The impact of the coronavirus has been compared to war times in Australia.
So let’s dive back in to the club history to September 1939. Club sailing took a nosedive as young men went to war. Fremantle became a key supply base and much was happening around town. To this day many of the old buildings remain from these times, we are lucky to have this important local history still intact.
Including our clubhouse and even some of our classic fleet!
Down the river at Preston Point, H.M.A.S Leeuwin was commissioned on 1 July 1942. One month later on Keane’s Point H.M.A.S Leeuwin II was commissioned by Commander C.P Earle.
In 1941 there was a night attack exercise of ten launches from RFBYC to test the defenses on Rottnest, the RF element dominated. Largely due to location and the drive of Commodore Roland Smith a useful naval unit was established on Keane’s Point. Many of the Club vessels became Naval Patrol Motor Boats, we’re fitted with weapons and undertook patrol duties, thankfully very lonely ones.
Still around at the Club today, Avonita was was requisitioned by the RAN in 1942, armed with a a depth charge at the stern and machine gun on the roof, she served until 1945.
And Hiawatha, our peaceful warrior during WWII with depth charges on her stern causing little more than an annoyance for marine life!