The aim of this page is to pass on articles of interest to serving & ex-serving communicators and interested parties.  I am sure that many of the names shown below will be familiar to many other shipmates.  Via the Internet, we are now in contact with communicators on a global scale, so we are truly QSO the World

Please fill out the on-line form if you would like to add an article to this forum.

Follow the links below for previous QSO pages:

1998/99    2000    2001    2002 (Jan to Jun)   2002 (Jul to Dec)
   2003   2004   2005

John Owens sends:

Looking for Moran 39/40 joined Sep 1958. Please contact me at email address linked above.


Graeme Diggle (son of Bryce) is seeking the originals of the communications School Staff Photos I have on this site (years 1967, 1974, 1980, 1982 and 1984).  These photos have been reduced in resolution for web site use and unfortunately I do not have any record of who sent them to me originally.  If anyone has the original photos listed above and is able to scan them and send them to Graeme he would very much appreciate it.  Please contact Graeme direct, with as a carbon copy.  Regards, John Curbishley.  29/12/06.


DFRB/DFRDB Submission to the Treasurer

Many of you will already have seen the "DFRB/DFRDB Submission to the Treasurer" which is doing the rounds of Ex Service organisations.  I have posted all relevant information, including the link to sign the petition, to

If you are in receipt of a DFRB/DFRDB pension this is important reading.  If you then wish to take the matter further, appropriate links are provided for you to do so.


Doug Kissick sends:

Bette Diggle has phoned to inform that (ex WORS) Bryce Diggle was admitted to Frankston community Hospital on Friday 8th of Dec. Bryce apparently has a tumor in the stomach which may have spread. They both see the Oncologist today to ascertain what treatment may be required. I will attempt to keep you updated on Bryce's progress. However Sal and I are heading West this Thursday for the Holiday Season, back middle of Jan.  Regards, Doug Kissick.  Tks Doug, our thoughts are with Bryce, Bette & family as he undergoes treatment.  11/12/06.

Fm Bones Lehmann 11/12/06:
I had a telephone call today (Monday 11th December) from Betty Diggle re Bryce. They believe the tumor has spread to his liver, however it is still early days. He is remaining in Frankston Hospital for the time being while further tests etc are being conducted. Betty has asked me to keep in contact with her and she will update me as to Bryce's condition etc for posting to our concerned fellow communicators on the website - at least until Doug Kissick returns from holidays. Regards, Bones.

Fm Laurie Pegler 12/12/06:
Have just been to see Bryce Diggle in hospital. He told me he has a cancerous stomach tumor and it has spread to the liver. The doctors want to give him radio therapy but this is just to stop the bleeding in his stomach. He looks a little tired but seems to have accepted his condition. I told him I'd let everyone know how things were and he thanked me and sends his regards to everyone. Betty seems to be holding up well, she's taken literally hundreds of phone calls. I'll keep visiting Bryce every few days and keep you all updated.

Fm Graham Bence 15/12/06:
If anyone would like to get in touch with Bryce the number of the Frankston community Hospital is 9784 7777. Due to Hospital officialdom you have to ask for Albert Bryce Diggle. Regards, Graham.

Fm Dick Adams 16/12/06:
Brian Gold and self paid a visit to Bryce Diggle today to se how he is going. As can be expected he is not too happy with his situation but he is taking it all in his stride. He hopefully will be going home on Monday and will then go on physio from home (?) and it may prolong things for him but apparently the liver is unoperable he thinks. Anyway he seems to be the old Bryce and he is going OK for now . It as hit Betty pretty hard but she is bearing up also. Will call and see him next week and see how things are progressing.

From Jim Quick 17/12/06:
Spoke to Betty Diggle Sunday Morning 17/12. Bryce is up and walking with the aid of a frame and if fluid can be reduced enough in his legs he may get to go home Monday. Betty and Bryce are both resigned to the fact that the cancer is incurable. He will have some radiation treatment but this is only to try and stop some internal bleeding.
Regards to all, Jim.

From Jim Anderson 30/12/06:
I spoke with Bryce this morning (Sat 30th) and he is at home at present. He goes for radio therapy on Tuesday in an effort to stem/prevent further stomach bleeding. Regards, Jim Anderson, VK4AQ.


Mark Lavis sends:

Am trying to track down a Sparker mate from my Darwin (FFG) days, if anyone has any details for Neil Locke please drop me a line. Cheers, Mark.  If anyone can help pse contact Mark direct.  11/12/06.


Jim Eagles sends:

For information, an association has been formed for the former members of the Type 12's: Torrens, Yarra, Stuart, Parramatta, Swan and Derwent. Information and enlistment form available at  Been a long time coming. They are asking not only for members but photos etc for the website
Cheers, Jim Eagles .  11/12/06.


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

It is my sad duty to inform of the passing of Ex Yeo of Sigs Dudley James Ryan (commonly called Jim). Jim enlisted on 18th September 1945 and discharged 15th February 1958. After training at HMAS CERBERUS he served on HMAS QUADRANT, KUTTABUL, PENGUIN, BATAAN, ALBATROSS and ANZAC. He also served as part of the BCOF in Japan. He was a Member of the The Entrance /Long Jetty RSL Sub Branch and Tuggerah Naval Association.
Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt
Lest We Forget 7/12/06.


Laurie Pye sends:

I was wondering if you could help me in finding members of the September 1967 Waller HMAS CERBERUS Division for a reunion.  Many of the personnel listed were transferred to BRISBANE/HOBART/PERTH and I'm looking for any personnel with numbers from R66762 to R66824.  Understand privacy concerns but if my email address could be forwarded it would be appreciated.
Laurie Pye

Follow this link for a list of personnel Laurie is seeking.


Wayne "PEABODY/BENNY" Goodman - ex ROEW (1974-1997) sends:

 Just dropping a line to stay in touch and say HI to some of the "old crowd". The RANCBA web site is looking great - keep up the great work. It's great to have a place to go and wander down memory lane.

Wayne Goodman
IT Division, RANTEWSS, HMAS Albatross



Follow the link for some interesting photos on the conversion of MT DELOS to the new RAN Tanker HMAS SIRIUS.



River Rats 2006:

The following ex communicators were part of the River Rats 2006 trip to Tocumwal in November -  Jim Berridge, John Curbishley, Sonny O'Hara, Blue Macaskill, Linton Riddell, Rosco Tanner, Dick Lewis, Pete Chapman and Ray Powell.  The 2006 green jacket was won by Pete Chapman - BZ Pete.  The highlight of the trip (apart from the golf and the company - 9 games in 5 days) was the first place of the River Rats at the golf club quiz night - we rolled the opposition by correctly answering the flag question shown below.  Who said Signalmen don't come in handy at times.  05/12/06.



Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends: 

We have been invited to the Fleet communications Christmas Function (not a BBQ) next Friday 8th December at HMAS KUTTABUL. I will need the names of those attending and those just thinking about it for both Security and also for Catering.

