Mr. Bill O’Sullivan describes the RAN seaplane carrier HMAS Albatross, from her construction, to her demise at the ship-breakers. Albatross was built by Cockatoo Island Dockyard during the mid-1920s and entered service at the start of 1929. The ship experienced problems with the aircraft assigned to her during her career. The amphibious aircraft for which she had been designed were retired just before the ship entered service, the replacement aircraft could not be catapult-launched from the ship, and a new plane designed specifically to work with the ship only began operations after Albatross was demoted from seagoing status in 1933. After five years in reserve, Albatross was transferred to the Royal Navy to offset the Australian purchase of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart. Although the British had little use for a seaplane carrier, the ship found a niche after two aircraft carriers were sunk by the Germans early in World War II. From late 1943 to early 1944, Albatross underwent conversion into a “Landing Ship (Engineering)” to support the Normandy landings. She was torpedoed in August 1944, but survived to be towed back to England. She was decommissioned after the war’s end.
This was recorded on 4th May 1979,
Duration is 51 minutes.
Note that photos and diagrams referred to in this address are not included in this audio-only podcast.