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    Historic legacy, Fremantle Harbour WA

    contributed by GerryRyder, taken on 6 July 2014
    (contact GerryRyder about this picture | see more pictures from GerryRyder - open in new window)

    Image shows old boom defence installations on the South Mole of Fremantle harbour. A similar fitment remains on the north side of the harbour opposite.
    During WWII, Fremantle harbour was a secret US submarine base. Around 170 submarines in total from three nations, US, Great Britain and The Netherlands, were sheltered here and carried out operations to the north of Australia against the Japanese. Numbers of boats in the harbour varied at any one time of course. But subs, mainly of the US Navy, often took a fair amount of harbour space, rafting three deep. On operations, they would re-fuel from a depot-base in Exmouth Gulf about 1300 km north of Fremantle before continuing on patrol.
    During those years, Fremantle Harbour was off limits to the public. As a means of protecting vessels inside, anti submarine nets (boom defence) were fitted across the harbour near the entrance, and raised and lowered using the apparatus shown in this image. The remains of these are a reminder of those dark days.
    Submarines operating from the harbour had a huge impact on Japanese service- and commercial shipping and made a large contribution to winning the war.