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Gun crew of HMAS WARREGO

Date: April 1942
Overall: 63 x 88 mm
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Philip Stafford Jay
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00029066

User Terms

    This group photograph features the forward gun crew of HMAS WARREGO. The informal photo shows the sailors standing behind the ship's gun turrets wearing protective 'fearnought' cloth over their neck and shoulders and metal helmets. Two of the sailors are holding artillery shells.
    SignificanceThis photo is an important record of the gun crew of HMAS WARREGO who fired the first shots in defence of the Australian mainland during the Japanese attack at Darwin on 19 February 1942. WARREGO was one of the 27 Allied ships in Darwin harbour when the Japanese attacked. One hundred and eighty-eight Japanese fighters and bombers attacked the port facilities and shipping, killing over 243 Allied service personnel and civilians. It was the first attack on Australia by a foreign enemy since European settlement.
    HistoryHMAS WARREGO was a Grimsby class sloop of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Laid down at Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney on 15 May 1939, WARREGO was launched on 10 February 1940 by Mrs Pattie Menzies, wife of the Prime Minister, and commissioned into the RAN on 22 August 1940.

    WARREGO was engaged in mine sweeping operations in Australian waters during 1940; and then sailed to Darwin in 1941 for anti-submarine and escort duties. On 19 February 1942 Japanese planes attacked Darwin. WARREGO miraculously avoided damage during the attack. She sailed to Sydney for a refit in May 1942.

    WARREGO then participated in various anti-submarine patrols and escort convoys from Townsville to New Guinea, Thursday Island to Darwin, and later Onslow to Darwin. After a refit in Brisbane in 1943, she resumed convoy duties as well as survey duties in New Guinea in 1944 and the Philippines in 1945. WARREGO also contributed to the successful Australian troop landing at Borneo in July 1945.

    After World War II WARREGO conducted surveys off Tasmania and Queensland until 1949 when she was returned to Sydney. WARREGO was recommissioned in June 1951 and undertook various survey operations in Australian waters until she was decommissioned in August 1963. WARREGO was sold two years later, and broken up in 1966 at Rozelle Bay, Sydney.

    HMAS WARREGO (II) earned the following Battle Honours - Darwin 1942, Pacific 1941-45, New Guinea 1942, Lingayen Gulf 1945, and Borneo 1945.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Gun crew of HMAS WARREGO

    Web title: Gun crew of HMAS WARREGO

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