Biography

Birth date: 07 January 1899
Birth place: Australia: Tasmania, Deloraine
Death date: 03 September 1989
Death place: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Final rank: Vice Admiral
Conflict: 1638 - First World War, 1914-1918
Second World War, 1939-1945
Units:
  • HMS Sultan
  • Royal Australian Navy
  • HMAS Sydney (II)

John Collins was among Australia's most well-known naval officers of the Second World War. Born on 7 January 1899 at Deloraine, Tasmania, he joined the first class of cadets at the Royal Australian Naval College, Geelong, in 1913. He graduated as a midshipman in January 1917 and went on to serve with the British Grand Fleet, operating out of Scapa Flow, during the First World War. His first ship was HMS Canada and he later joined HMS Spencer as Gun Control Officer with the rank of sub-lieutenant.

Collins was attending gunnery school when the First World War ended and returned to Australia in 1921, joining HMAS Melbourne. He attended several gunnery courses in England as well as qualifying as a deep sea diver. In 1926 Collins rejoined Melbourne as Gunnery Officer. On returning to Australia after duty with the Mediterranean Fleet, he was appointed Naval Liaison Officer for the 1927 visit of the Duke and Duchess of York.

In 1928 Collins became Gunnery Officer on HMAS Australia with the rank of lieutenant commander, then returned once more to Australia where he was given command of HMAS Anzac. In June 1930 he married Phyllis MacLachlan and was promoted to commander. In 1932 he attended the Naval Staff College at Greenwich and the following year began work as a commander in the Admiralty's Plans Division. Three years as Executive Officer on HMAS Sydney followed. In 1938 Collins was appointed Liaison Officer for Sydney's 150th anniversary celebrations before becoming Assistant Naval Chief of Staff. When the Second World War began, Collins was given command of HMAS Sydney and sailed for the Mediterranean.

A skilled and respected captain, Collins was also a humane man. Having once sunk an Italian destroyer, he lingered to rescue survivors despite the submarine threat, leaving a cutter and provisions when finally forced to leave. His most conspicuous success, however, was the sinking of the Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni in July 1940.

In August 1941 Collins was sent to Singapore as Assistant Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, China. Having returned to Australia following Japan's victories in Asia, Collins was made Naval Officer in Charge, West Australian Area, before being given command of HMAS Shropshire. He remained in this post, operating with the US Navy, until he transferred to HMAS Australia in 1944 as a task force commander and commodore. Collins was on Australia's bridge when, on 21 October 1944, a kamikaze attack killed the captain and other officers, wounding Collins. He returned to duty in July 1945 in time to participate in the surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay in September, and then was involved with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force. In February 1946, Collins became First Naval Member and Chief of Naval Staff in Australia; and in May 1950 he was promoted to vice admiral. He retired from the Navy in 1955; in 1956 he took up the post of Australia's High Commissioner to New Zealand, retiring in 1962.

Collins died in Sydney, aged 90, on 3 September 1989. A class of submarines now bears his name.

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 17 April 1916
  • Place of embarkation: Fremantle

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Order of the Bath

  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : Order of the Bath

  • Unit: HMAS Sydney (II)
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: HMS Sultan
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : Dutch Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau

  • Unit: Royal Australian Navy
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : United States Officer of the Legion of Merit

  • Unit: Royal Australian Navy
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Collection Items

Photograph

007885

1941-06. OFFICERS OF HMAS SYDNEY WHO WERE DECORATED; L TO R. LIEUTENANT COMMANDER SINGER, COMMANDER HILKIN, CAPTAIN JOHN COLLINS, COMMANDER DALTON, LIEUTENANT COMMANDER THURSTON. (NEGATIVE BY B.M.I.).

007885

007887

AUSTRALIA ? 1941-O6. PORTRAIT OF CAPTAIN J. A. COLLINS OF HMAS SYDNEY.

007887

005709

1941-02-06. ABOARD H.M.A.S. SYDNEY IN AUSTRALIAN WATERS - SHIP'S COMPANY AT PRAYERS ON THE QUARTER DECK. CAPTAIN COLLINS TAKES THE SERVICE AT THE LECTERN WITH THE SHIP'S BAND (IN THE FOREGROUND) AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR A CHURCH ORGAN.

