On This Day - 26 October

Plans for a protected cruiser for the Victorian Navy were prepared by Sir William Armstrong & Co., England, and placed before the Victorian Government. The 1040 ton ship was designed to carry three 6-inch breech loaders, four 6lb guns, six 3lb guns, and six Gatling guns, in addition to two 18-inch torpedo tubes. The ship was never built.
The Bathurst class minesweeper, (corvette), HMAS WOLLONGONG, (LEUT G. A. Keith, RANVR), was commissioned. WOLLONGONG was laid down in Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney, on 29 January 1941, and launched on 5 July 1941. Mrs J. A. Beasley, (Wife of the Minister for Supply and Shipping), performed the launching ceremony.
Australia's only woman Coastwatcher, Mrs. Ruby Boye, was withdrawn from the island of Vanikoro, as Japanese troops moved into the area. She served at Vanikoro without rank or pay, from February 1942. On her arrival in Australia she was made a Temporary Third Officer, WRANS.
Firefly fighter bombers from HMAS SYDNEY, (aircraft carrier), attacked railway tunnels on the west coast of Korea. One aircraft was lost in the operation, and crashed close to Communist positions. The pilot, SBLT M. D. Macmillan, RAN, and Observer 1st Class J. Hancox, were unhurt, and later rescued by a USN helicopter piloted by CPO A. K. Babbitt, who was awarded the US Navy Cross, and the British DSM, for the same act of gallantry.
HMAS MELBOURNE, (aircraft carrier, ex-HMS MAJESTIC), commissioned at Barrow-in-Furness, England.
The Attack class patrol boat HMAS ARDENT, was commissioned. ATTACK was laid down in Evans Deakin Yard, Brisbane, in October 1967, and launched on 27 April 1968. Mrs Gair, (Wife of Senator Gair), performed the launching ceremony. The Attack class patrol boat HMAS BARRICADE, (LEUT A. Wyatt, RAN), was commissioned. BARRICADE was laid down in Evans Deakin Yard in December 1967, and launched on 29 June 1968. Miss Cameron performed the launching ceremony. She was transferred to the Indonesian Navy in on 22 April 1982, and renamed KRI SIGALU.
The last ANZAC class frigate HMAS PERTH was commissioned.
'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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