Rear Admiral Richard Lamacraft

Richard Lamacraft was born on 26 May 1948 at Sunbury-on-Thames, England. His family migrated to Australia in 1953 and settled in Tasmania where Richard was educated at Launceston Church Grammar School. He entered the RAN College in 1964 as a junior entry Cadet Midshipman. He conducted a training cruise in the destroyer HMAS Anzac in 1967 and following graduation from the college served as a Midshipman at sea in HMA Ships Melbourne, Derwent and Sydney which included a deployment to Vung Tau, South Vietnam.

He was promoted Sub Lieutenant in September 1968 and proceeded to England for engineering studies at the Royal Navy Engineering College in Plymouth and completed his Bachelor of Science (Engineering) degree in 1972. Lamacraft was promoted Lieutenant in early 1971 and on return to Australia, in 1972, served in Melbourne as a junior engineer officer from September 1972 until April 1974. He then returned to the United Kingdom for additional engineering training during 1974-75. Richard Lamacraft married Patricia Jane Beamish in April 1975 and they later had two children.

Upon return to Australia in late 1975 he was appointed to Navy Office and worked in the Directorate of Naval Aircraft Engineering. During 1978 Lieutenant Lamacraft served as the Senior Engineer Officer in the destroyer escort HMAS Parramatta then in long refit before promotion to Lieutenant Commander in February 1979. He then joined the destroyer escort HMAS Derwent in June 1979 and served in her until joining the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne in August 1980. He was promoted Commander on 30 June 1982 and soon after was appointed to Navy Office as Director Naval Ship Production and then in late 1983 as the Director Destroyer Escort Modernisation Project.

In 1985 Commander Lamacraft returned again to the United Kingdom for a two year exchange posting with the Royal Navy as Naval Engineer Overseer at Newcastle on Tyne. On return to Australia in 1987 he was briefly appointed as the Marketing Officer for the Inshore Mine-Hunter Project before becoming the Deputy Director Fleet Engineering Policy (Ships Systems). He was promoted Captain on 30 June 1988.

A succession of appointments to Navy Office then followed including Director Fleet Engineering Policy (1988), Director Naval Logistics Policy (1989-90), Chief Staff Officer to the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff - Materiel (1991) and Director Australian Frigate Project (1991). Richard Lamacraft was promoted Commodore on 1 October 1992 and became the Director Anzac Ship Project; overseeing the build and introduction into service of eight Anzac Class frigates for the RAN and two frigates for the Royal New Zealand Navy. Subsequently he became the Director-General Intelligence Operations and later the Director of the Australian Imagery Organisation.

Following the disastrous fire onboard the tanker HMAS Westralia on 5 May 1998, Commodore Lamacraft was appointed as the President of the Board of Inquiry and the board handed down its findings in August of that year. In January 1999 he was promoted Rear Admiral and appointed as the Head Systems Acquisitions (Maritime & Ground) in the Defence Materiel Organsiation. Rear Admiral Lamacraft retired from the RAN in 2001. Since then he and his wife have undertaken substantial recreational yachting in Australian waters.