Able Seaman Albert PURDON

Service No: H1171 (Royal Australian Navy)
Born: Hobart TAS, 1 March 1912
Enlisted in the RAN: 21 March 1940
Unit: HMAS Swan
Died: Air Raid: Darwin, 19 February 1942, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert Samuel and Ethel May Purdon, of New Norfolk, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: New Norfolk TAS
Remembered: Panel 75, Column 3, Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon UK
Remembered: Panel 7, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

The NAA record shows first names as Albert and Samuel Albert.

The following is a summary of the damage resulting from the bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942.

In ships of the RAN, seven lost their lives, three in Swan; two in Kara Kara; and one each in Gunbar and Kangaroo. Some 40 or so RAN personnel were wounded out of a total wounded of around 320. On the wharf 21 civilians were killed, and 14 in the town. More than 50 merchant seamen were killed (Neptuna’s death roll was 45); and the U.S. Navy suffered heavily in Peary, with about 80 killed. Peary was sunk; and the merchant ships British Motorist; Neptuna ; Zealandia; Mauna Loa; and Meigs. Also sunk were the naval craft HMA Ships Mavie and Kelat. Barossa and Portmar were beached but later salvaged; and Tulagi beached but soon refloated and little damaged. Damaged to a greater or less degree were the merchant ship Admiral Halstead; the hospital ship Manunda; U.S .S. William B. Preston; and HMA Ships Platypus; Swan; Gunbar; Kara Kara ; Kookaburra; Kangaroo ; and Coongoola. Away off Bathurst Island Don Isidro was beached, a total loss; and Florence D. sunk.

Extract from Gill, G.H. (G. Hermon) Royal Australian Navy 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Pages 594-5

The seven RAN Members killed were:

Signalman Alwyn John Breen (PM2243) (HMAS Swan)
Leading Cook Francis Bassett Emms MID (18984) (HMAS Kara Kara)
Petty Officer Frank Moore (9684) (HMAS Kookaburra)
Cook Norman Richard Moore (S3584) (HMAS Kangaroo)
Able Seaman Albert Purdon (H1171) (HMAS Swan)
Leading Seaman John Sault (17910) (HMAS Swan)
Ordinary Seaman Herbert John Shepherd (F3384) (HMAS Gunbar) Died of Wounds: 22 February 1942


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A6770, PURDON A

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