NAVCALS Sydney will be fully funding the function except for drinks, but they can be purchased at Club prices.

So should you be considering attending, please e-mail me asap (if not sooner).

Rgds Shorty 2/12/06.


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

It is my sad duty you to inform you Ex LRO Ronald Slattery passed away this morning  (01 December 2006), age 71.
His partner, Jenny rang me early this morning to advise me and ask if I could let others know.  No details of funeral etc are known at present.  I am sending a Sympathy card to Jenny on behalf of all RANCBA

Sincerely, Shorty.
Lest We Forget.  01/12/06.

There was a death notice in the Canberra Times on Saturday 2 December, see below:


Jim Anderson sends: 

I am hopeful that someone in the Forum may be able to help me track down the radio callsigns of the corvettes HMAS Glenelg and HMAS Maryborough. Maybe we have some ex-corvetters in our group or maybe some of the group are in touch with guys in the Corvette Association that can help me. Many thanks and cheers.  Jim Anderson.  01/12/06.

Fm Ken Street 2/12/06:
Jim asks the c/s for HMAS Glenelg and Maryborough.  It was only last Sunday that Rodger Gaydon asked the same question.  I Have emailed Vince Fazio of Naval Historical Society with no reply as yet. Will advise when I received an answer. Jim, if you would like to email me direct I can give you some Corvettes Assn contacts.

Fm Jim 7/12/06:  Thanks to the sterling efforts of Ken Street we have been able to come up with the Corvette callsigns I was chasing up. HMAS GLENELG was VMFP and HMAS MARYBOROUGH, built under Admiralty Order, had the Brit c/s GWYD. NUSHIP GLENELG will be allocated her original c/s and NUSHIP MARYBOROUGH will be allocated the c/s VMAR I am told. Anyway, many tnx to all who helped. Best regards. Jim Anderson VK4AQ.


Carl Smith (ex-LSMTPSM) sends:

I was wondering if you could help me out regarding a mate of mine who is an ex-RAN communications Branch sailor.

His name is Dean Maskell, an ex-ABRO or ABSIG sailor who, from what I was told was on HMAS Tobruk when it went to Somalia in 92 or 93(?). Dean was in the RAN for only 6, maybe 7 years and I think when Tobruk returned from Somalia he paid off, went back to Uni, got his degree and somehow, in the intervening space of time found himself in Japan, as did I.  It was about 7 years back that I was in a British pub in Osaka where I overheard someone mention the RAN, so I mozzied on over to this fellow and started talking. We hit it off pretty well, especially after I told him I was an ex-kellick stoker on boats. I don't know much more about his time in the Navy.

Unfortunately for Dean life hasn't been that kind. He left Japan with his Japanese wife Miwa and flew back to his parent's place in Brisbane in April this year with cancer. The melanoma that he had cut out 2.5yrs ago has now become terminal having spread to his main organs as well as his brain and bones.

For Dean, a man not quite 40 years of age, time is limited and he knows it. However and incredibly, "he remains positive and focused" which shows the man to be an unbelievable inspiration for others and incredibly brave.

I'm writing to you because I'd like others who served with Dean to know about his condition and to call him, or visit him to encourage him and wish him well. I'd also like the RANCBA community in Brisbane to be kind enough to offer him positive words of support as he fights this illness to the very end.

As a mate of Dean's and learning about the meaning of mateship whilst in the RAN this is the least I could do to help, especially considering I'm not in Brisbane to offer him my support there.

Dean has been staying at his parent's place and the phone number is (07) 3219 8664. Unfortunately I don't have their home address in Brisbane.  His email is Dean has sorted everything out with DVA and has been issued with a Goldcard. He also told me that because he spent most of his time on the upperdeck it has been recognized that his contracting of the melanoma in the first place could very well have been because of his Navy work. Food for thought for all ex-communicators. This should be a stark reminder for everybody to get themselves checked.

Dean, of course doesn't know I've done this but hopefully it will give him a boost if he does get to hear from others. Cheers for all your help and thanks a million.

Carl Smith
Many thanks to Carl for his concern and for his mateship with Dean.  This is what being part of the ex-naval community is all about.  If anyone knows Dean or served with him it will hopefully give him a boost to hear from you.  Our thoughts and prayers are with him.   Sonja & Alan Hellier of the QLD Chapter are aware of the above and have been in contact with Carl.  28/11/06.

Dean Maskell - April 2006

Fm Sonja 30/11/06: Hi Carl - have rung the phone No you gave me. Dean is back in hospital - 865 North, Mater Private Hospital, 301 Vulture Street, South Brisbane 4101. Patient enquiries 07 3840 1111 which is not too far from where I live, and when he is at home the address is c/- 11 Eastridge Place, Kuraby 4112 Phone 3219 8664 which is about 20 minutes in the other direction.  I can identify with your sentiments, as I have looked after several veterans in similar circumstances in my capacity as a Welfare Pensions Advocate. It is also good to see that he has his affairs sorted with DVA. I will try to get to see him in a couple of days - maybe on Friday some time and have a chat. I am also sending this on to Curbs to put his current details on the Web site so others can give him a call or send him a card.
Cheers Sonja.

Fm Sonja 01/12/06:  Have just been to the hospital to see Dean Maskell. He has been moved to 809 East at the Mater Private Hospital. Can't remember when he joined or when he discharged after doing 6 years, but was on Tobruk when it went to Somalia, and was also on Sydney (frigate) and Jervis Bay as a signalman. He can remember his number which indicates that he joined after our David, who joined in 1982, and is a year younger than our David.  Dean will be 39 on 3rd December. He is on increased morphine for the pain, hence his memory is a bit hazy. Would appreciate you making the necessary changes to the web info. Will keep you posted.
Many thanks

Fm Carl Smith 15 March 2007:  I`ve just received a last email from Dean Maskell this morning sent by his wife. Dean lost his fight with cancer and passed away on March 13th, 2007 in Brisbane aged forty, tragically way too young. I have no other details at this stage. Thanks again for your help regarding Dean late last year. Kind regards, Carl Smith.
Lest We Forget.

Sonja Hellier has passed on the funeral details,  the following notice was in the Courier Mail.

MASKELL Dean Brooks R142640 aged 39 years. Life Member of St Joseph's College Gregory Terrace Brisbane.
Beloved Husband of Miwa, much loved Son of Bill and Narelle, loving Brother and Brother-in-law of Sean and Sharyn and adored Uncle of Jahman.

Family and Friends are invited to Celebrate Dean's life on Friday. 16th March 2007 at Metropolitan Funerals Chapel 234 Newnham Road. Mt. Gravatt commencing at 2.30 pm

No Flowers by Family request donations to the Melanoma Research Unit.


