HMAS Melbourne : A History In Pictures

HMAS Melbourne : A History In Pictures

The Australian carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) underway in 1967.
The Royal Australian Navy aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) underway at sea on 13 December 1955. Melbourne was built at Vickers Armstrong Ltd., Barrow-in-Furness, England (UK) and commissoned on 28 October 1955. She sailed for Australia on 11 March 1956.
The Australian carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) pictured underway as sailors man the rail. This photograph was possibly taken in San Diego, California (USA). Note the many Martin P-5A and P-5B Marlin seaplanes in the background.
The Australian carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) moored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (USA), her crew spelling out “Aloha” on her flight deck.
AERIAL PORT SIDE VIEW OF THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER HMAS MELBOURNE (II) THE TYPE 960 AIR SEARCH RADAR AND A TYPE 277 HEIGHT FINDING RADAR, ORIGINALLY MOUNTED AT THE MASTHEAD AND AT THE REAR OF THE ISLAND RESPECTIVELY,HAVE BEEN LANDED. THE TYPE 293Q AIR/SURFACE SEARCH AT THE MASTHEAD AND THE TWO TYPE 277 HEIGHT FINDING RADARS MOUNTED ABOVE THE BRIDGE REMAIN. EIGHT FAIREY GANNET ANTI SUBMARINE AIRCRAFT ARE SPOTTED ON THE FLIGHT DECK. (NAVAL HISTORICAL COLLECTION)

HMAS Melbourne (R21) was a Majestic-classlight aircraft carrier operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The Australian carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21, left) and the British carrier HMS Bulwark (R08) pictured at anchor in Singapore during the SEATO exercise “Operation Oceanlink” on 4 May 1958. The photo was taken from the U.S. Navy carrier USS Philippine Sea (CVS-47). Note the 40 mm Bofors flak in the foreground and the Grumman S2F-1 Tracker planes of Anti-Submarine Squadron VS-21 on deck of the Philippine Sea.
Canadian, Australian, and U.S. Navy ships underway near Hawaii (USA) during the “RIMPAC ’72” exercise. Identifiable ships are the frigate HMCS Gatineau (DDE 236), followed by the aircraft carriers HMAS Melbourne (R21) and USS Ticonderoga (CVS-14).

She would serve from 1955 until 1982.

A Royal Australian Navy Fairey Gannet AS.1 from 816 Squadron from the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21), visible in the background, flies over the U.S. Navy submarine USS Catfish (SS-339) during the SEATO exercise “Sea Devil”, in April-May 1962.

Moreover, was the third and final conventional aircraft carrier to serve in the Royal Australian Navy.

The Royal Australian Navy aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) (foreground) and the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV-41) underway on 16 May 1981. Midway, with assigned Carrier Air Wing 5 (CVW-5), was on a deployment to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean from 23 February to 5 June 1981.
The Royal Australian Navy aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) at the 1977 Spithead Fleet Review on occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the reign of Queen Elisabeth II. HMS Ark Royal (R09) is visible in the background.
The Australian carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) moored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (USA).
The Royal Australian Navy aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) leads USS Bennington (CVS-20) and HMS Ark Royal (R09) during the SEATO exercise “Sea Devil”, in April-May 1962. On deck are Fairey Gannet AS.1 from 816 Squadron.

However, she would become infamous for being involved in two peacetime collisions with friendly boats.

A Royal Australian Navy Douglas A-4G Skyhawk (U.S. Navy BuNo 154903, RAN “882”) of VF-805 Squadron aboard the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21). “882” was sold to the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1984.
The Australian carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) off Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (USA).
The Australian carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) steams in San Diego Harbor, California (USA), in 1977.
The Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) in the 1960s. Five Westland Wessex HAS.31A helicopters are on the flight deck. In the foreground another Wessex (s/n WA215) banks away. Note the dipping sonar housed underneath its fuselage.

Back To News

HMAS Melbourne : A History In Pictures