- Ramsay, O.G.
- History - general, Ship design and development
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Parramatta I, HMAS Tasmania, HMAS Vampire II, HMAS Tobruk I, HMAS Quadrant, HMAS Hobart II, HMAS Success I, HMAS Stalwart I, HMAS Tattoo, HMAS Norman I, HMAS Torrens I, HMAS Duchess, HMAS Quality, HMAS Voyager II, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Perth III, HMAS Swordsman, HMAS Waterhen, HMAS Anzac II, HMAS Arunta I, HMAS Anzac I, HMAS Hobart I, HMAS Bataan, HMAS Brisbane I, HMAS Brisbane II, HMAS Huon I, HMAS Warrego I, HMAS Yarra I, HMAS Warramunga I, HMAS Voyager I, HMAS Swan I, HMAS Vendetta I, HMAS Vendetta II, HMAS Quickmatch, HMAS Queenborough, HMAS Vampire I, HMAS Napier, HMAS Nepal, HMAS Nestor, HMAS Stuart I, HMAS Nizam, HMAS Perth II
- March 1991 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
VAMPIRE, commissioned 23rd June 1959, also served in the Far East Strategic Reserve in periods from 1960 to 1969.
DUCHESS commenced service in the Royal Navy in 1953, and served in the Mediterranean based on Malta, and in 1956 commenced operations off Cyprus, then was involved in the Suez crisis that year. In May 1957, on another escort to the Royal Yacht BRITANNIA she sailed from Denmark to the USA with her. DUCHESS then carried out NATO exercises, and followed with Far East service, before transferring to the Royal Australian Navy on the 8th May 1964. She sailed with VENDETTA from Sydney on 11th August 1965 for her first service in Singapore as an RAN ship. DUCHESS, with other RAN Fleet units, participated in Exercise Sea Rover in South East Asian waters March to April 1970.
VAMPIRE (1970-71), and VENDETTA (1973-73), underwent major (and very costly – $20 million) refits at the Williamstown Dockyard, Victoria to extend their operational lives.
In July 1972 DUCHESS was purchased outright by the Australian Government for $300,000, then operated as part of the 2nd Destroyer Squadron till early 1973, when she entered Williamstown Dockyard for extensive modernisation and alterations, to provide junior officer training facilities. She recommissioned 14th August 1974 to take over as Fleet Training Ship (from ANZAC).
VENDETTA and VAMPIRE were planned to serve till replaced, in the early 1980s, by the new FFG Frigates being built in the USA.
Finally, in the records of our 39 destroyers, in a great change in the selection of types of destroyers for the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Government opted for three Guided Missile Destroyers of US Navy design, to be constructed in the USA. Now a far more powerful version of fighting ships, and very sophisticated, with Guided Missiles (Tartar A.A. Missiles), Ikara A/S System, 5″ gun mountings, torpedoes, all controlled by the latest technology.
These are the RAN’s DDGs; HMA Ships PERTH (2), HOBART (2), and BRISBANE (2).
Called the Charles F. Adams Class Guided Missile Destroyers, they are of 4,618 tons, length 437ft, beam 47ft with a draught of 20ft. Armament – Guided Missile (Tartar A.A. Defence), 2 remote controlled 5″ gun mountings, 2 IKARA A/S System launchers, 6x 12″ torpedoes, and speed 35 knots. They have a crew of 333 officers and ratings, and a cost of $50,000,000.
These ships were all built in the Defoe Shipyards, ordered in 1962 and 1963, to constitute the 1st Destroyer Squadron.
PERTH laid 1962, commissioned 17th July 1965. PERTH arrived in Australian waters on the 4th March 1966, after working-up and trials in US waters (the usual practice with US-built ships). PERTH served in three tours of duty in Vietnam -1967/68, 1968/69, and 1970/71 and received the US Navy Commendation for her Efficiency, and with a proud record.
HOBART also laid in 1962, commissioned 18th December 1965, and after her trials arrived in Australian waters in November 1966, her first port of call being the city after which she was named. HOBART also completed three tours of duty in Vietnam, during 1967, 1968 and 1970 and also received the US Navy UNIT Commendation.
BRISBANE was laid in 1965, and commissioned on 16th December, 1967. She arrived in Australia 17th October 1968, after her delivery voyage from the United States. A further working up period was carried out off NSW to prepare BRISBANE for her first service with the US 7th Fleet off Vietnam. She arrived in Subic Bay, in the Philippines, 30th March 1969 to relieve her sister ship PERTH, for a six months tour of duty.
All three ships served tours of duty in Vietnam (in fact seven tours between the three ships), with the highest regard for efficiency by the United States Navy – PERTH and HOBART receiving United States Navy Unit Commendations during their tours of duty.
During 1972, PERTH and BRISBANE joined MELBOURNE in Hawaiian waters, for Exercise Rimpac 72, while HOBART returned to the United States later that year for an extensive modernisation.
The following year BRISBANE participated in Rimpac 73, and then sailed for exercises in Malayan waters.
To provide more work for the Garden Island Dockyard, PERTH and BRISBANE underwent modernisations similar to that which HOBART received in America. In February 1975, BRISBANE returned to Sydney from Darwin after aiding in relief operations following Cyclone Tracy.
HOBART participated in exercises around the Hawaiian Islands, and in August exercised along the East Coast with other RAN ships before sailing to the Indian Ocean for further operations. During early 1976, HOBART undertook a round-the-world cruise including visits to several United States cities for the American Bicentennial Celebrations. On 10th July, she departed Baltimore and proceeded back to Australia via the Azores, France, Italy, Jordan, and the Suez Canal.
PERTH and BRISBANE underwent refits during the second half of the year, while HOBART left Sydney on regular exercises along the New South Wales coast.
Twenty-three sister ships of this Class serve in the United States Navy, and three serve in the German Navy.