As shown at Mallacoota, she is a valuable asset to assist with disaster relief. After Cyclone Debbie in March 2017, she was sent to Queensland to support recovery work, and in September of the same year she went to Vanuatu to assist with the rescue of 11,000 people from a volcanic eruption.
Most ships of the RAN are named after Australian cities, towns and rivers but HMAS Choules is unusual, being only the second to be named after an enlisted sailor. The other is the Collins class submarine HMAS Sheean, named after Ordinary Seaman Teddy Sheean. Chief Petty Officer Claude Choules was born in England in 1901 and served in both the RN and RAN. When he died in 2011, aged 110, he was the last surviving veteran of World War I.
BY MAURIE HUTCHINSON
President, Peninsula Ship Society
T: Maurie Hutchinson 9787 5780
The Peninsula Ship Society meets at Hastings Yacht Club on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 10am. Visitors always welcome.