Dumaresq appointed commander of Australian Station

22 March 1919 Commodore John Dumaresq, CB,CVO,MVO, RN was appointed Commodore Commanding the Australian Station.

Australian born Commodore John Dumaresq, CB,CVO,MVO, RN was appointed Commodore Commanding the Australian Station with the light cruiser HMAS Melbourne as his flagship.

In 1913 he became captain of HMS Shannon and took part in the Battle of Jutland. He was appointed to the Order of the Bath (CB) for his part in the battle.

In February 1917 he was appointed commanding officer of HMAS Sydney, which was serving as part of the Grand Fleet in the North Sea. Shortly afterwards, the ship and its accompanying patrol were involved in an attack by a Zeppelin. Dumaresq attempted to trap the Zeppelin by ordering the accompanying ships to disperse, leaving the Zeppelin attempting to bomb his ship and coming closer, and then ordering them back forming a ring surrounding the enemy. The Zeppelin remained too high, meaning the ships’ anti-aircraft guns could not reach it, but also the Zeppelin could not aim reliably enough to drop bombs on the ships below.

Dumaresq became convinced of the need for aircraft to operate from ships and a platform to his design was installed on Sydney in October 1917 for the purpose of launching an aeroplane. During an engagement with enemy destroyers at Heligoland Bight on 1 June 1918, the aircraft was used in action to drive off two attacking German aeroplanes, shooting down one.

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