicoll retired from the RAN in 1968 and was appointed as the inaugural Australian Ambassador to Turkey. He served in the diplomatic post for five years, then retired to Canberra. McNicoll died in 1987 at the age of 79.

Australian Squadron

The Australian Squadron was the name given to the British naval force assigned to the Australia Station from 1859 to 1911.The Squadron was initially a small force of Royal Navy warships based in Sydney, and although intended to protect the colonies of Australia and New Zealand, the ships were primarily used for surveying and police work. The isolation of Australia from the rest of the British Empire meant the force was easily neglected, and by the 1870s, was perceived to be useless for its intended role. Following the passing of the Australasian Defence Act 1887, an additional 'Auxiliary Squadron' was assigned to the Station by the British Admiralty with the responsibility for protecting trade in the region. During the early 1900s, the Australian and New Zealand governments agreed to help fund the Squadron, while the Admiralty committed itself to keeping the Squadron at a constant strength.As a British force, the Australia Squadron ceased on 4 October 1913, when the ships of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) entered Sydney Harbour for the first time. However, the term was subsequently used between 1926 and 1949 to refer to the ships of the RAN: after the decommissioning and scuttling of the battlecruiser HMAS Australia and other cutbacks, the term 'Australian Fleet' was thought to be inappropriate to describe the navy's strength. HMAS Melbourne served as squadron flagship between 1922 and 1928.

Emile Dechaineux

Emile Frank Verlaine Dechaineux, DSC (3 October 1902 – 21 October 1944) was an Australian mariner who reached the rank of Captain in the Royal Australian Navy during World War II. He was killed by a Japanese aircraft in what is believed to have been the first ever kamikaze attack, in the lead-up to the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

French West Africa in World War II

In World War II, French West Africa (Afrique occidentale française, AOF) was not the scene of major fighting. Only one large-scale action took place there: the Battle of Dakar (23–25 September 1940). The region remained under the control of Vichy France after the fall of France (25 June 1940) and until the Allied invasion of North Africa (8–16 November 1942). French Gabon, the only colony of French Equatorial Africa not to join Free France after the armistice, fell to invading Free French Forces from the neighbouring colonies after the Battle of Gabon (8–12 November 1940), further isolating West Africa.

Unlike in metropolitan France, the French Colonial Troops in West Africa were not reduced after the 1940 armistice and the region was little interfered with by the Axis powers, providing a valuable addition to the forces of Free France after it had been liberated. Before this happened, there was some tension between the French and the neighbouring British colonies, particularly Sierra Leone, leading to the formation of the Freetown Defence Flight in June 1941, but no military incidents took place.

George Neilly

George Henry Neilly (3 March 1917 – 6 May 1987) was an Australian politician. He was a member of the New South Wales Parliament from 1954 to 1977. He was a member of the Labor Party (ALP).

Neilly was born in the Hunter Region coal mining town of Kurri Kurri. He was the son of a carter and was educated to 8th grade level at Maitland High School. At age 17 he became a coal miner at Abermain Colliery. He was an office-holder in the Miners' Federation and was general secretary of the Northern Lodge of the union from 1954 to 1959.

He saw service during World War Two on HMAS Australia.

In 1954 he was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council through an indirect election by the New South Wales Parliament. He was elected for the balance of the term of Francis Buckley who resigned from parliament.

He won ALP pre-selection for the seat of Cessnock at the 1959 state election. He won the seat replacing the previous member John Crook.He retired due to ill health prior to the state election of 1978. He was the father of Stan Neilly who was also a member for the seat of Cessnock.

