Just in time for Remembrance Day, the daughter of one of only 13 crew members to survive the sinking of HMAS Yarra (II) on 4 March 1942, has received an award in his honour over 70 years on.
Lieutenant Commander Stephen Hurd had the privilege to visit Mrs Jennifer Roden in Launceston, Tasmania, to present her late father’s hard earned Unit Citation for Gallantry insignia.
Mrs Roden is the daughter of the late Ordinary Seaman William Clark, who served in Yarra during the Second World War.
"My father rarely spoke about his war-time experiences and I have only recently taken an interest in his service," Mrs Roden said.
"It was while researching his time onboard Yarra that I became aware of the Unit Citation for Gallantry and the entitlement to receive the award on behalf of my late father."
On 22 March 2013 then Governor-General, Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce, AD, CVO, announced the award of a Unit Citation for Gallantry to the crew of HMAS Yarra (II). The citation reads in part:
"for extraordinary gallantry in action off Singapore on the 5th of February 1942 and in the Indian Ocean on the 4th of March 1942".
The insignia that accompanies the award was first presented to eligible family members on 4 March 2014 at a special event with the Governor-General and the crew of HMAS Yarra (IV) on the Yarra River in Melbourne, Victoria.
Since that time, 55 families of the 153 crew have received their insignia, with relatives still being discovered. The Unit Citation for Gallantry will continue to be awarded at individual ceremonies around the country upon successful application to Defence Honours and Awards.
At the presentation, Mrs Roden was joined by her husband and daughter, with Mr Brian Ellis, President of the Naval Association of Australia Launceston South Sub-Branch, and Mr Graeme Barnett, President of the RSL Launceston Sub-Section, also attending.
Lieutenant Commander Hurd said it was a great honour to present the award.
"Delivering the posthumous Unit Citation for Gallantry enabled Mrs Roden to proudly wear the insignia on Remembrance Day," he said.
To find out more about the HMAS Yarra (II) Unit Citation for Gallantry visit http://www.navy.gov.au/event/hmas-yarra-ii-ucg.
To read HMAS Yarra (II)'s ship history visit http://www.navy.gov.au/hmas-yarra-ii.