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Fremantle, West Australia, USN submarine base


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Kurt Barickman

That is a very interesting topic; I read a book a few years ago on this topic entitled, Submarines Down Under or something like that. Thanks for posting  all the then and now photos and the vintage photos.

 

Kurt

My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

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In Western Australia the US Navy also established an Auxiliary Submarine Base at Albany further south of Fremantle. 

Submarine captains while serving in the Philippines had complained bitterly of defective torpedoes. Rear Admiral Lockwood endeavoured to get the Bureau of ordnance to carryout some torpedo performance tests. After his request was denied he ordered his men to carry out their own tests. 

A target net was anchored in Princess Royal Harbour at Albany in Western Australia. USS Skipjack (SS188) was used to fire three Mark XIV torpedoes at the net.

The first two torpedoes were set to travel at 10 feet below the surface. They hit the net at 18 feet and 25 feet. The third torpedo was set to run on the surface. It bounced off the 65 feet harbour floor and penetrated the net at eleven feet from the surface.

The Bureau of Ordnance discredited the tests and suggested that Rear Admiral Lockwood should conserve his scarce supply of torpedoes. Undaunted, Lockwood organised another test. In July 1942 USS Saury (SS189) fired five Mark XIV torpedoes at the net all of the torpedoes ran deep.

By this time The Commander-in-Chief of the United States Fleet, Admiral King, had heard of the issues and became involved. King indicated that he believed Lockwood's tests and finally the Bureau of ordnance begrudgingly acknowledged that the Mark XIV torpedoes ran too deep.

 

 US Navy Submariners memorial at Fort Princess Royal Albany, services are held in remembrance every year.

 

 

 

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Remembering submariners on eternal patrol

United State Navy Lieutenant Commander Travis Zettel said that following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, US Submarines and their crews were dispatched to the ports of Fremantle and Albany in the early part of 1942.

“Thanks to the courage, audacity, and resolve of the Australians, US submariners found more than just a safe place to moor. They received parts, provisions, industrial facilities and the help of people who knew how to use them. They found an ally, a friend, a mate. Some of these sailors found life-long partners,” he said.

“The US Submarine effort during World War II was astounding, particularly when you consider they launched 521 patrols from Australia and sunk a total of 1,722,000 tons of shipping,” he said.

But it came at a high cost - in total 3505 men were lost as were 52 submarines, 16 of which had sailed from Australia.

The chance to honour those who paid the ultimate sacrifice from the very shore from which they sailed is important to Lieutenant Commander Zettel.

 “Those 3505 men of the US WW2 Submarine Force on eternal patrol were someone’s father, brother, son, or mate, and they fought and sacrificed,” he said.

And to honour those brave men whilst standing alongside his Australian friends is an equally important moment for him.

“Seventy two years ago a kindred spirit reached out to the United States in its greatest hour of need and provided its navy and army a safe haven from which they could eventually turn the tide,” he said.

“The crucible of a global conflict forged a bond that continues and remains strong to this day.

“Our soldiers, sailors, and airmen have served and continue to serve side by side all over the world: on the waters of the Pacific and the beaches of Normandy, in the jungles of Vietnam and the mountains of Afghanistan.”

Lest we forget.

 

 

 

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ALBANY, AERIAL PORT SIDE VIEW OF THE SUBMARINE TENDER USS PELIAS (AS-14). A 5 INCH GUN IS MOUNTED ON THE STERN. TWO 3 INCH/50 AA GUNS ARE FITTED IN TUBS ON THE BOW WITH TWO MORE AT THE AFTER END OF THE SUPERSTRUCTURE. TWO AMERICAN SUBMARINES ARE BERTHED ALONGSIDE. 

 

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Backtheattack

Great information, and a very interesting thread. Thank`s all for the informations.

 

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