Veterans tour HMAS Perth

Published on LCDR Rob Roscoe (author), ABEW Griffiths (photographer)

Commanding Officer, HMAS Perth, Captain Ivan Ingham, receives on behalf of the ship, a replica HMAS Perth I crest, hand crafted by HMAS Perth Association member, Mr Terry Blanch (left), whose father was lost on HMAS Perth I, and Mr Frank McGovern, a survivor from the World War II cruiser. (photo: ABEW GRIFFITHS)
Commanding Officer, HMAS Perth, Captain Ivan Ingham, receives on behalf of the ship, a replica HMAS Perth I crest, hand crafted by HMAS Perth Association member, Mr Terry Blanch (left), whose father was lost on HMAS Perth I, and Mr Frank McGovern, a survivor from the World War II cruiser.

On a recent shore visit to Sydney, HMAS Perth hosted members of the New South Wales HMAS Perth Association, which included the Perth I survivor, Mr Frank McGovern. The veterans were given a guided tour through the ship and shown the state-of-the-art equipment installed as part of the Anti-Ship Missile Defence Upgrade. 

The visit provided a welcome opportunity for the crew to maintain the strong links that exists between present ship's company and the former officers, sailors and families of those that previously have sailed under the Perth’s name. 

After the tour, the Commanding Officer Captain Ivan Ingham greeted the visitors in his cabin and received on behalf of the ship, a replica Perth I crest hand crafted by Perth Association member, Mr Terry Blanch, whose father was lost on Perth I the historic Second World War cruiser. The plaque now has pride of place on the ship’s bridge as a symbolic link to HMAS Perth I and the Perth Association

Sub-Lieutenant Jessie Page, a trainee Officer of the Watch onboard said it was a privilege to host members from the association. 

“Meeting members and their families, who both served or lost family members is always an honour. It was particularly inspiring to talk to Frank and hear of some of experiences, which remind us of the great personal sacrifice that Australians have made past and present in the fight for freedoms and privileges we all take for granted today,” Sub-Lieutenant Page said.

After passage from her home port in Western Australia and berthing in Sydney, Perth embarked the new MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ naval combat helicopter for the first time at the start of the aircraft’s First of Class Flight Trials. The ship will stay on the east coast conducting trials before returning to Fleet Base West at the end of March to start her Unit Readiness workup, prior to undertaking a busy exercise program.