Barry Bennetts sends:

Have attached a nostalgic 'journey back into time' photo from 1958. Those great Smokey Joe's back of Bonshaw and the great crew that attended them. "Blue" was a neighbour and a good mate at Harman in those hectic days.
Cheers and Beers - Bazza Bennetts (ex RS(S)).  28/11/06.


Ken Street sends:

If you ever thought about signing on, then have a bo-peep at this site.  Its quite stirring. Its RAN.



Wreath Laying HMAS BRISBANE burial site:

The following photos are of Sam Hughes, onboard the yacht 'Namadgi' about to drop a wreath near the site of the HMAS Brisbane grave off Maroochydore on 11 Nov 2006.  Sam was the CCY (CPOSY) of BRISBANE in Vietnam in 1971.  It was somewhat appropriate that the wreath was made from a VB carton, I'm sure the ghosts of the ship rest easy.  24/11/06.

Sam & VB carton wreath.   Sam prior to wreath laying.



As foreshadowed at our AGM, our Annual Christmas Barbecue is on Sunday 3rd December 2006, starting at 1100. Venue : Weston Park, Yarralumla - look for our banner. We have booked an area, take the 2nd road in on the right hand side, not far from the toilet block.  The Association will provide sausages and bread rolls.  Bring your own steaks and BYOG.  Members relatives and friends very welcome.

For catering purposes, please advise me if you are joining us (or wish to send in your apologies).
Hope to see you all there.

Peter Guy
This notice has also been posted to the RANCBA ACT Function page.  24/11/06.


Documentary Film on ABC - HMA Submarine AE1:

A short documentary film about the long search for HMA Submarine AE1 is being aired on ABC TV on Sunday 26 November at 5.50PM.  It will be shown on the program "Rewind Moments" and is entitled Sub Hunt.

Could you please spread the word amongst the members of the Naval community who may be interested in this programme.  24/11/06.


First Intake of JR's - HMAS CERBERUS 1963 - Reunion 17 March 2007

A reunion is being organised for the first intake of JR's to HMAS Cerberus. Current planning is to hold the reunion on the 17th March 2007 which will be 44 years since we paraded outside G block. If you know of any ex first intake Flinders JR's please pass this information on to them. The intention is to hold the reunion outside 'G' block (which is still there). We would then have some other functions or gatherings in the days around this date. We currently have 33 starters. Please contact Peter Guy, - Phone 02 6288 0828 for further information and to register your interest. 24/11/06.


Tony 'Tackers' Miles sends:

Ken Obrien, a PHD Student, is researching PTSD and its effects on the Children and Grandchildren not only of Vietnam Vets but all Vets . Ken has the full support of the RSL in this project and has now a couple of web sites that will be of interest to our members who have problems and the children of Vets who also have problems .

Ken would be happy to hear from any of our members or any ex servicemen or women or children, grandchildren ex wives etc who may be able top help him in his research .

The original website , not finished as yet ,can be accessed at

Ken can be contacted by phone or Email as follows:
Phone: 07 31384881
Mobile: 0410 452 836


Vale CPORS Peter Mason - Born 3/12/37 (London), Died 8/7/06 (Adelaide).

Bill Gadd found this item in the latest Navy News (Reserves Section). Bill says:

It was a fairly considerable write up about Peter (I did not know the gentleman), thus I will precis some of the info I found of interest.

CPORS (Radio Supervisor) Peter Mason will be remembered as one of the stalwarts of the former Adelaide Port Division, HMAS Encounter. A dedicated and highly respected senior sailor, Peter was a expert in his field of communications and he took great pride in training and passing on his knowledge and wisdom to new recruits and colleagues. In the NR (Naval Reserve) Peter served in various ships, including the former NR vessels HMA Ships Banks and Aware and also served at HMAS Coonawarra and was involved with Maritime Trade organisation (formerly Naval Control of Shipping) participating in exercises and training direct entry NCS officers. Peter retired from the NR in 1992 after reaching the mandatory retiring age of 55. However, he felt that he still had much to offer and joined the Australian Navy Cadets where he became the CO of TS Noarlunga until 2002, retiring again because of age. Unquote:

Interesting, a full time reservist!! The write up goes into other details about his life. Maybe some comms personnel have come across Peter in their travels. All the best and kind regards. Bill Gadd.  Many thanks Bill, I have added Peter to the Vale list.  Lest We Forget. 19/11/06.


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt attended a recent Plaque Dedication Service at the Chapel of Remembrance, Garden Island, Sydney.  Shorty thought it might be timely to remind us that anyone who served in the RAN, regardless of branch, rank or rate, is entitled to have a plaque dedicated and mounted in the Chapel of Remembrance.  Shorty was thinking about the late Molly Malouf, John Donnelly and others.

If you wish to know more, send Shorty a SAE (88 Bogalara Rd, Toongabie 2146) and he will send the application form and the details you will need to forward to the Chaplains Office for verification. 

There were 9 plaques dedicated at the service Shorty attended, the communicators remembered were John Oliver (ex WWII Convoy Sig), Ken Craig (ex WWII Convoy Sig) and ex POSY John 'Shiner' Wright. 

Those in attendance with Shorty & Helen were Frank & Larraine Lawton, Bob Scott, Laurie Scutts, Doug Mortimer, Peter & Marilyn Archibald, Dave Sutherland, Liz Watts, Ken Swain & Trevor Pike.  See Shorty's RANCBA News of November 2006 for more details and for photos taken at the service.
Thanks Shorty, something for us all to keep in mind or to let our families know. 8/11/06.


Terry 'Red' Ryder & Sharon Johns share the following:

After 35 years, Terry "Red" Ryder and Sharon Johns (nee Scarff) have rekindled a relationship from when they used to be an "item" way back in 1970/71. Contact between them over that time has been limited to the odd phone call and catch up when Sharon visited her sister in Brisbane. In total, Red and Sharon had only met up for about 8 hours in the 35 years since they went their separate ways. A phone call late last year resulted in them meeting up again and they have been racking up frequent flyer points between Canberra and Brisbane every since.

Earlier this year they did a "pilgrimage" to Darwin where they had spent 12 months based at Coonawarra and enjoyed revisiting all the old haunts. They also recently had a fantastic overseas trip together where they went hiking in Wales and Scotland and also spent time together in France. The attached photos are of Red and Sharon at the Navy Ball in Darwin in 1970 and for those of you who remember it, the old "Penthouse" restaurant in Fanny Bay in Darwin. The more recent photos are taken in Coogee and in a small town called Carcossane in Southern France.
Tres Bon!  What a great story.  All the best to you both.  6/11/06.


Fm Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker:  Best wishes to Red and Sharon. I remember them both from Coonawarra, and I also remember the Penthouse Restaurant. I have a feeling that it later had a name change to "Popeye's".  6/11/06.

