Current and former members of the Royal Australian Navy and the US Navy gathered in Albany, Western Australia, on Monday to remember submariners who lost their lives during World War II operations out of the port city.
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Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said Western Australia played a significant role in Allied submarine operations during WWII, particularly in the ports of Fremantle and Albany.
"These two Australian ports offered safe refuge to Allied submarines and their crews at a crucial time when the war was on our doorstep. It was imperative to the Allied war effort that submarines could operate from bases that were beyond the reach of Japanese aircraft and territory," Minister Reynolds explained.
The memorial event, which was held at Princess Royal Fortress, was timed to coincide with a port visit by one of Navy’s Collins Class Submarines, HMAS Farncomb.
Minister Reynolds added, "A large number of submarine operations were launched from Fremantle and Albany, which had a significant impact on the defence of Australia."
Commander Submarine Force, Captain Doug Theobald, CSC, said while Albany’s link with the original Anzacs is well-known, the memorial event was a way of paying tribute to those submariners on ‘eternal patrol’.
"At this event, which is held every year in Albany, we pay tribute to the city’s military history and to the United States submariners who never returned from patrol. Their sacrifice, which brought the horrors of war into sharp focus in this part of Australia, will never be forgotten," CAPT Theobald said.