Explore the People of Australia’s submarines.
Australians have served in Submarines since 1913
Australians have served in submarines for over 100 years. Lieutenant Commander Frank Getting was the first Australian to qualify to command a submarine in 1928. (https://www.navy.gov.au/biography/captain-frank-edmund-getting)
Australians served with the Royal Navy in WWII
While Australia did not have submarines in World War II, many Australians served with distinction on exchange with the Royal Navy or in some cases as members of the Royal Navy. Lieutenant Henty Henty-Creer RNVR was one such person. He commanded HMS X5 in the attack on Tirpitz, where he lost his life. (https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/R1431252/)
Lieutenant Commander Besant
Hailed as “one of the most skilful, alert and fearless” of Britain’s Royal Navy submariners, Lieutenant-Commander Thomas Flemming Besant was destined to play a central role in Australia’s submarine history.
Lieutenant Commander Ken Hudspeth DSC**
Following the outbreak of war, Hudspeth joined the Navy and was appointed as a probationary sub-lieutenant, RANVR on 15 July 1940.
It was in mid-1942 that his true calling emerged after a somewhat mysterious appeal for volunteers for “special and hazardous service”. With no specific details of the actual duties, applicants were told only that they must be; “below 24 years of age on selection, unmarried, be good swimmers and of strong and enduring physique”.
Lieutenant Commander Max Shean DSO* US Bronze Star
Western Australian Max Shean is a distinguished submariner recognised for his hazardous achievements aboard the X and XE-class midget submarines during WWII.
Vice Admiral Charles A. Lockwood
Charles Andrew Lockwood had an extraordinary 35-year naval career that spanned two World Wars and saw him rise to the rank of Vice Admiral, including a key Australian posting
Vice Admiral Sir Ian McIntosh
Sir Ian Stewart McIntosh proved his mettle at just 21 during an epic lifeboat voyage at the height of World War ll. He would go on to become a submarine ace and a Vice Admiral of the Royal Navy
Vice Admiral Ian MacDougall AC, AFSM
During 1985 MacDougall commanded the Australian Submarine Squadron based in HMAS Platypus at Neutral Bay, Sydney. Promoted Commodore in 1986, MacDougall was appointed Director General Joint Operations and Plans for the Australian Defence Force.