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Presentation to HMAS Perth of U.S. Navy unit commendation



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PRESENTATION TO HMAS PERTH 0? U .S . NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION

2 1 s t JULY, 1969

(S p e e c h by t h e M i n i s t e r f o r D e f e n c e , t h e Hon. A l l e n

F a i r h a l l , M .P .)

A d m ira l H y la n d , t h e Hon. C .R . K e l l y , M i n i s t e r f o r t h e

Navy, A d m iral C ra b b , P a r l i a m e n t a r y c o l l e a g u e s , o f f i c e r s and men

o f t h e R oyal A u s t r a l i a n Navy, d i s t i n g u i s h e d g u e s t s , l a d i e s and

g e n tle m e n .

T h is i s t h e se c o n d o c c a s i o n w i t h i n a few m onths i n

w h ich a s h i p o f t h e R oyal A u s t r a l i a n Navy w i l l h av e r e c e i v e d t h e

U n ite d S t a t e s Navy U n it Commendation f o r e x c e p t i o n a l l y m e r i t o r i o u s

s e r v i c e w h ile o p e r a t i n g as a u n i t o f t h e U n ite d S t a t e s S e v e n th

F l e e t i n t h e w a t e r s o f f V ietn am .

’ The aw ard d e t r a c t s n o t h i n g from t h e i n d i v i d u a l p e r f o r m ­

a n ce o f e i t h e r s h i p . I t ad d s im m e a su ra b ly t o t h e s t a t u r e o f t h e

R oyal A u s t r a l i a n Navy and t h e o f f i c e r s end men who s e r v e so

e f f e c t i v e l y and f a i t h f u l l y i n i t .

As I r e a d t h e c i t a t i o n I a p p r e c i a t e t h a t P e r t h h a s w e l l

e a r n e d t h e r i g h t t o w e ar h e r d i s t i n g u i s h i n g f l a g , a g r e e n b u r g e e

w i t h b l u e , y e llo w and s c a r l e t h o r i z o n t a l s t r i p e s . The h o n o u r w i l l

s t a y w i t h t h e s h i p t h r o u g h o u t h e r s e r v i c e l i f e . ·

But t h e s p i r i t o f t h e s h i p i s o n ly t h e s p i r i t o f t h o s e

who s e r v e i n h e r . The members o f t h e s h i p ’ s company Who s e r v e d ■ .·

d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d f o r w h ich t h e com m endation i s aw ard ed , w i l l w e a r

w i t h p r i d e t h e i r own s e p a r a t e d i s t i n c t i v e r i b b o n , b e c a u s e t h e

A m erican c i t a t i o n , o v e r t h e s i g n a t u r e o f t h e S e c r e t a r y o f t h e Navy,

r e f e r s p a r t i c u l a r l y t o " t h e p ro w e ss and team w ork d i s p l a y e d by t h e

p e r s o n n e l o f P e r t h a s u n i f o r m l y c h a r a c t e r i s e d by p e r s o n a l v a l o u r ,

p r o f e s s i o n a l acumen and i n d i v i d u a l i n i t i a t i v e . "

I t t h e n g o e s on t o p a y t h e f i n e s t k i n d o f t r i b u t e i n

t h e s e w o r d s , and I q u o t e , " t h e t e n a c i t y , p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m and d e d i c ­

a t i o n d e m o n s tr a te d by t h e o f f i c e r s and men o f P e r t h r e f l e c t s g r e a t

c r e d i t on t h e m s e lv e s and t h e Royal A u s t r a l i a n Navy.."

T h e i r f e l l o w s e r v ic e m e n o f a l l arms and t h e p e o p le o f

A u s t r a l i a a r e p ro u d o f t h e i r d i s t i n g u i s h e d r e c o r d . Our Governm ent

i s g r a t e f u l f o r t h e i r s e r v i c e and d e d ic a tio n " .

I t i s a g r e a t p l e a s u r e t o h a v e w i t h u s toda.y A d m iral J . J .

H y la n d , o f t h e U n ite d S t a t e s Navy, who comes t o u s w ith a l o n g

r e c o r d o f d i s t i n g u i s h e d n a v a l s e r v i c e t h a t b e g an i n 1934. He i s

w i t h u s t o d a y as Commander i n C h i e f o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s P a c i f i c

2 .

F l e e t . But allead o f t h a t a p p o in tm e n t he was i n command o f t h e

U n ite d S t a t e s S e v e n th F l e e t " , ' i n w h ich c a p a c i t y he had o p e r a t i o n a l

c o n t r o l o f HMAS P e r t h d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d o f h e r s e r v i c e u n d e r

r e f e r e n c e .

HMAS P e r t h was t h e seco n d A u s t r a l i a n w a r s h ip t o s e r v e i n t h e

V ie tn a m c o n f l i c t . D u rin g h e r a tt a c h m e n t t o t h e U n ite d S t a t e s

S e v e n th F l e e t , fro m S e p te m b e r, 1967 t o A p r i l , 19 6 b , P e r t h was

a t s e a f o r 80$ o f th e p e r i o d , t h e m a j o r i t y o f t h a t tim e b e in g

s p e n t i n o p e r a t i o n s o f f t h e c o a s t o f N o rth V ie tn a m .

