On This Day - 25 April

The boys training ship HMAS TINGIRA, (CMDR C la P. Lewin, RN), was commissioned. TINGIRA was laid down as a clipper ship SOBROAN, in Alexanda Hall & Co, Aberdeen, Scotland, and launched in 1866. In 1891 she was purchased by the NSW Government, and became the Nautical School Ship SOBROAN, and was moored off Balmain, Sydney, where she operated as a home and school for delinquent boys and orphans. She operated as the boys training ship for the RAN for the next 15 years, and produced over 3,000 'graduates' for the fleet. The name is aboriginal for 'open sea'.
The submarine HMAS AE2, (LCDR H. Stoker, RN), penetrated the Dardanelles while the first ANZAC troops were storming ashore at Gallipoli. After evading Turkish warships and mines, she broke through into the Sea of Marmara with orders to "Run Amok Generally" behind the enemy lines. AE2 sank a Turkish gunboat with a torpedo during her passage of the Dardanelles. HMS SCORPION, (LCDR A. B. Cunningham, RN), patrolled off the beaches at Gallipoli. The supporting destroyers were under orders not to engage shore targets in the initial stages of the landing, and cruised impotently off the shore while their comrades were unmercifully shelled by the Turks. During the WWII Cunningham was C-in-C of the Mediterranean Fleet.
A Royal Commission was constituted to investigate shipbuilding and ship repair at Garden Island and Cockatoo Island Naval Dockyards, Sydney.
The Director of the Combined Intelligence Centre in Melbourne, warned the Australian Government of an imminent move by Japanese forces against New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. The Centre intercepted enemy wireless traffic and confirmed the information with messages from the Coastwatcher network.
HMA Ships VENDETTA, (destroyer), and BUNDABERG, (corvette), provided close support to troops in the capture of Madang, New Guinea.
HMAS SWAN, (sloop), engaged Japanese targets at Cape Worn, near Wewak, New Guinea.
HMAS SHOALHAVEN, (frigate), departed Shanghai on completion of her duties during the 'AMETHYST incident'. The ship was at action stations for the passage from Whangpoo to Woosung, due to rumours that Communist forces were in the vicinity of the Woosung forts. The passage was completed without incident, and SHOALHAVEN returned to Kure, Japan, for duties with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force.
The Australian 21st Air Group, Fleet Air Arm, consisting of No. 808 Squadron, Sea Furies, and No. 817 Squadron, Fireflies, was commissioned in England.
HMAS WARRAMUNGA, (Tribal class destroyer), joined the USS IOWA, (battleship), in the bombardment of Communist positions at Chongjin, Korea.
HMAS VENGEANCE, (aircraft carrier), was returned to the RN after service in the RAN. She was later sold to Brazil, and renamed MI9NAS GERIAS.
The former Z Special Force vessel HMAS KRAIT, arrived in Sydney. She had been sold after the war, and was later found in Borneo employed as a timber carrying vessel. A campaign was started to bring her back to Australia, and she was subsequently bought by public subscription. She was operated by the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol, (NSW Section), for many years but eventually found a home at the Australian National Maritime Museum in the late 1990's.
HMAS SYDNEY, (fast troop transport), sailed on her fourth voyage to Vietnam.
Three RAN vessels, (HMA Ships SYDNEY, TOBRUK and OXLEY), represented the RAN at the 75th Anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli. SYDNEY was chosen as her namesake had escorted the first convoy of ANZAC's across the Indian Ocean in 1914, and she had destroyed the German raider EMDEN en-route. TOBRUK was chosen to represent the amphibious nature of the campaign, and OXLEY was chosen to commemorate the heroic actions of the Australian submarine AE2 in 1915.
HMAS JERVIS BAY, (fast transport), conducts her last re-supply run from Darwin to Dili, in support of the UN peacekeeping mission in East Timor.
Prime Minister, John Howard, accompanied by the CDF, (General Peter Cosgrove), make a surprise ANZAC Day visit to Australian personnel serving in Baghdad. A planned visit to HMAS STUART, then serving in the Northern Arabian Gulf, was cancelled due to the ship's commitment to security actions following the suicide bombings of oil terminals near the port cities of Basra and Al Faw, the day before.
'On This Day' is based on the book "Navy Day by Day: Historic Naval Events in Australia and Abroad" written by the late Lew Lind. More information.

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