18 OCT 1967: Viet Nam and DDG 38 HMAS Perth is hit by a shore-based gun. Perth is struck by return fire near Cape Lai, Viet Nam, while on the United States 7th Fleet ‘gunline.’ This was the only occasion on which an Australian warship suffered casualties from enemy fire during the Viet Nam War.
The names of the four members of the crew of HMAS Perth injured by a North Vietnamese shell burst were issued by the Minister for the Navy, Mr Chipp, in Canberra. The destroyer received minor damage below decks when the shell struck the ship near the stern and blew a 2ft hole in the deck.
The injured men were: Chief Petty Officer Coxwain S. J. Parke, of Bexley, NSW. Minor shrapnel wounds. Engineering Mechanic R. H. Murdock, of Towradgi, NSW. Shrapnel wounds, shock. Petty Officer Electrician Weapons Radio C. R. Watson, of Burnley, Victoria. Concussion, burns, shrapnel wounds. Steward B. J. E. Butler, of Penrith, NSW. Minor shoulder injury. EM Murdock and PO Watson have been evacuated to hospital ashore.
The condition of all men is satisfactory. The captain of the ship, Captain P. H. Doyle, of Sydney, signalled that “all “are fine in Perth” and that “the four casualties are not serious”.
HMAS Perth arrived in Subic Bay, Philippines, to serve with the US 7th Fleet on September 14.
She is the secqnd RAN ship to operate off Viet Nam, the first being Perth’s sister ship, HMAS Hobart.
It is the first time an Australian ship has been hit by enemy fire in Viet Nam.
Hobart was straddled by North Vietnamese fire, and on two occasions pieces of shrapnel fell on her decks. No hits were received and no-one wasinjured. More; http://ow.ly/gKfZ305hiA0