'Quickmatch. Swift to Strike' [cover title]. HMAS 'Quickmatch'.
'Quickmatch. Swift to Strike' [cover title]
'Quickmatch. Swift to Strike' [cover title]

'Quickmatch. Swift to Strike' [cover title]

Bombay, Printed by S.A. Bliss at the 'Examiner' Press, [1944].

Quarto (247 × 184 mm), 92 pages with 3 cartoons and 18 illustrations plus 7 group portraits and a full-page image of the ship (all from photographs).

Colour-pictorial wrappers slightly rubbed and marked, with the foot of the spine lightly chipped; an excellent copy.

A souvenir publication commemorating the Second World War service of HMAS 'Quickmatch' until around the middle of 1944; the usual mixture-as-before for this type of thing, albeit a little more professional (and serious) than some. 'HMAS "Quickmatch" was one of eight Q Class destroyers built for the Royal Navy, although "Quickmatch" was commissioned in the Royal Australian Navy at Cowes, Isle of Wight, on 14 September 1942 under the command of Lieutenant Commander Rodney Rhoades DSC RAN. After trials the ship commenced convoy escort duty on 5 October 1942. In November 1942 she proceeded to the South Atlantic Station for further convoy escort duty and en route, on 1 December, she intercepted and captured the Italian blockade runner "Cortelazzo". Following four months convoy duty on the South Atlantic Station "Quickmatch" transferred to the Indian Ocean for similar duty, although she was detached to the South Atlantic Station during June, July and August 1943. In May 1944 "Quickmatch" was included in the main force of the British Eastern Fleet, based at Trincomalee, Ceylon, which carried out a successful carrier borne air attack (Operation TRANSOM) on the Japanese base at Surabaya on 17 May. This action was followed on 21 June 1944 by a similar assault, from the air, on Port Blair in the Andaman Islands. During these operations "Quickmatch" was a unit of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla undertaking escort duties to prevent any Japanese surface units attacking the aircraft carriers of the Eastern Fleet. On 25 July 1944 "Quickmatch" was part of Operation CRIMSON which was an attack on the port of Sabang by the British Eastern Fleet. The destroyer was part of an inshore force that entered Sabang Harbour, Sumatra, carrying out a close range bombardment of Japanese port installations. "Quickmatch" fired several hundred rounds during this action and escaped without damage or casualties. Her commanding officer, Commander Otto Becher DSC RAN was awarded a bar to his DSC and several other members of the ship's company were also decorated. In October 1944 "Quickmatch" arrived in Australian waters for the first time. After visiting Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides she commenced her annual refit at Sydney (November to December 1944). Following the refit "Quickmatch" served mainly in Australian waters, with a visit to New Zealand, until March 1945. She then proceeded to Southeast Asia as a unit of the British Pacific Fleet' (official RAN information online). Two early pages list the full ship's company in 1944; the last two pages list 'Officers and Men who have served in "Quickmatch" and been appointed elsewhere'. A complement of a mere 220 men, and a Bombay printing while the war in Asia had more than a year to run, go a long way to explaining why this publication is rare (we could not find it in Trove, for example).

Item #118358

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