Victor Alfred Trumper Smith, named after his uncle Victor Albert Trumper, the great Australian cricketer, entered the Royal Australian Naval College in 1927 as a Cadet Midshipman, and became a Midshipman in 1931, a Sub Lieutenant in 1934 and a Lieutenant in 1936. He deciding to specialise in naval aviation, he won his wings as an observer in 1937. He was mentioned in dispatches for leading a daring air torpedo raid by six Swordfish biplanes against the German battleship Scharnhorst, off the Norwegian coast., and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. At war’s end he was on the staff of the Vice Admiral British Pacific Fleet. He was promoted to Commander in 1947. His long career culminated in his elevation to Admiral in 1970, becoming the first RAN officer to be promoted to this rank. He was appointed chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, the forerunner to the position of Chief of Defence Force.
This address begins with an entertaining account of the lifestyle of boys who joined the RAN as cadet midshipmen and grew up in the isolated Naval environment of Jervis Bay, cut off from the world. Parliament selected the site of Captain’s Point, Jervis Bay, for the Royal Australian Naval College in November 1911. This site became the cradle of Australia’s Navy, and these young men, including Sir Victor, would subsequently become key participants in the changes in the Royal Australian Navy from the period 1927 to 1939.
Recorded 5th August 1977.
Duration is 64 minutes