Navy Victoria Network
Proudly supported by the Melbourne Naval Centre

Flagship Events

This page lists certain annual events that the Navy Victoria Network management
committee have deemed to be of significant importance to the wider Navy community.
Details of each event will be published each year when known.

Next Flagship event - click Battle of Bita Paka

Australian Navy Foundation Day - 2017

CRESWELL ORATION 2017” - WEDNESDAY 1st March 2017

   

Oration title: 
“Personnel Challenges for the Future RAN Fleet”

Presented by:
Deputy Chief of Navy
RADM Michael Noonan AM RAN

This annual event is managed by the Navy League of Australia Victoria Division on behalf of the Australian Navy Foundation Day Organising Committee (ANFDOC) which committee is formed from representatives of:

  • Naval Officers' Club in Victoria,

  • Naval Association of Australia Victoria Section,

  • Naval Historical Society Victoria Chapter,

  • Navy League of Australia Victoria Division.

Mark your diaries now for 01 March 2017, luncheon 1200 for 1230.

Cost: $45 per head. Payment may be made by EFT direct to NLA Vic Bank - Westpac BSB: 033 389 A/C No: 107631 (make sure your NAME is recorded against the payment).

Dress: Uniform S7, Lounge suit/Day dress - decorations & medals optional.

BOOKINGS: Navy League of Australia VIC-TAS Division, P.O. Box 2340 Mount Waverley, Victoria 3149.

INQUIRIES and Full Booking details are in the Leaflet

Download Advert Leaflet with FULL Booking details.....

Battle of the Coral Sea
Sunday 7th May, 11:30 for 12:00
Wreath Laying on WW2 Forecourt

Click here to view flyer

HMAS AustraliaThe Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theatre of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval and air forces from the United States and Australia. The battle was the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first in which neither side's ships sighted or fired directly upon the other. In an attempt to strengthen their defensive positioning for their empire in the South Pacific, Imperial Japanese forces decided to invade and occupy Port Moresby in New Guinea and TulagiHMAS Hobart in the southeastern Solomon Islands. The plan to accomplish this, called Operation MO, involved several major units of Japan's Combined Fleet, including two fleet carriers and a light carrier to provide air cover for the invasion fleets, under the overall command of Shigeyoshi Inoue. The U.S. learned of the Japanese plan through signals intelligence and sent two United States Navy carrier task forces and a joint Australian-American cruiser force, under the overall command of American Admiral Frank J. Fletcher, to oppose the Japanese offensive.

The Australian involvement was made up of the cruisers HMAS Australia & HMAS Hobart and led by Australian Rear Admiral John Crace.

Battle of Bita Paka
Service at 1100 on Sunday, 11th September 2016
in the Sanctuary, Shrine of Remembrance,
afterwards at Darebin RSL.

The Battle of Bita Paka (11 September 1914) was fought south of Kabakaul, on the island of New Britain, and was a part of the invasion and subsequent occupation of German New Guinea by the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force shortly after the outbreak of the First World War. Similar to New Zealand's operation against German Samoa in August, the main target of the operation was a strategically important wireless station—one of several used by the German East Asiatic Squadron—which the Australians believed to be located in the area. The powerful German naval fleet threatened British interests and its elimination was an early priority of the British and Australian governments during the war.
Able Seaman Billy Williams
After an unopposed landing, a mixed force of German reservists and half-trained Melanesian police mounted a stout resistance and forced the Australians to fight their way to the objective. After a day of fighting during which both sides suffered casualties, Australian forces captured the wireless station at Bita Paka. The battle was Australia's first major military engagement of the war and the only significant action of the campaign; in its aftermath the remaining German forces on New Britain fled inland to Toma. Following a brief siege there the German garrison capitulated, ending resistance to the Australian occupation of the island.

At Bita Paka Australia suffered their first casualty of World War I, with Able Seaman Billy Williams mortally wounded.

The Seafarers Commemorative Service
and Navy Week Service

Mission to Seafarers

The 2016 Seafarers Church Service will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral at 10:30 on 16 October 2016 and it will be followed by the Navy Wreath Laying Service at the Cenotaph at the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne at 12:30.

View flyer with full details.....

All Ship and Unit Associations are encouraged to support the Navy Victoria Community.

HMAS Goorangai March and Service - 2016
Sunday, November 20, 11:00am

11:10 Marchers fall in, King Street
11:30 Service commences Ocean View Reserve
12:30 Lunch, RSL Hall, King Street (must book)
Dress: Medals please
Download full details and booking form.....

HMAS Goorangai in Victorian watersA raw chilly morning, and the little auxiliary minesweeper HMAS GOORANGAI pulls away from a pier in Melbourne.

It was such a day on November 20, 1940 when the 230-ton Castle Class auxiliary minesweeper left her berth for the last time - cut in half in the darkness of a gale that evening by the 8364 ton troopship HMAT DUNTROON at the entrance to Port Phillip Bay.

The little ship, a member of Minesweeping Group 54, had been crossing the narrow entrance from Queenscliff, where she had unloaded vegetables, and was seeking shelter on the other side.

Once the bows of DUNTROON loomed high over her amidships, her skipper David McGregor RANR and his entire crew of 23 were doomed.

The troopship, steaming under wartime restrictions, could not stop, but sounded siren blasts to alert rescue craft in Queenscliff, but in vain. Only seven bodies were ever recovered.

It was the RAN’s first loss in WWII and its first surface ship loss in any era (the only WW1 losses being the submarines AE1 and AE2).

GOORANGAI was another of the many former fishing trawlers requisitioned from Carlo Camaniti's fishing fleet, Cam and Sons Ltd of Balmain, Sydney, and the first of two to be involved in notable wartime tragedies - the second being the extraordinary events surrounding the sinking of HMAS PATRICIA CAM by a Japanese float plane.

Goorangai had been built at the State Dockyard, Newcastle (NSW) in 1919, for a short-lived State Government fishing venture. and was requisitioned from Cams at the outbreak of the war in September 1939.

She had taken part in sweeping operations around Wilson’s Promontory and Cape Otway, after mines were laid in these areas early in the war by German raiders, and had sunk the US merchant vessel City of Rayville, and the British steamer Cambridge on the 7th and 8th of the same Goorangai Monumentmonth as Goorangai’s loss.

Goorangai's wreck, laying in only 15m of water, was demolished the following January as a shipping hazard, but later designated an Historic Shipwreck site. The site remains popular with divers, and apparently steel plates are scattered over a 200 sq m area of the seabed, a small boiler can be seen, and occasionally the rushing tides still undercover wartime gas masks.

In 2004, the Royal Australian Naval Professional Studies Program initiated a series of occasional papers focusing on subjects related to the Naval Reserve: the series was named Goorangai, after the ship.

As the RAN now begins to look back more on its history, in 2006 a WW11 mine with a plaque attached was unveiled at a memorial service in Queenscliff Reserve, recalling the memory of Goorangai and those lost.