Servicemen to be honoured at HMAS Hobart Memorial

23 Jul 2020
HMAS Hobart

Posted December 16, 2019

Memorial plaques for two Australian servicemen killed in a friendly-fire incident during the Vietnam War will be erected at the HMAS Hobart Memorial Lookout near Normanville thanks to the advocacy of the Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie.

Photograph: Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie at the HMAS Hobart lookout with Stephen Lamb, representing HMAS Hobart Association SA President Neville Sampson.

The local MP has secured $6000 for the SA branch of the HMAS Hobart Association so they can upgrade the lookout over Yankalilla Bay and include the tributes to Ordinary Seaman Raymond John Butterworth and Chief Petty Officer Raymond Henry Hunt.

“These men were killed on duty on the HMAS Hobart during what later turned out to be a friendly fire incident involving the United States Air Force off the east coast of North Vietnam on 17 June 1968,” Rebekha said.

“The HMAS Hobart Association of Australia, South Australia branch, believes the stories of these two sailors and others injured in the missile attack should be told as part of the lookout memorial, and I agree.

“Adding plaques for Ordinary Seaman Butterworth and Chief Petty Officer Hunt would add to the collective story of the HMAS Hobart, a story that I think belongs to all Australians.”

The HMAS Hobart Lookout overlooks the final resting place of the naval destroyer the HMAS Hobart, which was scuttled in Yankalilla Bay in November 2002.

The ship, nicknamed 'the Green Ghost' because of her reputation for stealth, is now a marine reserve and a popular ecotourism diving site.

Importantly, the lookout is a memorial to the HMAS Hobart and those who served on the ship during her distinguished career.

The destroyer was the first Royal Australian Navy combat ship deployed to fight in the Vietnam War, and it was part of the Royal Australian Navy disaster relief effort following Cyclone Tracy in Darwin in 1974.

The memorial lookout features seating and interpretive signage detailing the history of the vessels that have carried the name HMAS Hobart.

It also features the destroyer's anchor, which points towards the final resting place of the ship.

Former serviceman and now President of the President HMAS HOBART Association (SA), Neville Sampson, welcomed the funding support for the memorial plaques.

“THE HMAS Hobart Association SA and its interstate affiliates are deeply indebted to local Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie, for her support and contribution to the upgrading of the HMAS Hobart Memorial at Lady Bay at Normaville,” Mr Sampson said.

“The memorial site is now a much favoured road side stop for tourists and locals alike and showcases the beauty of the Fleurieu Peninsula, and for some it is reminiscent of the sacred Beach at Gallipolli with its rolling hills and beachfront memorial.

“A suitable resting place for a gallant ship. ‘Thus in strength did Hobart grow’.”

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