HMAS Canberra

This site is dedicated to all Royal Australian Navy and Australian Defence Force personnel who have served in HMAS CANBERRA.


HMAS CANBERRA (1) D 33 from the 9th of July 1928 until she was sunk in action off Savo Island on the 9th of August 1942.


HMAS CANBERRA (2) FFG-02 from the 21st of March 1981 until Decomissioning on the 12th of November 2005.


HMAS Canberra (3) LHD-02 from Commissioning on the 23rd of November 2014.



News - Updated 25 Dec 2010

LHD 01 NUSHIP Canberra


LHD 01 Canberra is sheduled to be launched in Spain on the 17 February 2011.


Latest construction Images of HMAS Canberra 3


Commissioning Crew Communicators Catch up after 28 years

Max and Nobby in 1981

Ex ABRO Trevor (Max) Smart and  ex ABSIG Robert Hall, two ex communicators from HMAS Canberra commissioning crew caught up with each other in Cairns 22 December 2010.


click on image

Here is a picture of the two after having not seen each other for 28 years. Trevor and Robert will be enjoying Christmas Day together.


LHD 01 NUSHIP Canberra

LHD 01 Canberra is sheduled to be launched in Spain on the 17 February 2011.



Let's seize the Canberra class warship

Roger Dickson

Friday, December 10, 2010

© The Cairns Post


A RENEWED push to expand the navy base at HMAS Cairns to include new amphibious assault vessels is gathering steam.

Cairns is going head to head with Townsville which has been named as the preferred base.

But political and business leaders are determined to press the Far North’s case for the Canberra class, 230m amphibious assault vessels, set to come into service in 2014.

The vessels, can act as fully self-contained disaster management centres with a hospital, and carry 1400 personnel, tanks, attack helicopters, landing craft and have the capacity to land fixed wing aircraft.

It is understood that $47 million has already been budgeted for Townsville to build a forward operating base and cruise terminal for one or both of the vessels when they are out of their home port of Sydney and into northern waters.

The move comes despite the existing facilities available at Townsville being both too small and shallow to accommodate the ships whereas Cairns has already proven it can handle deeper and larger ships such as the large USS Essex.

Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the decision made a mockery of the Government’s will to diversify and expand the Cairns economy.

"But that does not mean policy cannot be changed if a good argument can be put up," he said.

The vessels are replacing HMAS Tobruk, HMAS Manoora and HMAS Kanimbla with no plans for them to visit Cairns.

Despite the Rudd government signing off on Townsville, briefing documents written by former Cairns Port Authority chief executive officer Bob Manning, distributed to Commerce Queensland, the Cairns Chamber of Commerce and several politicians, outline the case for the vessels to be based in Cairns.

Mr Entsch said the ships, to be named HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide, would be compensation for the loss of the $300 million air warfare contract which collapsed when local company Aimtek failed to meet contract obligations...more

Postscript: I am not sure the Fleet Commander will want his Flagship based in Townville or Cairns

Cheers Bicks



Web site update 07 December 2010

HMAS Canberra - December 2010 Newsletter

Newsletter available...More


2002 Deployment Web based Cruisebook incorporated into the Website

It includes the following Pages:

Commanding Officers Forward
The Commanding Officer
The Executive Officer
HMAS Canberra History and Statistics
History of Ships Crest
HMAS Canberra Voyages Chart
Nominal List
Operation Sutton
Boarding Parties
Ports of Call
Deployment Statistics....more


Vale ex CPOCD Gary Williamson- HMAS Canberra Commissioning Crew

Garry has been laid to rest at a private cremation held by his Family in Tora Tora in Victoria

A send off was held at the Tora Pub in Victoria in Memory of Gary that was attended by Friends and Family


An additional Send off will be held for Bungy in Sydney at the Harbord Beach Hotel - Freshwater on the 08 January 2011.

Please join us to celebrate the memory of Gary.

