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Commissioning Order for HMAS BOMBARD

Date: 1968
Overall: 335 x 206 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Jill Pinkham
Object Name: Order
Object No: 00045318

User Terms

    Commissioning Orders are part of the ceremonial procedures of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). This order was read by the new captain of Attack class patrol boat HMAS BOMBARD when it was commissioned on 5 November 1968. The order was presented to BOMBARD's first commanding officer, Lieutenant Robert Hugh Gyton by Rear-Admiral G J B Crabb.
    SignificanceHMAS BOMBARD's Commissioning Order represents official naval procedures and ceremonies associated with the commissioning of Royal Australian Navy ships.
    HistoryThe ceremonies for commissioning and decommissioning a warship call for the hoisting of the ensign, jack and commissioning pennant as the first act after the new captain reads the commissioning order, and as the final act before the last captain declares the ship decommissioned.

    By the 1960s Australia was closely involved in events in the Asia-Pacific region, and was no longer depending on a British strategic presence close to the north in Malaya and Singapore. The effect of this on Australia's naval strategy was a greater commitment to improving surveillance and control of our enormous coastline, especially the northern approaches.

    The decision to produce a new patrol boat for the RAN was approved by the Australian Government in 1964 - initially for nine all-purpose craft, although this was soon increased to 14 and then 20 (five of which were specifically for the Papua New Guinea division). In 1965 contracts were awarded to Evans, Deakin & Co Pty Ltd of Brisbane and Walkers Ltd of Maryborough.

    HMAS BOMBARD was built for the Royal Australian Navy by Evans, Deakin & Co Pty Ltd and was launched on 6 July 1968 and commissioned on 5 November 1968. The Attack class, named after the first of the type, HMAS ATTACK, was primarily designed for general patrol and survey work in Australian and New Guinean waters.

    Along with the other patrol boats, BOMBARD was available to undertake control of illegal fishing, seaward and harbour defence, coast watching duties, smuggling and immigration control, search and rescue, act as a target towing vessel, anti-infiltration and counter insurgency control, servicing of local navigational beacons, occasional inshore survey work, and also to act as a training vessel for Naval Reserve officers and sailors and for general training in small ship handling.

    The vessels were originally designated the First Australian Patrol Boat Squadron. In 1972 they underwent reorganisation and were divided into First, Second and Third Squadrons plus the PNG Division. Their respective bases were Sydney, Cairns, Darwin and Manus Island. BOMBARD was primarily with the Third Squadron in Darwin, where they were locally called the 'Darwin Navy' and a buffalo head insignia was painted on their funnels.

    Five of the boats were built for Papua New Guinea service (with Australian officers in command), and formed the basis of its navy at Independence in 1975. Seven (including BOMBARD) were given to the Indonesian navy between 1973 and 1985 and are still in operation. They were transferred as part of the Australian-Indonesian Defence Cooperation project for Indonesia's maritime surveillance capability. HMAS BOMBARD was transferred in September 1983 and renamed KRI SIRIBUA.

    BOMBARD is probably best known for starring (with HMAS ADVANCE) in the first series of the popular ABC-TV production, Patrol Boat, as the fictional HMAS AMBUSH. The series was produced in 1979 and 1983 and was filmed around Sydney Harbour, Pittwater, Kuringai and the Hawkesbury.

    The Commissioning Order of HMAS BOMBARD reads as follows:

    By Gordon John Branstone Crabb, Esquire, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Distinguished Service Cross, Rear-Admiral and Flag Officer Commanding Her Majesty's Australian Fleet. HMAS BOMBARD Commissioning Order,

    The Australian Commonwealth Naval Board having directed Her Majesty's Australian Ship BOMBARD is to commission at Maryborough on the [blank], 1968 you are to proceed to commission her accordingly for service in the Royal Australian Navy, and to cause the utmost despatch to be used, so far as the same may depend upon you, in preparing for sea accordingly.

    Until further notice Her Majesty's Australian Ship BOMBARD will be under my full command. You are to bring to my immediate notice any reason you may have for dissatisfaction with the state of training, discipline or welfare of the ship's company or with the general state of her material or any part of her.

    May God's blessing be upon the ship and company hereby entrusted to your command, and may your joint endeavours to uphold the traditions of the Royal Australian Navy in the service of Her Majesty the Queen be crowned with success and happiness.

    [Signed] J Crabb
    Lieutenant Robert Hugh Gyton
    Royal Australian Navy, HMAS BOMBARD

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Commissioning Order for HMAS BOMBARD

    (not entered): Commissioning Order for HMAS BOMBARD

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