RADIO WAN to Cover Australia’s Remembrance of US Navy Submariners from WWII on May 25 – Contact Information Here | Joe Hoft


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RADIO WAN to Cover Australia’s Remembrance of US Navy Submariners from WWII on May 25 – Contact Information Here

US Navy Submariners Connection to Albany Western Australia

Albany is a small city on the south coast of Western Australia with far more than its fair share of military history.

In 1791Captain George Vancouver RN, who had served as a lieutenant under Captain Cook, claimed the southern part of Western Australia for the British Crown and during his exploration of the coastline, discovered one of the world’s finest natural harbours at what would later become Albany.  He named the Harbour Princess Royal Harbour and the sound leading into it after King George lll.

In the 19th century Australia was believed to be under increasing threat from foreign powers and efforts were made to fortify strategic ports, of which Albany was one.

The loss of this strategic port to any enemy naval squadron was deemed at the time to be a potential threat to the security of the whole of Australia. Consequently all the Australian colonies agreed to proportionally pay for the construction of a fort with the Imperial British Government supplying the guns.

The fort at Albany, the first federal defence of Australia, was opened in 1893 and is known today as the Princess Royal Fortress.

In 1956, coast defences throughout the Commonwealth were closed down, dismantled and generally destroyed. The fortress buildings at Albany were later used as schoolrooms, a migrant hostel and a holiday camp before a restoration project by the City of Albany.  The Princess Royal Fortress (‘The Forts’ to the locals)  now houses five museum display areas one of which is the United States Navy Submariner’s Memorial.

In 1915, Albany was the embarkation point for 41,265 men and women of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, better known as The ANZACS, on their fateful journeys to the war in Gallipoli.  At dawn on April 25th 1915, the first ANZAC Day Service was held on Mount Clarence by Padre Arthur White.  ANZAC Day is still commemorated every April 25th  all over Australia and New Zealand.

It’s a little-known fact that during the Second World War, a large number of US Navy submarine operations were launched from Albany, which offered a base for the submarines that was well beyond the reach of Japanese aircraft.  

On the17th of March 1942 five US submarines accompanied by the submarine tender USS Holland, arrived at Albany. The Australian Army gunners at the Albany forts had not been told the American vessels were coming, but luckily they quickly identified the flag flying on the Holland as the `stars and stripes` and allowed them to enter the harbour.

The Americans soon made an impact on the town. The quarantine station was taken over to be used as barracks, and some buildings in the town were requisitioned for use by the US Navy.

Throughout the Second World War, the US submarine effort was astounding. They launched 521 patrols from Australia and sunk 1,772,000 tons of shipping. This effort came at a price as 3,505 men and 52 submarines were lost.

In May of each year, the City of Albany, in association with the Albany Returned Services League (the Australian equivalent of the VA) hold a commemoration service for those of the US Submarine Service who were lost over this period.

The service is held at the United States Navy Submariner’s Memorial at the Princess Royal Forts, occurring this year on Sunday the 26th of May.

For the first time, the service will be live-streamed worldwide.  Radio WAN (Pronounced ‘Radio One’) is an online broadcaster operating from Torbay, about 12 miles west of Albany.

The service itself is scheduled to run from 10.00am to 11.30 Western Australian time, which is UTC+8.  Details of the full broadcast which we hope will include a preliminary programme, are still under development and all interested parties will be updated as details are finalised.

Radio WAN is offering all other broadcasters, Veterans organisations and online publications access to this broadcast.  You may take the event in whole or part; given time zone differences, you are welcome to record the broadcast for later transmission if you wish.

Please contact Rod at if you would like to view or use the broadcast.  He is happy to supply background scripting, server links and any other material you may require.

Our broadcast will start at 0930 local on May 26th which is 2130 on the 25th ET.  The event will comprise a 60 minute program of period music and historical stories from 0930 to 1030 and will then carry coverage of the Memorial Service, which will finish up at 1130 local (2330 ET).

The public access to our online stream is through



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