Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1325 ..
MR HIRD (continuing):
He returned to Australia in 1942 to liaise with the US Navy before being posted to Canberra again. He was aboard that ship when it sank in the battle of Savo Island during the Guadalcanal landings. In 1943 he went to the cruiser HMAS Shropshire, then to the aircraft carrier HMS Tracker which was operating in the battle of the Atlantic and escorting Russian convoys. Promoted to lieutenant commander in 1944, Victor Smith was posted as the Air Planning Officer on the staff of the Flag Officer, British Assault Area for the Normandy invasion, which involved 702 warships and 52 flotillas of minesweepers. At war's end he was on the staff of the Vice-Admiral British Pacific Fleet. He was promoted to commander in 1947.
Sir Victor's war service resumed when he became executive officer on the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney, then flying Gannets and Sea Venoms, in the Korean war in 1951. Promoted to captain in 1953, he was appointed director of Air Warfare Organisation and Training, and later commanding officer of the First Frigate Squadron. He commanded HMAS Albatross, the Naval Air Station at Nowra, New South Wales, from 1957 to 1959, and attended London's Imperial Defence College in 1960. Returning to Australia to command the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne, he was promoted to acting rear admiral in 1962 and rear admiral in 1963, the same year he was awarded the CBE. As Flag Officer, he held the appointments of Second Naval Member, Fourth Naval Member, Flag Officer Commanding the Australian Fleet and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.
Sir Victor was promoted Chief of Naval Staff with the rank of vice-admiral in 1968 and was made a CB and then a KBE in 1969. His long career culminated in his elevation to admiral in 1970, becoming the first RAN officer to be promoted to this rank. He was appointed chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, the forerunner to the position of Chief of Defence Force. In 1975 Sir Victor was awarded the AC and he retired in November of that year, just short of 49 years' naval service. He was a great Australian, a great Canberran, and a credit to the nation.
MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition): Mr Speaker, I rise to join in expressing condolence at the death of Sir Victor Smith. I share the sentiments that Mr Hird has expressed. Sir Victor Smith had an enviable and most distinguished career. He stands as a great Australian. His loss is a matter of great sadness and the Opposition joins in extending sympathy and condolence to Sir Victor's family.
I became aware of Sir Victor because my father-in-law worked in the Department of Defence for many of the years that Sir Victor Smith was chief of staff there. During discussions that I had during those years with my family I was often involved in conversations about Sir Victor Smith. He was a great friend of my father-in-law and I know his death was a matter of great personal sadness to him. I know much of Sir Victor through my father-in-law in discussions that I have had of his sterling qualities. I share the sadness that his death causes all Australians.
MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education): Mr Speaker, I too would like to join in this condolence motion in relation to Sir Victor Smith, and to send my condolences to Lady Smith and her family, and especially my old friend Piers Smith, Sir Victor's son, with whom I played rugby for many years. I echo the sentiments which Harold Hird and Jon Stanhope have expressed in this Assembly. My father also had dealings with Sir Victor Smith back in the early 1970s when he was at the Auditor-General's and