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August 16, 2012
CPL Mark Doran
ARTIST Peter Churcher has
recorded the creation of the new
amphibious assault ships to be
known as HMA Ships Canberra
and Adelaide, in a series of
six paintings unveiled by the
Australian War Memorial on
The former official war artist
painted the works at the Navantia's
Ferrol-Fene shipyard in Spain
over eight days, before complet-
ing them in his Barcelona studio.
The idea for the paintings came
from Spanish ambassador Zorica
McCarthy, who has been closely
involved in the LHD project.
He suggested the paintings
would record and com memorate
the significance of the bilateral
arrangement between Australia
Mr Churcher said the paintings
were an important record of what
would be the two most significant
vessels in the Fleet.
"They will be an important and
long-lasting addition for the ADF,"
he said. "These paintings are to
record this part of the ships' lives,
and a ship has a long life."
He said working at the shipyard
was a unique experience.
"At times I had to move when I
was painting when a huge piece of
machinery was coming through and
I was in a danger zone," he said.
"I was trying to get a sense of
the scale of these ships.
"They are extremely large and
complex and it was like watching
the building of a small city."
LEUT Joshua Maher
WHILE transiting north to RIMPAC,
HMAS Darwin received a call to assist
with the transfer of fuel to a small island
in the South Pacific.
Pen rhyn Atoll is located 9 degrees
south of the equator, atop one of the
highest submarine volcanoes in the
The atoll is home to just 200 people
who receive shipments once every three
months of basic living items, rice and
The island relies completely on the
support provided by other cou ntries,
including fuel to power their vehicles
Darwin ar rived at Pen rhyn Atoll in
company with HMNZ Ships Endeavour
and Te K a ha and commenced the trans-
fer of 60,000 litres of diesel ashore using
Darwin's helicopter and two sea boats.
Darwin's flight commander LCDR
Pete Talbot summed up the brief stop.
"While we are experienced with
vertical replenishment, the use of an
unfamiliar deck in Endeavour and the
unique drop zone in Penrhyn Atoll pro-
vided some excellent experience and an
opportunity to demonstrate f lexibility in
our aviation operations."
Once the transfer was complete,
Darwin enjoyed a few hours around the
atoll before continuing its passage to
ON THE RECORD: Artist Peter Churcher with his paintings of the new LHDs to be known as HMA Ships
Canberra and Adelaide.
Photo: CPL Mark Doran
Art on record
Fuel for thought in
the South Pacific
LOAD UP: Seahawk 'Valkyrie' helps transfer the 44-gallon drums of diesel to
Photo: LCDR David Zanker
VITAL SUPPLIES: HMAS Darwin RHIB, with RNZN, transfer the 44-gallon
drums of diesel to Penrhyn Atoll.
Photo courtesy of RNZN
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