Fm Laurie Scutts:  Hello Red & Sharon all the best after all those years , great to hear from you , great times weren't they. HMAS HARMAN Class of '69, Smokeys at Pine Island etc.  Hello to Sir Douglas Conn , Lofty , Len Bodi and others from those days. Bye for now Laurie.

Fm Kev Ruwoldt:  Anne and I caught up with Red and Sharon today (14/11) for lunch at the Ambassador Hotel in Redcliffe. First time I have all seen both of them since Harman mid 1969. Great lunch and conversation. Red also bought Speed and Pat Rowley along. I wish them both lots of luck in the future and look forward to seeing them in Melbourne 08.


Graham 'Bear' Linton reckons some former 'Sweeper' communicators would be interested in the attached advertisement from Trade-A-Boat - none other than the good ship Curlew.  Tks Bear, I imagine Shorty and others would be counting their sheckles now!!  6/11/06.


Vale CRS(S) Laurie Myers.

Tony 'Tackers' Miles has passed on the sad news of the passing of ex CRSS Laurie Myers. Laurie suffered a massive stroke and never recovered. Shorty Moffatt says that Laurie was a great hand, was initially General Service and after a couple of years changed to (S) type and was in the the first class when this came about.

Laurie's ashes will be cast to the tide at Burnett Heads (QLD) on Sunday 5th November at 1600.

Lest We Forget. 3/11/06

Back: LSRP R.H. Thomson, RO(S) Phillip (Knocker) White, LSRP Paul Carrigg.
Front: LRO(S) D (Gus) Arthur, RS(S) Laurie Myers, RO(S) Garry (Gazbo) Walker.
Far Right: CO Training USNTC USA
Sent by Gazbo Walker who says Laurie was a great shipmate - commissioning crew HMAS HOBART 1965


Allan 'Shorty Moffatt sends:

I made up my own "Honour Board" for the OAM plus all other gongs received (genuine) plus the Charter from the Governor General on behalf of the Queen, plus photo taken at the Investiture Ceremony at Government House. It has taken pride of place at my place, but really belongs to all RANCBA Members. Rgds, Shorty.  27/10/06.



Keith 'Buster' Crabbe sends:

Spoke to RV (Ron) Slattery last week and things not looking good, doesn't look like he will be around for his watch at Christmas time.  Anyone in the Coffs Harbour area who can drop in and see him, he would be grateful, even a phone call to chat over old times. His address in Coffs is.. 1/6 Basswood Crt. Phone 02 66509440. He said his time on the old Tobruk was one of his most memorable and the Beast was the greatest ratbag of all (amen to that).  Anyway if u have five minutes to cheer up an old salt before his watch is done I am sure he will love it.  Cheers Buster.  18/10/06.


Kevin 'Beast' Eastley sends:

Last weekend I attended what is known as the 50"s & 60"s reunion at Orford on Tassies East Coast. This was the 15th such one, and started off when the F.E.S.R. blue was on, and continued. Any visiting sailor is quite welcome to attend, and we had some visitors this year. Even stokers are invited. communicators present were myself, Anne (Killer) Kaine (S.A.) Peter Donald (Tas) Gary Evans (Tas) George Wilson (Vic) and John Rosenberg (S.A.), Peter Donald sang his way to victory in the Talent Quest, with Killer running a close second. The results were nothing to do with George Wilson being the only judge. In true Donald fashion, he donated The winning prize to Ms. Kaine. Next year the reunion is on the 20th/21st July and if anyone is thinking of coming, I can give them the contact address etc. A good time was had by all, old memories and shipmates were remembered, and Cascade beer is still the best. Regards, Beast. 12/10/06.


Voices from Voyager
by Carla Evans

This is a new book, published by New Holland Publishers ($22.95) that provides a personal aspect to the Voyager disaster.  Carla Evans gives us the stories of  20 survivors, along with two who died.  Follow this link for a review from Roxanne Bodsworth.  You can purchase this book from most suppliers, I have ordered a copy through Dymocks.  Having just finished Peter Cabban's account "Breaking Ranks" I will be interested to read what the troops have to say.  12/10/06.


Vale Ken Wiltshire:

I wish to advise the passing on Ken Wiltshire former WWII Telegraphist on Friday 6th October 2006. Ken served on Corvettes during the War and was a member of the Corvettes Association (Q).

His funeral will be conducted by Metropolitan Funerals at Mt. Gravatt Crematorium Chapel, off Mains Road Macgreggor,
at 11am. Friday 13th October 2006.

His wife Lenore resides at 31 Vaughan Street Mt. Gravatt 4122, phone (07) 3349 2750 for expressions of sympathy.

Sonja Hellier


Barry (Jacko) Jackson ex PORS - Update by Alan Rodgers, President RANCBA (WA)

29th September update

For those reading the QSO pages on this website you would have been kept up to date with information from Dinga & Anne BELL in QLD. I wish to thank these two for such a fantastic job they did for both Jacko and Leanne.

I am not too sure of the Motor Home Club that Leeanne and Jacko belonged to but they too did a fantastic job. Without the support and assistance from all of them, they would not have been able to arrive back into Western Australia (their Home) on Friday 22 September. Obviously we can not go with out saying the doctors and nurses at the hospital did a great job too. They were Leeanne’s greatest support and were virtual family, on both their behalf we say, thank you.

Jacko, a nurse (Leanne’s sister Helen) & Leeanne arrived back on a QANTAS flight Friday 22nd September, evening and ready to go to hospital. During the air flight back Jacko was strapped in with a harness similar to ones used by rally car drivers. During the take off (because of his head position) he was fine but a totally different story on the way down. He made it that’s the main story.

Unfortunately the Royal Perth Hospital did not know of their journey. His specialists where fully aware, nurses unfortunately were left out of the loop. Never mind they did their job well and as soon as he was out of quarantine they found him a bed. Leeanne said they did a fantastic job. Since then Jacko has been pushed and prodded etc to see how good he is.

Jacko has since been moved to Shenton Park Rehabilitation unit (ward F1) for a lot more therapy to ensure he will be able to get back on the road again.

Leeanne has extended an invitation to all those wishing to visit with Barry, to please do so. We are sure that he would love to meet with you all again. His mind is still very active and will ensure his improvement will be sped up with your visits. Please before you venture to the hospital give them a telephone call to ensure he will be available, phone (08) 9382 7171. Jacko will be a wheel chair during the day to ensure he improves quicker than just laying around.

Leanne took to him with a pair of scissors and his pony tail is no longer.

Barry (Jacko) Jackson has traveled a long way in the passed few weeks and he has a long way to go. We wish him and Leeanne all the very best during the continuation of his treatment, which will ensure his travel to Melbourne, for our next reunion in 2008.

The missing bone from his skull is not being replaced but a titanium replica will be made and replaced in his skull in approximately 6 weeks.

On behalf of Leeanne, thank you all for your concerns, thoughts and prayers he is now on the mend.

