- Letter Writer
- Ship histories and stories, Letter to the Editor
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Adelaide I, HMAS Brisbane I
- June 1984 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
The current “Review” asks for any information relating to the original HMAS ADELAIDE which may be useful in compiling a book of facts to be presented to the present day ADELAIDE.
For what it is worth I may say that I saw the vessel launched at Cockatoo Island in the early 1920s and about 1923 saw her proceed to sea for the first time with her decks crowded with dockyard maties.
Because of her prolonged wait of five years before reaching launching status she was nicknamed LONG DELAYED and her earlier-built sister ship BRISBANE had taken less time as she was sent out from UK practically in kit form and assembled here.
Of ADELAIDE’S war service I know quite a bit but others know much more, but I can offer something in the matter of her last days afloat which could be interesting.
In the early 1950s I was a Public Works engineer at Port Kembla when ADELAIDE arrived there under tow, and stripped of guns, for breaking up.
Tied up beside the steelworks jetty she was at once descended on by a swarm of men equipped with oxyacetylene lances who reduced the superstructure and main deck into pieces capable of being hoisted and loaded into rail trucks for transport to the A.I.S. scrapyard for further breaking down.
As the hull was progressively cut down it floated higher and higher and was periodically pulled ahead by a tractor until it beached, done at high tide.
Eventually it floated in the form of a shallow dish which was then dragged ashore for final dismembering and consignment to the open hearth furnaces to emerge finally as steel girders and railway lines.