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  HMAS Australia (D84)
RAN
County class
Heavy Cruiser

9,850 Tons
13,450 Tons (full load)
630' x 68.25' x 16.25'
8 x 8" guns
4 x 4" guns
4 x 3 pounders
1 x Seagull or Walrus
Click For Enlargement
RAN January 3, 1942

Ship History
Built by John Brown & Co. Ltd. at Clyderbank, Scotland. Laid down August 26, 1925. Launched March 17, 1927. Commissioned on April 24, 1928. HMAS Australia was involved in the North African campaign, Battle of the Coral Sea and the landings on Guadalcanal.

Battle of the Coral Sea
During the Battle of the Coral Sea, Australia was the flagship for RAN Rear Admiral John Crace who was commander the joint Australian–U. S. Navy Task Force 44 (TF 44). On May 7, 1942 twelve G4M1 Betty bombers launched a torpedo attack against the warships and Australia maneuvered to avoid two torpedoes.

Leyte Gulf Kamikaze Attack
On October 21, 1944 Australia was one of the ships supporting the U. S. landings at Leyte. One Val hit the ship's foremast, causing numerous fires and explosions. Apparently 30 were killed or died of wounds, and at least another 60 were wounded.

Killed in Action (KIA) on October 21, 1944 (25):
Lt Henry Brinsmead Bayley
AB M Buckland
Ldg Smn Robert James Cornish
Sub Lt Ian Keith Debenham
Capt Emile Frank Verlaine Dechaineeux, DSC
AB Henry Peter Eller
AB Gordon Kenneth Fenton
Lt Cdr Harrie Binns Garrett
AB Vincent Leo Hansen
AB John Wilson Hocking
OD R Hocking
CPO George Frederick Hutchison
AB R Irvine
Lt Ivor Maurice Jones
AB Allan Richard Maunsell
AB Francis Gerard Miller
AB Richard John Parkinson
AB Frederick Percival Perrin
Ldg Smn Donald Pittendrigh
OD Christopher Peel Potter
AB Noel Audrey Rattray
Cmdr John Francis Rayment, DSC
OD Ronald Hamilton Sharpe
AB Francis Frederick Spurr
AB Robert Michell Steele

Died of wounds on October 21. 1944 (5):
OD Richard Southey Hookins (22/10/44)
AB John Neville Erwin (23/10/44)
Lt Graham J Greig (23/10/44)
AB Eric Stuart Fontaine (24/10/44)
AB Frederick George Stephenson (24/10/44)

After the attack, the Australia was escorted by HMAS Warramunga to Seeadler Harbor off Manus Island and then to Espiritu Santo for repairs.

Kamikaze Attack
After repairs, the Australia was back in action covering Allied landings at Lingayen Gulf. On January 5, 6, 8 and 9, 1945, the Australia was subjected to Kamikaze attacks which resulted in the loss of another 44 lives with almost 70 more wounded.

Killed in Action (KIA) on January 5, 1945:
AB J Annear (05/01/45)
AB Frank William Eames (05/01/45)
OD Neville Joseph Everson (05/01/45)
AB George Robert Frawley (05/01/45)
OD Ronald George Gannon (05/01/45)
AB Leslie Laurence Hart (05/01/45)
AB H Kennedy (05/01/45)
AB Maurie Desmond Kirchner (05/01/45)
Sub Lt K Levy (05/01/45)
AB Merton Stanley Loud (05/01/45)
AB C Moore (05/01/45)
AB William Thomas Munday (05/01/45)
Ldg Smn Henry Eric O'Neill (05/01/45)
AB Geoffrey Clive Reeve (05/01/45)
AB G W Riley (05/01/45)
Lt Colin Neil Russell (05/01/45)
AB Ronald Ashley Verdon (05/01/45)

Killed in Action (KIA) on January 6, 1945:
AB Norman William Anderson (06/01/45)
AB Clarence Robert Avery (06/01/45)
AB F Beake (06/01/45)
AB James Thomas Harold Bourke (06/01/45)
AB Malcolm George Brown (06/01/45)
OD William Graeme Brown (06/01/45)
OD R Clifford (06/01/45)
AB Alfred Albert DeVere (06/01/45)
AB Charles Douglas Donnelly (06/01/45)
Ldg Smn Edward John Ezard (06/01/45)
AB William Robert Fisher (06/01/45)
OD Harold Desmond Ford (06/01/45)
AB William George Gummow (06/01/45)
AB Edwin Lawrence Hardeman (06/01/45)
AB Vivian William Hearne (06/01/45)
AB Lindsay Ivo Herdman (06/01/45)
Ldg Smn Charles Morris Hughes (06/01/45)
AB Alan W Lade (06/01/45)
Lt Max Howard Marsh (06/01/45)
AB R Meddings (06/01/45)
Ldg Smn Joseph John James Moore (06/01/45)
AB N Pringle (06/01/45)
Ldg Smn Sidney Charles Rowley (06/01/45)
AB Ivan Stanley Sharman (06/01/45)
AB Peter Septimus Utting (06/01/45)
AB Charles Reginald Ward (06/01/45)
AB Harold Richard Whittaker (06/01/45)

Display
A piece of the Val which hit the ship is currently on display in the Second World War Hall at AWM.

References
J-Aircraft "First Kamikaze? Attack on HMAS Australia -- October 21st, 1944 or Crash at Biak -- May 27th, 1944 by Richard Dunn
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for casualty information

Contribute Information
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Last Updated
January 10, 2018

 

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