A Tribute to Gary...More


Images of the Spanish LHD Juan Carlos


The HMAS Canberra 3 will be a very similar design to the LHD Juan Carlos




You Tube Video of HMAS Canberra 3


LHD "Canberra Class", built by NAVANTIA & BAE SYSTEMS for the Royal Australian Navy. The first LHD, named HMAS Canberra, is due to be commissioned in January 2014 and the second ship, HMAS Adelaide, is planned to commission in June 2015.


Vale ex CPOCD Gary Williamson- HMAS Canberra Commissioning Crew

A message from Garry's Wife Judy 15 Nov 2010

Gary enjoyed what he was doing and was PROUD of being a Clearance Diver. He was always so proud of being a C.D., C.D.s are such a close knit family.

Mac please Thank all the divers for their support.

He got home today at 1325hrs for his birthday but didn't get off the bus.

Cheers, and again please give my thanks to ALL the C.D.S. Mrs. Bungy, bubbles, brick head, and any other nickname my man had.

G'day Shark comes to mind. Macca Bloody good man gone.

Mrs Judy Williamson.


Vale ex CPOCD Gary Williamson- HMAS Canberra Commissioning Crew

Garry Williamson has been tragically killed in a Motor Vehicle Accident in LAOS on Wednesday 10 November 2011.

Since his retirement from the Royal Australian Navy he has been working for BACTEC a Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company clearing land of unexploded Ordnance overseas.

Arrangements are now being made to repatriate Gary to Australia for his Funeral, details of the Funeral will be advised when confirmed by his Family.

POCD Eric "Macca" McKenzie and ABCD Gary Williamson the HMAS Canberra Commissioning Crew Diving Team pictured in 1981

Garry was a member of the Commissioning Crew of HMAS Canberra in 1981, he was affectionately know as "Baby Bubbles" and will be sadly missed by his former shipmates who along with his Family and Naval Diving Community are mourning his loss.

Our heart felt condolences go out to Gary's Family and Friends at what must be a very difficult time.

Rest in Peace


HMAS Canberra 2011 Reunion

The HMAS Canberra 2011 Reunion will be held on the Sunshine Coast QLD at the Maroochy RSL 21-23 October 2011...more


Latest Images of HMAS Canberra 3

HMAS Canberra 3 Bow Construction

HMAS Canberra 3 Stern Construction


HMAS Canberra shipmates catch up in Canberra, ACT


Brian "Box" Brennan, Phil "Mac" McDonald and Lee" Bickies Webster at the HMAS Canberra 1 Memorial in the ACT.


Lee Webster travels to Queensland to discuss the 2011 HMAS Canberra Reunion

 Lee Webster met with Roy Wilcox the President of the Maroochy Waters  Naval Association on the 13th of October 2010 to discuss the 2011 HMAS Canberra Reunion.

Many Thanks to Roy who spent the day showing me several venues and options for the 2011 Reunion.

The current plan is to conduct the 2011 HMAS Canberra Reunion for all former Ships Company on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland in October 2010.

I will be setting up a registration page on the Web site in the near future to gauge interest in the Reunion to determine what events will be held.

I will also need some volunteers to form a committee to organise the Reunion, please let me know if you are interested by emailing me


Latest HMAS Canberra Diving Video - 13 Oct 2010

HMAS Canberra was scuttled on the 05 October 2010, the latest diving video was posted on You Tube 13 October 2010 by Deep Blue Ventures it is a great HD look at the ship a year after scuttling...More


Latest News on HMAS Canberra 3

Saab will supply the Sea Giraffe Agile Multi-Beam (AMB) radar to equip the Australian Canberra   class amphibious ships...More



Web site update 01 September 2010

Video Gallery Update

The Video Gallery has been updated to include the following:

  • 2002 Deployment
  • 02 News Review 1993
  • Antiflash Man
  • Ship at Sea - Greenie over the Bow
  • Latest Diving Video...More


Commanding Officer of Young Endeavour departs

Placeholder ImageFormer HMAS Canberra Commissioning Crew member Lieutenant Commander Gavin Dawe OAM RAN has departed the Young Endeavour after completing over 2 years as the Commanding Officer.

