While a last-minute minor defect prevented HMAS Yarra (IV) from joining the Fleet Entry procession, nothing could deny her crew’s feelings of immense pride during the International Fleet Review.
Yarra was moored near Fort Denison throughout the celebration, which gave her crew of 42 plenty of time to reflect on the proud traditions forged by all the warships called Yarra that have served in the Navy over the last century.
CO Yarra LCDR Bryan O’Hara said although Yarra could not be in its rightful place, it was with great pride that the crew remembered the significance and important role that Yarra (I) played in the fledgling fleet.
“We are all extremely proud of our ship’s heritage,” he said.
“Yarra (I), a River class patrol boat destroyer, was awarded the WWI battle honours for Rabaul 1914 and Adriatic 1917-18, while Yarra (II) served with distinction in WWII, being awarded the battle honours for Libya 1941 and East Indies 1942.”
Yarra (II) was recently awarded a Unit Citation for Gallantry for her actions off Singapore on 5 February and in the Indian Ocean 4 March 1942, when she confronted a vastly superior Japanese force.
Yarra (III) was also awarded the battle honour for Malaysia 1964-66.
LCDR O’Hara said the centenary of the Fleet Entry highlighted the significant contribution that Australia had made in regional diplomacy over the past 100 years, ranging from peace-keeping to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
“The RAN has matured in both conflict and peace since 1913 into a highly respected naval force,” he said.
“Australia's contribution to both the region and wider world is evident by the number of foreign warships that have made to long journey to Sydney to help us celebrate.”
Despite the minor hiccup, HMAS Yarra (IV) took her place in the Ceremonial Fleet Review and Pyrotechnics Display and Lightshow Spectacular.