Daring Class - HMAS Voyager

 

Daring Class Destroyers

HMAS VOYAGER, VENDETTA, VAMPIRE, DUCHESS
 

 

gunplotvoyagerD004a.jpg

 

Type: 'Daring' Class Destroyer
Displacement: 2,610 tons
Length: 390 feet (overall)
Beam: 43 feet
Draught: 12 feet 9 inches (mean)
Commissioned: 12 February 1957
Laid Down: 10 October 1949
Launched: 01 May 1952 (Mrs R.G. Menzies (later Dame Pattie Menzies), wife of Prime Minister
Guns: 6x4.5 inch (in three twin turrets)
6x40 mm AA
Builders: Cockatoo Docks and Engineering Co Ltd, Sydney
Torpedo Tubes :
10x12 inch

 

After commissioning at Sydney, HMAS VOYAGER spent the first eleven months of her career in Australian waters. Following a refit lasting from mid October 1957 to January 1958, she proceeded to Singapore.

 

Service as a unit of the Far East Strategic Reserve followed until August 1958 when she returned to Sydney. Following a refit which kept her in dockyard hands until late January 1959, VOYAGER departed Sydney in March 1959 for further Far East service. In April 1959, she proceeded to Hong Kong for boiler repairs and thence back to Sydney, arriving on 29 June 1959.

 

VOYAGER remained at Sydney and in Australian waters until 10 November 1959 when she proceeded in company of HMAS MELBOURNE to New Zealand returning to Australia in early December 1959.

 

After service in east Australian waters, VOYAGER departed Sydney for the Far East on 28 March 1960, returning to Sydney on 22 June for refit. Following the refit, she spent the last two months of the year working up in the Sydney area. The beginning of 1961 found VOYAGER again en route for the Far East. She returned to Sydney in June and remained in Australian waters until November 1961 when she again visited New Zealand.

 

In February 1962, VOYAGER departed Sydney for further service with the Strategic Reserve lasting until June. She returned to Sydney via Guam and Papua New Guinea. From July to September, she was refitting and from October to the end of the year, she was engaged in working up and exercises. On 31 January 1963, VOYAGER sailed from Sydney for what was to be her final tour of duty in the Far East, lasting from February to July. On return to Australia, she proceeded to Williamstown Dockyard to commence a long refit which was completed in January 1964.

 

To the end of January, VOYAGER had steamed a total of 218,300.4 miles since commissioning.

 

On the night of 10 February 1964, HMAS MELBOURNE was engaged in night flying exercises off the New South Wales coast. VOYAGER was acting in the role of 'plane guard' involving the rescue, if necessary, of aircrew personnel from the sea. At approximately 8.56 PM, some twenty miles southeast of Jervis Bay, she collided with HMAS MELBOURNE. VOYAGER was cut in two by the impact. Her forward section sank soon afterwards and the after section some time later.
 

 

At 2056 on the night of February 10th 1964 the Australian Daring Class Destroyer, HMAS Voyager, tragically crossed the bows of Australia's Flagship, Aircraft Carrier, HMAS Melbourne.

 

Voyager was operating as 'Plane Guard' for HMAS Melbourne in excersies (night flying ops) off the East Australian coast, just south of Sydney, and was sliced in two by the impact. Within a few minutes the bow section sank and 82 sailors went to a watery grave.

 

This was and still is Australia's worst peace time military disaster and it shocked a nation. Over the years much has been written about the incident and the subsequent enquiries, so I will not attempt to add to or reproduce any of it here.

 

This page is only meant to honour those that perished that fateful night in the service of their country and as a reminder to all the perils that exist when men go down to the sea in ships.

