March 20 - 26, 2022: Issue 531
William (Bill) Fitzgerald OAM
William (Bill) Fitzgerald OAM
Commonwealth Navy Order 287 (1947)
R.A.N. TORPEDO RANGE, PITTWATER, N.S.W.
The R.A.N. Torpedo Range is situated in Broken Bay, N.S.W., the firing point being on Taylor's Point, Pittwater, and the range extending from there in a northerly direction.
2. Transport of torpedoes is normally carried out by road from the R.A.N. Torpedo Factory, a distance of 22 miles, as no vessel with a draught greater than 12 ft. 6 in. can enter Pittwater. 3. The following firing guns are fitted:—
1—No. 21-in. above water firing tube.
2—No. 18-in. tubes.
1—No. 21-in. submerged firing tube.
There is also a launching cradle for use in running torpedoes not otherwise catered for.
Left: Recovered Torpedo at RAN Torpedo Range, Pittwater, 1949, courtesy Robert Curran.
4. The Torpedo Range workshop is capable of carrying out complete overhauls on all torpedoes.
5. Applications for torpedoes to be ranged should be made by signal to Admiral Superintendent, Sydney, repeated for information to Superintendent, R.A.N. Torpedo Factory.
6. Transport of torpedoes from the ship's side to the range and return will be arranged by the Superintendent, R.A.N. Torpedo Factory.
The Torpedo wharf soon became part of the local landscape, a landmark:
Pittwater: Good catches of mulloway have been made at the torpedo wharf and bream on the flats at Careel Bay. FISHING AND WHERE. (1949, December 4). The Sunday Herald (Sydney, NSW : 1949 - 1953), p. 14 Section: Sporting Section. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28667213
Taylor's Point and Torpedo Testing- Divers Training Annex in 1960's - photo courtesy Gary Cook.
"Whenever Clearance Divers are deployed overseas in a combat zone, they form a unit called Clearance Diving Team 3, or CDT3. In March and April 1991, in the aftermath of the First Gulf War, CDT3 went into action for the first time since Vietnam. Twenty-three Australian divers cleared several Kuwaiti ports, a naval base, and a number of beaches.From March to May 2003, 32 divers were deployed to the same region, this time operating in Iraq itself. One of their early tasks was clearing the port of Umm Qasr. Working in muddy water with zero visibility, they located a sunken minelayer with live sea-mines aboard. They also worked on land, checking port buildings for booby-traps and helping British commandos clear unexploded mortar rounds and rocket-propelled grenades from the town.Later they moved north to clear another port at Khawr Az Zubayr and, demonstrating their versatility, also conducted mine clearance patrols on the Al Faw peninsula, along the shores of the Khawr ’Abd Allah waterway. Finally, the divers helped clear sea-mines, anti-submarine mortars, and other ordnance from a major storage area attached to the Iraqi navy’s mine warfare school."
- Royal Motor Yacht Club - Broken Bay Grand Opening of the 2012-2013 Boating Season - IFR 2013 Announced
- International Fleet Review on Sydney Harbour October 2013 and The Opening of the Sailing Season on Sydney Harbour, October 1885
- First Naval Exercises by New South Wales Colonial Ships –The Wolverene at Broken Bay - It may not surprise many of you that the first ever Naval Exercises carried out by colonial vessels began from Broken Bay – where else? In the lead up to the International Fleet Review in Sydney Harbour, October 3-11 2013, celebrating the entry of our own Royal Australian Navy fleet into Sydney Harbour 100 years ago, we will share a few articles on the lead up events to this original great day for New South Wales and Australia. First though - Colonial Naval Ships Exercises; 1885...
- From Colonial Navy Brigades in Second Hand Ships to Where the Australian Navy was Born – The Practical Verses of William Rooke Cresswell’s Charter - International Fleet Review 2013 precursors - Article II
- The Arrival of the Australia's Navy in Sydney Harbour - 4th of October, 1913 - International Fleet Review 2013 precursors - Article III
- The Australian Fleet Celebrations of October 1913 - A Week of Welcomes- International Fleet Review 2013 precursors - Article IV
- International Fleet Review Pictorial from RAN Fleet Entrance on 4th of October 2013 to Sydney Harbour by Brian Friend OAM - retired Water Policeman
- IFR 2013 Tall Ships Pictorial by Michael Mannington
- Avalon Tattoo RAN Celebration Year - Focus Precursors:
- Broken Bay Marine Rescue - Volunteer Coastal Patrol
- Prospector Powder Hulk at Towler's Bay
- Naval Visits to Pittwater 1788-1952
- Pittwater's Torpedo Wharf and Range
- Naval Sea Cadets in Pittwater
- More (an yes, there's probably more Bill, but we better get on with it! - Ed.):
- The HMAS Sydney Stops RMS Emden – 100 Years Ago Today - a pre Remembrance Day 2014 insight into the newly fledged Royal Australian Navy's first victory from the mouths of those who were there
- The Good Ship Packham – Part One
- The Little Bugler boy saved by the first Australian-born Captain of the Royal Australian Navy
- Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways - Clareville and Taylor's Point Wharves