Like most of the 17th, went to
the SYDNEY to finish of our training in what to paint and
what to salute.
three round trips to sunny Viet-Nam when someone realised we
Ord’s were all under the magic age to be legally shot at
and, along with a number of my cohorts, was sent to that
jewel in the Navy’s crown, LONSDALE. Stayed there for about
three months while waiting to do my WM’s course.
Finished that on a Friday, joined
VAMPIRE on Saturday and sailed for “up-top” on Monday. Now
that was fun!!!!! Stayed on VAMP’s till just before she
went in for her big “half-life” refit where I was shipped
off in a hurry …..the Coxswain missed my WLSP, to BRISBANE.
Spent two years on her, including her
last deployment to the “Gun-Line” in 1971 and was made LSWM.
Returned home in October.
On return to Oz, was posted to Fleet
HQ working with the Fleet Security Officer ……now that was an
eye opener. Stayed there till March 73 when I was posted to
WARATAH to undertake the 5”/54 gun mount course. Have to
say, that no matter what we think about the Yanks, they have
a fantastic training system.
Returned in late 73 to be sent to FMP
at KUTTABUL doing work on 40/60’s ……junk. Was there about
six months, and was off to BRISBANE again. Stayed on her
for awhile but my No 1 son became very ill just after he was
born so was transferred to STALWART where I did the usual QM
duties followed by Boats Party. With my sons return to
almost good health, exchanged a posting back to BRISBANE.
At the end of my “sea time” it was
back to FMP doing “metal spraying” …..once a “dib-dab”
always a “dib-dab” I guess. By this time it was 1979.
Spent about 18 months at FMP before
going to CERBERUS for my PO’s course. That was fun …..not.
During that twelve months, spent a short time on HOBART as
part of the course requirements.
On completion, off to PERTH and made
PO. Stayed on her for about twelve months but with the
final end of the WM branch, something that had been on the
books since 1969, and not liking my options, I went off to
become a Naval Fire Fighter via the Dock’y Coppers ……..that
was not a great career move. Stayed with them
for just under five years. This concluded my 20 years.
On discharge, did a small stint at GI
while I waited for a job I had been given a “heads-up” on.
Applied for that job and went into fire safety.
While in “pussers” I joined the local
Bush Fire Brigade as a volunteer, did all the usual crap and
eventually, with my Navy and fire safety training managed to
get my bum on a seat and went “full time” with the RFS in
1993. Still there.
Have two married sons who, despite
numerous “near death experiences” at the hands of their
parents, have both managed to become good citizens. One is
in “pussers” as a ….”greenie” ……is there no justice these
Sorry, no “happy snaps” as most were
“lost” by removalists during one of my many moves.
Hope this finds you all safe and well.