HMAS Yarra (II) Unit Citation for Gallantry Investiture Ceremony
On the 22nd of March 2013 the Governor-General, Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce AC CVO announced the award of a Unit Citation for Gallantry (UCG) to the crew of HMAS Yarra (II) “for extraordinary gallantry in action off Singapore on the 5th of February 1942 and in the Indian Ocean on the 4th of March 1942”. When confronted by a greatly superior Japanese force, HMAS Yarra (II) turned towards the enemy and was sunk in action, trying to protect the convoy she was escorting to Fremantle.
Families of the crew of HMAS Yarra (II) are invited to apply to receive an individual UCG insignia or dress insignia (a gilt rectangular frame surrounding a deep green ribbon) on behalf of their qualifying family member. There will be one insignia made available for each of HMAS Yarra (II)’s crew and it will be awarded to the most appropriate relative according to Defence Honours and Awards established procedures.
If you believe you may be eligible to receive the UCG insignia, for which a family member qualified, you may submit an application form and, if necessary, statutory declaration for the Posthumous Issue of the Unit Citation for Gallantry for HMAS Yarra (II). These are available below.
Please note that as part of this process of determination, the Directorate of Honours and Awards will conduct an assessment for any unissued service awards of qualifying members. The Directorate will notify families of the assessment outcomes in due course.
The Royal Australian Navy will be formally invested with the Unit Citation for Gallantry by the Governor-General in a ceremony to be held in Melbourne on the 4th of March 2014, with the current HMAS Yarra (IV), on the Yarra River. Family members who have applied before the 24th of January 2014 and subsequently been deemed eligible will be invited to participate in the ceremony and receive their relative’s insignia from the Governor‑General.
Any interested public are most welcome to attend the official ceremony and are asked to register their interest with Navy.Events@defence.gov.au.
For those unable to attend the 4th of March ceremony, UCG insignia will be presented to qualifying relatives of HMAS Yarra (II)’s crew by the Commanding Officers of their closest Naval establishment on a date after the Governor-General's 4th of March presentation.
A history of HMAS Yarra (II) is available at http://www.navy.gov.au/hmas-yarra-ii.
The policy on a deceased members’ unclaimed awards (PDF 18KB) is that they form part of the members’ estate and may be issued to the:
- Executor of the will (only at the time the will is being executed);
- Administrator of the estate in case of intestacy; or
- an individual who can prove legal status as a beneficiary to this claim.
If the estate is settled and there are unclaimed medals, they may be issued to an applicant who falls within the following priority order:
- Spouse/defacto spouse (at the time of the member's death)
In addition, consideration may be given to an application by a relative, or other person (not being a medal dealer or collector), who has possession of the other original awards of a deceased member by gift or bequest of the member.
If, in accordance with the above priority order, you hold the greatest claim, it is requested that you complete and return the application form for the Posthumous Issue of the Unit Citation for Gallantry for HMAS Yarra (II) and the accompanying Statutory Declaration to the Directorate of Honours and Awards.
If you are aware of another family member with a greater or equal claim in accordance with the priority order above, you may still claim the award by providing written permission from the member with greater or equal claim indicating that they agree to you claiming the award on their behalf or instead of them. This evidence is to be provided with the application form and the accompanying Statutory Declaration. Alternatively, you may wish to forward the application and Statutory Declaration to the person with the greatest claim for their action.
Please note once the awards are issued, Defence will have no further involvement. Any disputes arising must be dealt with under the normal legal processes for settling property disputes.
Applications forms are to be returned to:
Honours and Decorations
PO Box 7952
CANBERRA BC ACT 2610