- Thomson, Max
- Ship histories and stories
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Diamantina I
- December 1989 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Other displays showing a sailor asleep in a hammock created much interest, plus memorabilia depicting the wartime bombing of Darwin and Australia’s northern outposts.
DIAMANTINA’s engine room was a highlight attraction, with its two big 4-cylinder triple-expansion reciprocating steam engines that produced 5500 IHP to push the warship along at 20 knots when necessary; or to give it a range that could take the ship almost half way around the world in its true role of convoy escort.
Disappointing to all, including the Queensland Maritime Trust members themselves, was the absence of the warship’s main 4-inch guns which are now so hard to obtain and which have frustrated their major task of converting the frigate from its last post-war survey-ship configuration to its wartime silhouette with two 4-inch guns and anti-aircraft weaponry of Bofor 40mm and Oerlikon 20mm guns, some of which are still mounted on the ship, plus all the paraphernalia of war that was scattered on a wartime frigate’s upper decks, complete with depth charges, hedgehog anti-submarine weapon and the like.
For EXPO 88, the Queensland Maritime Trust was granted special permission to fly a Navy white ensign on HMAS DIAMANTINA, complete with the Australian national flag at the jackstaff and with the ship colourfully ‘dressed’ overall for the occasion.
Of all the highlights, one was outstanding for all associated with HMAS DIAMANTINA. During EXPO, the frigate was visited by EIGHT of the ship’s former commanding officers, including Commander M.G. Rose, V.R.D., RANR., the first, and Lieutenant Commander P. J. Cooke-Russell, RAN, the last commanding officer.