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Date: 1979
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Greg Thompson
Object Name: T-shirt
Object No: 00051782

User Terms

    The t-shirt features a black bat, the unofficial logo of the Daring Class Destroyer HMAS VAMPIRE alongside sporting equipment for soccer, rugby, golf, hockey, tennis and badminton.. Naval personnel often compete in sporting competitions for fitness and team building. The t-shirt belonged to Greg Thompson who joined the RAN in 1980 and served for twenty years.

    During its service in the RAN, VAMPIRE was referred to as The Bat, and the Mean Machine.
    SignificanceThe souvenir t-shirt may be of sentimental value to many of the naval personnel who served in HMAS VAMPIRE during their naval careers, many of whom belong to the HMAS VAMPIRE Association.

    HistoryHMAS VAMPIRE was the last of three Daring class destroyers built and launched in Australia. Originally ordered in 1946, VAMPIRE was built between 1952 and 1956 and commissioned in 1959. Her sisterships were VOYAGER (commissioned 1957) and VENDETTA (commissioned 1958). A fourth ship - WATERHEN - was planned but never ordered. They were named in honour of the Royal Navy Admiralty V&W class destroyers. Together, the three Darings formed the 9th Destroyer Squadron. During a 27-year career, VAMPIRE steamed some 808,000 nautical miles.

    VAMPIRE is a ship from another era - the last of the big destroyers built in Australia at the former premier shipbuilding facility on Cockatoo Island, Sydney - which closed in 1990. Ships such as VAMPIRE represent the last of the ships which had guns as their primary armament and which still relied to an extent on the skill of the gunners.

    The Daring class destroyer was regularly deployed to South East Asia, being attached to the Far East Strategic Reserve on five occasions. The vessel escorted the troop transport HMAS SYDNEY on numerous transport voyages to Vietnam. In 1979 the ship undertook a cruise to South -east Asia. Decommissioned in 1986 for the final time, VAMPIRE was put on display at ANMM where it remains one of the most popular exhibits at the Museum.

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