005709

005710

CAPTAIN (CAPT) JOHN COLLINS, RAN, INSPECTING CREW MEMBERS ABOARD HMAS SYDNEY II. CAPT COLLINS IS LOOKING AT S/4086 ABLE SEAMAN BERNARD ALBERT DIEWS.

005710

014113

Portrait of Commodore J A Collins taken in his office when Naval Officer-in-Charge; Western Australia. A graduate of the Naval College who held the post of Assistant Chief of Naval Staff before assuming command of HMAS Sydney. In the course of service in the Mediterranean area, HMAS Sydney and...

014113

017112

HMAS Shropshire Captain J. A. Collins CB, addresses his crew on the deck after the cruiser had taken part in the shelling of Hollandia at the time of the Allied landings.

017112

017129

Commodore J. A. Collins CB, RAN, on the bridge of HMAS Shropshire holding a pair of binoculars during operations off the New Guinea coast.

017129

017130

Commodore J. A. Collins CB, RAN, inspecting hands at Divisions on HMAS Shropshire, during operations off the Dutch New Guinea coast when the Allies captured the Japanese held base at Hollandia.

017130

019136

Australian delegates at the Japanese surrender ceremony on board USS Missouri. Left to right: (back row) Captain J. Balfour; Lieutenant Colonel D. H. Dwyer; Air Vice Marshal G. Jones; Lieutenant General F. H. Berryman; Commodore J. A. Collins. Front row: Rear Admiral G. Moore; General Sir Thomas...

019136

010103

Major General Gordon Bennett, Commanding Officer Malaya (right) with Captain John A. Collins of HMAS Sydney.

010103

010110

1941-09. MALAYA. MAJOR GENERAL GORDON BENNETT, COMMANDING OFFICER MALAYA (RIGHT), WITH CAPTAIN JOHN A. COLLINS OF HMAS SYDNEY. (NEGATIVE BY M. NICHOLS).

010110

041557

ENGLAND, 1943. H.M.A.S. "SHROPSHIRE" PRESENTED BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO AUSTRALIA TO REPLACE H.M.A.S. "CANBERRA" SUNK IN ACTION. ADMIRAL SIR H. D'OYLEY LYON, KCB, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF THE NORE, WITH CAPTAIN J.A. COLLINS, CB, COMMANDING "SHROPSHIRE" ADDRESSING THE SHIP'S COMPANY WHEN HANDING OVER...

041557

043829

KOREAN THEATRE OF WAR, EARLY 1950'S. VICE-ADMIRAL SIR JOHN COLLINS (2) WITH COMMANDER WARWICK SEYMOUR BRACEGIRDLE (3) AND A UNITED STATES OFFICER (4) ON BOARD HMAS BATAAN.

043829

043830

KOREAN THEATRE OF WAR, EARLY 1950'S. VICE-ADMIRAL SIR JOHN COLLINS (2) AUTOGRAPHING A UNITED NATIONS FLAG ABOARD HMAS BATAAN. A UNITED STATES OFFICER (1) LOOKS ON.

043830

043831

KOREAN THEATRE OF WAR, EARLY 1950'S. VICE-ADMIRAL SIR JOHN COLLINS (2) AND COMMANDER WARWICK SEYMOUR BRACEGIRDLE SALUTING AS THEY LEAVE HMAS BATAAN.

043831

043833

KOREAN THEATRE OF WAR, EARLY 1950'S. VICE-ADMIRAL SIR JOHN COLLINS (2) GREETING A NAVAL OFFICER (1) (UNIDENTIFIED) ABOARD HMAS BATAAN.

043833

044321

MELBOURNE, 1955. ADMIRAL A.W. RADFORD, CHIEF US GUEST, TAKES THE SALUTE AT THE CORAL SEA ANNIVERSARY MARCH. THE UNIFORMED OFFICERS TO HIS LEFT ARE LIEUTENANT GENERAL S.F. ROWELL AND ADMIRAL SIR JOHN COLLINS.

