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HDML 1321, RAN

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Roger P View Drop Down
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Joined: 06 May 2005
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    Posted: 26 October 2016 at 4:17am
HDML 1321 hs had a proud history in service with the RAN and in private ownership, that is until Wednesday 19 October 2016, when, at 7.55am Darwin time she sank and currently lies in around seven metres of water.
 

This ‘little ship’ must be saved, WHY?

 

This remarkable vessel, HDML 1321 performed sterling work with the coastwatcher network around the islands to the north of Australia during 1944-45. Almost all of her operations were in enemy territory where, if discovered would have resulted in annihilation. Her operations included ferrying coastwatch operatives to and from many dangerous locations.

 

HDML 1321 was built in Hobart and commissioned into the RAN in November 1943.

Under the expert direction of skipper Ernie Palmer and first lieutenant Russell Smith the ships company kept her safe in enemy waters for almost two years. This is an incredible story of our military history, immense bravery and courage.

 

One mission in particular proved to be extremely hazardous and ultimately tragic when, in April 1945 she took eight Z Special commandos to Muschu Island just off the north coast of New Guinea near Wewak. ‘Operation Copper’ was to be a reconnaissance and prisoner snatch mission. A part quote from the excellent book, The Guns of Muschu written by Don Dennis, the nephew of one of the commandos --

 

“But the secret mission went horribly wrong. Unknown to the commandos, their presence had been discovered within hours of their landing. With no means of escape, the island became a killing ground”.

 

Only one commando survived, making an epic nine day trek back to Australian forces on mainland New Guinea. He had to get off Muschu Island and try to get across the shark and eel infested waters, an almost epic journey in itself taking around nine hours due to currents swirling around the island.

 

The current owners Wendy and Tracy purchased her in 2006 and have become very passionate about the boat’s history. They want to see her salvaged and restored as she was in 1945. They have poured their hearts and souls in trying to make her seaworthy. The journey has been extremely difficult culminating in the boat sinking on 19th October 2016. Tracy’s heartfelt story of their time with 1321 can be found on the website below, the only authorised Crowd Funding avenue ---

 

https://www.gofundme.com/save-1321-2v9uwys?ssid=780980853&pos=1



Edited by Pioneer - 26 October 2016 at 9:09pm
Roger Pearson.
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.

"Roger's Little Ships".
Modelling Allied Light Coastal Forces 1914-1945.
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johnk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 October 2016 at 1:50pm
Hi theer,

Just read the above...very sad to hear, will take a look at the link, can only be a few..pennies if it takes overseas though...hope it can work out, but aware...clealry not good...all the best,

Johnk
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johnk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 October 2016 at 2:11pm
Hi there,

Yes...tried to donate but was not having it...guess clue is that it was asking for dollars! so...unless some way of going "international"...I accessed the link via the RN-CFV tab on this site, it is a "live" link which you can just click...OK you can not donate...but gives very intersting history, some good coverage in the media and offers of help there, so hope as I say, things will work out.

Johnk
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