HMAS Sydneys, Swannies, footy, WWII & Vietnam
Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 28, 2012
HMAS Sydney IV is due to arrive in HCMC tomorrow, Monday 29 October and will be here until Saturday, 3 November. While she is here, the Swannies will play a team from the Sydney for the 4th Phoenix Cup Perpetual Trophy on Wednesday 31 October at RMIT University, from 4.30pm.
So far, the Swannies lead three games to nil in the series that started in 2008 against HMAS ANZAC. However, with a crew of 35 officers and 194 sailors, Sydney will have plenty to choose from. Already, Sydney has 26 players confirmed for the match that will have 16 players on the field for each team and an uncapped bench.
The HMAS Sydney is actually the fourth ship to bear the name, Sydney…
HMAS Sydney II. The Naval Association News reports that Sydney was “sunk with all 645 crew in a mutually destructive engagement with the German Auxiliary Cruiser, Kormoran, on 19 November 1941, some 112 miles West of Shark Bay, Western Australia. The tragic fate of Sydney and her crew remained a mystery until she was found by the Finding Sydney Foundation on 16 March 2008 sitting upright on the ocean floor at a depth of 2,500 metres.”
Since 2010, the Sydney Swans and the West Coast Eagles have played in an annual HMAS Sydney II Commemorative Match at the SCG. As the Sydney Swans’ website explained n April, 2010, “The game will be held annually, with the Swans representing HMAS Sydney’s home port and the Eagles representing the ship’s final operations and resting place. The game will be held in honour of the sacrifice made by those men and by their families.”
The Best on Ground player receives a trophy based on the casing of a 76mm shell fired by the ship. This year’s match was played in July, in Perth.
HMAS Sydney III. The Australia and the Vietnam War website states that, “During the Vietnam War, the task of moving, supplying and maintaining Australian forces in South Vietnam was shared between the Royal Australian Air Force, civilian aircraft, mainly Qantas, and ships from the Australian National Line (ANL). But the bulk of the task fell to the Royal Australian Navy and the vessel that carried out the majority of transport duties to and from Vietnam was the former aircraft carrier, HMAS Sydney.”
From 1965-1972, HMAS Sydney made 25 trips to Vietnam earning it the nickname, the Vung Tau Ferry. Vung Tau, of course, is where the Vietnam Swans host our Annual ANZAC Friendship Match.
HMAS Sydney IV. Next Wednesday, 31 October, HMAS Sydney IV will play the Swannies in Saigon. The winning team will be awarded the Phoenix Cup Perpetual Trophy which is an actual 76mm shell fired by HMAS Darwin. Darwin donated the shell after playing the Vietnam Swans in 2009. It is called the Phoenix Cup because of the Phoenix on Darwin‘s emblem.
- The Communist Party of Vietnam’s on line Newspaper on 24 October 2012 published an article, Australian Navy warship to pay goodwill visit to Ho Chi Minh City. It reports, in part, that, “The crew will also participate in a friendly sporting activity with cadets at the Naval Technical College and play Australian Rules Football against the Vietnam Swans at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Ho Chi Minh City campus.”
- The Vietnam Swans have proposed to the AFL that it consider hosting next year a Vietnam Veterans Day Twilight Blockbuster, dedicated to all veterans. AFL Chairman, Mike Fitzpatrick, has said the AFL is “seriously looking at” the proposal.