Historical Videos

These cinematic films have been placed online as part of the Sea Power Centre - Australia’s ongoing archival digitisation program.

Note: This video is hosted on YouTube. Department of Defence users will not be able to view this video on the Defence Protected Network.


5 4 3 2 1 Birds Away

This video from the Sea Power Centre - Australia's historic film collection was produced in the late 1960s and features the Charles F Adams Class guided missile destroyer, HMAS Hobart (II) conducting a surface to air missile firing against a Jindivik drone aircraft. It features then Captain Guy Griffiths and his operations team close up in the ships Combat Information Centre as they track and coordinate the successful missile firing.

A Trade For Tomorrow

This video from the Sea Power Centre - Australia's historic film collection was produced in the 1970s and examines the RAN’s former apprentice training school at HMAS Nirimba. It features film footage of naval apprentices undergoing training as well as HMA Ships Perth (II), Derwentand Melbourne (II) at sea.

Grey Funnel Line

This is a Royal Australian Navy documentary and subtle recruiting film. It details the 1973 task group deployment of HMA Ships Derwent, Perth and Supply to the Indian Ocean including port visits to Mauritius, Mombasa, Massawa (Ethiopia), Bandar Abbas (Iran) and Karachi. It displays the diplomatic and military tasks that Australian warships undertake while deployed overseas.

It's Different Today

This is a Royal Australian Navy recruitment film produced in 1979. It was created with an aim to recruit the youth of Australia to a 'modern' navy. The film featured Lieutenant Commander Henry 'Nobby' Hall. Sadly, LCDR Hall passed away on Sunday, 25 June 2017 aged 95.

Looking At Leeuwin

Between 1960 and 1984 some 13,000 boys entered the Royal Australian Navy as Junior Recruits at HMAS Leeuwin, in Fremantle, Western Australia. This short introductory film, made in the late 1960s, provides an insight into the general service training typical of that era.

Navigating The Sepik

The Sepik River is the longest river in New Guinea and is regarded as one of the great river systems of the world. Re-live the voyage of the Attack Class patrol boats, HMA Ships Aitape and Ladava as they made their way 230 miles up the Sepik River in 1969.

On The Gunline

A short documentary on the guided missile destroyer HMAS Perth (II) filmed during her second deployment to Vietnam between September 1968 and April 1969.

Operation NAVY HELP

This video recounts some of the Royal Australian Navy's activities in the aftermath of Cyclone Tracy which struck Darwin with devastating effect on Christmas Eve 1974. The Navy committed ships, aircraft and people to assist in recovery efforts. Darwin's mayor, Harry 'Tiger' Brennan' later said "We owe the Navy the greatest debt of all."

Recruitment video featuring HMAS Hobart (II) at sea

An historic Royal Australian Navy officer recruitment film featuring HMAS Hobart (II) at sea.

Sailors In The Making

Often referred to as the ‘Cradle of the Navy’, HMAS Cerberus, or Flinders Naval Depot as it was known for many years, has long been the premier recruit training establishment for the Navy. This video records recruit training carried out at HMAS Cerberus during the 1960s featuring training at the West Head Gunnery Range and onboard the training ship HMAS Castlemaine.

Sea Eagles

This scripted Fleet Air Arm recruiting video produced in 1980 shows a variety of sailors, officers and aircraft in action aboard the aircraft carrier and flagship at that time, HMAS Melbourne (II). Included in the video is Melbourne's then Commanding Officer, Commodore (later Rear Admiral Sir) David Martin who later became Governor of New South Wales.

Sea Power

This is a Royal Australian Navy documentary detailing the many and varied tasks of the Navy’s ships including the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne and embarked aircraft, destroyers, submarines, minesweepers and patrol boats. The main focus is on providing sea power to Australia to protect the nations way of life.

SEATO Exercise SEA DEVIL

Join the Royal Australian Navy warships HMAS Melbourne (II), HMAS Voyager (II), HMAS Vendetta (II) and HMAS Queenborough as they exercise in waters off the Philippines during the 1960s.

The Vung Tau Ferry

HMAS Sydney (III) in her configuration as a Fast Troop Transport undertook numerous voyages to Vietnam between 1965-1972. This short video records the voyage undertaken between 15 November 1969-12 December 1969, during which she carried members of 8 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) to Vung Tau before returning to Sydney with members of 9 Battalion, RAR.

Their Campus The Sea

The Royal Australian Naval College located at Jervis Bay has been the hub of naval officer training for many years. This short video records training at the college during the late 1960s and also features the destroyer escort, HMAS Derwent.

Women in the Navy

This video was produced in the 1950s and offers a unique insight into the embryonic Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS). Much has changed since then and today women are employed across the length and breadth of the Royal Australian Navy in a wide variety of roles both at sea and ashore.

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