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Commissioning program for HMAS VAMPIRE

Date: 17 November 1971
Overall: 205 x 162 x 1 mm, 14.67 g
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Commander David Caton
Object Name: Program
Object No: 00047654

User Terms

    The recommissioning of a warship after a major refit is an important ceremony in the life of the ship and its company. HMAS VAMPIRE entered active service in the Royal Australian Navy in 1971 after a mid-life refit at the Williamstown Naval Dockyard, Victoria.
    SignificanceCeremonies and dedications play a significant role in the life of a warship and its company. This program represents the commissioning ceremony of HMAS VAMPIRE after its major modernisation and refit.
    HistoryThe Daring class destroyers, operating in the decades following World War II, came towards the end of 20th-century destroyer development. They were superseded by guided missile destroyers in which sophisticated technology posed different design challenges. In the Royal Australian Navy, the Daring class was replaced by American-built guided missile frigates. Thus VAMPIRE, which served from 1959 to 1986, represents the culmination of a type of warship and the strategy it served.

    HMAS VAMPIRE is the last of the biggest destroyers ever built in Australia, a class regarded as 'super destroyers' in their day. With guns as its main armament, it is also the last Australian example of a conventional gun destroyer. And it's the last surviving example of a steam turbine-propelled Australian warship. The museum is proud to present this ship to the thousands who visit yearly.

    VAMPIRE's modernisation and upgrade refit was undertaken in 1970-71 at the Williamstown Naval Dockyard in Victoria. Over 2,000 modifications - major and minor - were undertaken during the $10-million refit. These included: replacement of the single Flyplane 3 and MRS 8 gunfire control system with two of the more effective Dutch M22 systems; new air-warning radar and navigation/surface search radar; both superheaters retubed; probe refuelling positions fitted in four positions; a new enclosed bridge replaced the traditional open bridge that exposed the watch to all weather conditions; updated communication systems; rebuilt 4.5-inch turrets; reconditioning of the single and twin Bofors anti-aircraft guns; removal of the torpedo tubes; additional air conditioning; modernisation of all three galleys; and the wardroom galley was relocated to between the wardroom and the captain's day cabin with the old wardroom galley becoming the supply officer's cabin

    After sea trials, VAMPIRE returned to operational duties in mid-1972.

    This program details the Order of Ceremony for the day - 10.50 Guests seated; 10.55 March on the Guard and Band; 11.00 ceremony commences. Captain G J H Woolrych reads his Commissioning Order followed by the Service - the Lord's prayer, Scripture reading, Prayer for the Navy, Blessing of the Ship, Prayer for the Ship, Naval Hymn. Following this was - Hoisting and breaking of the Colours, Commanding Officer addresses the Company, March off the Guard, Guests escorted onboard, and Ship's Company March on board.

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