Alan Rodgers
29/09/06.  Many thanks Alan, we are all happy that Jacko is back home and in safe hands.  I will start a new 'Jacko' page and post all reports on his condition to it - it will also be easier for people to check should you issue further reports as he recovers.


RANCBA ACT - AGM Friday 6 October 2006

The Annual General Meeting and yearly get together of the ACT Chapter will take place at the Weston Club (formerly Royals Rugby Club) on Friday 6 October, commencing at 1900.  See for more details.  Please note that this is now a Friday night function.  The ACT Chapter needs and values your membership, please make the effort to turn up and support your Association.  29/09/06.


Keith 'Tug' Wilson sends:

If anyone has read or knows the whereabouts of a book titled 'In The Navy' by an ex dibdab, possibly named 'Griffiths'
could you please advise me. Unfortunately I left a signed copy on the Indian Pacific in July this year. It is not a widely distributed book and is a diary of a life in pussers. It was also a borrowed book which makes it a little embarrassing.

Keith 'Tug' Wilson
Bill Bacon subsequently advised that the book 'In The Navy' was published by Dave Rickard (ex POWTR) and after checking I found a copy in my study at home (seniors moment!).  Have advised Keith of Dave's address, hopefully he will be able to make contact.  Regards John Curbishley.

Fm Keith 27/10/06:
Many thanks for the assistance given in tracking down the book 'In The Navy'. Good teamwork by John Curbishley, Bill Bacon, Bill Gadd and Ian McLure. How good was I had the wrong author and he was a writer not a dibbie. Dave Rickard was the author and he has also released a Navy Almanac which gives a diary of important events in our Navy history. Took the chance to add that to the collection as well. Cheers, Tug.


Ray Johnson sends the following update on Jacko:

Gordon Allan (ex WORS) and I (ex CPORS) visited Barry 'JACKO' Jackson on Tues 19th Sept in the arvo at the P.A hospital Brisbane.  Leanne was with him, as she is constantly, Jacko was pretty alert and knew what was going on although he still talks very quietly as a result of the early trachy that he had which is now healed up. He's lost a lot of weight and has a fair dent in his bonce as a result of having to remove a part of his skull to relieve pressure on the brain, the next op he has will be to replace/repair this area and he should look like new. He's still got the pony tail but it's hard to see with him laying back and taking it easy.  Spoke to Leanne today and tomorrow morning at 0530hrs they will be going to Bris airport where they will be boarding a Qantas jet heading to Perth, they should be in Perth approx 1030hrs Perth time. They have to remove 5 seats and take a nurse with them. The pink panther is still stuck in Tully and Leanne is trying to get someone with a heavy rigid licence to drive it to Casino where they will be selling it, if anyone is interested it's yours for $130k, would be a good buy and is fully fitted out for long distance travel. Jacko will be having an extended period of rehab and we told him we want to see him at the 2008 reunion in Melbourne. While we were at the hospital he told us that the doctor said he has to be off the alcohol for 2 rpt 2 yrs but the latest at the negotiating table was that Jacko wanted a second opinion on this one. Anyway it seems that things are finally going right for him and he will be back on his home ground tomorrow. He has plenty of time to fine tune his email/internet skills now so don't be shy and give him a call, glad we got to see him before he left sunny QLD regards, Ray J.

Many thanks Ray, these reports are much appreciated and its great to see Jacko on the road to recovery.  I have no doubt he will be spinning plenty of warries in Melbourne.  If anyone has a HR licence and can help out please give it due consideration.  22/09/06.

Follow the link above for earlier reports on Jacko's condition.


Allan David "Shorty" Moffatt sends:

I had to attend Government House on the 6th of this month for my Investiture Ceremony of the Order of Australia.  it is without a doubt one of the most moving ceremonies that I have seen, participated in.

One of the first people that I was to meet when we all adjourned out to the lawns of Government House for drinks, refreshments was Rear Admiral Rowan Moffitt AM, RAN, who is now Deputy Chief of Joint Operations.  Many would have remembered him as he was the Guest of honour along with his wife at the 2005 National Reunion Luncheon held at the Conference Centre, Darling Harbour Sydney.

Also, I had a photo taken under the late Rear Admiral Sir David Martin RAN Rtd, who went on to be Governor of NSW.  Alongside his photo is Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair RAN Rtd who also became Governor of NSW.  Many would have served under these people - Rear Admiral Moffitt, David Martin & Peter Sinclair.

Also, a family photo, I was allowed 3 guests only, my wife Helen, son Michael who arrived 4 days prior from the UK (returns on the 11th) and daughter Anne.
Regards Shorty


I apologise for the poor quality of the photos, my scanner did not like the glossy format of the official prints.  22/09/06.


Peter 'Skeet' Dowling sends:

Attached is a sitrep on Bells and our efforts to keep the government honest and abide by their legislative requirements and preserve the building and equipment for the future. Can you post it on the RANCBA web site for me please

Dr Peter Dowling
P: 02 6231 5521
M: 0417 233 194

Geoff Broomhall sends:

Just thought I would pass on to old shipmates and friends of ex CY Ronald J (Tom) Steele, first intake of JR's that he has finally retired after 34 years at the US Embassy in Canberra. Tom paid off in 1972 and started work almost immediately in Canberra. Tom & Marilyn have moved to a warmer climate and a new house up in Coffs Harbour. Appears they have had enough of cold crispy minus temperatures. I will let you know his email address if anyone is interested, when they get organized up there. Cheers.  Geoff Broomhall.  A good innings, we wish Tom well in retirement.  19/09/06.

Update from Geoff 25 Sep:  Would appreciate if you could let everyone know further to my dit the other day, Tom Steele's email address is  Was talking to him recently and all he said was "Life is Good."


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

It is my sad duty to inform you of the passing of Ex Signalman John Donnelly R50819 after a brief battle with cancer.
John was a very staunch Member of the RANCBA here in Sydney (NSW), the Naval Association of Australia, and Blacktown RSL Sub Branch.

John's funeral will take place at Pinegrove Cemetery, Great Western H'way, Sydney on Wednesday 20 September at 11.00am.  It would be nice if many as possible could attend to farewell an old shipmate.

Lest We Forget
Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

The Plaque Dedication at the Chapel of Rememberance, GI, will take place on the 15th October, 1000am. Muster at 0940,outside the Chapel.

Let's give this a good turn out, for the late John Oliver WWII Convoy Sig, Ken Craig, WWII Sig and Convoy Sig and Keith John "Shiner" Wright ex Yeo. Please do the mowing, take your wife shopping the day before etc. No excuses!!!

We need to provide a list of those attending for security reasons so I have been asked to coordinate the names, car regos etc. Please send me an email (, or phone 02 9631 8068 to let me know you will be attending. I will send in the list, but please let me know by Thursday 12th October.

Dress: Jacket & Tie, carry Medals if required.


