Guy Griffiths' story

Guy Griffiths was born in Sydney on 1 March 1923 and grew up in the Rothbury-Pokolbin district in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales.

Guy entered the Royal Australian Naval College as a Cadet Midshipman in January 1937.

After graduation from the college in late 1940, he was posted to the British Royal Navy for further training. He joined the battle cruiser HMS Repulse in March 1941 as a midshipman.

On 10 December 1941, Repulse was sunk off the east coast of Malaya by Japanese air attack, while in company with the battleship HMS Prince of Wales.

After rescue, Midshipman Griffiths was posted to the battleship HMS Revenge.

In 1942 and early 1943, Guy served briefly in the destroyer HMS Vivian before joining the Royal Australian Navy cruiser HMAS Shropshire in May 1943.

During the next 2 years, he saw action in the South West Pacific, including the battles of Leyte Gulf, Lingayen Gulf and Surigao Strait, during the fighting to liberate the Philippines.

Guy was promoted to Lieutenant in 1944 and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in May 1945:

For gallantry, skill and devotion to duty whilst serving in HMAS Shropshire in the successful assault operations in the Lingayen Gulf, Luzon Island

From 1950 to 1952, Guy served as gunnery officer in the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney. He saw service in the Korean War from October 1951 to January 1952.

Griffiths was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in mid-1952. He was posted as the gunnery officer in the destroyer HMAS Anzac. Later that year, the destroyer operated in the Korean theatre and he saw further active service.

In 1964, Guy was promoted to Captain. In December 1965, he took command of the guided missile destroyer HMAS Hobart. The ship saw action in Vietnamese waters in 1967, and he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO):

For devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy as Captain of HMAS Hobart

In June 1976, Guy was promoted to Rear Admiral and appointed Chief of Naval Personnel. In January 1979, he took up his final posting in the navy as the Flag Officer Naval Support Command.

Guy retired from the navy in January 1980, after 43 years' service.


Last updated: 1 May 2020

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2020), Guy Griffiths' story, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 16 August 2020, http://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/stories-service/veterans-stories/guy-griffiths-story
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