Exhibition: Nerves and Steel: The Royal Australian Navy in the Pacific 1941-45


The Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, is pleased to announce the opening of Nerves and Steel: The Royal Australian Navy in the Pacific 1941- 45. This special exhibition will be launched on Friday 21 July, 3pm by Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC. It will be located in South Gallery within the Galleries of Remembrance and will open to the public at 10am on Saturday 22 July, 2017.

The exhibition explores the role played by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in the ultimate Allied victory of the Second World War (1939-45). Specifically, it celebrates the achievements of RAN sailors between December 1941 and September 1945.

The war in the Pacific was essentially a naval struggle. Allied war aims hinged on the destruction of Japan’s powerful navy and the severing of sea communications between Japan and its far-flung Asian and Pacific conquests. The major actors in history’s greatest naval conflict were the immense fleets of Japan and the United States but the RAN played a significant and active role.

Features of the exhibition include

  • paintings on loan from the Australian War Memorial,
  • original memorabilia from the Shrine collection;
  • the RAN Heritage Collection; and
  • living Second World War veterans—HMAS Perthsurvivor, David Manning, and former corvette gunnery officer James Paizis. Both veterans will be attending the launch of the exhibition.

The Shrine of Remembrance will also be holding a panel discussion Words from Our Navy Veterans on Wednesday 9 August, 12pm where the last surviving Second World War navy veterans Jim Paizis, David Manning, Norm Tame, Hiram Ristrom, Ray Leonard and Pamela Nicholls of the WRANS recount tales from their service.

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