23 March 1969 HMAS Hobart under fire off Vietnam

On this day HMAS Hobart, CAPT K W Shands, on her second deployment to Vietnam, came under accurate enemy fire from shore batteries at Mui Ron.

Hobart was in company with US ships Collett and St Paul providing naval gunfire support to US army operations.

Fifty shells straddled Hobart, one landing within ten feet of her bow. Hobart replied with 66 rounds of counter battery fire and silenced three batteries. She continued to draw fire from batteries so that she could identify them and destroy them and their ammunition dumps.

During this deployment Hobart continued to harass enemy positions with pinpoint accurate fire. On one occasion she silenced seven weapons positions.

A US Army cavalry officer who asked for urgent naval gunfire support later wrote:

“It was the best artillery support I ever received. Close enough to rattle my teeth and send shrapnel over our heads but extremely accurate. The reaction time of the ship was unbelievable.”

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