The sinking of HMAS Vampire, 9 April 1942

On 9 April 1942 the HMAS Vampire and her crew fell victim to Japanese bombers off Ceylon. The Vampire was escorting the British light aircraft carrier HMS Hermes. It was not the first time Vampire had found herself in such a situation.

  • Roll of Honour talk, presented by Dr Chris Coulthard-Clark on 9 April 2002 (transcript and audio)

Photos from the collection

AWM 064464
The destroyer HMAS Vampire, 1,090 tons, four 4-inch guns, six 21-inch torpedo tubes, 34 knots, lost in Japanese air attack on the Bay of Bengal, 9 April 1942.
AWM 064464

AWM P02018.126
Bay of Bengal. 9 April 1942. HMAS Vampire (left) and HMS Hermes, a British aircraft carrier en route to Australia, being attacked and sunk by a Japanese carrier fleet. It also destroyed twenty three merchant ships. In four months this fleet sank five battleships, one carrier, two cruisers and seven destroyers without suffering one hit.
AWM P02018.126

Items from the collection:

Lieutenant E J Peel's report dated 3 June 1942, tells what happened to the survivors of the HMAS Vampire after she was sunk by Japanese dive bombers. The survivors were picked up by the British hospital ship HMHS Vita and taken to Colombo.

AWM 78 351/1
AWM 78 351/1
HMAS Vampire: Reports of Proceedings (1939 - 1942)
(387Kb PDF file)