HMAS Sydney found: LEST WE FORGET - Aussie Stock Forums

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  1. #1

    Default HMAS Sydney found: LEST WE FORGET

    Todays daily telegraph front page lets the picture do the talking

    Search finally ends for 645 HMAS Sydney souls

    Families welcome Sydney discovery

    By Elaine Ford
    Posted Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:47am AEDT
    Updated Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:02pm AEDT
    Slideshow: Photo 1 of 2
    Remembered: Unidentified crew of HMAS Sydney clean the ship off the coast of Egypt in July, 1940. (www.awm.gov.au: ID number 002431)

    Families of crewmen lost in the sinking of HMAS Sydney in World War II have reacted with relief after the wreck was found off the Western Australian coast.
    Relatives of some of the 645 crewmen lost in the tragedy have commented on ABC News Online that the historic find will now finally help provide closure, more than 66 years after the ship disappeared.
    The Sydney sank in November 1941 after a battle with the German raider, the Kormoran. There were no Australian survivors.
    Debra Malycha-Coombs said her uncle died in the sinking, and described the intense pain she and other family members have gone through over the years since the ship's disappearance.
    "My uncle Walter Leslie Curwood was only 23 and was a wireman on the Sydney," she said.
    "My mother died over 20 years ago not knowing where he was. My nanna had a breakdown after she was given the telegram and my mum was the first to receive it - both never recovered from it.
    "Mum had awaited her brother's arrival in Western Australia - they were to meet, he'd sent his things ahead, and I still look at the photos he took in battle with them then ... I can't tell you how I feel - it's so many emotions that all I can do is cry."
    Jessie Cunnington, who now lives in Canada, lost her father in the tragedy and has thanked the salvage team for their work to find the ship.
    "As the daughter of Alan - Ordnance Artificer 4th class - me (in Canada) and my father's cousin ( in Melbourne) are relieved after years of waiting, that the two ships have been found," she said.
    "We have had a very emotional day. Thank you to the team and all who have been involved in this incredible event.
    "Better late than never, but I wish my dear mother had been here to pay her respects. We will remember them."
    Alan George Whithear lost his youngest uncle.
    "Being named after one of the crew, my youngest uncle, this is an emotional time for my family. Now no longer an 'X' file," he said.
    "The truth of the sinking will come out - [it's] a pity his brothers and sister and parents are no longer with us to share this day."

    War graves

    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says interim protection declarations will be put in place for both vessels and says they are both war graves.
    The Kormoran was found at the weekend about 100 nautical miles off Steep Point, more than two kilometres below the ocean's surface, and the Sydney was found just 12 nautical miles to the west.
    The Australian ship is more than two kilometres below the surface of the sea but the group who found the ship, the Finding Sydney Foundation, says it is upright and largely intact.
    The Finding Sydney Foundation will use a deep-water remotely operated vehicle to take photographs of the wrecks next week, in an effort to determine why all 645 men on the Sydney perished after the battle with the Kormoran.
    Bruce Tabor, who said his grandfather's brother was among those lost in the sinking, has called for an official commemoration to be organised.
    "This is very good news. My grandfather's brother, Frederick Arthur Tabor, was an acting Leading Seaman aboard the Sydney at the time of its loss," he said.
    "We believe he was one of [the] gun crew for the four-inch guns amidships at the time of the battle.
    "He was single and had no children. He was 26 years old. I am Fred's closest relative currently living in Sydney - our family originally came from South Australia.
    "I would be very interested in joining a reunion of relatives or commemoration of HMAS Sydney held in Sydney now that she appears to have been found.

  2. #2
    Rotaredom wayneL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Default Re: HMAS Sydney found:LEST WE FORGET

    Absolutely brilliant!!

  3. #3
    You are arguing with a Galah IFocus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: HMAS Sydney found: LEST WE FORGET

    Lived in Carnarvon and surfed at a spot north of there where Kormoran survivors came ashore and were captured.

