Hastings Harrington

Vice Admiral Sir Wilfred Hastings "Arch" Harrington KBE, CB, DSO (17 May 1906 – 17 December 1965) was a senior officer in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), who served as First Naval Member and Chief of the Naval Staff from 1962 to 1965.

Sir Wilfred Hastings Harrington
Nickname(s)"Arch"
Born17 May 1906
Maryborough, Queensland
Died17 December 1965 (aged 59)
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
AllegianceAustralia
Service/branchRoyal Australian Navy
Years of service1924–1965
RankVice Admiral
Commands heldFirst Naval Member (1962–65)
HM Australian Fleet (1959–62)
HMAS Sydney (1955–57)
HMAS Warramunga (1948–50)
HMAS Quiberon (1944–45)
HMAS Yarra (1939–42)
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Mentioned in Despatches

Naval service

Born the son of Hubert Ernest Harrington and his wife Laura Irene Barton, "Arch" Harrington was educated at Wychbury Preparatory School in Maryborough. In 1924, he joined the Royal Australian Naval College as a cadet midshipman.[1] He served in the Second World War initially in command of the sloop HMAS Yarra,[2] in which he saw action off the coast of Shatt al-Arab in Iraq in May 1941 and for which role he was mentioned in despatches.[1] For his services in the War against Persia in August 1941 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.[1] In February 1942 he moved to the cruiser HMAS Australia as Executive Officer, in which role he was again mentioned in dispatches, and in July 1944 he took command of the destroyer HMAS Quiberon.[1][2]

Promoted to Captain in 1947, he was given command of the destroyer HMAS Warramunga and in 1950 became Director of Manning at the Navy Office in Melbourne.[1] He took command of the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney in 1955, and following his promotion to Rear Admiral in 1957, he became Flag Officer, East Australia Area.[1] He went on to be Second Naval Member of the Naval Board in 1958, Flag Officer commanding HM Australian Fleet in 1959 and First Naval Member and Chief of Naval Staff in 1962.[1] He retired in February 1965 and died in Canberra Hospital in December 1965.[1] On 20 December, the ashes of Vice Admiral Sir Hastings Harrington were scattered from HMAS Vampire off the coast of Sydney.[3]

Family

In 1945 he married Agnes Janet Winser; they had two sons and two daughters.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hastings Harrington at Australian Dictionary of Biography
  2. ^ a b U-boat.net
  3. ^ Bastock p. 322
  • Bastock, John (1975). Australia's Ships of War. Cremorne, NSW: Angus and Robertson. ISBN 0-207-12927-4. OCLC 2525523.
Military offices
Preceded by
Vice Admiral Sir Henry Burrell
First Naval Member and Chief of Naval Staff
1962–1965
Succeeded by
Vice Admiral Sir Alan McNicoll
Preceded by
Rear Admiral Galfry Gatacre
Flag Officer Commanding HM Australian Fleet
1959–1962
Succeeded by
Rear Admiral Alan McNicoll
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.

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