Two Navies Join Forces to Search for WWII Destroyer Off Sri Lanka

Photo: Australian Government

Royal Australian Navy and the Sri Lankan Navy are gearing up for a search operation for the lost Australian WWII destroyer HMAS Vampire.

Nine sailors died when the destroyer HMAS Vampire sank after enduring an intensive Japanese air attack off the Sri Lankan coast. The Vampire had been attempting to protect the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Hermes.

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.

This new information was shared during recent high-level Navy to Navy talks conducted in Colombo,” Rear Admiral Mead said.

We have always known roughly where the Vampire went down but its exact location has proved elusive. 

“There are no guarantees of success but we owe it to the families of those on board to follow up this new lead.”

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

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