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Re: Fantastic footage - HMAS Australia at Coral Sea
Looking at Australia in isolation, I would have dated the footage as taken in 1941 when Ausralia had emerged from her 1940 refit. There is no sign of the radar aerials at the mast heads (said to have been fitted at the refit but which were definately there in 1942. The unofficial dark waterline shows no sign of weathering and the paintwork is still glossy with reflections and highlights on the funnels. The decks are light coloured and not blue stained and the US Navy requested that they should be blue when the navies were officially working together.
So does anyone know when Lexington and Australia were in the same place at the same time in 1941?
I would note that the title of the video is "...in the Coral Sea," not "...at the Battle of Coral Sea." Two different things.
You've nailed it Chris. I've carefully re-examined the footage and there's no doubt that those guns turned outward are Lex's 8-inchers. This clearly was caught in the Westpac before her turrets were grounded in favor of the 1.1" mounts. Bravo!
Video says it is from February. The Lexington was in company with the ANZAC squadron on February 16th prior to the aborted Rabaul raid and again on February 22nd, both times while refueling.
My guess is that the film was shot on the 16th when there were plans to have the ANZAC force support Lexington’s raid on Rabaul. That did not end up happening because there was not enough fuel available to fuel up both the Lexington’s task force and the Australian ships.
Lexington did not lose her 8 inch mounts until after she returned to Pearl in late March.
You're right.... The footage was all (supposedly) shot from the Lexington. This makes me wonder if it was not shot from Hobart instead, because the shot of the motor launch approaching the filming vessel is clearly one which shows two "large" caliber guns trained outward.
The USS Lexington had her 8 inch guns replaced by the quad 1.1 inch light AA guns before the Battle of the Coral Sea. The only ship on the Allied side with twin 8 inch turrets was the HMAS Australia. HMAS Hobart was also present and would have had twin 6 inch turrets.