BURRELL, Henry, Sir.
Title: Mermaids Do Exist : The Autobiography of Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Burrell, Royal Australian Navy (Retired). First Edition in dustjacket
Publisher:  Macmillan Australia, South Melbourne, 1986, ISBN:033341540X 1986
ISBN Number: 033341540X / 9780333415405
Seller ID: 54731
BURRELL, Henry, Vice-Admiral Sir. Mermaids Do Exist : The Autobiography of Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Burrell, Royal Australian Navy (Retired). (South Melbourne): Macmillan Australia, (1986). First Edition. Pp (4),v-x,1-318 +pp of plates. 8vo blue cloth, white lettering to spine. Map end-papers.
Vice Admiral Sir Henry Mackay Burrell, KBE, CB (b. August 13, 1904,Wentworth Falls, New South Wales - d. February 9, 1988, Canberra).
Mermaids Do Exist covers Sir Henry Burrell’s naval career from the time of joining the Royal Australian Naval College at Jervis Bay in 1918 at the age of 13 until he retired in 1962 as Chief of Naval Staff.
The period of Burrell's career was one of great changes for the Navy. On joining his first ship he would have found a gun-ship Navy still in the early years of steam-turbine propulsion; submarine and ant-submarine warfare were in their infancy; the importance of air power at sea was not properly understood. When he retires, missles were quite common; aircraft carriers were the capital ships of large navies; and gas turbines were about to replace steam.
Sir Henry's memoirs are therefore of considerable historic interest. But Mermaids Do Exist is also a vivid story of the life of a naval officer whose service spanned both peace and a world war. It covers all ranks from cadet-midshipman to vice-admiral, both in Australian waters and overseas.
He was in the Mediterranean in the 1930s during the Abyssinian Criisis and the Spanish Civil War. As a senior officer he commanded two destroyers in World War II, a cruiser, an aircraft carrier [HMAS Vengeance] and HMA Fleet on two occasions. He was Director of Operations and Plans from1939 to 1940 and in 1941 he became Australia's first service attaché in Washington. He then took part in a (failed) Malta convoy and had an important role in the final capture of Madagascar. He was appointed First Naval Member and Chief of Naval Staff in February 1959. His work during that period laid the foundation of the Fleet of today [...] - from the dust jacket.
1. Sub-lieutenant, 1904-1926; 2. 'Salt-Horse', 1926-29;
3. Navigator, 1930-38 [on exchange with the Royal Navy];
4. Director Operations and Plans, 1939-40;
5. Washington Interlude, 1941;
6. HMAS Norman, 1941-42;
7. HMAS Norman, 1942-43;
8. Final Stages of World War II;
9. Gaining Experience Ashore and Afloat, 1947-54;
10. Years of High Responsibility, 1955-58;
11. Chief of Naval Staff, 1959-62;
I. Joint UK - USA Staff Conversations - Telegraphic Reports by Australian Navel Attacheé ;
II. Letter from Author to Parliamentary Sub-committee on Defence Matters - Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, 1982.
With notes, bibliography and index.
Half inch tear to head of spine, light wear to lower edge, otherwise very good in dustjacket. 45.00