HMAS Hobart's visit to Hiroshima

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Martin Elliget, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Martin Elliget

    Martin Elliget Senior Member

    Hi.

    Is anyone able to advise an exact date of when HMAS Hobart first visited Hiroshima after the atomic bomb had been dropped (6 Aug 1945) ?

    The RAN ship's history confirms she arrived in Tokyo Bay 31 August and was present at the Japanese surrender and also that she served in Japanese waters "November 1945 to March 1946" but makes no mention of Hiroshima.

    An article in the Sun-Herald entitled "World recalls Hiroshima anniversary" (Frank Walker, 7 August 2005) quotes ex-Hobart sailor Percival "Ned" Kelly as saying he "walked through the ruins of Hiroshima two months after the atomic bomb". Kelly's RAN service record shows that he joined Hobart 1 Nov 1945.

    Thanks.
    Martin
     
  2. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Senior Member

    One of my old bosses at work was an ex 'Hobart' crew member.

    We were talking about Hiroshima, and I asked his impression of it, his answer was "an effing MESS".


    John.
     
  3. Martin Elliget

    Martin Elliget Senior Member

    He had that right, John. There are a couple of snaps of Hiroshima as viewed by some RAN sailors (probably HMAS Hobart) in the family history site below (you need to scroll down):
    Profile - GUEST Colin Franklin 09GUC0

    Martin
     
  4. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Hi.

    Is anyone able to advise an exact date of when HMAS Hobart first visited Hiroshima after the atomic bomb had been dropped (6 Aug 1945) ?

    The RAN ship's history confirms she arrived in Tokyo Bay 31 August and was present at the Japanese surrender and also that she served in Japanese waters "November 1945 to March 1946" but makes no mention of Hiroshima.

    An article in the Sun-Herald entitled "World recalls Hiroshima anniversary" (Frank Walker, 7 August 2005) quotes ex-Hobart sailor Percival "Ned" Kelly as saying he "walked through the ruins of Hiroshima two months after the atomic bomb". Kelly's RAN service record shows that he joined Hobart 1 Nov 1945.

    Thanks.
    Martin

    Hi Martin,

    Have you seen this?

    AWM Collection Record: S00537 - Blain, Alexander Francis John (Barney), Reverend

    AWM Collection Record: S00537

    [​IMG] ID Number: S00537 Title: Blain, Alexander Francis John (Barney), Reverend Maker: Bill Bunbury (Interviewer/Recordist) Date made: 24 February 1989 Physical description: Cassette Measurements: 1 hr 30 min Summary: Reverend Alexander Francis John (Barney) Blain, Chaplain HMAS Hobart, interviewed by Bill Bunbury for the Keith Murdoch Sound Archive of Australia in the War of 1939-45.

    Discusses enlistment HMAS Hobart; Australia; Royal Australian Navy (RAN); discipline; recreation; Captain Darling; pastoral duties; visiting Japan post-surrender; visit to Hiroshima.

    Discusses enlistment HMAS Hobart; Australia; Royal Australian Navy (RAN); discipline; recreation; Captain Darling; pastoral duties; visiting Japan post-surrender; visit to Hiroshima. Credit line: The Keith Murdoch Sound Archive of Australia in the war of 1939-45 Copyright: AWM copyright Copying provisions: Copy provided for personal non-commercial use Access: Onsite use of audio only Related unit: HMAS Hobart (1938-1955) Related place: Japan; Japan: Hiroshima Related conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
    Martin Elliget likes this.
  5. Martin Elliget

    Martin Elliget Senior Member

    I had, Spidge, but in looking at it again (thanks to your post), I clicked on the record link and then noticed the "Display Transcript" in the top right-hand corner. Excellent, thanks!

    Martin
     
  6. Martin Elliget

    Martin Elliget Senior Member

    Thanks, Geoff. Though no precise date for HMAS Hobart's Hiroshima visit is mentioned (the interview was 44 years later), the transcript is very interesting nevertheless. The interview was with Reverend Barney Blain, Chaplain on the Hobart from August 1943 through to 1946. The interviewer's name was Bill Bunbury.

    Rev. Blain: "..we went to Yokohama immediately after the bomb was
    dropped, and we had a cruise around the inland sea and very shortly
    afterwards we went to Hiroshima, which I would like to say a bit about."

    Bunbury: "I'd be pleased for you to do that."

    Rev. Blain: "I think we were the first ship into Hiroshima after the
    bomb was dropped and the whole place, there was, as everybody knows, was
    completely flattened with the exception of a few buildings right at the
    extreme end, made of concrete which survived with a few of the safes were
    blown out of the building hundreds of yards away, all crumpled up.."


    Thanks.
    Martin
     
  7. cally

    cally Picture Prince.

    I must admit that I had no idea HMAS Hobart ever visited Hiroshima - I have found all of this of great interest.

