- Smith, Peter
- Biographies and personal histories, History - WW1, History - WW2
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Platypus, HMAS Brisbane I, HMAS Canberra I, HMAS Kanimbla I, HMAS Tingira, HMAS Australia II, HMAS Oxley I, HMAS J1, HMAS J7
- June 1994 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
HMA Submarines OXLEY and OTWAY finally left Malta in November 1928 and arrived in Sydney on 14 February, 1929 to establish the Third Submarine Flotilla in New South Wales.
Lieutenant Commander Getting continued to be OXLEY’s Commanding Officer until both submarines were paid off into Immediate Reserve on 10 May, 1930. Due to financial problems of the Depression, the Australian Navy could no longer afford the upkeep of the submarines in reserve, consequently the Third Flotilla was disbanded. The boats were recommissioned into the Royal Navy in April 1931 and returned to Portsmouth via the First Submarine Flotilla in the Mediterranean.
On 6 June, 1930 Lieutenant Commander Getting took passage back to England on the S.S. TAHITI in order to undertake further courses. He joined the old “Iron Duke” class dreadnought HMS MARLBOROUGH on the 12 August, 1930 for seven months before transferring on 5 March, 1931 to the yacht HMS TRIAD as the First Lieutenant on her recommissioning.
He remained her First Lieutenant until the yacht was decommissioned for the last time in early January 1933.
On 17 January, 1933 Lieutenant Commander Getting presented himself to the Admiralty to do a Staff Course which lasted until 15 January, 1934. As a Christmas bonus Frank was promoted to Commander on New Year’s Eve, 1933. The remainder of 1934 was spent at the Admiralty undertaking the Imperial Defence College Course. He completed the course in December and took passage to Australia and was attached to HMAS PENGUIN.
By 1 February, 1935 Commander Getting had completed 22 years service in the Royal Australian Navy and while attached to PENGUIN was granted long service leave.
With leave over Commander Getting was appointed the Operations and Intelligence Officer on the staff of Rear Admiral W.T.R. Ford, CB the Flag Officer, Commanding Australia Squadron and on 19 April, 1935 joined what was his Flag Ship at that time, the “County” class cruiser HMAS CANBERRA. He remained aboard until 13 June, 1937 when the new Flag Officer, Rear Admiral R.H.O. Lane-Poole, CB, OBE, changed his Flag Ship to the sister cruiser HMAS AUSTRALIA.
Commander Getting was a well liked officer and held in great esteem, not only by his fellow officers but also the sailors under his command. He was willing to give his time, expertise and advice to anyone who needed it. His association with submarines was not to end just with the disbandment of the Third Submarine Squadron, for at the first Annual General Meeting held on 1 June, 1937 the submariners showed their respect by electing him the first President of the Submarine Old Comrades Association (Sydney Chapter).
Getting continued to serve on HMAS AUSTRALIA until 31 March, 1938 when Rear Admiral Lane-Poole moved his flag back to HMAS CANBERRA.
At the age of thirty-eight Frank decided to end his bachelorhood by marrying a widow, Mrs. Hazel Jennings (nee Stewart), at the Church of Saint Stephens in Phillip Street, Sydney on 17 June, 1938.
Commander Getting’s service as Staff Officer continued on HMAS CANBERRA until 3 October, 1939. On October 11 he was promoted to Acting Captain and appointed as the Commanding Officer of the armed merchant cruiser HMAS KANIMBLA. The ship left Australia on 8 December, 1939 to join her sister merchant cruisers HMA Ships MORTON BAY and ARAWA.
KANIMBLA arrived on the China Station on 3 January, 1940. The ships were based at Hong Kong and were employed on patrol, with the principal aim of intercepting German merchant ships which had the potential to sail from Japanese ports where they had taken sanctuary. Before leaving HMAS KANIMBLA and taking passage to Australia, Getting was given the news that his rank as Captain had been confirmed on 31 December, 1940.
In Australia the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff was Captain J. Burnett, RAN. He was succeeded on 5 May, 1941 when the position was advanced to Deputy Chief and taken over on that day by Captain Getting, who held the position until 14 June, 1942.
On 17 June, 1942 Captain Getting assumed command of HMAS CANBERRA. On July 14 CANBERRA made up part of Task Force 44, along with the Flag ship HMAS AUSTRALIA, HOBART, the U.S. Cruisers SALT LAKE CITY, CHICAGO and three destroyers. They sailed from Brisbane to link up with an amphibious force twelve days later.