- Betty, John G, Lieutenant, RANVR Ret’d
- Naval technology, History - WW2
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- December 2002 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
However, by 1976 the cost of each dry-docking had risen substantially, and with the decreasing revenue following the arrival in the port of the modern floating dry-dock A.J. Waggleton, the cost of maintaining the dock was seriously affecting HBE’s overall trading result. In June 1977 HBE bought the dock so that they could dispose of it and relieve themselves of the financial burden.
In August 1978 the dock was sold to Selco Shipyard Pty. Ltd. of Singapore. On 28 March 1979, the dock left Williamstown under tow from the tug Ginyo Maru bound for Kuala Belait in Brunei, and was last seen disappearing out through The Rip at the entrance to Port Phillip. No response has been received from enquiries to the port authorities in Singapore and in Brunei regarding the fate or present whereabouts of the dock although there is an unconfirmed report that in 1996 the dock was owned by the Kuala & Belait Shipyard in Brunei. ((Letter from R.C. Leek of Williamstown, 4 August 1996))
Floating Dry-Dock AD 1002
Her sister dock (AD 1002) has been more fortunate and remains in Australian hands. She was built by Morts Dock and Engineering Co. Ltd. in Balmain, Sydney, in 1944 and on completion was handed over to the RAN. The War having ended before she could be assigned to a role with the British Pacific Fleet Train, she was moored at Garden Island. Here she still remains in service, now managed by Australian Defence Industries Ltd. on behalf of the Federal Government. In 1993 she had a major refit and was considered suitable for service for some years to come. The fact that AD 1002 is still in service at Garden Island, Sydney, suggests that AD 1001 may also still be in commission.
AD 1001 earned a place as an essential element in maintaining the RAN in northern waters during World War II but she has received little acknowledgement. This is not surprising – until quite recently, Jane’s Fighting Ships did not list naval floating dry-docks, not even as fleet auxiliaries.
It is to our discredit that AD 1001 may be still afloat, unrecognised and in foreign hands, only a few hundred miles from where she served with such distinction in the defence of Australia. She is probably one of the last, if not the last, remaining RAN unit which saw active combat service in World War II.