    A picture of the cruiser taken the year before.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    That family site has some good photos. Hiroshima was a mess alright. Look at the damage inflicted - unreal.
     
  9. Martin Elliget

    Martin Elliget Senior Member

    Thanks, cally. A nice shot. I notice her Walrus aircraft is not evident (deployed perhaps). Not sure but I think the aircraft may have been added a year or two before the war. For one with the Walrus, see the photo of Hobart on the site below (some photos I scanned for a work mate who's great uncle was on HMAS Australia), 5th photo down, "HMAS Hobart welcomes Australia home". A little obscured by one of Australia's 8" guns though.

    Navy Photos of William Edward Cosh


    Martin
     
  10. Martin Elliget

    Martin Elliget Senior Member

    Some background info on the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in Japan 1946–51:
    British Commonwealth Occupation Force 1946 - 1951

    "The RAN ships that served [as part of the BCOF] were HMAS Australia, HMAS Hobart, HMAS Shropshire, and
    the destroyers HMAS Arunta, Bataan, Culgoa, Murchison, Shoalhaven, Quadrant, and Quiberon. Landing Ships
    Infantry Manoora, Westralia, and Kanimbla were used for transport."


    regards,
    Martin
     
  11. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Senior Member

    You learn something new every day!

    I never knew the BCOF was primarily an Australian effort, and that it was always under the command of an Australian.

    John.
     
  12. Tomcat

    Tomcat Junior Member

    You learn something new every day!

    I never knew the BCOF was primarily an Australian effort, and that it was always under the command of an Australian.

    John.


    Howden and HMAS Hobart


    In June she and Shropshire were engaged at the invasion of Brunei. Later in June she took part in bombardments in preparation for the Balikpapan landings, which she helped cover on 1st July. She was in Tokyo Harbour for the signing of the Japanese surrende


    [​IMG]


    HMAS Hobart, Australian light cruiser, WW2


    [​IMG]
    g



    I am sorry I am unable to find an exact date but there are some links there that show where she was on certain dates that you might find useful. I did however find a link regarding the fact that she did visit Hiroshima after the bomb.
     
  13. Martin Elliget

    Martin Elliget Senior Member

    Thanks, Tomcat (sorry about the slow reply). I've since found that the NAA holds various logs for HMAS HOBART around this time, ship's logs and deck logs, so I've requested copy estimates for a couple.

    My mum's brother, Charles Patrick Goss (Pat), was Ldg. Cook (O) when on the HOBART (RANR, then RAN). He joined her from the QUADRANT 24.10.45 and remained on her until 21.8.46, after which he returned to CERBERUS. He would have been on Hobart when she visited Hiroshima, which is why I'm trying to find out when that was.

    My mum recalls that her brother wasn't well when he returned to Australia and she remembers he had red patches on his arms like burns and wondered if it was somehow related to exposure to radiation. He left the RAN in 1952. Sadly, he died in the early 1970's, I believe, when he was relatively young (in his early 50's).

    Does anyone know if any British or Australian naval ships were in any way involved in the U.S. atomic tests at Bikini Atoll (Operation Crossroads) in the Marshall Islands from 1946? Obviously there would have been numerous support ships and I understand there were many observers, including British.

    According to this U.S. government site, the first test, Shot "Able", was a plutonium bomb dropped from a B-29 on July 1 and the second, Shot "Baker", was detonated 90 feet underwater on July 25:
    Operation Crossroads, July 1946

    Obviously, it had a devastating effect on the native people of Bikini Atoll:
    Bikini History

    With British veterans currently undertaking action for compensation for health problems due to the British atomic tests of the 1950s and Australian veterans not far behind, we're sure to hear more on the topic.


    regards,
    Martin

    Photo of Ldg. Cook (O) Pat Goss attached.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Martin Elliget

    Martin Elliget Senior Member

    Some of the titles of documents held by NAA confirm that there was at least one RAN observer at Bikini Atoll in 1946:

    - Operation "Crossroads" (1946).
    - Air Force - Atomic Bomb - Operation Crossroads (1946).
    - 192/1946 : Australian observers at 'Operation crossroads' : Date of meeting - 21 May 1946.
    - 233/1946 : Operation crossroads - Proposed visit of Australian Service Observer to Australia : Date of meeting - 14 June 1946.
    - Report on Operation "Crossroads" July 1946.
    - Acting Captain S H K Spurgeon, Naval Attache Washington - expenses incurred whilst acting as Australian Government Observer at 'Operation Crossroads' 10 June to 27 August 1946.
    - 321/1947 : Report by Commander S H K Spurgeon Ran on atomic bomb tests (Operation Cross Roads) at Bikini Atoll : Agendum Number - 136/1947 : Date of meeting - Tuesday 30 September 1947.
    -Report by Commander SHK Spurgeon RAN on Atomic Bomb Tests (Operation Crossroads) at Bikini Atoll (1947).


    None are available online yet unfortunately.

    Martin
     

Share This Page