    It fantastic that they have found the sites, I am looking forward like everyone to see if some answers come out

    In the mean time "Lest that we Forget"

  4. #4
    wildkactus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Aussie OS - Hong Kong

    Default Re: HMAS Sydney found: LEST WE FORGET

    a great find, (really 2 great finds)
    Looking forward to seeing the first photos of this great ship from it resting place.

    lest we forget.

  5. #5
    white swans need love too Timmy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Between the lines

    Default Re: HMAS Sydney found: LEST WE FORGET

    Thanks a lot for posting this up tigerboi.
    The contents of this post were tested, ruthlessly, on small, cute, furry animals. Most of them were fatally harmed. Hence, if this post causes irritation, please discontinue reading immediately.

  6. #6

    Default Re: HMAS Sydney found: LEST WE FORGET

    Here is a link to the finding sydney foundation,a group of bloody legends who have devoted their lives to finding the HMAS sydney,imagine how the team feels,they should all get the highest honours available...i salute their unstinting belief,courage,persistence that one day they would find their mates,thats what its all about looking out for your mates in the dark hours australia went through in ww2...vale HMAS sydney..

  7. #7

    Default Re: HMAS Sydney found: LEST WE FORGET

    I heard a bloke from Perth who rang the ABC .

    He related a story about his uncle (I think) who was on board - who rang his wife and mother to say that the ship was coming into Fremantle for repairs because (some of) the guns refused to slew properly (i.e. change direction). And great excitement because he would spend a day or two at home.

    THen they were suddenly called out / told to return to sea - and that's the night they went down.

    Hence his theory was that some of the guns (at least) were not rotating properly, which would obviously have been a handicap.

    Then again , if the front of the ship is blown off because the magazine is hit, (and/or catches fire whatever) not much anyone can do ..


    According to the crew of Kormoran, the Australian warship did not appear to be fully prepared for the battle – her main guns were trained on Kormoran, but her secondary guns were unmanned.[4] They reported that Sydney was hit 50 times by the raider's 150 mm (5.9 in) heavy guns — a simultaneous salvo from the Kormoran's 37 mm guns and 20 mm anti-aircraft weapons caused severe casualties on its bridge and open decks. At the start of the exchange of fire, Sydney's gunnery direction tower was hit, impeding the ability of her turret crews to fire accurately. The Supermarine Seagull seaplane on board Sydney was hit, and its fuel caused a fire amidships.

    However, the turrets on Sydney opened fire almost immediately, with a "bracket salvo" that fell on either side of Kormoran. Sydney then suffered hits from two salvoes on her bridge and midships section. It appears that the forward turrets ("A" and "B") were put out of action leaving only the after turrets ("X" and "Y") operational. The crew of Kormoran reported that Sydney's "X" turret opened fast and accurate fire, hitting Kormoran in the funnel and engine room, which caught fire. "Y" turret is said to have fired only two or three salvoes, all of which went over. Sydney was also hit in the bow by at least one torpedo.[5]

    Location of the battle between Sydney and Kormoran.Sydney then headed directly at Kormoran, and completed a 180-degree turn in order to use her starboard torpedoes. During the turn, "B" turret exploded; the top was blown off and fell overboard. Four torpedoes were fired, but were near misses behind Kormoran. At the same time, the engines on Kormoran broke down.

    Critically, the volume of hits that Sydney sustained along both sides of her superstructure saw the almost complete destruction of her lifeboats and rafts.[citation needed]

    The Australian ship left the scene southwards, still under fire from Kormoran's rear guns, until 6:25 pm, when Kormoran was abandoned. The Germans reported seeing Sydney on fire at the horizon until 10 pm that night, and saw flames emerging from time to time two hours further. Some time after the Australian ship disappeared from view, the Germans heard several loud explosions, and believed these to be fire reaching magazines on Sydney. None of the 645 RAN and RAAF personnel on Sydney were seen again (with the possible exception of an unidentified body later washed up on Christmas Island).

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