Welcome to the Website of the 17th Intake 

HMAS Leeuwin - Junior Recruit Training Establishment  

October 1966 to October 1967

This website is dedicated to Michael John BROWN who passed away 3 December 2006
Mike did an enormous amount of work to make this site a reality

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Victor William GUNNEE

Official No: R95739 Aged: 15 years 7 months Joined: 8th October 1966
Division: Morrow Home Port: Sydney Discharged: 20th October 1986

Weapons Mechanic

Postings: Leeuwin, Sydney (the ferry), Lonsdale, Cerberus (AB's course), Vampire (WMP), Brisbane (WMP), Kuttabul (FHQ), Waratah (USA), Kuttabul (FMP), Brisbane (WMP), Stalwart (QM – Boats Party), Brisbane (WMP), Kuttabul (FMP), Cerberus (PO’S course), Hobart (Under training – PO”s course), Perth, Kuttabul
Paid off Naval Fire Fighter via the Docky Coppers 
Current Occupation: Inspector – Operations (New South Wales Rural Fire Service)
1966 today
Like most of the 17th, went to the SYDNEY to finish of our training in what to paint and what to salute.

Completed the 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 days.

Sorry, no “happy snaps” as most were “lost” by removalists during one of my many moves.

Hope this finds you all safe and well.





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Last modified: October 13, 2018