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RAN officer's pants belonging to Captain William Cook

Date: c 1930
Dimensions:
Overall: 1010 × 380 mm
Medium: Wool, cotton, plastic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Rhod Cook
Object Name: Pants
Object No: 00054694

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    Description
    Circa 1930s Royal Australian Navy officer's cocked hat and epaulettes with storage box belonging to Captain William Cook, RAN. Cook acquired his uniform following promotion to Acting Sub-Lieutenant in 1936. This object 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.
    SignificanceThe cocked hat, epaulettes and storage box belonged to Captain William Cook, a Royal Australian Navy officer who was the youngest Australian destroyer commander of the Second World War (in command of HMAS Nizam) and present at Japan's surrender in September 1945. Cook also served as second-in-command 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.
    HistoryHMAS Wyatt Earp was originally built as the Norwegian fishing vessel Fanefjord in 1919. In 1933 it was purchased by American Antarctic explorer Lincoln Ellsworth and named Wyatt Earp after the famed American lawman of Dodge City, Kansas and Tombstone, Arizona. The vessel was acquired by the Royal Australian Navy in 1939, renamed HMAS Wongala (an Indigenous Australian word meaning 'Boomerang'), and operated as an examination vessel and guardship in South Australian waters during the Second World War. In 1947 the vessel was renamed HMAS Wyatt Earp prior to its involvement in the Australian National Antarctic Resarch Expedition. It was decommissioned and sold in 1951, ultimately renamed M/V Natone, and was wrecked on Queensland's Rainbow Beach in January 1959.

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