chapter  5
47 Pages

Breaking the Commonwealth shackles

Challenges to Seventh Fleet integration
BySteven Paget

The deployment of a single destroyer left no choice but to integrate the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ship completely into the Seventh Fleet. Moreover, as the RAN was filling a gap in the pool of available modern United States Navy (USN) destroyers, the Australian ship needed to be interchangeable with American vessels. The interchange of a single Commonwealth ship on the east coast of Korea had shown that the integration of a solitary vessel could be troublesome as equipment and practices were not always compatible with the modus operandi of USN ships. As the Australian contribution was minor in comparison to the USN's commitment, it was once again necessary for the Australians to utilise American procedures. The standardisation that resulted from the RAN's utilisation of DDGs and the modifications to Vendetta to equip the ship for service in Vietnam ensured that Australian and USN ships were readily interchangeable.