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HMAS CANBERRA

Date: 1925-1942
Dimensions:
Overall: 221 x 341 x 2 mm
Overall (Photograph Only): 150 x 262 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Tammy Foy
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00051286
Related Place:New Guinea, Tulaghi, Guadalcanal, Savo Island,

User Terms

    Description
    Photograph of HMAS CANBERRA, one of two 10,000 ton County class heavy cruisers built between 1925 and 1928 as part of a five year naval development program. The cruiser served in the Pacific area of operations during World War II. At the Battle of Savo Island it was struck by two torpedoes on the starboard side and over 20 salvoes of 8-inch shellfire. The ship listed severely, lost all power and was abandoned. On the orders of the Royal Navy it was sunk by US Ships SELFRIDGE and ELLET. Of the 819 men serving on board CANBERRA there were 193 casualties, including Captain Getting who died of wounds.
    SignificanceHMAS CANBERRA served in the Pacific area of operations during World War II. At the Battle of Savo Island it was struck by two torpedoes on the starboard side and over 20 salvos of 8-inch shellfire. The ship was abandoned and sank.
    HistoryHMAS CANBERRA was one of two 10,000 ton County class heavy cruisers built between 1925 and 1928 by John Brown & Co, Clydebank, Scotland as part of a five year naval development program. Its sister ship in the RAN was HMAS AUSTRALIA, as well as five others in the Royal Navy.

    The cruiser arrived in Australia in January 1929 and remained in home waters until September 1931 when it voyaged to New Caledonia and Fiji. CANBERRA also made a number of visits to the China Station and New Zealand in the inter-war years, acting on some occasions as the Flagship of the Australian Squadron. In 1934 the cruiser acted as escort to HRH The Duke of Gloucester during his visit in HMS SUSSEX.

    At the outbreak of war in 1939 CANBERRA spent nine months on patrolling and escorting duties in home waters and the Tasman Sea under the command of Captain Wilfrid R Patterson CVO RN. In June 1940 Captain Harold B Farncomb MVO RAN assumed command of the vessel and began a period of service in the Indian Ocean on escort duty between Fremantle, Colombo and Cape Town and later on the shipping routes from Africa to India and the Malay States.

    In November 1940 CANBERRA rescued survivors of the SS PORT BRISBANE and unsuccessfully searched for the German raider PINGUIN that had attacked it. Following this event CANBERRA returned to escort and patrol duties, intercepting the German supply ship COBURG and an ex Norwegian tanker, KETTY BROVIG, that had recently been captured by the Germans.

    With the outbreak of war in the Pacific in 1942, CANBERRA escorted convoys of troops to New Guinea and the Malayan/Java theatre. In February 1942 the cruiser underwent an extensive refit and was in Sydney Harbour the night the midget Japanese submarines entered the harbour. The ship was berthed near the USS CHICAGO, one of the intended targets of the midget submarines.

    In August 1942 CANBERRA supported the American landings at Guadalcanal and Tulagi (Solomon Islands). During the ensuing Battle of Savo Island CANBERRA was struck by two torpedoes on the starboard side and over 20 salvoes of 8-inch shellfire. The ship listed severely, lost all power and was abandoned. On the orders of the Royal Navy it was sunk by US Ships SELFRIDGE and ELLET. Of the 819 men serving on board CANBERRA there were 193 casualties, including Captain Getting who died of wounds. A memorial stained glass window was installed at the Naval Chapel Garden Island to commemorate HMAS CANBERRA.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Mounted photograph of HMAS CANBERRA

    Web title: HMAS CANBERRA

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