HMAS Australia (1911)

HMAS Australia was one of three Indefatigable-class battlecruisers built for the defence of the British Empire. Ordered by the Australian government in 1909, she was launched in 1911, and commissioned as flagship of the fledgling Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 1913. Australia was the only capital ship ever to serve in the RAN.At the start of World War I, Australia was tasked with finding and destroying the German East Asia Squadron, which was prompted to withdraw from the Pacific by the battlecruiser's presence. Repeated diversions to support the capture of German colonies in New Guinea and Samoa, as well as an overcautious Admiralty, prevented the battlecruiser from engaging the German squadron before the latter's destruction. Australia was then assigned to North Sea operations, which consisted primarily of patrols and exercises, until the end of the war. During this time, Australia was involved in early attempts at naval aviation, and 11 of her personnel participated in the Zeebrugge Raid. The battlecruiser was not at the Battle of Jutland, as she was undergoing repairs following a collision with sister ship HMS New Zealand. Australia only ever fired in anger twice: at a German merchant vessel in January 1915, and at a suspected submarine contact in December 1917.

On her return to Australian waters, several sailors aboard the warship mutinied after a request for an extra day's leave in Fremantle was denied, although other issues played a part in the mutiny, including minimal leave during the war, problems with pay, and the perception that Royal Navy personnel were more likely to receive promotions than Australian sailors. Post-war budget cuts saw Australia's role downgraded to a training ship before she was placed in reserve in 1921. The disarmament provisions of the Washington Naval Treaty required the destruction of Australia as part of the British Empire's commitment, and she was scuttled off Sydney Heads in 1924.

HMAS Australia (D84)

HMAS Australia (I84/D84/C01) was a County-class heavy cruiser of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). One of two Kent-subclass ships ordered for the RAN in 1924, Australia was laid down in Scotland in 1925, and entered service in 1928. Apart from an exchange deployment to the Mediterranean from 1934 to 1936, during which she became involved in the planned British response to the Abyssinia Crisis, Australia operated in local and South-West Pacific waters until World War II began.

The cruiser remained near Australia until mid-1940, when she was deployed for duties in the eastern Atlantic, including hunts for German ships and participation in Operation Menace. During 1941, Australia operated in home and Indian Ocean waters, but was reassigned as flagship of the ANZAC Squadron in early 1942. As part of this force (which was later redesignated Task Force 44, then Task Force 74), Australia operated in support of United States naval and amphibious operations throughout South-East Asia until the start of 1945, including involvement in the battles at the Coral Sea and Savo Island, the amphibious landings at Guadalcanal and Leyte Gulf, and numerous actions during the New Guinea campaign. She was forced to withdraw following a series of kamikaze attacks during the invasion of Lingayen Gulf. The prioritisation of shipyard work in Australia for British Pacific Fleet vessels saw the Australian cruiser sail to England for repairs, where she was at the end of the war.

During the late 1940s, Australia served with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan, and participated in several port visits to other nations, before being retasked as a training ship in 1950. The cruiser was decommissioned in 1954, and sold for scrapping in 1955.

Harold Farncomb

Rear Admiral Harold Bruce Farncomb (28 February 1899 – 12 February 1971) was a senior officer in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) who served in the First and Second World Wars, and as a lawyer. He was the first Australian-born RAN officer to reach a flag rank in the RAN. The Collins class submarine HMAS Farncomb is named in his honour.

Henry Burrell (admiral)

Vice Admiral Sir Henry Mackay Burrell, (13 August 1904 – 9 February 1988) was a senior commander in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). He served as Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) from 1959 to 1962. Born in the Blue Mountains, Burrell entered the Royal Australian Naval College in 1918 as a 13-year-old cadet. His first posting at sea was aboard the cruiser HMAS Sydney. During the 1920s and 1930s, Burrell served for several years on exchange with the Royal Navy, specialising as a navigator. During World War II, he filled a key liaison post with the US Navy, and later saw action as commander of the destroyer HMAS Norman, earning a mention in despatches.

