On 19 November 1941, the Australian Light Cruiser, HMAS Sydney, and the German auxilliary cruiser, Kormoran, engaged in a brief naval battle off Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia. Both ships sank at sea, with all personnel from the Sydney lost, while most of those from the Kormoran survived.
With all 645 sailors on the Sydney perishing, its sinking in 1941 remains the largest loss of life in the history of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the largest Allied warship lost with all hands during World War II, and reportedly a major blow to Australian wartime morale. The wreck was not found until 2008.
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the HMAS Sydney and to honour the courageous sailors of HMAS Sydney and SMS Kormoran, the special event callsign VI2SYD75 has been granted and is available for use from 19th November to 31st December 2016.
Operations with VI2SYD75 can be on any Australian amateur band, from LF to MF, HF through VHF, and even microwaves.
Standard licensees wishing to join the roster are able to use VI2SYD75 provided they do so within their licence conditions, ie. restricted to frequency bands permitted to Standard licensees and 100 watts pX power.
Foundation licensees wishing to join the roster are able to use VI2SYD75 within their licence conditions, provided they are supervised by an Advanced licensee at all times.
The use of VKCL as a logging program is acceptable. Log files can be exported in ADIF or text format.
The Northern Corridor Radio Group in Western Australia has secured the special event callsign VI6SYD75, also to commemorate the loss of HMAS Sydney in 1941.
About HMAS Sydney
There have been four navy ships named HMAS Sydney.
The first was commissioned in 1912 and gained fame through an action with the German light cruiser SMS Emden off the Cocos-Keeling Islands on 9 November 1914, the first Australian naval action of WW1. The Emden was beached on North Keeling Island, one of the Cocos-Keeling Islands group in the Indian Ocean.
The callsign V I 4 S E A was obtained to commemorate that event, coordinated by Mike Charteris VK4QS. VI4SEA has now expired.
The second HMAS Sydney was commissioned in 1934, and is the one lost in 1941.
Number three was an aircraft carrier, used to transport Australian troops to Vietnam from 1965 until 1972, and famously dubbed "The Vung Tau Ferry".
The fourth HMAS Sydney was commissioned in 1983 and remained in service until 2015.
Honour Roll: www.sydneymemorial.com/registry.asp?CODE=A