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HMAS Sydney Travel & Tourism
HMAS Sydney Package Deals

Package Holidays in Western Australia

Hmas Sydney Geraldton Australia
Geraldton WA
Geraldton North West Western Australia
HMAS Sydney Geraldton Western Australia
HMAS Sydney Geraldton Western Australia

HMAS Sydney Geraldton Western Australia Australia

Geraldton is important to the maritime history of Australia.

Mount Scott

High on Mount Scott, overlooking the Indian Ocean and to City of Geraldton is a most evocative memorial to HMAS Sydney.

HMAS Sydney Memorial

HMAS Sydney was lost with all hands in a mysterious battle, believed to be off the Geraldton coast. The centre of the memorial is a dome, 12 metres across, raised on pillars 3 metres tall. It is seafaring tradition that the souls of lost sailors are embodied in seagulls. The dome consists of 645 stylized stainless steel seagulls, representing the 645 souls lost when HMAS Sydney was sunk with all hands in November 1941.

A wall of remembrance names of those lost loosely envelops the dome. Close by is a soaring stele of the bow of HMAS Sydney.

Most evocative of all is the bronze woman in 1940s dress, standing, gazing to the distant horizon waiting forever for the return of her beloved son, or her husband, or her boyfriend?

HMAS Sydney Story

The story of HMAS Sydney remains an official secret, sixty odd years after the event.

As you fly into Geraldton from the Abrolhos, or return to shore from the ocean, high on Mount Scott, the seagulls of the memorial Dome shine out.

It is known that on 17 November 1941, HMAS Sydney left the Sundai Straits; and HMAS Sydney had a cruise speed of 25 knots.

Cruising at that rate, HMAS Sydney would have been further south than the official information, and been closer to the coast off Geraldton at the time of the raid.

Much has been written and many theories have been put forward, with special interest growing over recent years as to the fate of the cruiser HMAS Sydney. The information blackout of the war years fed the rumour mill, and investigations by various authorities over the years eventually lead to an official government enquiry.

The government enquiry gave a conclusion, but that remains to be doubted by many investigators. The actual location of the ocean battle has never even been proven to the satisfaction of many war historians.

The official version offered by the Australian War Memorial puts HMAS Sydney some 150 miles s-w of Carnarvon, steaming at a southerly course to Fremantle. It says HMAS Sydney, commanded by Captain Joseph Burnett, RAN, sighted an unidentifiable merchant vessel at about 12 miles range at approximately 5.30 pm.

In response to challenge from HMAS Sydney, which carried eight 6-inch guns and eight 21-inch torpedo tubes, the merchantman identified itself as the friendly Dutch ship Straat Malakka.

HMAS Sydney ordered the merchant vessel to properly identify herself by making her secret call sign. The merchant vessel was unable to make the proper secret call sign for the Straat Malakka.

The merchant vessel was actually the German raider Kormoran, captained by Commander Theodor Detmers. Unable to bluff HMAS Sydney, Commander Detmers had to fight.

Blazing and under fire from the raider, HMAS Sydney limped off into the evening, she could be seen brightly until 11pm then only occasional flickerings were sighted until HMAS Sydney was gone from sight by midnight.

The crew of the Kormoran abandoned ship and the raider blew up at 1.30am on 20 November 1941. Seventy-eight of the ships compliment was lost in the action and the survivors were picked up by other ships or reached shore along the Western Australian coast.

The complete complement of 645 souls was lost that day from HMAS Sydney.

The controversy of what happened to HMAS Sydney continues to rage.