Steve Power (ex CPORS) sends:

Hi Everyone,
Thought it would be a good opportunity to let all communicators know that my wife and I have recently taken over managing Forster Gardens Holiday Centre on the mid-north coast of NSW. The complex is owned by the RANCCB. For the uninitiated their are 9 cottages and 8 units fully self contained, air conditioned, AUSTAR etc. If you get the opportunity and are passing by call in for a quiet one. Our website is or alternatively you can contact on 02 6554 6027.  Regards, Steve Power.  Thanks Steve, good to see a communicator in charge. 19/09/06.


Jim Eagles sends the following information:

Navy Service Certificates.
Originally, on leaving the RAN my discharge certificate was a small sheet of paper with the details of my enlistment. Since the issue of medals etc after all these years it is possible to obtain a new discharge certificate from the Navy with inclusion of medals that have been awarded. The new discharge Certificate of Service is much better and has the Navy crest etc suitable for framing. Certificates are also able to be obtained for RANER service with medal entitlements. I encourage everyone to obtain a new copy of the certificates where applicable, if nothing else they prove you are entitled to wear the medals you have been awarded. These days that can be a necessity as there are some people wearing medals they are not entitled to wear and are being publicly named.

I believe the address to write to is - Director, Defence Corporate Support - Navy Records, QBN Annex - Russell Offices, Canberra, 2600, ACT.

Often see names in these pages that bring back many hilarious memories tho' sometimes recalled through a haze of cigarette smoke and bleary eyeballs, but great times. Cheers to all.
Jim Eagles 08/09/06.



Service pensions, the war widow's pension and disability payments are among Government payments to the veteran community that would increase from 20 September 2006, the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Bruce Billson, announced today (7 September 2006).

"From 20 September, the Australian Government will raise service pensions and the war widow's pension by up to $12.40 per fortnight, and disability payments by up to $20.80," Mr Billson said.

"These latest adjustments will boost the maximum rate of the single service pension to $512.10 per fortnight, and the maximum rate for couples to $427.70 each.

"The war widow's pension will also increase to $537.10, meaning war widows will now be better off by $12.40 per fortnight. Additionally, the ceiling rate of the income support supplement, which is paid to some 81,000 war widows, will rise to $152.60.

"With the Special (T&PI) Rate set to rise by $20.80, T&PI disability pensioners will now be receiving $852.90 per fortnight.

"Veterans and war widows will see these increases reflected in their pension payments on the payday of 28 September 2006," Mr Billson said.

The Minister said rates for benefits under the Military Rehabilitation and compensation Act (MRCA) would also increase. The MRCA widowed partner's death benefit is paid at the same rate as the war widow's pension, while MRCA Special Rate Disability pensioners receive the same payments as T&PI

"The latest pension adjustments are necessary to help protect the living standards of our veterans, war widows and dependants," Mr Billson said.

"Australian veterans and their families are deserving of our continuing support, given their great service and sacrifice to our nation in times of need," he said.

Further information on the new pension rates is available from the Department of Veterans' Affairs on 133 254 or at

Media inquiries: Cameron Hill 0408 239 521


Passing of Bill 'Molly' Malouf - R51622 - DOB 21/04/1938

As reported in QSO entry of 25 June 2006, copied below, ex-CPORS Bill 'Molly' Malouf passed away this morning (Thursday 7 September 2006) after a long and valiant fight with prostate cancer.  Bill surprised everyone with his tenacity for life, despite being given only a few weeks to live in June this year.  Many thanks to the RANCBA ACT Welfare Officer, Dave Jeffrey, who remained in constant contact with Bill and provided support to him during his difficult last months in the ACT Hospice.

Bill's funeral will be held at Norwood Park Crematorium at 1630 on Tuesday 12 September 2006, full details will be published in The Canberra Times of Saturday 9 September 2006. It is incumbent on us to pay our respects and give him a suitable farewell. Dave Jeffrey will say a few words on our behalf.
Lest We Forget 07/09/06.

William Edward George 'Molly' Malouf R51622 - ex CPORS

Bill's daughter Doreen contacted the RANCBA ACT Chapter this weekend to inform us that Bill is dying of cancer at Clare Holland House, Barton - the hospice by the lake.  He has only a short time left with us.  Dave Jeffrey, our welfare office, will visit Bill this week and I will keep you informed of developments.  If any friends or colleagues of Bill would like to make contact the address of the hospice is shown below.  Bill's daughter Doreen can be contacted on 0401 456 423.

Clare Holland House
Menindee Drive
Phone:  02 6273 0336
Fax:  02 6273 0338

Dave Jeffrey (RANCBA ACT Welfare Officer) has now been to see Bill Malouf several times and is working on a DVA claim with Bill. Bill is in the advanced stages of Prostate Cancer and does not have long to go. Notwithstanding that, he is bright when he can be and really would like to see/hear from old ship mates. He was on Hobart in 1968 in Vietnam, and other ships were Duchess & Sydney ( pre - VungTau Ferry days).  2/07/06.


Brian 'Whizza' Wheeler sends:

Hi mates,
Can anyone out there remember the placement of asbestos in the communications messdecks and the main signal offices on Vendetta, Voyager and Melbourne(R21) in 1961 and 1962. I need pretty good information as what was a trip to the docs for for a runny nose has turned into me finding I have wide spread pleural plaque in both lungs and the info may be the basis for a DVA claim. Perhaps someone might know of a support group that deals with this asbestos problem or another party that may have info that will help me. Any help will be much appreciated.  Regards, Whizza.  07/09/06.

Fm: Edwin James Reid
As I remember it the asbestos lagged pipe for the steam catapult passed right through the communicator's messdeck and in fact was just above my head in a top bunk. 19/9/06.



On Monday 28th August 2006, CAPT Ralph T Derbidge MBE RAN Rtd, gave a stirring speech at the dedication of the HMAS BRISBANE Mast Memorial at The Bluff, Alexandra Headland, QLD.  Follow this link to read what he had to say.  01/09/06.


Minister for Veterans' Affairs Mailing List
VA087 Thursday, 24 August 2006

Former career officer in the Royal Australian Navy, Rear Admiral Simon Harrington's (Ret'd) term as the Services member of the Repatriation commission has been extended, the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Bruce Billson, announced today.  Mr Billson said RADM Harrington took up his original three-year appointment as Repatriation commissioner on 25 August 2003. "RADM Harrington's term expired today however I have asked RADM Harrington to stay on as Repatriation commissioner until November while his replacement is being finalised. The Services member of the Repatriation commission is appointed from nominations received from the ex-service community and this process is underway," Mr Billson said.

The Repatriation commission is the agency charged with meeting Australia's commitment to care for those who have served our nation in wars, conflicts and peace operations. "With the support of the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the commission delivers compensation and health benefits and discharges the nation's obligation to remember and honour our servicemen and women," the Minister said.

