Wilfred Hastings HARRINGTON

HARRINGTON, Wilfred Hastings

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 1 January 1920
Last Rank: Vice Admiral
Last Unit: HMAS Harman
Born: Maryborough, Qld., 17 May 1906
Home Town: Strathfield, Strathfield, New South Wales
Schooling: Wychbury Preparatory School
Occupation: Naval Career
Died: Capital Hill, Canberra, ACT, 17 December 1965, aged 59 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Privately Cremated
Ashes scattered from the HMAS Vampire off the coast of Port Jackson, Australia
Memorials: Maryborough St. Paul's Anglican Church Book of Remembrance
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World War 2 Service

1 Jan 1920: Enlisted Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral
23 Feb 1965: Discharged Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral, Officer, HMAS Harman

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Companion of the Distinguished Service Order

Awarded CBE in Birthday Honours June 1957

Australian Navy Vice Admiral. Known for the tufts of hair that he grew on his cheeks, he served as Australia's First Naval Member and Chief of the Naval Staff from 1962 until 1965. He received his early education from the Wychbury Preparatory School in his hometown. In 1924 he joined the Royal Australian Naval College as a cadet midshipman. He rose through the ranks to eventually command his first ship, the sloop HMAS Yarra and saw action off the coast of Iraq in August 1941 during World War II. In February 1942 he served as the executive officer on the cruiser HMAS Australia and two years later he became commander of the destroyer HMAS Quiberon. In 1947 he was promoted to the rank of captain and commanded the destroyer HMAS Warramunga, followed three years later by shore duty as Director of Manning at the Navy office in Melbourne, Australia. In 1955 he returned to sea duty as commander of the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney and two years later he was promoted to the rank of rear admiral and assigned duty as Flag Officer, East Australia Area, followed by duty as the Second Naval Member of the Naval Board in 1958. In 1959 he became the Flag Officer in command of HM Australian Fleet and in 1962 he was promoted to the rank of vice admiral and became the First Naval Member and Chief of the Naval Staff, and retired in that position in February 1965, with 41 years of military service. His military honors and awards include Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, the Companion of the Order of the Bath, the Distinguished Service Order, and he was mentioned in dispatches (one whose name appears in an official report written by a superior officer and sent to the high command, in which is described the soldier's gallant or meritorious action in the face of the enemy) on two separate occasions. He died 10 months after his retirement from hypertensive cerebrovascular disease at the age of 59.