Capt E. F. Dechaineux RAN

Discussion in 'Biographies' started by Cobber, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. Cobber

    Cobber New Member

    Captain Emile Frank Dechaineux DSC; Legion of Merit (USA)
    Born like several other WW2 RAN senior Officers in Tasmania.
    This man who enlisted and attended the Australian Naval College Jervis Bay at age of 14 and graduated three (3) years later in 1920 as a midshipman. During much of the early/mid 20th Century the RAN and RN were very close with the Australia Station basically a Australian manned and Aussie funded arm of the RN, whose larger vessels usually till the war were manned by RN Captains.
    Dechaineux spent much of the 1920's on exchange with the RN as Torpedo and Naval Air Observer. Posted back to Australia for much of the 1930's he spent much of this time at sea slowly gaining experience, seniority and Rank, he returned to attachment with the RN in 1937 attending the Royal Naval College. At out break of war he was working with tactical and mine sweeping Divisions then given command of HMS Vivacious making five (5) trips to Dunkirk, he was then given command of HMS Eglington serving in the North Sea. RTA in 1941 and in 1943 given command of the Tactical (Destroyer) component of USA/RAN Task Force 74 Working in Aussie and New Guinea waters supporting amphibious landings and other Naval work.
    Promoted to Captain in 31/12/1943 and on 9th March 1944 given command of the HMAS Australia, he at this time also took command of the Task Force 74 under Commodore Collins CO of Australia Station.
    He operated all through SWP Area of Operations supporting landings and so on. On 21st October 1944 in the lead up to the battle of Leyte Gulf HMAS Australia along with HMAS Shropshire open fire at a Japanese air craft hitting it, it initially flew away from the ships however was observed to turn and dive straight at HMAS Australia and in what could be among the first Kamikaze attacks purposely hit just above the bridge, though the 500 pound bomb it was carrying did not explode, the damage done included the disemboweling of Captain Dechaineux who died a hour or two later along with 30 other men KIA. Commodore Collins and numerous other men were wounded.

    In 1990 a Collins class Submarine was launched with the name HMAS Dechaineux, it was launched with Captain Dechaineux's Widow as a special guest watching on.
    His son Peter attained the Rank of Commodore in the RAN.

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