044321

044326

CANBERRA, 1954-02. AT AN ARMED SERVICES PARADE FOR THE QUEEN WERE FIELD MARSHAL SIR WILLIAM SLIM, LIEUTENANT GENERAL S.F. ROWELL, VICE ADMIRAL SIR JOHN COLLINS AND AIR MARSHAL SIR JOHN McCAULEY.

044326

082901

SYDNEY, N.S.W. 1944-11-12. COMMODORE J. COLLINS, HMAS AUSTRALIA, BEING CARRIED FROM AN AMERICAN MERCHANT SHIP TO A WAITING AMBULANCE DURING DISEMBARKATION OF CASUALTIES.

082901

106593

Portrait of Rear Admiral John A. Collins CB, RAN.

106593

121265

LEFT TO RIGHT: COMMODORE J. A. COLLINS, RAN (PARTLY OBSCURED); AIR VICE MARSHALL W. D. BOSTOCK, RAAF; GENERAL SIR T. A. BLAMEY; AIR VICE MARSHAL G. JONES, RAAF AND LIEUTENANT GENERAL G. H. BERRYMAN ABOARD USS MISSOURI PRIOR TO THE SURRENDER CEREMONY. (PHOTOGRAPHER CAPTAIN J. C. GOODCHILD)

121265

121267

The Australian delegation after the surrender ceremony aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japan. Left to right: Air Vice Marshal W. D. Bostock; Commodore J. A. Collins; Rear Admiral G. Moore; General Sir T. A. Blamey; Air Vice Marshal G. Jones; Lieutenant General F. H. Berryman; Captain J....

121267

134309

CANBERRA, ACT. 1950-06-21. VISIT OF THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL FIELD MARSHAL SIR WILLIAM SLIM TO THE ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE, DUNTROON. LEFT TO RIGHT: LIEUTENANT COLONEL N. L. CURRIE; COLONEL J. F. GODWIN OBE (?John Borrit Godwin MBE?); PROFESSOR T. A. SUTHERLAND; BRIGADIER E. L. SHEEHAN CBE; HONOURABLE...

134309

306829A

With the Korean coastline in the background, Commander of the destroyer, Commander Warwick Seymour Bracegirdle relaxes on the bridge of HMAS Bataan during his inspection of Commonwealth Naval Units in Korean waters. (Cropped from original negative HOBJ3377)

306829A

304642

CHATHAM, ENGLAND. 1943-06-25. AT HM DOCKYARD ADMIRAL SIR GEORGE D'OYLY LYON KCB RN, COMMANDER IN CHIEF, THE NORE, INSPECTS A RAN GUARD OF HONOUR ON BOARD THE CRUISER HMAS SHROPSHIRE ON THE OCCASION OF THE HANDING OVER OF THE SHIP TO THE RAN. THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE SHROPSHIRE, CAPTAIN JOHN...

304642

304646

CHATHAM, ENGLAND. 1943-06-25. AT HM DOCKYARD ADMIRAL SIR GEORGE D'OYLY LYON KCB RN, COMMANDER IN CHIEF, THE NORE, SPEAKING TO MEMBERS OF THE SHIP'S COMPANY ON BOARD THE CRUISER HMAS SHROPSHIRE ON THE OCCASION OF THE HANDING OVER OF THE SHIP TO THE RAN. THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE SHROPSHIRE,...

304646

304650

SCAPA FLOW, ORKNEY ISLANDS. 1943-08-12. THE FIRST SEA LORD, THE RIGHT HONOURABLE A. V. ALEXANDER, SHAKES HANDS WITH COMMANDER D. H. HARRIES RAN, THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE CRUISER HMAS SHROPSHIRE, WHILE ON A VISIT TO THE SHIP THE DAY BEFORE SHE WAS DUE TO SAIL FOR AUSTRALIA. THE COMMANDING...

