Rear Admiral Philip Graham Newman Kennedy

Philip Graham Kennedy was born in Malta in 1931, when his father was serving in HMS Glorious while on exchange with the Royal Navy. Kennedy was educated at the Sacred Heart College, Glenelg before he joined the Royal Australian Naval College, at HMAS Cerberus, as a Special Entry Cadet Midshipman in 1949. After graduation later in the year, he proceeded to the United Kingdom and served in the cruisers, HM Ships Devonshire and Swiftsure and also the destroyer HMS Zephyr. On promotion to Sub Lieutenant in 1951 he served at HMS Royal Prince, a RN establishment at Emden in Germany. Royal Prince was in the British Zone of Occupation and the unit was responsible for the safe and secure passage of all waterborne traffic along the River Rhine between the Dutch border and the French zone south of Bonn.

In mid 1953 he returned to Australia and joined the frigate HMAS Condamine as the navigator. Kennedy was promoted Lieutenant in early 1954 and in April of that year he was transferred to the frigate HMAS Shoalhaven and saw service in Japanese and Korean waters during the Armistice period after the Korean War. In 1955 he joined the destroyer HMAS Arunta and served as the navigator until July 1956. He was then posted ashore to HMAS Cerberus as a year officer at the RAN College and participated in returning the college to Jervis Bay in 1957. In 1958 Kennedy was posted to HMS Vernon, in the UK, to undertake the Torpedo and Anti-Submarine course and on completion he served in the frigate HMS Rhyl on two years exchange duty.

On return to Australia he served at HMAS Watson and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1962, prior to being selected for two years exchange service with the United States Navy. In 1965 he was selected to be the Executive Officer of the destroyer HMAS Vampire and in late 1966 he became the Fleet Torpedo and Anti Submarine Officer, prior to being posted, as an instructor, at the Australian Joint Anti-Submarine School at HMAS Albatross. In 1967, on promotion to Commander, he was selected to be the Commissioning Executive Officer of the destroyer HMAS Brisbane and served in her for two years.

In 1969 Commander Kennedy was appointed to HMAS Creswell as the Commander of the RAN College (with the dual role as the base Executive Officer) for two years before being selected for his first command, the destroyer escort HMAS Parramatta, in 1971. On completion of this command he was posted to Fleet Headquarters prior to promotion to Captain in 1974 and a posting as Project Director Naval Combat Data Systems. After three years as the Project Director he was selected for his second command, that of the destroyer HMAS Hobart, in 1977.

On promotion to Commodore in 1980 he was appointed as the Commandant of the Joint Services Staff College, in Canberra, for two years prior to commencing duties as the Deputy Fleet Commander. In 1984 Kennedy was promoted to Rear Admiral and appointed as the Chief of Naval Operational Requirements and Plans. He was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in the Australia Day Honours List for 1987 ‘For exceptional service and performance of duty in the Royal Australian Navy, particularly as the Chief of Naval Operational Requirements and Plans’. Rear Admiral Kennedy retired from the Royal Australian Navy in 1987.

Rear Admiral Philip Kennedy passed away on 24 May 2011.