United States submariners lost at sea while defending Australia have been honoured at a memorial service at the National Anzac Centre in Albany, Western Australia.
Officers and senior sailors from the Australian and United States navies gathered with Australian Naval Cadets from Training Ship Vancouver and invited guests to remember the submariners. Their lives were lost while defending Australia from the threat of invasion by Japanese forces during World War II.
The submariner’s prayer was recited as one by one, each submariner lost in action was remembered.
While the event sought to honour United States Navy Submariners it also addressed the contribution Australian, the United Kingdom and the Dutch navies made in the undersea domain during that time.
Commander William Dull of the United States Navy addressed attendees in a moving speech, going back to 1942.
“We are here today remembering our lost comrades and the tremendous impact allied submarines operating out of Western Australia made in the Pacific during World War II,” he said.
“While focused on sinking Japanese oil tankers, submariners from the allied forces contributed tremendously to the efforts of crippling enemy forces and accelerating the allied victory against the threat of a Japanese invasion.”
He also highlighted the proud legacy established by submariners during World War II which has continued to the present day.
“We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us,” he said.
“In the United States submarine force we have an expression, ‘you earn your dolphins everyday’, which refers to the submarine warfare insignia worn on the chest and means to never be satisfied and constantly strive to improve.”
To uphold and honour the rich legacy submariners have left, he encouraged everyone, submariner or not, to live by that sentiment.
“Earn your dolphins everyday by offering a helping hand to people who might need it.
“When you walk past someone who looks like they need some help, offer it,” Commander Dull said.