Promoted captain in 1946, Burrell played a major role in the formation of the RAN's Fleet Air Arm, before commanding the flagship HMAS Australia in 1948–49. He captained the light aircraft carrier HMAS Vengeance in 1953–54, and was twice Flag Officer of the Australian Fleet, in 1955–56 and 1958. Burrell was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1955 and a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1959. As CNS, he began a major program of acquisitions for the Navy, including new helicopters, minesweepers, submarines and guided-missile destroyers. He also acted to reverse a plan by the government of the day to dismantle the Fleet Air Arm. Knighted in 1960, Burrell retired to his farm near Canberra in 1962 and published his memoirs, Mermaids Do Exist, in 1986. He died two years later, aged 83.

List of aircraft of the Royal Australian Navy

This is a list of aircraft of the Royal Australian Navy.

List of battlecruisers

During the first half of the 20th century, many navies constructed or planned to build battlecruisers: large capital ships with greater speed but less armor than dreadnought battleships. The first battlecruisers, the Invincible class, were championed by the British First Sea Lord John Fisher and appeared in 1908, two years after the revolutionary battleship HMS Dreadnought. In the same year, Germany responded with its own battlecruiser, SMS Von der Tann. Over the next decade, Britain and Germany built an additional twelve and six battlecruisers, respectively. Other nations joined them: HMAS Australia entered service for the Royal Australian Navy in 1913, Japan constructed four ships of the Kongō class from 1911 through 1915, and in late 1912 Russia laid down the four Borodino-class battlecruisers, though they were never completed. Two countries considered acquiring battlecruisers in this time, but chose not to: France looked at several battlecruiser design studies in 1913 and 1914, and the United States ordered six Lexington-class battlecruisers in 1916 that were never built.The British and German battlecruisers were used extensively during World War I between 1914 and 1918, including in the Battles of Heligoland Bight and Dogger Bank, and most famously in the Battle of Jutland on 31 May and 1 June 1916, where one German and three British battlecruisers were sunk. The Japanese battlecruisers did not see action during the war, as the German naval presence in the Pacific was destroyed by the British in the early months of the war. Britain and Germany attempted to build additional battlecruisers during the war—the Admiral class for the former, and the Mackensen and Ersatz Yorck classes for the latter—but changing priorities in favor of smaller warships prevented their completion. At the end of the war, the German High Seas Fleet was interned and subsequently scuttled in Scapa Flow.In the immediate aftermath of World War I, Britain, Japan, and the United States all considered new battlecruiser construction, including the British G3 class, the Japanese Amagi class, and a revised version of the American Lexingtons. In the interest of avoiding another crippling naval arms race, the three countries, along with France and Italy, signed the Washington Naval Treaty in 1922, which included a moratorium on new capital ship construction. A clause in the treaty, however, gave the British, Japanese, and Americans a chance to convert several of their battlecruisers into aircraft carriers. Only a handful of battlecruisers survived the arms limitation regime. In the 1930s, several navies considered new "cruiser killer" battlecruisers, including Germany's O class, the Dutch Design 1047, and the Soviet Kronshtadt class. The outbreak of World War II in September 1939 put a halt to all these plans.During the war, the surviving battlecruisers saw extensive action, and many were sunk. The four Japanese Kongō-class ships had been rebuilt as fast battleships in the 1930s, but all were sunk during the conflict. Of the three British battlecruisers still in service, HMS Hood and Repulse were sunk, but Renown survived the war. The only other battlecruiser in existence at the end of the Second World War was the ex-German Goeben, which had been transferred to Turkey during the First World War and served as Yavuz Sultan Selim.Several new wartime classes were proposed, including the American Alaska class and the Japanese Design B-65 class. The Alaskas were officially classified as "large cruisers", but many naval historians refer to them as battlecruisers. Only two of the American ships were built before the end of the war. In the postwar drawdown of forces, Renown and the two Alaskas were withdrawn from service and eventually scrapped; Yavuz Sultan Selim, the last surviving battlecruiser in the world, lingered on until the early 1970s, when she too was sent to the shipbreakers. Only one country, the Soviet Union, considered building battlecruisers after the war. The three Stalingrad-class ships, championed by Joseph Stalin, were laid down in the early 1950s, but were cancelled after his death in 1953. However, in the 1970s, the Soviet Union began the construction of a class of very large guided missile cruisers, much larger than any other surface combatant built since the Second World War. This new type, the Kirov-class, although designated as a "heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser" by the Soviet Navy, was generally referred to in the West as a "battlecruiser".

