Home' Navy News : October 24th 2013 Contents October 24, 2013 www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS
INTERNATIONAL FLEET REVIEW 2013
SGT Dave Morley
SURVIVORS of HMAS Perth I went to sea again on October 5
to observe IFR warships in Sydney Harbour.
Three of the six remaining Perth I men along with more
than 200 HMAS Perth II veterans and their families cruised the
harbour on the ferry Proclaim.
Perth I survivor former AB David Manning, 90, travelled
from Victoria to join former AB Frank McGovern, 94, and
former LEUT Gavin Campbell, 92, who served from February
1939 to July 1950.
The three men were in high demand and had media queuing
up to speak with them.
Mr Manning said the potential in today's Navy was unlimited.
"I think the training the Navy gives these days is much more
detailed than we got when I started at 13," he said.
Mr McGovern said every now and then he felt nostalgic and
wished he was out at sea.
"But the opportunity doesn't happen very often," he said.
"A few of us still keep in touch and go out every month for a
drink and a natter."
Mr Campbell said it was great to be back on the water and
he enjoyed taking it all in.
"It's lovely to see all the ships and it's a terrific day," he
"The new ships are a bit smaller than what we went to sea in
although they pack a bigger punch than ours did."
The HMAS Perth National Association organised the outing.
Battle of the Sunda Strait
HMAS Perth I, a modified Leander-class light cruiser,
and the US Navy's Northampton-class heavy cruiser
USS Houston were sunk in the Sunda Strait by superior
Japanese forces on the night of February 28, 1942. Of
Perth's 681 crew only 328 survived the battle, becoming
prisoners of war of the Japanese. A further 106 died in
Japanese captivity. The 353 men killed in battle included
five Royal Navy members, three RAAF members and
three civilian Navy canteen workers.
sea in style
OLD SALTS: WWII sailors from HMAS Perth, (L-R) Gavin Campbell, Frank McGovern and David Manning, get ready to board
the ferry Proclaim during the IFR.
Photo: LSIS Helen Frank
SGT Dave Morley
WHEN the fleet of modern warships, boasting
the latest in missiles and equipment, entered
Sydney Harbour on October 4, it was saluted
by a battery of guns more than 100 years old.
Three three-pounder Hotchkiss guns are
regularly used by the Navy for ceremonial
duties and are crewed by volunteers.
LSBM Edward Smith, ABBM Troy
Haydon and ABBM Kevin Grimes formed the
number one gun crew for the fleet entry.
LS Smith said he was honoured to be given
the opportunity to participate in the 21-gun
salute for the visiting IFR warships.
"This isn't something I'll ever get to do
again," he said.
"We had to do a course on the guns and it
was a pretty cool course to get on.
"One of the guns had the date 1904 on it."
AB Haydon felt proud to be chosen to fire
the saluting guns.
"It's a really special time for the Navy and
to be involved in this is something I'll always
remember," he said.
AB Kevin Grimes echoed his mates and
said it was a great opportunity to be involved
in the IFR in some way.
Gun crew captured
THREE volunteers from HMAS Hobart went ashore
at Berbera in British Somaliland, on August 9,
1940, responding to an urgent request for artillery
support for the hard-pressed British garrison.
PO Hugh Jones, AB William Hurren and AB
Hugh Sweeny were landed with an 1891-vintage
3-pounder Hotchkiss saluting gun using a rein-
forced 44-gallon drum as an improvised mounting.
All available ammunition, totalling 64 rounds,
was rushed to the frontline that night and the gun
was mounted in position by 4am.
The type of ammunition available was 32 steel
shell and 32 rounds of high explosive.
It was believed the steel shell would be a suit-
able counter for the Italian tanks, but the efficiency
of the explosive was doubted.
The next morning, the three men dressed in
military uniform and manned the gun on the main
British defence line at Tug Argan Gap, 60km south
The fighting continued for five days but when the
British evacuated during August 15-19, the three
Australian sailors were reported missing believed
killed in action.
They had actually been captured by Eritrean Ital-
ians and became the first members of an Australian
unit taken prisoner of war during WWII.
They were recovered from Adi Ugri in Eritrea on
April 29, 1941, after Italian East Africa fell to the
We salute you
READY TO FIRE: ABBM Troy Haydon, ABBM Kevin
Grimes and LSBM Edward Smith (above) prepare for
the 21-gun salute (below) from the Heritage Centre on
Garden Island during the IFR.
Photos: WOIS Shane Cameron and ABIS Kathy Tuddenham
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