Yarra makes mark at Bundaberg

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Peter Croce (author), ABIS Tom Gibson (photographer)

Location(s): Bundaberg, Queensland

HMAS Yarra sits off the coast of Cremorne, Tasmania, during Exercise Dugong 2015. (photo: ABIS Tom Gibson)
HMAS Yarra sits off the coast of Cremorne, Tasmania, during Exercise Dugong 2015.

HMAS Yarra has arrived in Bundaberg to participate in the Queensland city’s Anzac Day commemorations including the Bargara Remembers Dawn Service and Anzac Day March. 

The Huon class minehunter and her crew of 46 will spend five days in the city while en-route to Cairns as part of her diving and mine countermeasures training. 

Lieutenant Commander Jason McBain, Commanding Officer, said his crew is looking forward to assisting commemorations in the region and explaining the history of the ship’s proud name to the public and veterans. 

“We are really looking forward to hosting civic leaders onboard to show our thanks for their support to the Navy and also showcase what we do to the public, including the local Navy Cadets to inspire the next generation of sailors and officers,” Lieutenant McBain said. 

“Our ship bears a very proud name and we are equally committed to ensuring we commemorate the memory of those who gave their life on Yarra II and other ships and conflicts in all wars this Anzac Day.” 

HMAS Yarra II under the command of Lieutenant Commander Robert Rankin was sunk at 8am on 4 March 1942 after a gallant effort to distract a Japanese task force including cruisers Atago, Takao and Maya and four accompanying destroyers from attacking the three ships she was escorting. 

In a courageous move, Lieutenant Commander Rankin laid down a smokescreen and ordered the convoy to scatter while the outgunned sloop took on seven larger warships. Of the 151 of Yarra II ship’s company, 138 including the captain were killed in action or died subsequently on the rafts. 

The current HMAS Yarra is the fourth ship to bear the name and has inherited battle honours from Rabaul (1914), Adriatic (1917-18), Libya (1941), East Indies (1942) Malaysia (194-66). 

Read more about HMAS Yarra here: http://www.navy.gov.au/hmas-yarra-iv