304650

304652

SCAPA FLOW, ORKNEY ISLANDS. 1943-08-12. AS HE PREPARES TO DEPART AFTER VISITING THE SHIP THE DAY BEFORE SHE WAS DUE TO SAIL FOR AUSTRALIA, HM KING GEORGE VI SHAKES HANDS WITH THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE CRUISER HMAS SHROPSHIRE, CAPTAIN J. A. COLLINS CB RAN. COMMANDER D. H. HARRIES RAN, THE...

304652

304653

SCAPA FLOW, ORKNEY ISLANDS. 1943-08-12. HM KING GEORGE VI ASKS A QUESTION OF A MEMBER OF THE QUARTERDECK DIVISION OF THE CRUISER HMAS SHROPSHIRE, WHILE ON A VISIT TO THE SHIP THE DAY BEFORE SHE WAS DUE TO SAIL FOR AUSTRALIA. THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE SHROPSHIRE, CAPTAIN J. A. COLLINS CB RAN, IS...

304653

304656

SCAPA FLOW, ORKNEY ISLANDS. 1943-08-12. HM KING GEORGE VI INSPECTING the GUNNERY DIVISION OF THE CRUISER HMAS SHROPSHIRE, WHILE ON A VISIT TO THE SHIP THE DAY BEFORE SHE WAS DUE TO SAIL FOR AUSTRALIA. THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE SHROPSHIRE, CAPTAIN J. A. COLLINS CB RAN, IS ON THE FAR LEFT. (NAVAL...

304656

304657

SCAPA FLOW, ORKNEY ISLANDS. 1943-08-12. HM KING GEORGE VI SHAKES HANDS WITH COMMANDER D. H. HARRIES RAN, THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE CRUISER HMAS SHROPSHIRE, WHILE ON A VISIT TO THE SHIP THE DAY BEFORE SHE WAS DUE TO SAIL FOR AUSTRALIA. THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE SHROPSHIRE, CAPTAIN J. A....

304657

304658

SCAPA FLOW, ORKNEY ISLANDS. 1943-08-12. HM KING GEORGE VI SPEAKS WITH THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE CRUISER HMAS SHROPSHIRE, CAPTAIN J. A. COLLINS CB RAN, WHILE ON A VISIT TO THE SHIP THE DAY BEFORE SHE WAS DUE TO SAIL FOR AUSTRALIA. COMMANDER D. H. HARRIES RAN, THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE...

304658

304665

SYDNEY, NSW. 1943-10. THE GOVERNOR GENERAL, LORD GOWRIE, LOOKS ON AS THE MINISTER FOR THE NAVY, MR NORMAN MAKIN MP, HANDS A LETTER OF WELCOME FROM THE PRIME MINISTER TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE CRUISER HMAS SHROPSHIRE, CAPTAIN J. A. COLLINS CB RAN, SHORTLY AFTER THE SHIP'S ARRIVAL IN SYDNEY....

304665

304667

SYDNEY, NSW. 1943-10. THE GOVERNOR GENERAL, LORD GOWRIE, INSPECTING MEMBERS OF MAINTOP DIVISION OF THE CRUISER HMAS SHROPSHIRE SHORTLY AFTER THE SHIP'S ARRIVAL IN SYDNEY. HE IS ACCOMPANIED BY LIEUTENANT RHODES CGM. IMMEDIATELY BEHIND IS THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE CRUISER, CAPTAIN J. A. COLLINS...

304667

304668

SYDNEY, NSW. 1943-10. THE MINISTER FOR THE NAVY, MR NORMAN MAKIN MP, ADDRESSES MEMBERS OF THE SHIP'S COMPANY ON THE QUARTERDECK OF THE CRUISER HMAS SHROPSHIRE SHORTLY AFTER THE SHIP'S ARRIVAL IN SYDNEY. THE GOVERNOR GENERAL, LORD GOWRIE, IS BEHIND THE MICROPHONE STAND. THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE...

304668

304928

C.1950. NATIONAL SERVICE TRAINEES BEING INSPECTED BY THE FIRST NAVAL MEMBER AND CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF, VICE ADMIRAL SIR JOHN COLLINS KBE CB RAN.(NAVAL HISTORICAL COLLECTION).

