- Acceptance Booklet
- Ship design and development, History - post WWII
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Waterhen, HMAS Vendetta I, HMAS Vampire I, HMAS Stuart I, HMAS Voyager II
- March 1986 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
(Reprinted from the Acceptance Booklet issued in 1957)
ACCEPTANCE INTO HER MAJESTY’S SERVICE OF HMAS VOYAGER
by The Minister of State for the Navy
The Honourable C.W. Davidson, OBE, MP
OFF SYDNEY HEADS
MONDAY, 11th FEBRUARY, 1957
At 1015 on Monday, 11th February 1957, the Minister for the Navy, the Honourable C.W. Davidson, OBE, will formally accept Her Majesty’s Australian Ship Voyager from the Cockatoo Docks & Engineering Company Pty. Ltd. for service with the Royal Australian Navy.
This occasion marks the culmination of many years work and application of technical skill necessary to produce the most modern naval vessel of her kind, and to bring her to the stage where she is now ready to take her place as a powerful unit of Her Majesty’s Australian Fleet.
HMAS Voyager is the first of three ‘Daring’ Class ships placed on order with Australian shipyards by the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board. This class of ship is a departure from the conventional destroyer on account of her size, armament and number of personnel, and would be more accurately described as a light cruiser. She mounts a main armament of six 4.5” guns in three turrets – two forward and one aft – in addition to 21-inch torpedoes and the latest anti-aircraft and anti-submarine armament. She measures 390 feet in length, 43 feet in breadth and has a maximum draught of 17 feet. She carries a peacetime complement of 313 officers and ratings, all of whom live and sleep in fully air- conditioned quarters.
Structurally, as well as in her general design, Voyager is a departure from past convention. Hers is the first all-welded hull to be built in Australia; great use has been made of light alloys, both in the superstructure and in the interior subdivisions and fittings; machinery and boilers have been built to withstand far greater pressures and temperatures than hitherto.
All these factors have contributed towards producing the fastest ship ever to be built in an Australian dockyard.
It is noteworthy that a considerable proportion of the machinery was manufactured at Cockatoo dockyard, while the guns, gun-mountings and torpedo tubes are a product of Department of Defence factories.
The construction of the ship has presented many problems to the dockyard, requiring great attention to detail and the closest cooperation with the Naval Overseers in regard to the fitting of all the complex and highly technical equipment which is so integral a part of the modern warship.
The experience gained in the solution of all these problems will prove invaluable to the future of Naval Construction in this country.
The other two ships of the class, in varying stages of construction, are Vendetta and Vampire.
Their names, no less than that of Voyager, will recall to many the exploits of their predecessors, who together with two other ships Stuart and Waterhen formed the 10th Destroyer Flotilla of World War II. They were all of the old ‘V and ‘W’ class of 1914- 1918 vintage and lent to the Royal Australian Navy by the Admiralty, prior to the outbreak of war. But despite their age, which prompted German propagandists to refer to them disparagingly as the ‘Scrap-iron Flotilla’ these ships achieved considerable fame, both in the Mediterranean and in the South-West Pacific between the years 1939 and 1942; and their many exploits in both theatres of war inspired one historian to record that ‘nobody could have believed that any five ships could have got into, and out of, so much trouble in so short a time.’ Of these five ships, the old Voyager could claim her fair share of honours, to which was added the distinction of sinking the first Italian submarine of the war – only three days after Italy’s entry on the side of the Axis powers. Some idea of her other achievements may be gleaned from the Battle Honours now proudly displayed by her successor, who will, should the necessity arise, be both ready and eager to add her share.
The Handing Over Ceremony
The actual ceremony connected with the handing over is divided into two parts. Firstly, there is the legal business connected with transferring ownership from the shipbuilder to the Navy, and the signing of the receipt which is a part of any such transaction. In this case, the Minister for the Navy, on behalf of the Australian Government, signs to the effect that – ‘HMAS Voyager has been received, without prejudice to outstanding liabilities, from Cockatoo Docks & Engineering Co. Pty. Ltd.’