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HMAS SWORDSMAN leaving Port Phillip

Date: 1920
Dimensions:
Image: 190 x 288 mm
Mount: 253 x 350 mm
Overall: 253 x 350 mm, 0.15 kg
Medium: Silver gelatin print, mounted on card
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Frank Campbell
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00028434

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    Description
    The destroyer HMAS SWORDSMAN was sent from Sydney in September 1920 to join in the search off north-east Tasmania for the overdue schooner AMELIA J, the crew of the wrecked barquentine SOUTHERN CROSS and also the missing airmen Captain W J Stutt and his mechanic Sergeant A G Dalzell. The latter two were lost when their plane crashed as they searched for the AMELIA J.
    HistoryHMAS SWORDSMAN, pendant number H11, was an Admiralty S class destroyer built initially for the Royal Navy (RN) but transferred to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) at the beginning of 1920. It had a short service in the RAN and was decommissioned in 1929 having spent most of the time moored in Sydney Harbour.

    The AMELIA J disappeared after leaving Newcastle for Hobart with a cargo of coal on 21 August 1920. Thirteen on board were lost. Its remains are believed to lie somewhere in the eastern approaches to Bass Strait, possibly south of Gabo Island off the east Gippsland coast which is where search parties concentrated their searching. The Tasmanian Government steamer MELBOURNE, the steamers KOOMELA and WYBIA, and HMAS PLATYPUS and HMAS SWORDSMAN conducted the sea search. One of the aircraft undertaking the air search, piloted by Captain W Stutt, itself disappeared and was never found.

    At the same time, the barquentine SOUTHERN CROSS also disappeared, believed to have hit rocks south of King Island, with its benzine cargo subsequently blowing up.

    Although wreckage from the SOUTHERN CROSS was later discovered on King Island, the AMELIA J, and the DH 9A aircraft with its two-man crew vanished without a trace.

    Related People
    Photographer: Green Brothers

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