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The Submarine Six (Paperback)

Australian Naval Heroes

Maritime > Naval WWII

Imprint: Avonmore Books
Pages: 202
Illustrations: fully illustrated; colour
ISBN: 9780987151919
Published: 31st March 2011



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Naval conflicts take place often far from our shores. Ships and men sometimes disappear, to leave only mystery in their wake. In the 1990s the Royal Australian Navy broke with tradition, and for the first time named six submarines after naval heroes.


This book shows the true depths of their acheivements. These were men whose warrior exploits stand alongside those of any other nations. But they have been largely unrecognised, save for those submarines.


Captain Hec Waller, for example, fought to the end in HMAS Perth, alongside fellow cruiser HMAS Houston. The Houston’s Captain Rooks was deservedly awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, America’s highest honor. Captain Waller, by comparison, was given distinction, but not of the highest rank. Should he have been given the Victoria Cross?


Other heroes stand alongside him. Emile Dechaineux, hero of Dunkirk and the North Sea, battling it out against Japanese Kamikaze attack. John Collins, taking HMAS Sydney to victory against Italian cruisers. Hal Farncomb – the first Australian to command an aircraft carrier, in action off the French coast.


But The Submarine Six also examines whether two more of its men deserve futher honor. Teddy Sheean, tenacious gunner from Tasmania, fought to the end in HMAS Armidale. Robert Rankin commanded HMAS Yarra against fearful odds, dying in defence of his convoy, attacked by overwhelming Japanese forces. Are they also VC candidates?



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