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Royal Australian Navy to have another HMAS Australia



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li£HS RELE4SE TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 1982 NO. 50/82

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY TO HAVE

ANOTHER HMAS AUSTRALIA

The Minister for Defence, Mr. D.J. Killen, announced

today that the Governor-General had approved the name HMAS

Australia for the RAN's new aircraft carrier, HMS Invincible,

when the ship ,^is commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy . ■ Ί

in 1983. '

Mr. Killen said that HMAS Australia was a fitting

name for the RAN's major warship. It would commemorate two

earlier ships of the same name which had rendered distinguished

service. - ' ·

BACKGROUND TO THE NAME

The first ship to bear the name HMAS Australia was

a battle cruiser of the improved Invincible class. There were

three battle cruisers of this class built, Australia, New

Zealand and Indefatigable. HMAS Australia became the Flagship

of the Australian Fleet and led" the first Fleet entry into

Sydney Harbour on 4 October 1913. .

At the outbreak of World War I, HMAS Australia saw

service in the Pacific before sailing for England at the close

of 1914.

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Issued by the Directorate of Public Relations, Department of Defence, Canberra ACT, 2600

2

Enroute she intercepted and sank a German merchant ship off

the Falkland Islands and in February 1915 became the Flagship

of the 2nd Battle Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet. She

served in this role until the end of hostilities and after

the Armistice led the port column of the Grand Fleet as it

escorted the defeated German Fleet to internment at Scapa Flow.

After the war and under the terms of the Washington

Treaty, HMAS Australia was towed to sea and scuttled off Sydney

on April 12, 1924.

The second ship to bear the name was a 10,000 ton

County class cruiser, commissioned into the RAN in 1928.

This ship saw distinguished service in the Pacific during

World War II. She was damaged by Kamikaze attacks at Leyte

in October 1944 and again during the major landing in the/

Philippines in January 1945. During the latter attack, the

ship was hit by five aircraft and suffered damage that brought

her wartime service to an end. '

Immediately after World War II HMAS Australia was

refitted in England. On returning to Australia the ship

spent a short period in reserve before sailing for the Far East

in July 1947. After this deployment, HMAS Australia remained in

Australian waters with occasional goodwill tours to New Zealand

New Guinea and islands in the South West Pacific area.

. In 1954, HMAS Australia undertook her last official

duty acting as escort for the visit of Queen Elizabeth to

Australia. She was finally paid off for disposal on August 31,

1954. '

* * * * * *

Further enquiries: Mr N. Tanswell 48 0476 (After Hours)