Today marks the 70th anniversary of the loss of HMAS Canberra. On 9th August 1942, the cruiser came to a catastrophic end in the Pacific during the Battle of Savo Island. Captain Frank Edmund Getting was in command at the time. He had a long association with the Navy. His story, and that of HMAS Canberra, was uncovered whilst scanning the Reports of Proceedings for HMAS Canberra.
My name is Sam Warner and I am a work experience student from St Joseph’s College Echuca. As part of my week at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra I researched the story behind the Distinguished Conduct Medal of Sergeant William Dobson Scorer in the First World War. Here is his story.
On occasion a totally unexpected document walks in the front door and into Official Records. Recently a report made at Gallipoli was generously donated by Cindy Osborne to the Memorial. The document in question is a handover report from the Commanding Officer 26th Infantry Battalion to the Commanding Officer of the 28th. The Russell Top handover report is a most welcome addition to the Official Records held at the Memorial, for although we hold the War Diaries of the units involved, supporting reports such as this one are rarely present in the Gallipoli records.
Last month, the Memorial was delighted to accept a Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train (RANBT) diary, donated by Mr Martin Smee of Port Elliot, South Australia. Mr Smee made the trip to Canberra to personally deliver the diary, which has been part of his family's valuable family history for many years. The diary was written by his grandfather, Able Seaman Driver Laurie John Smee. Born in South Australia, Laurie ran away to sea when just 17. After serving on various merchant ships and making his way to England, he joined the Royal Navy and served on several British ships before returni
The ongoing project to digitise AWM78 Reports of Proceedings, HMA Ships and Establishments has now reached 46 341 images. The reports of proceedings for seventy-nine ships are now available on the Memorial’s website. This includes all of the destroyers employed in the Tobruk Ferry. Some of the ships that were later involved with the Tobruk Ferry, HMAS Parramatta and HMAS Yarra, have also been digitised. These files can be viewed online here.
A major milestone was reached late last week with the trial fit of the Boulton Paul upper turret into the Hudson rear fuselage. The installation was carried out to check the fit with the re-constructed support structure, which required only minor adjusting before the turret was bolted into postion. The turret will now be removed to allow fabrication of fuselage skins to be completed, and routing of the empennage flight control cables.
On the 19th of February seventy years ago, the city of Darwin was bombed. Sustaining heavy damage and civilian casualties in air raids by Japanese forces, this attack was the first of over sixty air raids conducted up until November 1943.