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Date: 1980
Overall: 630 x 500 mm
Medium: Fabric
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Greg Thompson
Object Name: T-shirt
Object No: 00051781

User Terms

    This t-shirt bears the unoffical logo of HMAS VAMPIRE - the 'bat'. Naval crews often design and produce souvenirs and mementoes associated with a particular naval vessel. This t-shirt belonged to Greg Thompson who served in the Daring Class destroyer HMAS VAMPIRE in the early 1980s.
    SignificanceThis t-shirt with its image of a vampire bat relates solely to ex-HMAS VAMPIRE, whose nickname during its service with the RAN was The Bat.
    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. 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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