304928

305327

KOREA. 1952. VICE ADMIRAL SIR JOHN A. COLLINS KBE CB RAN, FIRST NAVAL MEMBER AND CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF, ADDRESSES THE SHIPS COMPANY OF HMAS BATAAN DURING AN INSPECTION OF THE COMMONWEALTH NAVAL FORCES. (NAVAL HISTORICAL COLLECTION).

305327

305457

WILLIAMSTOWN NAVAL DOCKYARD, VIC. 1948-08-20. LADY COLLINS, THE WIFE OF REAR ADMIRAL SIR JOHN COLLINS KBE CB, FIRST NAVAL MEMBER AND CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF, SMASHES THE CEREMONIAL BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE ON THE BOW OF THE DESTROYER HMAS ANZAC (II) AT THE LAUNCHING CEREMONY. SIR JOHN IS IMMEDIATELY LEFT...

305457

305459

WILLIAMSTOWN NAVAL DOCKYARD, VIC. 1948-08-20. REAR ADMIRAL SIR JOHN COLLINS KBE CB RAN, FIRST NAVAL MEMBER AND CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF, SPEAKING ON THE OCCASION OF THE LAUNCHING OF THE DESTROYER HMAS ANZAC (II). (NAVAL HISTORICAL COLLECTION).

305459

305463

WILLIAMSTOWN NAVAL DOCYARD, VIC. 1948-08-20. THE DESTROYER HMAS ANZAC (II) IS BLESSED BY THE CHAPLAIN PRIOR TO HER LAUNCHING BY LADY COLLINS, THE WIFE OF REAR ADMIRAL SIR JOHN COLLINS KBE CB, FIRST NAVAL MEMBER AND CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF. NOTE THE CEREMONIAL BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE READY TO BE SMASHED...

305463

305471

WILLIAMSTOWN NAVAL DOCKYARD, VIC. 1948-08-20. DIGNITARIES AT A RECEPTION TO CELEBRATE THE LAUNCHING OF THE DESTROYER HMAS ANZAC (II). REAR ADMIRAL SIR JOHN COLLINS KBE CB RAN , FIRST NAVAL MEMBER AND CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF, IS THIRD FROM THE RIGHT. (NAVAL HISTORICAL COLLECTION).

305471

306226

HMAS CERBERUS, FLINDERS NAVAL DEPOT, VIC. VICE ADMIRAL SIR JOHN COLLINS KBE CB RAN , FIRST NAVAL MEMBER AND CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF, CONGRATULATING CADET MIDSHIPMAN P. A. HARDY AS HE PRESENTS HIM WITH HIS PRIZES ON GRADUATION FROM THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVAL COLLEGE. (NAVAL HISTORICAL COLLECTION).

306226

HOBJ3377

At sea. 1 August 1952. With the Korean coastline in the background, Vice Admiral Sir John A. Collins (left), relaxes on the bridge of HMAS Bataan during his inspection of Commonwealth Naval Units in Korean waters. With Admiral Collins are the Commander of the destroyer, Commander Warwick Seymour...

HOBJ3377

HOBJ3382

At sea. 1 August 1952. Vice Admiral Sir John A. Collins, First Member of the Australian Naval Board, is piped over the side of HMAS Bataan by Chief Petty Officers Bob Errington of Edithvale, Vic, and Joe Fargher of Lane Cove, NSW. He was going ashore on a United States landing craft to visit a US...

HOBJ3382

HOBJ3383

At sea. 1 August 1952. Vice Admiral Sir John A. Collins, First Member of the Australian Naval Board, who inspected United Nations Naval Forces in Korean waters, landed on a US Marine held island north of the 38th Parallel off the Korean west coast. Pictured on the landing craft, taking the Admiral...

HOBJ3383

HOBJ3402

At sea. 1 August 1952. Captain Horney, Captain of the US Aircraft Carrier Bataan, jokes with Vice Admiral Sir John Collins, First Naval Member of the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board, before signing a United Nations flag aboard the Australian destroyer Bataan. The captain of HMAS Bataan,...

