- Richardson, G
- WWII operations, Ship histories and stories
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Bendigo I, HMAS Vendetta I, HMAS Whyalla I, HMAS Yarra II, HMAS Burnie, HMAS Perth I, HMAS Hobart I, HMAS Cessnock I, HMAS Wollongong I, HMAS Toowoomba I, HMAS Ballarat I, HMAS Taroona, HMAS Bingera, HMAS Adelaide I, HMAS Colac, HMAS Goulburn, HMAS Maryborough
- March 1975 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
19.4.42. At sea, and weather is warming. Can even see the sun.
20.4.42. Secured at Newstead Wharf (Brisbane) at 1730. All ready to go ashore.
21.4.42. Shifted berth to Stanley Street Wharf. Bingera and Goulburn arrive with subs. The boys all seem to like Brisbane. Leave is a matter of days.
22.4.42. Rockhampton arrived in the afternoon and slipped on completion of oiling.
23-27.4.42. Alongside Stanley Street Wharf. Natives are having a good go.
28.4.42. Slipped and proceeded with Ballarat. We are bound for Townsville with a Dutch transport. The boys are not too happy. Nearly walked off the ship last night.
29.4.42. At sea. Engines broke down in afternoon. Ballarat carried on with the Dutchman, while we limped along at our best speed, which wasn’t too fast.
1.5.42. Secured alongside Townsville at 1730. Ballarat took the transport to Port Moresby. It is rumoured that we take the Taroona there next week. Blast the Navy! Unfair to sailors.
2.5.42. Alongside Townsville, engines are being repaired.
4.5.42. Engines OK and expect to go to sea tomorrow. The good folk of Townsville seem to remember us, and are dragging in their doormats. Tons of Yanks, and they’ve taken the place over. I am still amazed at the attitude of the Australian public regarding the war, even when it’s nearly on their own doorstep. It’s remarkable though what a few bombs can do, opinions change in a hurry.
5.5.42. Slipped and proceeded at 1530 with Taroona. She is carrying officers and men of a pursuit squadron to Port Moresby. On our way up Cleveland Bay.
6.5.42. At sea and the Coral Sea is not so calm. I always imagined a sunlit tropic sea, but the flaming trade winds are always blowing here. Taroona carried on ahead to make port before dark. Passed Ballarat in forenoon bound for Townsville. Don’t feel so happy about this trip, I reckon we’re pushing our luck a bit too far.
7.5.42. At sea. Cleared Balisk Light on the reef at 1630 and anchored off Moresby. Yankee bombers are coming in. Not much impressed by my first sight of this strategic port. Cessnock and Taroona passed us outside the reef bound for Townsville, but were recalled and ordered to proceed via Thursday Island. There are rumours of a large enemy naval force in the Coral Sea. My pessimistic hunch is coming true. All ships are ordered to clear the port by 0300; and the air is electric. There is something nasty doing and I have an idea that it will be a seaborne invasion. Well, there’s nothing here to stop ’em except a few planes, no big ships or land forts.
8.5.42. Weighed and proceeded at 0300 with Colac and Taroona and anchored at entrance to the reef. The light is out so it’s too risky to gallop through in the dark. Pulled out at dawn.
9.5.42. Full speed ahead, and I notice that everybody is casting uneasy glances astern. Fully expect to see the Japanese battle fleet show up at any moment. Sighted a friendly plane in the forenoon. Taroona carried on at dusk while Colac and Bendigo anchored on a reef. We followed the New Guinea coast westward all day and turned south.
10.5.42. Weighed at dawn and fell in with Ballarat and Cessnock with a Yankee freighter.