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Crowds inspect HMAS AUSTRALIA II at Circular Quay, Sydney

Date: 28 October 1928
Medium: Emulsion on glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Glass plate negative
Object No: 00024979
Place Manufactured:Circular Quay
Related Place:Sydney Harbour, Sydney,

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    Description
    This photograph depicts crowds admiring the Royal Australian Navy's cruiser HMAS AUSTRALIA II at wharf 2 in Circular Quay, Sydney. A newspaper article describes the scene:

    'Several thousand people visited the cruiser AUSTRALIA at No. 2 wharf, Circular Quay, yesterday afternoon, where she was thrown open for inspection for the first time. The inspections will be continued this afternoon, tomorrow afternoon, and on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday afternoons.'

    ('H.M.A.S. AUSTRALIA - Inspected by Large Crowds', The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 26 October 1928, p 14)
    SignificanceThe Samuel J Hood photographic collection records an extensive range of maritime activity on Sydney Harbour, including sail and steam ships, naval vessels, crew portraits, crews at work, ship interiors, stevedores loading and unloading cargo, port scenes, pleasure boats and harbourside social activities from the 1890s through to the 1950s. They are also highly competent artistic studies and views - Hood was regarded as an important figure in early Australian photojournalism. Hood’s maritime photographs are one of the most significant collections of such work in Australia.

    HistoryHMAS AUSTRALIA II was a County Class heavy cruiser built by John Brown & Co Ltd of Clydebank, Scotland and launched in March 1927. The vessel was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy on 24 April 1928, and four months later departed Portsmouth arriving in Sydney on 23 October - four and a half years after the first Australian flagship HMAS AUSTRALIA I was scuttled off Sydney Heads.

    The vessel spent six years with the Australia Station, and in December 1934 sailed for England. The AUSTRALIA served with the British forces until July 1936, and returned to Australia arriving in Sydney on 11 August 1936. The ship remained in Australian waters, with the exception of cruises to New Zealand and New Guinea between April and July 1937. On 24 April 1938, AUSTRALIA was paid off into Reserve, but was recommissioned in August 1939.

    During World War II, the ship's complement increased from 679 to 848, and conducted operations in the Indian and South Atlantic Oceans acting as a convoy escort and protecting shipping routes. The ship also served in the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Guadalcanal invasion, the Battle of Leyte Gulf and allied landings at Lingayen Gulf.

    On 21 October 1944, AUSTRALIA was damaged when a Japanese fighter plane collided with the ship, killing the commanding officer Captain E F V Dechaineux and several others. Whether or not it was a kamikaze attack has been the subject of much speculation. After attacks in January 1945, AUSTRALIA underwent a major refit in the UK and stayed there for the remainder of the war. It returned to Sydney on 16 February 1946. The cruiser was mainly used as a training ship, and was eventually sold for scrap in January 1955 and broken up at Barrow-in-Furness, UK in 1956.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: HMAS AUSTRALIA

    Web title: Crowds inspect HMAS AUSTRALIA II at Circular Quay, Sydney

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