Gavin was posted to the Commissioning Crew of HMAS Canberra in Seattle, USA in 1981 and went on to serve on Canberra on three separate occasions throughout his career. Promoted to Chief Petty Officer in 1988 he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to the Navy...More


Placeholder ImageGavin served in with another former HMAS Canberra Commissioning Crew Member CPOPT Taffy Evan in Young Endeavour .

Taffy is still serving in Young Endeavour as the Bosun responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the ship's rigging and sails.

He joined Young Endeavour in January 2009 following a twelve month role with Navy Personnel Training Centre East. Taffy returned to the Navy in 2007 having spent time as a Marine Park Ranger with Parks Victoria. When it comes to sport and competition, he will always give it a go


Rear Admiral appointed to YA Safety Committee

Placeholder ImageRear Admiral Chris Oxenbould AO RAN (Rtd) has accepted an invitation to join the Yachting Australia National Safety Committee. Admiral Oxenbould retired as Deputy Chief of the Royal Australian Navy in 1999 after 37 years in the service, the last six as a Rear Admiral.

His career included command of the Royal Australian Navy Fleet and the Australian Task Group during the first Gulf War. Previously he was captain of the destroyer HMAS Perth and the frigate HMAS Canberra.

On leaving the Navy Admiral Oxenbould maintained his links with the sea through appointments as Chief Executive of the Newcastle Port Corporation 2001 to 2004 and Chief Executive of NSW Maritime 2004 to 2008.

NSW Maritime is the state’s maritime regulator with broad ranging responsibilities for the safety of recreational and commercial vessels. While at NSW Maritime, Oxenbould represented the state as its member of the National Marine Safety Committee.

Chris Oxenbould is also an accomplished ocean racing yachtsman with more than forty years experience sailing off the southeast coast of Australia. He has competed in ten Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races.

He was the chairman of the 2000 and 2001 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Committees and more recently, chaired the internal CYCA Flinders Islet Inquiry which was completed in January 2010.

“We are delighted that Chris has agreed to join the National Safety Committee,” said David Gotze, Chairman of the Committee and a Board Director of Yachting Australia. “He brings a wealth of expertise and experience which is vital in dealing with some of the often complex issues we face in the area of Yacht safety.”


Vale ex-LSRP AC Bevan "Squiz" Taylor

Bevan Taylor 1987

Vale ex-LSRP AC Bevan "Squiz" Taylor passed away after a long illness in Queensland on the 11 July 2010, Bevan served in HMAS Canberra 1987-89 and was a proud TOPJACK.

His funeral service took place at Dalby in Queensland on the 16th of July 2010.

I was in contact with Bevan over the past 3 years and he discussed the great times he had in the Navy and the wonderful memories of his friends and ship mates, the best years of his life were in the Navy he proudly told me.

Rest in Peace Bevan, Many thanks for being a great shipmate with a flair for being a scallywag with a greatl sense of humour, my thoughts are with your Family at this difficult time.

Bevan with his son Tom 2008


Formation of Radar Plot Association

The formation of the Radar Plot Association being organised by former RP Branch stalwarts.

The following email was sent by Peter "Pricky" Reed to gauge the interest in forming a Radar Plot Association.

G'day All,

Want to go down in history as a founding member of the RP Association??  Read on.
After the huge success of the 2008 reunion at Watson, we want to do it as good if not better next time and get more ex RPs involved in the next reunion.  Mick Lowe and his merry band did an excellent job of organising the last reunion but we are pretty restricted when using Watson and we want to get more people involved over a few days, not just the one night.

So, after much discussion over the last couple of days at the JRs reunion, I have been detailed off by a few other senior RPs (Bob Macgregor, Bob Thomas, Barney Hanson, Pony Moore and Taity) to get the Radar Plot Association up and running so I need your help. 

Can you forward this email onto any ex RPs you may have in your address books and get them to forward me their details at this email address , so we can start a data base up of personnel interested in forming a Radar Plot Association. 

Once we get sufficient numbers, we intend to send out a questionnaire and get some feedback on the way you all think we should be heading and what we should be looking at.
If you are not interested in joining the association, no pressure, but please forward this email onto any ex RPs that you may know as they might want to join up. 

