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  #1  
Old 08-07-2009, 18:40
kookaburra kookaburra is offline
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Default HMAS Sydney III:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

The Second Life of HMAS Sydney [111]

I was going to put this in the aircraft carrier era thread, but Sydney's second career as a Fast Troop Transport [1962-1973] seems somehow distinctive.

As Australia's first true flight deck aircraft carrier, she had achieved some fame in Korea, but I think it was her Vietnam service as 'The Vung Tau Ferry' that spread the feelings of affection for her throughout the Australian defence forces.

It was not a popular war, of course, but as bitterness of the period fades, I sense nostalgia among the thousands who sailed on her, or her escorts, has tended to re-emerge.

Many people, I suspect, still think Sydney was recommissioned as a Fast Troop Transport specifically for the Vietnam War. Not so. Work on her conversion must have started in 1961, much earlier than Australia's Vietnam involvement, as she was re-commissioned on March 7, 1962.

While there was no doubt a rationale in the conversion connected to Australia's commitments to the Far East Strategic Reserve, I believe it was possibly a device to retain her, in the hope that she could eventually be modernised - as always planned - and re-introduced again as a second jet-age, angled deck carrier.

Well, that part didn't happen. As a troop transport, however, Sydney made 23 voyages to Vietnam, ferried almost 16000 Australian Army and RAAF personnel there, along with stores and a vast number of vehicles.

As a transport she was armed only with four bofors, but could and sometimes did carry Westland Wessex anti-submarine helicopters [see pics below]. She also carried six LCM 6 landing craft.

Laid down at Devonport Dockyard as HMS Terrible on April 19 1943, she was laid up unfinished at the end of the war, and acquired by the RAN. She commissioned as HMAS Sydney on December 16, 1948.

On her first tour of duty in Korea [she did two] her aircraft flew 2,366 sories. Five were lost in action, and two pilots [that is, not counting a similar number of aircraft damaged beyond repair by Cyclone Ruth].

She paid off on May 30, 1958, and lay in the reserve fleet at Athol Bight before being taken into Garden Island for conversion to troop transport.

A Colossus Class light fleet carrier, she was 15,700 tons standard, 19,500 tons full load, had a length of 698 ft [212.75m] and a beam of 80ft [24.38m]. She originally carried 24 40mm bofors, and had a capacity for 35 aircraft.

Sydney finally paid off on November 12, 1973. She was sold for breaking up in Korea on October 30, 1975, and was towed out of Sydney on December 23.


I'll post few more pics of her as a fast troop transport later if there's any interest in this. I'd like to see some more of her actually in Vung Tau if anyone happens to have any. K.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Sydney FTT boats away.JPG (172.7 KB, 105 views)
File Type: jpg Syd embarking RAR 4th batt.jpg (256.9 KB, 71 views)
File Type: jpg Sydney's second life FTT.jpg (179.9 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg Sydney, Supply, Duchess.JPG (286.5 KB, 83 views)
File Type: jpg Vung Tau Ferry at Garden Island.jpg (173.2 KB, 88 views)
File Type: jpg Sydney Fast Troop Transport profile.jpg (141.4 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg Sydney in Vietnam.jpg (131.3 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg Hamilton Wharf Brisbane.JPG (105.6 KB, 72 views)
File Type: jpg fod_72_0043_vn.jpg (74.5 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg Sydney on trooping transport.jpg (228.6 KB, 75 views)
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Last edited by kookaburra : 08-07-2009 at 19:47.
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  #2  
Old 08-07-2009, 21:29
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spruso spruso is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

Here's another of Sydney taken about 1971 I think. Haven't got a larger copy.
Cheers
Bruce
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File Type: jpg HMAS Sydney 3 color Vietnam.jpg (87.5 KB, 102 views)
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  #3  
Old 22-06-2012, 23:17
RANFAN RANFAN is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

A question on pennant allocations for those with more knowledge than myself,
When HMAS Sydney was commissioned as an aircraft carrier she was given the pennant R17, then changed to A214 when she became a fast troop ship these 2 I know of, but according to wiki she has also had pennant numbers P241 and L134 in 1973. Can anyone shed some light on the other 2 pennant numbers and why the change?
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  #4  
Old 25-06-2012, 15:39
kookaburra kookaburra is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

I can't say why numbers changed, but John Bastock's limited edition book, well regarded, mentions R17 as a carrier, initially A214 [not 241] as fast troop transport, changed in 1969 to P214; then L134, as you say, in mid 1973..
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  #5  
Old 27-06-2012, 02:07
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

I was in Derwent in 66 and Yarra in 70 as escort vessels to Sydney. I don't think we were allowed to take photos for security reasons, so if there are any around they would most likely be from official photographers. No doubt some of the blokes took some clandestine shots, so hopefully they will read this thread and respond.
My understanding at the time was that Sydney's flight deck was stuffed and unable to withstand aircraft landings. There was certainly a detachment of anti-sub helos on board. The theory was that Sydney only needed one escort as the helos made up the anti-sub difference.
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  #6  
Old 27-06-2012, 05:51
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BlackBat242 BlackBat242 is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

Until her conversion to a troop transport Sydney still had the original BH-5 hydraulic catapult, which launched a 28,000lb aircraft @75kt. She also had her original 8 wire arresting gear, which was rated for 20,000lb aircraft. Both of her lifts had a 15,000lb capacity.