HOBJ3402

HOBJ3403

At sea. 1 August 1952. Visiting HMAS Bataan during his inspection of Commonwealth Forces in Korean waters, Vice Admiral Sir John A. Collins, First Naval Member of the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board, renewed acquaintances with Leading Seaman Bob Jamieson of Auburn, NSW, who served under Vice...

HOBJ3403

HOBJ3421

At Sea. 1 August 1952. While off the Korean coast, Vice Admiral Sir John A. Collins, First Member of the Australian Naval Board, addresses the ship's company of HMAS Bataan during his inspection of Commonwealth Naval Forces in Korea.

HOBJ3421

HOBJ3456

Vice Admiral Sir John A Collins (right), First Member of the Australian Naval Board and Chief of Naval Staff, during an inspection tour of Commonwealth Naval Forces in Korea, is welcomed at Seoul airport, by Colonel P Henderson, Commander of the British Commonwealth Forces, Korea, forward...

HOBJ3456

P00444.093

Captain John C. Collins CB photographed at the handing over of HMS Shropshire to the RAN. Captain Collins (later Sir John Collins, KBE, CB) accepted the British Cruiser on behalf of the Australian government as a replacement for HMAS Canberra that had been recently lost in action.

P00444.093

P00444.094

GREAT BRITAIN 1943-06. ADMIRAL SIR GEORGE H. D'OYLY LYON, KCB HANDED OVER THE COUNTY CLASS CRUISER SHROPSHIRE TO THE RAN TO REPLACE HMAS CANBERRA SUNK OFF THE SOLOMONS IN 1942. PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS CAPTAIN J.A. COLLINS CB RAN, CO OF THE SHROPSHIRE, CALLING FOR THREE CHEERS FOR HIS MAJESTY THE KING WHO...

P00444.094

P00046.051

Manilla, Philippines. 1945-08-20. Informal group portrait of members of the Australian Mission Group at the Japanese surrender talks. Left to right: Commodore John Collins, RAN; Lieutenant General Frank H. Berryman DSO; Captain Roy R. Dowling, RAN; Air Commodore Raymond James Brownell, RAAF....

P00046.051

P00795.001

Group portrait of unidentified officers and crew of the RAN light cruiser HMAS Sydney after the successful action against the Italian Cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni on 19 July 1940. Men are crowded on the deck and stand in the rigging. Ships officers are seated three rows from the front and the only...

P00795.001

002430

1940-07-22. "SYDNEY" GETTING THE STORY IN THE CAPTAINS CABIN. CAPTAIN COLLINS 1ST LT. THURSTON AND JOHN HETHERINGTON. (NEGATIVE BY PARER).

002430

002437

1940-07-22. "SYDNEY" CAPTAIN COLLINS. (NEGATIVE BY PARER).

002437

002447

1940-07-22. HMAS SYDNEY CAPTAIN JOHN COLLINS ON THE BRIDGE.

002447

002462

Captain J.A. Collins, Commanding officer of HMAS Sydney, congratulates his crew on their victory over the Italian Cruiser "Bartolomeo Colleoni" which was sunk by HMAS Sydney in an action off Crete. (Negative by Parer).

002462

026910

PERTH, WA. 1942-10-05. SCENE AT THE SALUTING BASE AT THE END OF THE MARCH PAST OF THE 2/11TH AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BATTALION DURING ITS MARCH THROUGH THE CITY OF PERTH FOLLOWING ITS RETURN FROM THE MIDDLE EAST. THE GOVERNOR OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA. SIR JAMES MITCHELL KCMG, (WITH TOP HAT) IS SEEN TALKING...

026910

Art

Vice Admiral Sir John Collins

Depicts a portrait of Vice Admiral Sir John Collins, KBE, CB, Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand, formerly commanding officer HMAS (1935-41); Mediterranean (Bartolomeo Colleoni), Gulf.

ART27541

Commodore John Collins

Commodore (later Admiral Sir) John Collins, RAN, portrait used for cover of 'Woman' magazine, 28 August 1944; Mediterranean Sea,, Gulf, Pacific.

