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HMAS AUSTRALIA II ship badge

Date: 1935-1939
Dimensions:
Overall: 85 × 40 × 6 mm
Medium: Resin, paint
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Rhod Cook
Object Name: Ship badge
Object No: 00054675

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    Description
    A resin ship badge from HMAS AUSTRALIA (II) acquired by Captain William Cook, RAN during his time aboard the vessel during the late 1930s.
    The badge is made of a bronze coloured plastic resin and has a circular shape with a stylised rope pattern on around the edge, while its centre features a shield containing hand-painted mascots of each of the six Australian states.
    SignificanceThis ship badge is affiliated with HMAS AUSTRALIA (II), a County Class heavy cruiser laid down in 1925 that served with distinction in the Second World War. In particular, Australia served in the Battle of Leyte Gulf (Philippines), and during the engagement was struck by a Japanese kamikaze aircraft that resulted in the death of its commanding officer, Captain EFV Dechaineux. This attack is considered by some to be the first kamikaze assault ever committed against an Allied warship. AUSTRALIA survived the war and was later involved in a mission to rescue a sick Antarctic researcher from Heard Island in 1950. The ship was decommissioned in 1954.


    HistoryThis ship badge is one of a large collection of documents, photographs, uniforms, ship badges and ephemera associated with the Royal Australian Navy service of brothers William Cook and Frederick Cook. Both men entered service prior to the Second World War, were seconded to the Royal Navy, and underwent training at Greenwich and Portsmouth. Frederick Cook later gained fame as the only Australian survivor of HMS ROYAL OAK, torpedoed by a German U-boat in October 1939. William Cook was the youngest commander of an Australian destroyer during the Second World War, and was First Lieutenant of HMAS WYATT EARP, the primary research vessel for the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition in 1947- 48.
    The badge is also directly associated with William Cook, who served aboard AUSTRALIA during the early phase of his naval career. Cook would later assume command of HMAS NIZAM in February 1945 and become the youngest Australian naval officer to command a destoyer during the Second World War. He would also serve as First Lieutenant aboard HMAS WYATT EARP, the first Australian naval vessel to participate in an Antarctic research expedition (the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition) in the immediate post-war period.

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