This service honours HMAS Vampire and all those who served on her.
An aged destroyer in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), HMAS Vampire spent the first half of the Second World War in the Mediterranean. As part of the 'Scrap Iron Flotilla', she primarily took part in escort and patrol duties. In May 1941 she was assigned to the 'Tobruk Ferry Service', providing supplies and reinforcements to the besieged town. Engine problems saw her removed from service and sent to Singapore for repairs.
After Japan entered the war, HMAS Vampire remained in the Pacific as part of Force Z, a joint Royal Navy/RAN fleet. HMAS Vampire survived numerous attacks from Japanese ships and aircraft before her luck ran out on 9 April 1942.
HMAS Vampire was with the British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes when they were attacked by 94 Japanese planes off the coast of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Hit by over a dozen bombs, HMAS Vampire broke in two and sank. Her ensign was the last thing to submerge. Her commanding officer and eight sailors were lost, but the surviving crew were picked up by the hospital ship Vita.
Reviewed 17 August 2023