Compare this to Melbourne's BS-4 steam catapult, capable of launching a 40,000lb aircraft @78kt or a 30,000lb one @101kt (lengthened by 8' in 1971 to reduce launch forces), 5 wire arresting gear rated @ 30,000lb, and 24,000lb capacity lifts.


The RAN had originally planned to modernize Sydney to the same standard as Melbourne after the latter entered service, but this was cancelled due to cost.
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  #7  
Old 27-06-2012, 12:04
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Brian Wentzell Brian Wentzell is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

Jon: The issues that killed modernisation of HMAS Sydney were the same as those that killed the modernisation and retention of HMCS Magnificent, her Canadian sister ship. The modernised HMAS Melbourne and HMCS Bonaventure became the solutions for each navy.
Brian
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  #8  
Old 28-06-2012, 11:11
Bwes Bwes is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

HMAS Sydney enroute to Vung Tau - May 1966. Photos taken from HMAS Yarra
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0098 (Medium).jpg (78.3 KB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0099 (Medium).jpg (65.8 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0100 (Small).jpg (55.0 KB, 60 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0101 (Medium).jpg (61.1 KB, 55 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0102 (Medium).jpg (72.1 KB, 86 views)
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  #9  
Old 29-06-2012, 14:39
kookaburra kookaburra is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwes View Post
HMAS Sydney enroute to Vung Tau - May 1966. Photos taken from HMAS Yarra
They are lovely images in 1960s colour. Thanks, and a late welcome to the forums. What's the Daring Class astern, do you recall?
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  #10  
Old 30-06-2012, 00:06
Bwes Bwes is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

That would be Vampire Kookaburra. Supply is outboard of Sydney. Here is a better view of Supply and Sydney together.
Bob
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File Type: jpg IMG_0104.jpg (456.9 KB, 73 views)
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2012, 02:07
ASSAIL ASSAIL is online now
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

Its good to see the old girls and they look fantastic, particularly the ship's sides on all.

Unfortunately, under these days of minimum manning, contractors ashore and no full shore duty watches, the ships presentation is a disgrace in the RAN. I see a continuous stream of visiting ships from all nations here in Darwin and ours are the worst by a long shot. The ship's sides are woeful full of rust stains and tyre marks, things which are easily cleaned.

In the 60's we used to deride other navies ships who, by comparison, were in far better condition than ours today!
Bring back the Buffer and side parties please.

Its only a small thing but hell it feels good if your ship looks better than others you work with.
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  #12  
Old 05-07-2012, 03:45
kookaburra kookaburra is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwes View Post
That would be Vampire Kookaburra. Supply is outboard of Sydney. Here is a better view of Supply and Sydney together.
Bob
Thanks Bwes. Welcome to the forums. I've PMed you asking if I can use this one on the RAN Centenary Photostream, would you kindly read the message. K.
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  #13  
Old 05-07-2012, 22:56
kookaburra kookaburra is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

HMAS Perth Visit Aug -7 2011 004.jpg
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASSAIL View Post
Its good to see the old girls and they look fantastic, particularly the ship's sides on all.

Unfortunately, under these days of minimum manning, contractors ashore and no full shore duty watches, the ships presentation is a disgrace in the RAN. I see a continuous stream of visiting ships from all nations here in Darwin and ours are the worst by a long shot. The ship's sides are woeful full of rust stains and tyre marks, things which are easily cleaned.

In the 60's we used to deride other navies ships who, by comparison, were in far better condition than ours today!
Bring back the Buffer and side parties please.

Its only a small thing but hell it feels good if your ship looks better than others you work with.
A change of thread topic but I was so interested to read this, as I had exactly the same reaction visiting PERTH [II] and NEWCASTLE during an Open Day in Melbourne last year - the amount of rust on the cable decks and down the hawse took me by surprise. I really noticed it - every patch of rust, and there were many.

They had come in from three weeks at sea to Hawaii - but to present that way to the public on an Open Day I thought showed lack of awareness [of public expectations] and of pride.

It's seemingly a small thing that reflects something much, much bigger - the things that you've referred to - contracted out maintenance, the loss of crew skills and practice [ the loss of apprentices and in-house engineering, I mean here, not paint chipping], all of which has resulted in ships unable to turn out to do their duty even in emergencies [the Queensland cyclone/floods last year, the laid up amphibious ships last year, the inoperable mine hunters and the permanently docked submarines].

Very disappointing. Is this the modern Navy, or the Lazy Navy ?
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  #14  
Old 07-07-2012, 00:39
ASSAIL ASSAIL is online now
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

Quote:
Originally Posted by kookaburra;[QUOTE
10034774Very disappointing. Is this the modern Navy, or the Lazy Navy ?
[/quote]

I don't think that it's the "lazy" navy.
The way the modern navy promotes itself and recruits personnel focuses on an exciting technological career with ongoing, challenging work and exciting opportunities.

