HMS Majestic (77)
HMAS Melbourne (21)
Message Board

Sept. 5, 2013

I am hoping if you can help me in any way. A beloved book owned by one of the crew members of the HMAS Melbourne was borrowed by my son and was accidentally put in a charity bin, and I am desperately trying to buy a replacement of the book for him. I have tried everywhere with not much luck, but I have found a picture of it. It is the Queens Silver Jubilee HMAS Melbourne Spithead Deployment 1977. And was available to all the crew on the Melbourne. Hopefully you can help or send my email to anyone you think could help, I would be eternally grateful. Many thanks, the naval community has been overwhelming with their kindness.

Kind regards,
Kat Costello


Oct. 29, 2008

I was stationed aboard the USS Kearsarge from 1967 to 1970.  We were operating with HMAS Melbourne when the collision took place with the USS Frank E. Evans.  We were on liberty with the sailors from Melbourne in Manila and when returning to our ships, were in liberty launches with them.  We had a great time trading uniforms with each other and listening to "Waltzing Matilda".  I still have a sailor's hat from Melbourne.  I traded my white hat for it and it has been one of my prized possessions for 40 years. I wish I could get in touch with him but it would be impossible to know who he was. Just wanted to say I had a great time with you guys and it is a wonderful memory for me.

John R. White

Aug. 29, 2008

Just found your site today, good job! Now to the question of the three blade and four blade screws (message 1).
I served in HMAS Melbourne during 1979-81 as a sensor operator in Grumman Trackers of VS-816 squadron. Firstly, other ships of the same and similar classes (eg the Colossus class) had 2 x 3 bladed screws, so I do not believe this was the reason, since they had the same machinery space arrangement. 

The way it was explained to me was that when Melbourne's construction restarted after WWII, all the latest advances were incorporated. This was during the times of the earliest passive sonar efforts and it was then thought that by having differing blade numbers it would confuse any enemy sonar operators listening for the ship. In fact, it made her acoustic signature unmistakable, indeed, we could even tell whether she was turning to starboard or port by watching her two screws speed up and slow down slightly due to the turn. So much for theoretical ideas!

Nick Thorne

July 18, 2008

It was nice to see a photo of the old girl in 1969, I had just turned 18 when this accident occurred, got your site from an ex navy mate, great site, good work.

Graeme Turner

June 21, 2007

I was hoping that somebody could answer my question. Why was HMAS Melbourne fitted with a three bladed screw and a four bladed screw? I have heard different answers over the years, but I have never found anything laid down in writing.

POMT Alan Nelson

Oct. 8, 2007
HMAS Melbourne had 2 different props because she had three engine room spaces A,B,C. A engine room
shaft was longer than C engine room shaft which meant a loss of power from the longer shaft so it had an extra blade to compensate.
Rodney McBay

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