- Ramsay, O.G.
- History - general, Ship design and development
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Quickmatch, HMAS Vampire II, HMAS Brisbane II, HMAS Quality, HMAS Queenborough, HMAS Tobruk I, HMAS Huon I, HMAS Voyager II, HMAS Vampire I, HMAS Quadrant, HMAS Warrego I, HMAS Parramatta I, HMAS Napier, HMAS Hobart II, HMAS Yarra I, HMAS Perth III, HMAS Nepal, HMAS Waterhen, HMAS Success I, HMAS Warramunga I, HMAS Nestor, HMAS Anzac II, HMAS Stalwart I, HMAS Swordsman, HMAS Stuart I, HMAS Arunta I, HMAS Tattoo, HMAS Voyager I, HMAS Nizam, HMAS Anzac I, HMAS Swan I, HMAS Perth II, HMAS Hobart I, HMAS Norman I, HMAS Vendetta I, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Bataan, HMAS Torrens I, HMAS Vendetta II, HMAS Tasmania, HMAS Brisbane I, HMAS Duchess
- March 1991 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
In exercises, ANZAC and TOBRUK were busy during the first half of 1954, with visits to Manus and exercises with the visiting British Fleet. Early in 1955, the two ships joined ARUNTA, WARRAMUNGA, QUADRANT and several New Zealand Navy ships, together with Royal Navy ships in combined exercises. In July, ANZAC and TOBRUK sailed from Singapore to travel home to Sydney. In November both ships returned to Singapore for the strategic Reserve, and completing their tour of duty before again returning to Sydney – TOBRUK September 1956, and ANZAC November 1956, after Japan and Korea on the way home. Both ships again to Singapore in 1957 for SEATO exercises, where, during one shoot, a shell that failed to explode in the air hit TOBRUK and then did explode after penetrating her hull. In 1959, both ships returned to resume duties with the strategic Reserve following refits in Australia. In 1960, on training cruises in New Guinea waters, the Solomons and on the east coast, TOBRUK was again hit by a shell (this time a 4.5″, from ANZAC), which exploded in her engine room causing her to limp back to Sydney for repairs. She was then placed in Reserve – only 10 years old, in November 1960. On 15th February 1972, TOBRUK was sold and towed off to Japan.
ANZAC carried on with two tours to New Zealand in 1961, Singapore 1962 for exercises, and in 1963 escort to the Royal Yacht BRITANNIA throughout the Royal Tour, and circumnavigating Australia. After a limited conversion ANZAC became a Fleet Training Ship for the training of midshipmen from 1963 onwards, and included visits to New Zealand and New Guinea in 1964. In 1966 she undertook some survey duties on the North West Coast of Australia, and escorted SYDNEY to Vietnam. Then followed visits to the Eastern Pacific Islands, and again New Zealand. In 1970 she joined the Captain Cook celebrations at Possession Island in Queensland, and again to New Zealand during September and October.
In March 1972, ANZAC was command ship for the largest patrol boat exercise (10 boats) called Planti Manua, in Northern Australian waters.
In January 1974, ANZAC made a final visit to New Zealand and Fiji, returning to Sydney flying her paying off pennant in August. She was sold to Hong Kong interests in November 1975, and towed away from Sydney 30th December 1975.
The Royal Australian Navy’s next group of destroyers, though designed during World War II, were ordered in 1947, calling for four destroyers to be built in Australia, to take over the gunfire support role relinquished by the retiring Tribal Class Destroyers ARUNTA, BATAAN and WARRAMUNGA.
They were to be the Daring Class destroyers – VOYAGER (2), VENDETTA (2), VAMPIRE (2) and WATERHEN (2). The proposal for the fourth destroyer ordered – WATERHEN – was cancelled. In its stead, a Royal Navy Daring Class destroyer, DUCHESS, then serving in the Royal Navy (again on loan for four years), then joined and served in the Royal Australian Navy.
VOYAGER laid October 1949, and VAMPIRE laid July 1952, were built at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney. VENDETTA was laid on 1st July 1949 at the Williamstown Dockyard (Vic.). These ships were under construction for an average of eight years each, and entered service with the RAN in the late 1950s.
The Daring Class destroyers were of 3,600 tons, length 388½ft, beam 43ft, and draught 12½ft. with an armament of 6×4.7″ guns – in twin turrets (two forward, one aft), 6x40mm A.A. guns, 1xLimbo – A/S defence, 5×21″ torpedoes, a speed of 30½ knots and a complement of 320 officers and ratings.
VOYAGER commissioned 12th February 1957, and soon sailed for Singapore, the first RAN Daring Class to serve there, to return to Australia for a refit in August. Then to many periods of service with the Far East Strategic Reserve between 1958 and her last deployment in 1963. After refitting till January 1964, VOYAGER when on exercises with the Fleet, was in a collision with the aircraft carrier HMAS MELBOURNE on the 10th February 1964, and sank with a loss of 82 lives.
The RN Daring Class destroyer DUCHESS was accepted on loan as a replacement for VOYAGER.
VENDETTA commissioned 26th November 1958, and first sailed to New Zealand April 1959, then to Northern Australian waters. Next she completed many periods of service with the Far East Strategic Reserve between 1959 and 1966, including the big SEATO exercise in 1963. In November 1966, VENDETTA aided in the refloating of the US Submarine TIRU, aground on a Queensland Reef. In October 1969 VENDETTA joined the US 7th Fleet in gunfire support actions on the Vietnamese Coast.