"During his period as commissioner, RADM Harrington has displayed a depth of operational and administrative experience that has been invaluable during what has been a challenging period for the Repatriation commission. "This has involved the implementation of the new Military Rehabilitation and compensation Scheme, which has delivered a modern, military specific compensation scheme for current and former members of the Australian Defence Force. RADM Harrington is a founding member of the Military Rehabilitation and compensation commission (MRCC), which is held in conjunction as Repatriation commissioner."

RADM Harrington joined the RAN at the age of 15 and, after graduating from the Royal Australian Naval College, served in a number of ships including HMAS Vampire and HMAS Yarra during the Vietnam War. His 39-year Navy career includes service in the Far East Strategic Reserve and in Papua New Guinea, before commanding HMAS Canberra in 1987-88 and HMAS Adelaide in 1992-93. RADM Harrington also served in positions including commanding Officer of the RAN College at Jervis Bay, Director General Recruiting and Support commander - Navy, and was Head of Australian Defence Staff and Defence Attaché at the Australian Embassy in Washington for three years until retiring in 2002.

Media inquiries: Cameron Hill 0408 239 521


Sandy McNab sends:

Noted Kev Eastley mentioning Frank "Boof" Taunton in Guestbook entry 238.

I first recall Frank as a typing instructor in 1958/59 along with Reg Gardner (whom I think was the OIC). You will see their faces in many of the annual Sig School Staff photo's e.g the 1960 photo. It was Reg whom through Trevor Percivals contact attended the 2005 reunion, and still going quite well for a WWII veteran. When I was back at Sig School in 61/62 Reg, Frank and a third instructor Miles Hough were still there, and Reg left not long after for another civvie posting to Canberra (MSO I think). I believe all 3 were ex-CCY's in their own right, and that Frank survived the Japanese bombing of HMAS Canberra or maybe the Australia in WWII. Have attached a photo of a very genial affable Frank as I recall him in 1962 and am pretty sure his bark was worse than his bite. I believe he passed away sometime back in 1994. You may wish to add the photo to the website, perhaps with other Sig School photo's.

Cheers Sandy 22/08/06.


Sandy McNab sends the mystery web-site photo for the month.

Taken on the Stbd 10" on the Melbourne, the lad with the crew-cut came from Wodonga if I recall correctly, maybe an Adams as in Tony Adams, but for the likes of me can not for sure recall their names. Guess we will have the answers within a short time. Graham Ogg may recall them.

Cheers Sandy.  Got me beat Sandy, I'll leave it to others.  22/08/06.

comment from Kevin 'Beast' Eastley:
For Sandy McNab... G'day Sandy, ref your query about photo taken on Melbourne, not sure about the chap on left, but the other mate with crew cut is the Late Laurence J. (Prairie) Meadows. Prairie actually came from Koo-Wee-Rup in Victoria. We used to knock about together. George Wilson (Ex sparker) was telling me about what happened to Prairie at the Canberra Re-Union. He seen him quite a bit,in later years. Cheers Beast 27/08/06.

comment from Les Church:
It looks like (Sparker) Hugh Brendish, How did he find the way to the flag deck?  01/09/06.


Royce Tandy sends: 

Just put a msge on HMAS Sydney site, maybe someone reading this can help. There was a query regarding the 1971 trip we did to Vung Tau then to Hawaii, San Diego, San Francisco and Vancouver. The question was did anyone remember the sailor(s) who left the ship in an emergency liferaft and were found I think about 12 days later, not in great shape but certainly alive. I remember the incident quite well but now the names escape me, I think one was an able seaman Guthrie who was later very badly injured in a car accident, the car in question being driven by RO Snow Westbury (??) who was killed in that accident. Can anyone help? Perhaps Robert Athol (Timber) Mills and at the time LRO Pedro Franklin would remember. I am sure they would remember Henry Africa's bar in Frisco.
Regards Royce.  22/08/06.

24/08/06: Glenn 'Chopper' Holmes sends:
For Royce Tandy's query re SYDNEY's man overboard. The young man ie one only, was an ORDET (can't remember his name) and was in the water for 4 weeks or more. Regards, Glenn (Chopper) Holmes.

01/09/06: Royce Tandy sends:
Re Chopper Holmes answer to query on man overboard. Have had stacks of people email me and identified the guy as John Clough. I have confused everyone because I mentioned able seaman Guthrie who was in the car driven by Snow Westbury but that accident was in 1970 and before the Hawaii trip mentioned. Sorry about that and thanks to Frank Hicks who gave me the correct dates. Cheers Royce.

07/09/06:  Geoff Worth sends:

TO ROYCE TANDY, The Guthrie you mentioned on HMAS SYDNEY was none other than Brian Guthrie, ex Bussleton W.A. boy who joined up in the 20th Intake at Leeuwin.  Just recently we had a mini 40th Reunion of that intake at the Bicton RSL and Brian was there.  He certainly was in the car accident that killed Snow Westbury who incidentally was also a 20th Intaker.  Cheeers, Geoff Worth.


Update on Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station
From Peter 'Skeet' Dowling.

Firstly my apologies to you for the delay in keeping you informed of the outcome of the recent seminar on Bells. I have been away in Melbourne. As you would know over 70 people turned up for event – a number much higher than I had expected, but nevertheless appreciated greatly. This number is strongly indicative of the level of concern among people who have been associated in one way or the other with the transmitting station. I have also received several emails from people living outside of Canberra expressing their concern and support.

I have attached a copy of the communiqué which was formed at the meeting. This communiqué has been sent to the Minister for Defence, the Minister for Environment & Heritage, commonwealth opposition shadow ministers, members of the ACT Legislative Assembly and commonwealth and Territory government bodies. The communiqué is a strong statement of concern by members of the seminar, many with expertise in heritage management and legislation and many ex serving personnel who are concerned for the future of Bells.

However, I fear that the department of defence is still intending to go ahead with the dismantlement and removal of the station’s transmitting equipment and aerials acting on the decision by the Minister for Environment & Heritage. My group has yet to receive a response regarding the communiqué from the Minister.

I would like to thank you and other members of the RANCBA for attending the meeting – seeing familiar ex-communicators in the audience was very reassuring.

I have received information that Bells will be open for guided tours on 29th & 30th August – if any members wish to visit Bells they can ring the station on 6241 4922 and book a place (it may be the last time to see Bells in the way it should be retained).

Please follow this link to read the communique agreed at the meeting.


Welcome to the Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans.

The Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans honours and commemorates the men and women who served in the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force in Vietnam, or in the waters adjacent to Vietnam, during the conflict between 23 May 1962 and 29 April 1975.

The roll contains information from the Service records of more than 60 000 military members who served during the Vietnam War. You can seek information on these members using the Search function.

