During World War Two, it was decided that Australia needed the British-designed Fairmile boats to provide a fast craft for convoy escorts patrolling and other duties.
Many were built in Sydney and when they first put to sea, even in moderate waves, hardened sailors became sea sick and cooks gave up any hope of preparing proper meals. The craft were lightly-armed but carried several depth charges for their anti-submarine role.
However, early in the Pacific War, their most dramatic exploits occurred on the highly-dangerous trips to Timor. Operating out of Darwin, commandos and undercover agents were carried north and dropped off in enemy-held territory. Other people were extracted from under the noses of the Japanese and then the Fairmiles faced the trip back to Darwin, with the ever-present danger of Japanese interception.
This book tells a little-known side of our history, and is a very comprehensive account of Fairmiles and Motor Launches, their design, development, building and the brave actions carried out on these small and vulnerable vessels.
Fairmile Ships of the Royal Australian Navy: Volume 2
Illustrations and Maps
1. Background to Fairmiles
2. Australians Overseas
3. The Decision
5. The Base
6. Life Aboard a Fairmile
7. Convoys on the East Coast
9. Preparing for Operation 'Mosquito'
10. Timor Rescue
11. Darwin Between Operations
12. Fairmiles 429 and 809 in Darwin
13. Operation 'Bulldozer'
14. ML 815 to the Rescue
15. ML 814 Refit
16. Operations 'Adder' and 'Bazooka'
17. 'Sunlag' and 'Brim' Parties
18. HDML 1329 in Darwin
19. Darwin Anecdotes
20. Tragedy of Timor Operations
22. Irregular Organistions
Supporters of this Project
Appendix 1. Sources and Bibliography
Appendix 2. Glossary and Abbreviations
Appendix 3. Ranks and Log Books
Appendix 4. Enemy Submarine Attacks
Appendix 5. Construction and Commissioning
Appendix 6. Commonwealth Naval Orders
Appendix 7. War Cabinet Agenda
Appendix 8. Department of Navy Minute Paper
Appendix 9. Minutes of War Cabinet Meeting
Appendix 10. Watch and Station ill
Appendix 11. Summary of Construction
Appendix 12. Reporting
Appendix 13. Lend-Lease Act
Appendix 14. 'B' Class Fairmiles
Index of People
Index of Ships and Units