Sailors come to work with this mindset and demeaning tasks such as cleaning, chipping and painting don't feature. This is not new and has been the case for at least 10 years and Leaders and PO's have the same mindset.

The whole paradigm is exacerated by minimum manning and multi crewing/loss of ownership in MWV's.

Excuse all for remaining off topic.
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  #15  
Old 07-07-2012, 02:35
Aussie Bhoy Aussie Bhoy is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

Fantastic photos of HMAS Sydney, thanks for posting them.

Looking forward to us having two flat tops again soon.
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  #16  
Old 07-07-2012, 05:41
kookaburra kookaburra is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASSAIL View Post
I don't think that it's the "lazy" navy.
The way the modern navy promotes itself and recruits personnel focuses on an exciting technological career with ongoing, challenging work and exciting opportunities.

Sailors come to work with this mindset and demeaning tasks such as cleaning, chipping and painting don't feature. This is not new and has been the case for at least 10 years and Leaders and PO's have the same mindset.

The whole paradigm is exacerated by minimum manning and multi crewing/loss of ownership in MWV's.

Excuse all for remaining off topic.
Yes that makes sense - a recruiting/job expectations conclusion I'd reached independently when canvassing this with some other Bwes pics on Centenary Flickr Photostream just today.
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  #17  
Old 25-02-2016, 06:12
aussie1963 aussie1963 is offline
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Default hmas sydney

I am currently looking to find the ships logs of crew that brought the ship originally known as the HMS Terrible later to be named Sydney.

I believe that my late father was a crew member that brought the ship to Australia any help as to where I may find such information would be greatly appericiated
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  #18  
Old 29-02-2016, 05:14
aussie1963 aussie1963 is offline
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Default crew lists

Hello can any body help find somewhere I can find the crew list for hms teribble later to named hmas Sydney as trying to track my late father
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  #19  
Old 02-03-2016, 11:40
David Rudge David Rudge is offline
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Default RFA Mull of Galloway

My Father Leonard Rudge from Newcastle was a Petty Officer on the Mull of Galloway towards the end of the war in the Pacific. At this time he would have been in his early 20s. I have various mementos of his life on board eg. crossing 00-00 Latitude, papers from Singapore, Christmas day Officers' menu signed by fellow officers. I have recently retired and have always promised myself time to research his contribution to the war effort. As far as I know his ship provided support to the American Pacific Fleet surface and submarine and my father was present at the surrender of the Japanese where he was presented with an officer's ceremonial sword. The above is a brief summary but if anybody knew my dad or has any connection, I could provide further information and would love to hear any information you have.
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Old 02-03-2016, 13:30
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Navyking Navyking is offline
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Default Re: RFA Mull of Galloway

Hi David,

There is a previous thread here:

http://www.worldnavalships.com/forum...ll+of+galloway

and here is another picture courtesy of www.photoship.co.uk

Regards
Paul
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  #21  
Old 20-04-2016, 23:12
big Artie big Artie is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwes View Post
That would be Vampire Kookaburra. Supply is outboard of Sydney. Here is a better view of Supply and Sydney together.
Bob
I served on Vampire and we escorted Sydney to Vang Tau in 1969. Some good video of Sydney & Supply here." Artie" EDIT, my mistake . Tidepool, not supply.

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/F10290/
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  #22  
Old 20-04-2016, 23:22
ASSAIL ASSAIL is online now
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

Quote:
Originally Posted by big Artie View Post
I served on Vampire and we escorted Sydney to Vang Tau in 1969. Some good video of Sydney & Supply here." Artie" EDIT, my mistake . Tidepool, not supply.

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/F10290/
I'm actually in that film, I was the very young Midshipman seen for a second on Sydney's bridge! That was early 1969, I was three months into my 12 months Phase two sea time.
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  #23  
Old 20-04-2016, 23:57
big Artie big Artie is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

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I'm actually in that film, I was the very young Midshipman seen for a second on Sydney's bridge! That was early 1969, I was three months into my 12 months Phase two sea time.
The one scratching his head, or the one posing at the chart table? How about that, a blast from the past.
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  #24  
Old 21-04-2016, 01:32
ASSAIL ASSAIL is online now
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

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Originally Posted by big Artie View Post
The one scratching his head, or the one posing at the chart table? How about that, a blast from the past.
I'm on the far left with a pencil, the Sub at the pelorus is Jim Ohara, later Rear Admiral and the lanky Mid strolling around is Boris Vorobieff
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  #25  
Old 21-04-2016, 04:56
big Artie big Artie is offline
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Default Re: HMAS Sydney 111:'The Vung Tau Ferry'

Quote:
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I'm on the far left with a pencil, the Sub at the pelorus is Jim Ohara, later Rear Admiral and the lanky Mid strolling around is Boris Vorobieff
Good one, it must have brought back some memories. The old Sydney taught a generation of sailors in her time. Our first time at sea as apprentices, in our first 6 months , was a 6 week trip on Sydney to the Barrier reef. She still had hammocks then, and we would have been among the last RAN sailors to wake up to, " lash up & stow. " However, being told to remove every hammock & relash them because you did not lash yours properly, wore thin very quick.
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