Australian and Sri Lankan navies to search for lost WWII destroyer

Image: Allan C. Green Collection, State Library of Victoria
Image: Allan C. Green Collection, State Library of Victoria – HMAS Vampire

The Royal Australian Navy and the Sri Lankan Navy are set to mount a joint operation to search for the lost World War II destroyer HMAS Vampire.

Commander of Australia’s Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, said the ship’s precise location had never been confirmed but that a new lead had recently emerged.

Further research by both Australian and Sri Lankan hydrographers in recent months concluded that there is a strong chance Vampire’s final resting place has been identified.

The hydrographic ship HMAS Leeuwin and mine hunter HMAS Diamantina are in the region to assist with a more thorough search.

Vampire sank after enduring an intensive Japanese air attack off the Sri Lankan coast. The ship had been attempting to protect the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Hermes on April 9, 1942.

Nine of Vampire’s sailors died in the battle or later from wounds.

Baird Maritime

The best maritime site on the web. The sea's our scene!