Alec Charles Murphy

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Alec Charles Murphy
Personal Information
Date of Birth 30 May 1919
Place of Birth Westfield, Western Australia
Death 25 Jul 2009
Place of Death Frankston, Victoria
Age at Enlistment 20 years old
Description 5'6½" (1.69m) tall ; ; fair complexion ; grey eyes ; fair hair ; scar over right knee
Occupation Farm hand
Religion Church of England
Address Westfield, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Samuel Murphy
Military Information
Reg Number 23286
Date of Enlistment 9 Jun 1939
Rank Able Seaman
Ships Served On
Ship Name HMAS Canberra
Tour Dates 28 Oct 1939 ‒ 27 Nov 1940
Ship Name HMAS Perth
Tour Dates 28 Nov 1940 ‒ 1 Mar 1942
Post War Details
Fate POW HMAS Perth
Returned to Australia
External Monument(s) The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial Ballarat, Victoria
Medals 1939-45 Star
Pacific Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

War Service

Entered HMAS Cerberus and between 9 Jun 1939 and 27 Oct 1939, as an Ordinary Seaman he undertook basic training. Alec was posted to HMAS Canberra on 28 Oct 1939, and remained a member of its crew until 27 Nov 1940. On the very next day he was listed as a member of the crew of HMAS Perth which sailed that day as part of the escort for Convoy US 7 to the Middle East. On both ships his character was rated as Very Good, and his efficiency as Superior.

Soon after HMAS Perth commenced duty in the Mediterranean with trips to Greece, Crete and Malta. Frequently under air attack, over the next few months she was on several occasions damaged. Perth was engaged in the action against Vichy French troops in Syria before returning to Australia in August 1941. Alec would have enjoyed the 28 days leave granted Western Australian members of the crew when it docked in Fremantle, before the ship continued to Sydney and its refit at Cockatoo Dockyard. With the refit completed in late November 1941 the Perth spent the concluding month of the year, and the first month of 1942 visiting key South Pacific ports. On 14 Feb 1942 she sailed for Java, arriving there on 24 February. During the next two days she was attacked on numerous occasions by Japanese bombers without sustaining damage. With four British ships she sailed for Surabaja on the 25th and the next day with a mixed fleet of allied ships she sailed for Madura Island.

On the night of 27-28 February they ran into a larger Japanese invasion fleet, and the result was the loss of five Allied ships. Low on ammunition and fuel the Perth was sunk in the Sunda Strait when in company with USS Houston.

Along with three other locals he was captured on 1 Mar 1942 by the Japanese after the sinking of HMAS Perth in the Sunda Strait. Transferred from Thai camp to Fukuoka POW Camp, Japan on 15 Jan 1945. His name was on the Fukuoka List as of 15 August 1945. Freed at Fukuoka, Alec arrived back in Australia on 9 Oct 1945. It appears that he remained in the service with his discharge dated 4 Aug 1947.

Post War

Alec married Betty Mildred Morris during 1946.

Electoral Roll entries: 1949 - 1980 at 30 Dell road, Frankston, RAN;


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