Title: HMAS Bataan 1952 – An Australian Warship in the Korean War
Author: Cooper, Anthony
Edition: 1st Edition
Publisher: UNSW Press
Publication Date: 2010
Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 295 pages
Comments: This book tells the story of the Australian Tribal Class destroyer HMAS Bataan’s 1952 tour of duty, partly through the perspective of the ‘lower deck’ seaman who served aboard the ship during the Korean War, and partly through the perspective of its ‘upper deck’ commander. It is peppered with intimate insights from the unpublished notebooks, letters and photographs of the author’s father, Able Seaman (AB) Geoff Cooper. It also draws on a wide range of other archival sources including the monthly ship’s log written by Commander Warwick Bracegirdle RAN, and several poems written by Bracegirdle and an anonymous ‘lower deck’ seaman.
Readers will be transported to a decade in which the British Empire still existed, when the RAN still had intimate connections with the Royal Navy, when ships were still driven by steam, when Australia still had to formulate its role in the region, and when the United States was only just starting to mobilise the Free World against Communism. They form a connection to this forgotten era from which contemporary Australia has sprung. The book thus salutes a generation of servicemen and offers fresh insight into Australia’s involvement in the Korean War, about which little has been written. Mainly though, it is a tremendous story of a ship and its crew.
Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1 Trial by fire; 2 Australia and the Korean War; 3 HMAS Bataan and the RAN’s Tribal Class; 4 Bataan’s mechanical problems; 5 The war of the islands; 6 Shore bombardment; 7 Supporting Allied air power; 8 The air and subsurface threats; 9 Navigating in hazardous waters; 10 Refuelling and ship-handling; 11 At liberty in Japan; 12 Shipboard living; 13 Leadership and morale; 14 The end of the line; Appendix: Signals of congratulations; Notes; Glossary; Bibliography.
About the Author:
Anthony Cooper teaches history at a Brisbane high school. He has a PhD in politics from Griffith University and has published articles in various military history specialised journals.