Australians on operations

Naval operations

In April 1955 Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced that Australian forces would be part of the newly formed British Commonwealth Far East Strategic Reserve (BCFESR).

Between 1955 and 1960 Royal Australian Navy aircraft carriers Melbourne and Sydney, and the destroyers and frigates Anzac, Arunta, Quadrant, Queenborough, Quiberon, Quickmatch, Tobruk, Vampire, Vendetta, Voyager, and Warramunga were attached to the BCFESR for periods of up to six months. These Australian ships took part in patrols and exercises with other Commonwealth vessels throughout the Far East region.

Australian warships in the BCFESR were directly involved in the Malayan Emergency on two occasions. On 29 September 1956 Anzac bombarded a guerrilla camp site, and on 22 January 1957 Queenborough and Quickmatch opened fire against suspected guerrilla positions south of Johore. On both occasions an Auster spotter aircraft directed the Australian naval gunfire, which was reported as having been 'most effective.'

Last updated: 10 March 2020

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2020), Australians on operations, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 20 September 2021,
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