Thanks very much for your time and assistance.
Pricky Reed


Latest Video

Latest diving video of HMAS Canberra posted on You Tube 22 June 2010...More


Fundraising in honour of the late RADM Nigel Coates AM RAN

A message from LS Kerry Cousins who is fund raising in the honour of Nigel Coates, please give generously

My name is LS Kerry Cousins, I had the privilege of being RADM Nigel Coates valet when he was Commander Australian Fleet. As many of us know, RADM Coates passed away in June of this year from Cancer.

He was a great man and an inspiration to many including myself.I have entered the Perth City to Surf 12k run, for anyone who knows me, running is not a strong point of mine.
I am raising money to be donated on behalf of RADM Nigel and Vickie Coates to the Cure for Life Foundation, this is a foundation involved in Brain Cancer Research and with Support for Families.
Any donation will go a long way in helping to find a cure, please dig deep and make a donation. If only to inspire me to run further and faster.

If you wish to assist please go to this web site

Please give generously


The Queen's Birthday 2010 Honours List

Vice Admiral Matthew John TRIPOVICH AM CSC RAN

Commanding Officer, HMAS Canberra 1994-1996

Awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia  (AO) for distinguished service as Head Capability Systems and Chief Capability Development Group

Vice Admiral Tripovich has made an enormous contribution to both the current and future performance and effectiveness of the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Defence Force throughout his distinguished career. As Head Capability Systems and now Chief Capability Development Group he continually displayed outstanding leadership, integrity and dedication through a period of extraordinary change and development, culminating in the publication of the Defence White Paper of 2009. His leadership, vision and management of the Capability Development Group will have a profound impact on the operations and support of the Australian Defence Force far into the future...More

Commander Matt TRIPOVICH CSC RAN, Commanding Officer, HMAS Canberra 1994-1996

Matt opening the Gangway of HMAS Canberra at Fleet Base West to signify the start of the Ship's home basing in Western Australia 1995-2005.




Nigel passed away on the 02 June 2010 after a short but aggressive illness. The Royal Australian Navy prematurely lost an outstanding individual and consummate professional, who committed his entire working life to serving his country with great skill, dignity and honour.   The Navy, Australian Defence Force and the broader Australian community have lost one of
their finest military leaders and a great mate...More



Commissioning Crew Thommo's Catch up

The Thommo's 1981

Ian Thomas and Alan Thomson 2010

This photo was taken on Friday 21/05/2010 at Caloundra Qld.  Thommo and his family actually flew out of Brisbane this morning back to Canada (27/05/2010).  He was over here visiting his family in Bowen and we arranged to meet up in Caloundra.  He is a "Master Corporal" in the Canadian Air Force and a systems operator in P3 aircraft.  He always wanted to fly and is now living his dream that he couldn't do in the RAN.  He is aiming to come back again next year for holidays.  He flies out of Comex Canadian Forces Base on Vancouver lsland.  It was great catching up with him. 

Thommo the RP


ANZAC DAY - HMAS Canberra 1 - Sydney 2010

HMAS Canberra 2 Veteran CPOB Phil McDonald marched with the HMAS Canberra 1 veterans on Anzac Day in Sydney.

HMAS Canberra 1 Contingent Marching - Anzac Day 2010

Phil commissioned HMAS Canberra 2 and has served in the ship on several postings over the life of the ship including Operation DAMASK following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait 1992.

Phil Marching with HMAS Canberra 1 Crew

Phil enjoying a beer with his daughter Sarah and son in law Scott in Sydney

Phil resting after a very busy ANZAC Day 2010

Congratulations to Phil for supporting the HMAS Canberra 1 on Anzac Day.