ART27893

Commodore John Collins

Depicts a portrait of Commodore John Augustine Collins, CB, later Vice Admiral, KBE. In the early war years, Collins commanded HMAS 'Sydney' in the Mediterranean. Australians celebrated a great naval victory when HMAS 'Sydney' sunk the Italian cruiser 'Bartolomeo Colleoni' in July 1940. Collins...

ART22617

Commodore John Collins

Portrait of Commodore John Augustine Collins, Australian Squadron Commander, HMAS 'Shropshire, Royal Australian Navy.

ART25682

Film

1. Australia honours victims of air crash 2. HMAS Sydney returns from glorious victory (Cinesound News No 459)

Extracts from Cinesound News No. 459. 1. (2 min 51 sec) The victims are: Brigadier G Street, Minister for the Army, Mr James Fairbairn, Minister for Air, General White, Chief of the General Staff, Sir Henry Gullett, Lieutenant Colonel Thornleigh and others. The service was attended by the Governor...

F00501

HMAS Shropshire

In April 1944 HMAS Shropshire, as a unit of Task Force 74, took part in escorting convoys up the coast of New Guinea and the bombardment of Hollandia and after the landing at Hollandia, escorting US aircraft carriers of Task Force 78 in the Solomon and Bismarck Sea areas. Gives a general outline of...

F01760

HMAS Sydney

Alexandria, Egypt, July 1940. HMAS Sydney after she had arrived back in port after her engagement with the Italian cruiser, Bartolomeo Colleoni.

F01239

Tokyo surrender

On 2 September 1945 the instrument of surrender was signed by the Japanese foreign minister, Mamoru Shigemitsu, at a ceremony held on board the upper deck of the USS Missouri. Four minutes after Shigemitsu signed, General Douglas MacArthur signed, followed by the representatives of Allied countries...

F01272

1. HMAS "Australia" wounded return 2. New Spitfires ready for Japs. (Cinesound News No. 682)

1. (2 min 12 sec) Arriving in port aboard an Allied ship, wounded members of HMAS "Australia" are interviewed for Cinesound News. These are able seaman Eric Mckinnon and leading seaman Ken Bourne. There is also a shot of Captain Collins HMAS Australia's Commander being put ashore on a stretcher. 2....

F00617

1. "Queen Mary" is palatial troopship 2. Cruiser "Shropshire" added to RAN 3. War - working mothers leave babies in safety. (News From Home No. 58)

1. (1 min 4 sec) Scenes showing the "Queen Mary" as a troopship. Film shots of her six visits to Sydney were delayed for security reasons 2. (1 min 34 sec) "Shropshire" arrives from England to join the RAN. Captain Collins praises the ship and her crew 3. (3 min) Mothers who have no time to look...

F00751

HMAS Sydney comes home (Cinesound news No 485)

Extracts from Cinesound news No 485. Welcome home for HMAS Sydney and her crew, civic welcome and speech by Captain Collins. (See also F01066 Department of Information unedited footage)

F01465

Men like these

A cinema trailer for the Third Victory Loan using the work of the RAN to inspire investment. Return of HMAS Sydney to Sydney. Commodore Collins speaks on camera while convalescing with his family.

F01579

HMAS Shropshire, convoy off New Guinea (News From Home No. 96)

Extracts from News From Home No. 96. A convoy off New Guinea is escorted by HMAS Shropshire. Shows activities on board, ship to ship refuelling, ammunition hoisted aboard, Commodore Collins and crew playing shipboard games. Shots of Pom-Pom and Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns in action which are...

F00787

HMAS Sydney, return to Australia February 1941

HMAS Sydney returned to Sydney February, 1941 and her crew were welcomed home by his excellency the Governor General of Australia Lord Gowrie VC, PC, GCMG, CB, DSO, and Admiral Sir Ragnar M. Colvin KBE, CB, first naval member of the naval board. Identified personnel are: Captain John Collins CB and...