List of sunken battlecruisers

Sunken battlecruisers are large capital ships built in the first half of the 20th century that were either destroyed in battle, scuttled, or destroyed in a weapon test. They were similar in size and cost to a battleship, and typically carried the same kind of heavy guns, but battlecruisers generally carried less armor and were faster. The first battlecruisers were developed in the United Kingdom in the first decade of the century, as a development of the armored cruiser, at the same time the dreadnought succeeded the pre-dreadnought battleship. The original aim of the battlecruiser was to hunt down slower, older armored cruisers and destroy them with heavy gunfire. However, as more and more battlecruisers were built, their opponents became ships of their own type, not slower, weaker vessels.In World War I, the thin armor of British battlecruisers did not serve them well in combat with their better-armored German counterparts and three were lost at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. SMS Lützow, a German battlecruiser, was also sunk during the battle. Five German battlecruisers were scuttled by their crews in 1919 to prevent their seizure by the Royal Navy after the First Armistice at Compiègne in 1918.

Between the World Wars, the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 limited the number and tonnage of capital ships that could be retained. Many battlecruisers were scrapped during this period, though HMAS Australia, the sole Australian battlecruiser, was scuttled to comply with the treaty. One provision of the treaty allowed nations to convert two battlecruisers then under construction into aircraft carriers and both the Empire of Japan and the United States took advantage of the opportunity. The British also converted all three of their "light battlecruisers" into aircraft carriers even though they were not subject to the treaty. The Japanese rebuilt their four remaining battlecruisers into fast battleships during the 1930s.

World War II took a heavy toll on the remaining battlecruisers, both converted and unconverted. In contrast to World War I, where all four ships were lost to gunfire, only two were sunk solely by guns. Two battlecruisers were sunk by a combination of gunfire and aerial attack, four were sunk solely by aircraft and two were sunk by submarines. The largest loss of life in the sinking of a battlecruiser was the 1,415 killed in the sinking of HMS Hood during her confrontation with the German battleship Bismarck in 1941. Of the three surviving World War II battlecruisers, two were scrapped after the war and one, USS Saratoga, was sunk by nuclear weapon tests in 1946.

List of warship classes of the Royal Australian Navy

This is a list of major classes of warship operated by the Royal Australian Navy. Included are capital ships, amphibious vessels, cruisers, destroyers and frigates.

No. 101 Flight RAAF

No. 101 Flight RAAF was a Royal Australian Air Force fleet co-operation flight equipped with amphibian aircraft. The flight was formed on 1 July 1925, and operated from the Royal Australian Navy seaplane tender HMAS Albatross between 1929 and 1933. After Albatross paid off the flight's aircraft operated from the RAN's heavy cruisers HMAS Australia and HMAS Canberra. No. 101 Flight was expanded to form No. 5 Squadron on 20 April 1936.

SS Kooroongaba

SS Kooroongaba was a vehicle ferry built for Sydney Ferries Limited. It later operated in Newcastle.

Sea Dogs of Australia

Sea Dogs of Australia is a 1913 Australian silent film about an Australian naval officer blackmailed into helping a foreign spy. The film was publicly released in August 1914, but was almost immediately withdrawn after the Minister for Defence expressed security concerns about footage of the battlecruiser HMAS Australia.

Task Force 44

Task Force 44 was an Allied naval task force during the Pacific Campaign of World War II. The task force consisted of warships from, mostly, the United States Navy and a few from the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). It was generally assigned as a striking force to defend northeast Australia and the surrounding area from any attacks by Axis forces, particularly from the Empire of Japan.


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