- Mesley, Rear Admiral J.S., CBE, MVO, DSC
- Biographies and personal histories, Ship histories and stories
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Swan II
- September 1987 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
As part of the sesquicentenary celebrations on 12th March, Swan anchored off Vaucluse and joined in a searchlight display with the army as part of a Venetian Carnival.
In Moreton Bay on 31st March a cyclone warning was received, the wind increased to force 9 and heavy rain reduced visibility to a few yards. The ship anchored off Mud Island and let go a second anchor to ride out the storm. Although the bottom was mud and sand it was found when visibility improved next morning, that the ship had dragged her anchors nearly a mile to the northward. The anchorage chosen had allowed sufficient room in the event of the anchors dragging.
The ship was in Sydney for a rest and replenishment period from 11th to 26th April. On 19th Surgeon Lieutenant Francis H. Genge relieved Surgeon Lieutenant Butler and on 25th Paymaster Lieutenant Philip O.L. Owen joined bringing the officer complement up to eight.
On 26th April, in company with HMAS Albatross, which had recommissioned for passage to the United Kingdom and transfer to the Royal Navy, Swan departed Sydney and arrived in Jervis Bay to be joined the next day by the remainder of the Squadron, less Yarra. An intensive exercise programme was carried out until Swan returned to Sydney, towing the BPT, on 5th May. The remainder of the Squadron arrived the following day.
On 7th May Swan departed to join Yarra in Reserve training in the Brisbane, Moreton Bay area, both ships returning to Sydney in company on 23rd May. On 12th May in Moreton Bay, both ships dressed overall and fired a Royal Salute at noon on the occasion of the anniversary of His Majesty’s coronation.
Swan remained in Sydney until 12th July proceeding then to Broken Bay and Jervis Bay with a draft of Reserves for training, returning to Sydney on 21st. Leaving again on 25th with another Reserve draft and the B.P.T. in tow, Jervis Bay was reached the following day. The ship towed the target for the cruisers’ full calibre firings both day and night on 27th July. The following day Swan sailed for Melbourne arriving on 30th to rejoin Yarra and to carry out further Reserve training for drafts from the Port Melbourne and Williamstown depots in the Port Phillip Bay area. Swan visited Geelong from 5th-8th August and exchange drafts at Port Melbourne on 11th returning to disembark the trainees on 25th August. On 4th August both ships anchored off St. Leonards, dressed overall and fired a Royal Salute at noon to mark the birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.
In company with Yarra, Swan departed Melbourne on 26th August for Adelaide and arrived in Port Adelaide (Birkenhead Wharf) on 25th after carrying out exercises with RAAF aircraft from Laverton on 27th. Reserve drafts were embarked in both ships with proceeded on 30th to carry out the usual training programme, acting independently. Swan anchored off Reevesby Island on 31st, Cape Catastrophe on 1st September, Kingscote on Kangaroo Island on 5th, Edith Bay on 7th and rejoined Yarra at Port Adelaide on 8th, to disembark the trainees. Departing Adelaide in company on 12th, a very rough passage was encountered en route to Fremantle where the ships arrived on 18th. Reserve drafts embarked in both ships and they departed in company on 20th for training, visiting Bunbury 20th- 22nd, Gage Roads 22nd-23rd, Fremantle 23rd-26th, Bunbury 26th-28th and returning to Fremantle to land the trainees on 28th September.
The shortening of the training programme was due to the ‘European Crisis’ and the decision to bring all ships up to war complement. In the case of Swan and Yarra, this was achieved on 3rd October and accommodation was then available for only a handful of reserve trainees. Departing in company from Fremantle on 4th, first consideration was to bring the ships companies up to a maximum state of weapon efficiency and reserve training was carried on only as opportunity offered. Both ships returned to Fremantle on 13th October and the few trainees were landed. Yarra sailed on 17th October for Melbourne and on the same day, Swan proceeded to Bunbury and returned to Fremantle on 20th to replenish, departing the same day for Shark Bay, where the fishing was unbelievably good, and the ship remained from 22nd to 26th October before proceeding to Broome.