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RAN warships and drifting US freighter



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Navy Public Relations.

227 Syeaft·.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

R.A.N. WARSHIPS AID DRIFTING U .S .FREIGHTER.

Two Australian warships sped to the aid of a disabled

United States freighter off the island of Formosa in the early hours

of this morning. .

The Minister for the Navy, Senator Gorton, said in Canberra

this afternoon that two ships of the Australian Combat Fleet, the

destroyer, VENDETTA, and frigate, wUIBERON, were on passage from

Japan to Kong ICong when they intercepted a distress call.

The warships raced at high speed to a point 100 miles south­

east of Taiwan, where they found the· S.S. "A and J MID-AMERICA,1 1 a

7,000 ton freighter of the Mid-America Steamship Corporation, New

York. The freighter had lost her propeller, and was drifting '

helplessly. ■

Senator Gorton said that signals to Navy Office from VENDETTA

reported that together with QUIBERON she stood-by the disabled ship

throughout the night. .

• The' destroyer and frigate resumed their passage to Hong Kong

later today when the freighter’s master advised that a rescue tug

was on its way and that no further assistance would be required from

the Australian warships. - The last report from VENDETTA said the S.S.

"A and J. MID-AMERICA" was drifting in moderating seas. '

VENDETTA, under the command of Captain J.P. Stevenson, and

QUIBERON (Lieutenant-Commander P.M. Rees), are serving with the

British Commonwealth Strategic Reserve. They have just completed a

nine-day goodwill visit to Japan, and are on their way to Hong Kong

•where their 500 officers and men will spend Christmas.

. H.M.A.S. QUIBERON has established something of a reputation

as a rescue ship in South'East Asia, During her last tour of duty '

with the Strategic Reserve she featured in two rescue operations in

the China. Sea, . .

*******

Canberra. SUNDAY. 15th December, 1963.