Rebecca Brenton and Siena Di Giovanni-Arundell
AWM78 series contains the Reports and Proceedings created by units of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) between 1939 and 1993. The series serves as an official record of both peacetime and wartime activities of the Royal Australian Navy, including the Second World War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. In amongst the official reports and documents are photographs, drawings, and poems.
The series was selected for digitisation following frequent requests and to make it more accessible by publication online. Digitisation began in 2009, when the series comprised 166 boxes, 457 classes, and 1,605 files, with a final digitised image count of 187,409.
The series shows the regular daily operations of the RAN as well as moments of courage and compassion throughout important moments in Australia’s history.
Second World War
Following the outbreak of the Second World War, the RAN nearly doubled in size as people from all walks of life enlisted to serve at sea. The RAN was engaged in the Mediterranean, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, and was involved in major fleet operations, convoy escort work, evacuations, protection of Allied shipping from the enemy, amphibious operation support, and supply transport vital to the war effort. No matter what kind of vessel or task, every ship was under a range of threats, including from enemy ships, submarines, mines, air raids, and land-based attacks.