D u rin g t h a t t im e sh e f i r e d o v e r 1 3 ,0 0 0 ro u n d s of 5 i n c h

a m m u n itio n , e n g a g in g a v a r i e t y o f t a r g e t s i n c l u d i n g w a t e r b o r n e ,

l o g i s t i c c r a f t , b r i d g e s , c o a s t a l d e f e n c e s i t e s , m i l i t a r y s t o r a g e

a r e a s and l a n d s u p p l y r o u t e s . P e r t h was en g ag ed by enemy s h o r e

b a t t e r i e s on a num ber o f o c c a s i o n s . I t was h i t by enemy f i r e on

1 8 t h O c to b e r , 1967, h a p p i l y v /ith o u t c a s u a l t y .

D u rin g t h a t p e r i o d C a p t a i n D o y le , t h e n i n command, L i e u t e n a n t

Commander J . B. W e lls , and L e a d in g Seaman W. J . Young, w ere aw arded

d e c o r a t i o n s f o r s e r v i c e . A d d i t i o n a l l y n i n e o f f i c e r s and e i g h t e e n

s a i l o r s wore comended by t h e N a v al B oard f o r t h e i r e f f o r t s and

d e v o t i o n t o d u ty w h ich l a r g e l y c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e o v e r a l l r e s u l t s

a c h i e v e d by t h e s h i p . I o f f e r my w arn c o n g r a t u l a t i o n s t o C a p ta in

D oyle and t h e e n t i r e s h i p s company.

As t h e Prim e M i n i s t e r rem in d ed us on .ju st su c h an o c c a s i o n

a s t h i s t h r e e m onths a g o , t h e A u s t r a l i a n Navy, a lo n g w i t h o u r

o t h e r armed f o r c e s , w i l l h a v e c o n t i n u i n g and p e r h a p s e x p a n d in g

com m itm ents i n P a c i f i c an d A s ia n w a t e r s .

We h a v e no d o u b t a b o u t t h e q u a l i t i e s o f l e a d e r s h i p and s e r v i c e

t h a t c h a r a c t e r i s e t h e o f f i c e r s and men o f t h e R oyal A u s t r a l i a n .

Navy. I t w i l l be f o r t h e G overnm ent to s e e t h a t t h e s e r v i c e i s

e q u ip p e d w i t h t h e b e s t t h a t we can p r o v i d e .

H e r e t o f o r e A u s t r a l i a n s h i p s e r v i n g w ith t h e U n ite d S t a t e s

S e v e n th F l e e t h a v e b e en H o b a r t, B r i s b a n e , and P e r t h , a l l b u i l t i n

t h e U n it e d S t a t e s .

I t w ould be p e r t i n e n t now t o i n d i c a t e t h a t , a t t h e t e r m i n a t i o n

o f B r i s b a n e 's p r e s e n t t o u r o f d u ty i n S e p te m b e r, sh e w i l l be

r e p l a c e d by th e A u s t r a l i a n b u i l t d e s t r o y e r HMAS V e n d e t t a .

The d e p lo y m en t of V e n d etta, w i l l p r o v i d e a. s p l e n d i d o p p o r t u n i t y

f o r t h e R oyal A u s t r a l i a n Navy t o g a i n e x p e r i e n c e i n o p e r a t i n g one

o f i t s A u s t r a l i a n b u i l t d e s t r o y e r s w ith US s h i p s u n d e r o p e r a t i o n a l

c o n d i t i o n s . ~

V e n d e t t a , w hich was d e s i g n e d p r i m a r i l y .as a g u n s h ip i s f i t t e d

w ith f o u r 3*5 g u n m ounts, w i l l be a h i g h l y s u i t a b l e s h i p f o r t h e t a s k s

sh e w i l l be r e q u i r e d t o u n d e r t a k e w i t h t h e S e v e n th F l e e t .

3.

May h e r s e r v i c e w i t h t h e F l e e t be as d i s t i n g u i s h e d a s t h a t o f

h e r p r e d e c e s s o r s on s t a t i o n and may t h a t s e r v i c e i n i t s t u r n

c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e m a g n i f i c e n t s p i r i t o f c o - o p e r a t i o n b etw een

two n a t i o n s , w o rk in g t o m a i n t a i n s e c u r i t y and b r i n g p e a c e w i t h

p ro g e s a . i n t h i s t r o u b i ’ed q u a r t e r o f t h e w o r ld .

To y o u , A d m iral H y la n d ; on b e h a l f o f t h e Government and t h e

p e o p le o f A u s t r a l i a , I e x te n d a warm w elcom e and e q u a l l y warm

t h a n k s f o r t h e re m a rk s you h av e a d d r e s s e d t o t h i s g a t h e r i n g t o d a y .

We w i l l remember them a s u n d e r l i n i n g t h e p ro u d t r a d i t i o n s of

n a v a l s e r v i c e e v e r y w h e r e . We a r e g r a t e f u l t h a t t h e o f f i c e r s and

men o f o u r own R oyal A u s t r a l i a n Navy have w e l l m a i n t a i n e d t h e s e

t r a d i t i o n s .. Long may t h e y c o n t i n u e .