THE Victorian Maritime Centre museum in Crib Point now includes an exhibition dedicated to those who served on HMAS Australia 11.
The exhibition was opened on Saturday 27 March by Victoria’s Chief of Navy, Commodore Greg Yorke.
The exhibition includes a background painting by maritime artist Randall Wilson and a documentary by Wayne Gibbs.
Two veterans that served on the ship, Petty Officer Des Shinkfield and Signalman Bruce Crowlmong, were among the 60 people at the opening.
Mr Crowlmong recited a poem written by fellow crewman Alan Fenton about his wartime experiences aboard the ship.
Hiram Ristrom, a coxswain who served on HMAS Kanimbla, recited a poem by A B Morgan, which described how proud and safe they felt in the company of HMAS Australia in the heat of battle.
Also present was Doug Symes from Crib Point who served on minesweepers during the war.
The presidents of the HMAS Sydney and HMAS Australia associations were among the guests as were delegates from Maritime Museums of Victoria.
HMAS Australia suffered more kamikaze attacks that any other ship during the World War II.
One of two 10,000 ton County Class heavy cruisers, Australia (II) was commissioned a few months before her sister ship HMAS Canberra.
Throughout the war Australia operated in key areas: Atlantic 1939-43, Pacific 1941-45, Coral Sea 1942, Savo Island/Guadalcanal 1942, New Guinea 1942-44 Leyte Gulf 1944, Lingayen Gulf 1945.
In the battle for Leyte Gulf her commanding officer Captain Dechaineux and 29 other officers and ratings were killed and a further 64 injured.
After repairs, Australia returned to Lingayen Gulf were, in 1945, she was again attacked by kamikazes, losing three officers and 41 ratings and one officer and 68 rating wounded.
Repaired once again, she operated around the Australia before being decommissioned on 31 August 1954 after nearly 30 years of service and having steamed over 500,000 nautical miles.
The Victorian Maritime Centre is at 220 The Esplanade, Crib Point, call 0476 109 223.