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August 30, 2012
LEUT Grant McDuling
AUGUST 9, 1945, will always be
remembered as the day the RAN suf-
fered its largest warship loss at sea.
Seventy years later, HMA Ships
Gascoyne and Huon positioned them-
selves over the final resting place of
HMAS Canberra (I), fell silent and
remembered the 84 men who lost their
lives during the Battle of Savo Island.
Among those on board were two
generations of PO Stoker Redmond
Boyle's descendants who laid a
wreath in his memory.
Joining family members for the
service was Parliamentary Secretary
for Defence Senator David Feeney;
Fellow at the Sea Power Centre
RADM James Goldrick; and Assistant
Secretary Pacific and East Timor, IP
Division, Tyson Sara.
According to CO HMAS Gascoyne
LCDR Ben Fennell, the Navy will
always remember the important sacri-
fice made by our officers and sailors.
"The Guadalcanal Campaign,
which included the Battle of Savo
Island, was the first major offensive
by Allied forces against the Imperial
Japanese Navy," LCDR Fennell said.
"During the battle, HMAS
Canberra was crippled and three
American cruisers sunk. Canberra
was hit 24 times in just two minutes,
killing 74 of her 819 crew. A further
10, including the ship's Commanding
Officer, Captain Frank Getting, later
died of wounds."
The Battle of Savo Island was a
significant naval engagement in the
South Pacific Ocean during World
During a surprise night attack,
Japanese cruisers under the com-
mand of ADM Gunichi Mikawa were
responsible for inflicting heavy losses
on the Australian and US navies.
SAILORS from HMAS Waterhen
served as the catafalque party
for the Victory in the Pacific
Day commemoration service at
Sydney's Martin Place on August
15. The VP Day commemoration
service at the Cenotaph provided
the young sailors with time to
reflect on the sacrifice and hero-
ism of the Australians who fought
in World War II.
The service commemorated
the heroism of the personnel who
contributed to Japan's surren-
der on August 15, 1945, which
ended four years of fighting in the
Pacific and hostilities in WWII.
Catafalque party member
ABSN Ashleigh Keen said "those
in uniform today owe a great deal
to veterans of former conflicts.
"Our name as a nation and as
a Defence Force has been forged
by the courage, commitment,
dependability, fortitude and resil-
ience of the dedicated men and
women who have served Australia
with pride," she said.
The NSW Governor, Professor
Marie Bashir, along with repre-
sentatives of other veteran asso-
ciations and groups, laid wreaths.
One of the wreath-layers was
CPOCIS Andrew Stuht, of HMAS
Kuttabul, who paid tribute to his
grandfather who served in WWII.
At the service, Chaplain Grant
Ludlow said through the valour of
WWII heroes, our country emerged
with a new sense of independence.
"They inspire us with their
example and our nation rightly
owes them its deepest and most
sincere gratitude," he said.
Chaplain Ludlow said the end-
ing of WWII was one of the most
important days in the 20th cen-
tury and marked a turning point in
WE REMEMBER: Cenotaph Guard SMN Combat Systems
Operator Mine Warfare Alyssa Dowsell at the Victory in the
Pacific service at Martin Place, Sydney. Photo: LSIS Jo Dilorenzo
BATTLE OF SAVO ISLAND: Passengers and crew on HMA Ships Gascoyne and Huon at the final resting place of
HMAS Canberra (I), fell silent and remembered the 84 men who lost their lives during the Battle of Savo Island; The
two sons, inset, of PO Boyle, who were accompanied at the ceremony by their seven children.
-- LCDR Ben Fennell, CO
was hit 24 times
in just two
74 of her 819
crew. A further
10 later died of
Memory lives on
Tribute to sacrifice
information can now
be shared through the
Network (DRN) as
part of Defence's move
towards the Australian
Since August 1,
can be emailed to other
The only application
that will not be able to
exchange protected emails
is Lotus Notes, although
it is expected this will
also occur over coming
More details can be
found at http://intranet.
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