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September 27, 2012
ON September 14, 1914, one
of Australia's first subma-
rines, HMAS AE1, was con-
ducting a routine patrol to
the east of the Duke of York Islands,
near Rabaul, when she vanished.
Despite three days of searching,
no trace of oil, debris or any of the 32
sailors and three officers on board was
The loss of AE1 is one of
Australia's worst naval disasters and
remains one of its greatest mysteries.
AE1's final resting place is not
known and has become the subject of
significant historical research, vigor-
ous debate and several unsuccessful
attempts to locate her wreck.
Director General Submarine
Capability CDRE Greg Sammut said
submarines remained as critical to
Australia's maritime defence capabil-
ity now as they were 98 years ago.
"Submarines have and will continue
to play an integral and pivotal role in
the defence of Australia and her nation-
al interests," CDRE Sammut said.
"But as we look to the future, it is
important that we honour the memory
of the crew of AE1, which we proudly
prefer to recall as remaining on patrol
to this day."
Private ceremonies were held
around the country including one in the
memorial gardens at HMAS Cerberus.
CN VADM Ray Griggs unveiled a
plaque in the gardens to pay tribute to
the AE1 crew members who perished.
At Submarine Force Headquarters,
HMAS Stirling, in Western Australia,
submariner LS Shelley Fogarty said the
crew would always be remembered.
"As submariners we all make sacri-
fices. In the case of the AE1 it was the
ultimate sacrifice," she said.
The full history and more images can be
found at www.navy.gov.au/HMAS_AE1.
Navy paused on September 14 to remember
one of its most enduring mysteries and
honour those who died, LEUT Kirsti
''-- LS Shelley Fogarty
As submariners we
all make sacrifices. In
the case of the AE1
it was the ultimate
LOST AT SEA:
Above, the memorial
plaque unveiled at
HMAS Cerberus by
CN VADM Ray Griggs
commemorating the loss
of HMAS AE1.
Photo: LSIS Paul McCallum
MYSTERY: Left, the
last known image
of AE1, taken on
September 9, 1914.
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