Naval Warfare Officers command and fight warships. The Naval Warfare Officers’ Association comprises serving and retired naval officers who share the common experiences of conducting naval operations at sea. It is a new name for an old association; the Anti-Submarine Officers’ Association, which is over sixty years in existence. The Anti-Submarine Officers’ Association was formed in mid 1946 by still serving or demobilised officers whose criteria for membership was that they had been trained initially in anti-submarine warfare at the Anti-Submarine School, HMAS Rushcutter, Rushcutters Bay, NSW.
No mention of the Naval Warfare Officers’ Association is complete without recording that the graduates from Rushcutter made a substantial contribution to winning the war at sea in WWII. Many were decorated and many served in Royal Navy ships. Winston Churchill said on more than one occasion that the only battle that he feared and the only one that had to be won was the Battle of the Atlantic. Graduates from Rushcutter comprised some 20% of all anti-submarine officers and men in British ships in the Battle of the Atlantic, in the Mediterranean, North Russia and other theatres of war against the U-Boats.
In 1994 the Association published a book named “Contact” which is the story of HMAS Rushcutter and Australia’s Submarine Hunters 1939 – 1946 edited by Leut G.R Worledge MID RANVR (Rtd). This is an outstanding record of the history of the Anti-Submarine School at Rushcutter with details of all personnel who passed through this training establishment and the recollections of their wartime experiences.
Over the years the NWOA has developed a close association with HMAS Watson, that establishment having taken over the Anti-Submarine Warfare Training on the closure of the old Anti-Submarine School shortly after the end of World War II.