F01066

Cradle of the RAAF

The Air Training Corps is the cradle from which flows the splendid young manhood of the Royal Australian Air Force. This film presents some of the history and much of the activities of No. 5 Wing Western Australia. The Air Training Corps offers the youth of this country unexampled opportunity not...

F02701

Background of a tradition

A Movietone production on the 50 year history of the Royal Australian Navy. Shows the launch of the battle cruiser HMAS Australia at Clyde. The arrival of the destroyers Warrago, Parramatta and Yarra on 4 October 1913. Scenes of HMAS Australia, HMAS Sydney and HMAS Melbourne. The RAN's part in...

F10067

Going north

A Department of Information propaganda film produced by the Netherlands East Indies Film Unit on the Allied invasion of Japanese occupied Morotai. The Morotai Task Force comprised of United States Army and Navy ground, sea and air forces and units of the Royal Australian Navy. The RAN ships...

F01380

Naval College is school for future officers

An Australian National Film Board production for the Department of Information on the Royal Australian Naval College at Flinders. Shows the Colleges Cadet Midshipmen's academic and sporting activities as well training in seamanship. Concludes with a passing out parade of Fourth Year Cadets with the...

F01999

Private Record

Heraldry

Wedding presentation tray : Lieutenant T E Davis, RAN

Circular silver plated tray with two handles and a pattern of raised grapes and vine leaves around the rim. The centre of the tray has an embossed design of Acanthus leaves. Within this are engraved the words 'FROM CAPTAIN AND WARD ROOM OFFICERS H.M.A.S. SYDNEY 21 Feb. 1941.' Above these words is...

REL/00379

Sound

Vice Admiral Sir John Augustine Collins KBE CB interviewed by Mr Robert Hyslop.

Interview part of a set conducted by Robert Hyslop with Royal Australian Navy Senior Officers and Government Ministers.

S04652

Timeline

Date of birth 1899-01-07 Deloraine, TAS.
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1912-12-31 Enlisted in the RAN.
Other 1913 Joined the first class of cadets at the Royal Australian Naval College, Geelong.
Other 1916 Graduated from Royal Australian Naval College.
Date of embarkation 1916-04-17
Other 1917 Served on HMS Canada.
Date promoted 1918 Appointed sub lieutenant.
Date promoted 1919 Appointed lieutenant.
Date returned to Australia 1921 Joined HMAS Melbourne. he then attended several gunnery courses in England.
Other 1926 Rejoined Melbourne as a gunnery officer.
Other 1927 Lieutenant commander appointed to HMAS Renown as Naval Liaison Officer for the visit of the Duke and Dutchess of York.
Other 1932 Attended the Naval Staff College at Greenwich.
Other 1933 Began work as a commander in the Admiralty's Plans Division.
Other units 1935 - 1936 Served aboard the HMAS Sydney in the Mediterranean Sea during the Abyssinian Crisis.
Date promoted 1937 Appointed captain in the Admiralty Plans Division.
Other 1938 - 1939 Appointed Assistant Naval Chief of Staff.
Other 1939-11-16 Given command of HMAS Sydney and sailed for the Mediterranean.
Other 1940-07-19 Collins was involved with the sinking if the Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni. Collins recieved a Companion of the Order of the Bath for his service in this action.
Date of honour or award 1940-07-26 Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB).
Other 1941-08 Posted to Singapore as Assistant Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, China.
Other 1943-04-17 Appointed captain of the HMAS Shropshire.
Other units 1944 Transferred to HMAS Australia.
Date promoted 1944-06 Promoted commodore 1st class.
Date wounded 1944-10-21 A kamikaze attack killed the ship's captain and wounded Collins.
Other 1945-07 Returned to duties.
Date returned to Australia 1946-02
Date promoted 1947 Promoted rear admiral.
Other 1948 - 1955 Appointed Australian Chief of Naval Staff and the First Naval Member.
Date promoted 1950-05 Appointed vice admiral.
Date of honour or award 1951-01-01 Gazetted Knight Comander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE).
Date of discharge 1955 Retired from the Navy.
Other 1956 - 1962 Appointed Australia's High Commissioner to New Zealand.
Date of death 1989-09-03 Sydney, NSW.