 

Officers, Sailors and Civilians lost at Sea

 

Captain D. H. Stevens
Commander E. W. Tapp
Lieutenant Commander I. A. G. Macgregor
Lieutenant Commander B. L. Carrington
Lieutenant E. A. Brooks, RN
Lieutenant H. D. Cook
Lieutenant J. L. Dowling
Lieutenant D. H. M. Price, RN
Sub-Lieutenant E. S. Beavis
Acting Sub-Lieutenant J. S. Davies
Midshipman B. C. L. Lindsey
Midshipman K. F, Marien, AM
Midshipman R. W. Maunder
Midshipman F. J. Morgan
Chief Petty Officer Jonathan Rogers, GC, DSM
Chief Petty Officer Cook L. D. Vincent
Petty Officer J. B. Guy
Petty Officer E. K. Harcia
Communications Yeoman K. B. Cullen
Petty Officer Engineering Mechanic D. R. Macartney
Engine Room Artificer L. J. Leeson
Ordnance Artificer G. L. Nuss
Ordnance Artificer D. W. Reid
Leading Seaman J. E. Sparrowhawk
Leading Seaman K. C. Tait
Leading Engineering Mechanic N. J. Ashwell
Leading Electrical Mechanic C. G. Legg
Leading Radio Operator D. E. MacFarlane
Leading Airman B..Schmdt
Leading Cook W. J. Smye
Leading Steward K. J. Davis
Acting Leading Seaman F. B. Sharkey
Acting Leading Tactical Operator A. W. Teape
Acting Leading Electrical Mechanic J. McG. Fenwick
Acting Leading Steward N. E. Kingston
Able Seaman N. B. Brown
Able Seaman P. R. Carr
Able Seaman N. C. Glennie
Able Seaman S. Hale

Mr H. S. Parker (Civil Technical Officer,
HMA Naval Dockyard Williamstown).

Able Seaman U J. Lambert
Able Seaman G. E. McLean
Able Seaman R. W. Parker
Able Seaman A. J. Solomon
Able Seaman P. G. Stocker
Able Seaman F. T. Taylor
Able Seaman J. Williams
Tactical Operator P. L. Harris
Engineering Mechanic J. N. Curgenven
Engineering Mechanic N. G. Diepenbroek
Engineering Mechanic L. J. Garrett
Engineering Mechanic K. S. Keddie
Engineering Mechanic R. E. McDonald
Engineering Mechanic G. E. Perrett
Engineering Mechanic R. A. Taylor
Electrical Mechanic P. L. Clarke
Electrical Mechanic W. J. Condon, AM
Electrical Mechanic J. C. G. Deans
Radio Electrical Mechanic G. S. Walker
Radio Operator R. A. Denham
Stores Assistant G. F. Cobban
Steward A. W. Thompson
Ordinary Seaman P. W. Bermingham
Ordinary Seaman M. A. Brokate
Ordinary Seaman W. J. Butts
Ordinary Seaman B. E. Castle
Ordinary Seaman J. D. Clayton
Ordinary Seaman G. D. Fitzallen
Ordinary Seaman L. B. Fleming
Ordinary Seaman G. J. Kelly
Ordinary Seaman L. C. Lehman
Ordinary Seaman E. L. O'Leary
Ordinary Seaman B. A. Scott
Ordinary Seaman A. V. W. Syaranamual
Ordinary Seaman R. A. West
Ordinary Seaman R. E. W. Woodward
Ordinary Tactical Operator R. W. Hendy
Ordinary Tactical Operator K. L. Muller
Ordinary Radio Operator E. R. Owen
Ordinary Radio Operator J. B. Trautman
Assistant Cook P. D. Milbourne
Assistant Steward J. N. Earl

 

 

Gallantry Awards

George Cross (posthumous)
Chief Petty Officer Jonathan Rogers, DSM

 

Albert Medal (posthumous)
Midshipman Kerry Francis Marien
Electrical Mechanic First Class William Joseph Condon

 

George Medal
Petty Officer Douglas Moore, BEM

 

British Empire Medal
Petty Officer Geoffrey Percival Worth
Leading Seaman Physical Trainer Raymond Ernest Rich
Leading Electrical Mechanic Brian Victor Longbotham
Leading Sick-Berth Attendant John Rennie Wilson
Able Seaman Eric Noel Robson

 

Queen's Commendations
Petty Officer Engineering Mechanic Edgar James McDermott
Engineering Mechanic Hugh Francis Gilvarry
Electrical Artificer Second Class Anthony Page