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HMAS AE2 Commemoration

Date : 20 / 04 / 2015
Author : Jim Linton - VK3PC

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Submarine HMAS AE2, which was at the Dardanelles and the Sea of Marmara, will be part of the ANZAC Centenary Commemoration. It was the only Australian naval vessel, an E-class submarine, involved in the Gallipoli campaign and will be commemorated by the Amateur Radio callsign VI4AE2.

HMAS AE2 successfully breached the defences and survived shelling from Turkish shore batteries, before running aground, narrowly missing submarine nets and minefields. All previous attempts had failed due to mines, fixed and mobile gun batteries, searchlight surveillance and patrolling Turkish warships - making the Dardanelles seemingly impenetrable. However it was vital to control all shipping in the area to prevent the reinforcing and re-supplying of Turkish troops on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

The strategically located HMAS AE2 sent a signal by Telegrapher William Falconer using a Marconi Type 10 Spark transmitter, and changed the course of Australian military history. It is believed to have influenced the decision of General Sir Ian Hamilton, which saw the ANZACs fight at Gallipoli for the next 8 months. However, the Australian War Memorial claims there "is no real evidence" to support this claim. After a game of hide and seek with enemy, her commanding officer and crew were captured as prisoners of war interned in a Turkish prison camp. Four died there, with the remainder let free following the 1918 Armistice.

The remains of the only RAN vessel lost to enemy action during WWI was found in 2008. The Australian and Turkish Governments decided to leave it in place rather than trying to raise and restore the submarine.

Six radio amateurs will put VI4AE2 to air over five days April 25-30 in honour of HMAS AE2 that followed its orders to 'RUN AMOK IN THE SEA OF MARMARA'. The multi-mode, multi-band (630m-10m) operation will involve Mike VK4QS, Mike VK4MIK, Alan VK4SN, Bob VK4RJ, Peter VK4QC and Doc VK5BUG. The brave actions of its officers and crew will be honoured. All information can be found under VI4AE2 at qrz.com including details of times and frequencies.



 

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