Postcard - HMAS Vampire 'Farewell'
HMAS Vampire leaves for duty, Garden Island, 1972.
Image: Courtesy Royal Australian Navy
Postcard Size: 10.2 x 14.3 cm
HMAS Vampire, Australia's largest museum vessel, is the last of the country's big gun ships.
After this, Australia's fighting ships were equipped with missile weaponry. The Daring class were the largest destroyers built in Australia. Their strong, light construction combined high speed with maximum armament.
Vampire served in the Royal Australian Navy from 1959 to 1986. Its arsenal included:
- 3 twin turrets housing 6 x 4.5-inch guns (still in place)
- 2 single-gun and 2 twin-gun Bofors anti-aircraft guns (still in place)
- 5 anti-ship torpedo launchers (removed in 1970)
- surface to subsurface anti-submarine mortar (removed in 1980)
Despite its firepower, Vampire had a peaceful career, even while escorting troops to Vietnam in the 1960s. In 1977, Vampire had a brush with royalty as the RAN escort for HMY Britannia during the Queen's Silver Jubilee tour of Australia. In 1980, it was refitted as a RAN training ship.
Visiting the museum? Explore the danger and drama of life on board Onslow in Action Stations, our immersive navy experience.