Web site Update -North West Indian Ocean Deployment - 1986

12 April 2010

The HMAS Canberra North West Indian Ocean Deployment - Web page incorporated into the site it includes a brief History, Ships Company Nominal list and Deployment Cruise Book Gallery

Web site Update - News Article Gallery

12 April 2010

The News Article Gallery has been updated with Navy News Articles from 1980-2000


Web site Update - TOP JACK 3 Mess HMAS Canberra 1987-90

12 February 2010

The TOP JACK 3 Mess 1987-88- Web page incorporated into the site it includes a brief History, TOP JACK Nominal list and TOP JACK Image Gallery

Vale ex-POCSS Phillip "Skimmo" Skimmings

ex POCSS (EW) Phillip "Skimmo" Skimmings passed away in Queensland on 01 February 2010, Skimmo served in HMAS Canberra on 2 occasions as a LSROEW from 5/4/88 to 12/8/90 and a PORSEW from 20/12/93 to 5/12 94.

His funeral service will take place at Allambie Crematorium and Memorial Park, Nerang at 1100hrs  Wednesday 03 February 2010.

Drinks at the Nerang  RSL  at 1300hrs

Brian Brennan a former shipmates tribute" Phil Skimmings, this world will be a little less colourful without you. I'll miss you. Who can forget the chicken dance or the parrot costume? You left us a great legacy of fun and friendship. Stand easy sailor."

Rest in Peace Skimmo, without a doubt you were a fine and caring shipmate with a wonderful sense of humour who will be sadly missed by the Navy Family, our thoughts are with your Family at this difficult time.

Yours Aye,

Lee " Bickies" Webster


Australia Day Awards 2010 - Former HMAS Canberra Commanding Officer awarded CSC

Ray Leggatt on the Bridge Wing of HMAS Canberra 2005


Captain Ray Leggatt CSC RAN the Decommissioning Commanding Officer of HMAS Canberra 2004-2005 has been awarded the CONSPICUOUS SERVICE CROSS (CSC) For outstanding achievement as the Commanding Officer HMAS Watson and as the Training Authority Maritime Warfare.

Captain Leggatt’s contribution in one of the Royal Australian Navy’s most senior command and training roles has been outstanding in every respect. As Commanding Officer he has provided first class leadership to those under his command. As Training Authority Maritime Warfare, he has directed output from a complex and diverse organisation to produce outstanding results that will have a lasting benefit for the Royal Australian Navy.


AASM with Clasp ‘KUWAIT’ and ASM with Clasp ‘KUWAIT’ - HMAS Canberra 1993

On 29 November 2009, the Governor-General signed new Instruments of determination for the AASM with Clasp ‘KUWAIT’ and ASM with Clasp ‘KUWAIT’.

A recent review by the Nature of Service Branch determined that service on Operation DAMASK VI during the period 13 January 1993 to 19 January 1993 was inappropriately classified.  In June 2009 the Prime Minister, following a recommendation by the CDF, agreed that the Operation DAMASK VI operational area be added to Schedule 2 of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA).

The determinations for the AASM with Clasp ‘KUWAIT’ and ASM with Clasp ‘KUWAIT’ have been updated to reflect appropriate recognition for the ship’s company of HMAS CANBERRA engaged on Operation DAMASK VI in January 1993.

The Instruments amend the AASM with Clasp ‘KUWAIT’ by adding a specific provision for service on Operation DAMASK VI, and amend the ASM with Clasp ‘KUWAIT’ by adding an exclusionary clause preventing members being awarded both medals for the same deployment.

In accordance with established policy, eligible personnel who have been awarded the ASM with Clasp ‘KUWAIT’ for Operation DAMASK VI will not be issued with the AASM until they physically return the previously awarded ASM; the exception being in cases where other clasps to the ASM are held, or where the Clasp ‘KUWAIT’ has been awarded for a separate deployment.


Web site Update -North West Indian Ocean Deployment - 1983

03 December 2009

The HMAS Canberra North West Indian Ocean Deployment - Web page incorporated into the site it includes a brief History, Ships Company Nominal list and Deployment Cruise Book Gallery


Web site Update-Claude Choules

Britain's last surviving WWI veteran commissioned HMAS Canberra 1

Claude Choules

He was a commissioning crew member of the HMAS Canberra and served with her until 1931 when he discharged from the RAN before rejoining as a torpedo and anti-submarine instructor in 1932...More


News Image Gallery
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New Articles 1980-2010

Images of various News Article collected from 1980 until 2010.




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