Don Anderson - Loss of HMAS Armidale

Running time
2 min 3 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We were also with that sad supply job that sank the Armidale. We were in company with her. She was to deliver troops and goods and we were to pick up 70 refugees. We managed to get our refugees, I won't go into that story other than the fact that we got them on board, but we'd been chased by the Japanese all the way and we were miles away and when we got to the place, the bay where we were to meet and unload, there was no sign of anything. We then turned to come back to Australia.

The Armidale was unable to finish her job or do her job, but we needed to get away. About mid-morning - and we'd been attacked by Japanese planes – a signal came from Darwin for the Armidale to turn around and go back and deliver their job. No hope.

A signal came through at one stage "You are only experiencing second rate warfare". By that time, the Armidale was on the bottom…Corvettes should never have been used, 10 knot and 12 knot ships, to go up unarmed, virtually unarmed because the Japanese planes always came from astern to bomb the ships and their guns were on the foc's'le. That's not much good.

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