This version of the roll was compiled from data collected in the 1990's to support health studies. A more comprehensive roll with a wider range of data fields, similar to those in the World War 2 Nominal Roll and the Korean Nominal Roll, is being collated from Service records. The comprehensive roll will be published on the Internet in August 2007.

This site also contains the names of more than 1 600 Australian civilians who had been awarded or were eligible to receive the Vietnam Logistics and Support Medal. You can seek information on civilian participants at this page

More detailed information about the roll is available at About this Nominal Roll. Please contact us if you have any feedback about this site.

This site was last updated on 11 August 2006.

Allan Moffatt passes on the following information:

EX-WRANS ASSOCIATION NSW will be holding a 20th Anniversary Church Service for the Wrans Windows at Garden Island on Sunday the 24th September 2006 with morning tea to follow, and their Christmas afternoon 25th November 2006 at City of Sydney RSL, George Street, Sydney at 11.30am for 12. Cost to be advised. All ex Wrans are most welcome. RSVP both functions to Elaine Wallace phone 02 -49451857 or email
Thanking you, Elaine Wallace, President Ex Wrans NSW.


Richard George (Dick) Treasure sends:

I have just returned from a driving holiday around Sarawak/Brunei/Sabah and West Malaysia/Singapore. An experience I will never forget.10 days to do Borneo, 4 to do W/M. The traffic not for the faint hearted in KL. The scenery in Sabah between Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan breathtaking to say the least.The mountains around Mt Kinabalu beautiful, the road woeful.

Anyway to the point, whilst in Singapore I had an "ANZUK FORCE SINGAPORE" plaque copied and they did an excellent job. I had to get 6 minimum made and have 3 over. Anyone who served in 9 Sig Regt and would like one they can have it at cost, a bit dear at $60 though. The manufacturer will do more if he gets enough orders and will freight them down. Expressions of interest to me and I will sort it out.  Rgds Dick Treasure.  10/08/06.


Peter Grogan sends:

Has anyone heard of or from Jim Lindsay. Jim was a LSRO on Derwent with me in 1980 when he had an unfortunate accident in Darwin. Tks, Groges.  07/08/06.



The Maritime Museum of Queensland is welcoming any Volunteers who are able to help preserve an important part of naval heritage by assisting with the cleaning and painting of the ship's hull. All equipment and paint will be supplied.

For further information please contact: Tom Jeffree or Ian Jempson - phone: 3844.5361 or send an Email to: 


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

Don't know if this is any good to you, taken many years ago at Canberra just down from the AWM. On my left hand side is the late EX WORS Ted Pretty. It was sent to me this morning out of the blue. If my memory is correct it was the opening of the Navy Memorial Monument, but I stand corrected on that. I had a good yarn with Phil later on and Ted Pretty had a very good yarn with the then PM, Bob Hawke.  Tks Shorty, and that would be VADM Mike Hudson (the then Chief of Navy) on Liz's left I think.  02/08/06.


Kev Ruwoldt sends:

I attended the HMAS Quickmatch reunion on Sunday 30th July starting at 1730 hours until closing time at the Manly/Wynnum Leagues Bowls Club. It was a very pleasant reunion, just getting to know old shipmates and meet their wives. All in all I struck four people I served with in 1959/1960 and it has been some 46 years passed since those days. The only other communicator in attendance was Keith “Snow” Best, who joined the Quickmatch in 1941, the days when shells were fired both ways. Have enclosed a photo of all the ‘old salts’, for QSO and Newsletter. Former “Greenie” Herb Sutherland’s good wife Elaine is endeavouring to put names on all the people who attended. Will forward when I receive them. Many thanks, Cheers, Ruwie. 02/08/06.

Quickmatch Reunion - 2006 
Back row 2nd on left Snow Best and in the Front row is myself, the one nearly as tall as Shorty



Mal Baker sends:

I'm not sure of any details at all, but I received an email yesterday saying that Lindsay Curtis OAM had passed away. Lindsay retired from the RAAF as a WOFF, but served his early years as a communicator in the RAN, that's all the details I have. I just thought that out of the many people you get browsing your website some might have remembered him.

Subject: Funeral Arrangements for Lindsay Curtis

His mother Bette Williams - Nr 3 Baldwin St, Redcliffe, 4020 Ph: 07 3203 7582

Funeral details
The funeral will be held at 10 am on Wednesday the 2nd August 2006 at Caboolture & Districts Crematorium & Memorial Gardens Tallowood Drv Deception Bay QLD 4508.  PH: (07) 3888 6622

A wake will later be held at Redcliffe RSL put on by the Navy and RAAF Association

People wishing to send tributes etc please contact

Funeral Director
Kenton Ross Funerals
(07) 3285 5155

A memorial service will be held here at RAAF Base Edinburgh on Fri 04 Aug 06 at the Base Chapel commencing at 1000 hrs.

31/07/06.  Many thanks Mal, sad news.  If anyone remembers what comms sub-branch Lindsay was in the RAN please let me know. Lest We Forget.

06/08/06:  Gordon Davidson sends:  re Lindsay Curtis I served with Lindsay on HMAS Yarra at the time he was a SIG believe he was a LSSIG when he went over to the RAAF.  LEST WE ForgET.  Davo

24/06/08:  Dolly Gray sends:  I had the pleasure of meeting Lindsay a few years ago, although we knew of each other at Leeuwin, he was in the intake in front of me. We re met through our two eldest children who went to school together. Lindsay had been badly burnt in the MSO fire on HMAS Yarra in 1976, with 'Irish' Cooley and another Sig.  He was a good mate and one of nature's gentlemen, despite his going over to the darkside (RAAF). Prior to his moving to Brisbane we met at least weekly for a few beers at Werribee RSL. He will be sadly missed.
Steve 'Dolly' Gray ex ABROEWSM 


Peter Grogan sends:

All ROEW sailors interested in a reunion contact Pete Grogan on 07 5578 4218 or
Groges 31/07/06.


Laurie Pegler sends:

Last Saturday 22Jul06 the HMAS Sydney & VLSVA played host to the Captain, XO and some crew members at the Chelsea RSL here in Melbourne. A montage of the campaign medals of the four HMAS Sydneys was presented to the Captain. A very impressive piece of work. Photos of the occasion have been posted on our web site  Please take note of the photos of esteemed RANCBA member Ian 'Stumpy' Broadsmith.

Today (Monday 24Jul06), HMAS Sydney proceeded to sea in Port Phillip Bay to scatter the ashes of WWI and WWII veteran 'Darby' Allan. As some of you may know, Darby passed away in October 2005 and today would have been his 107th birthday. It was a fitting farewell to a member of our association and a Legend of the Sea. Photos of the occasion will be on our site in the next couple of days.

Laurie Pegler
Some excellent photographs here - well worth a look.  25/07/06.


Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:

The American submarine, USS City of Corpus Christi, is in Brisbane at present and yesterday (Sunday) we attended a BBQ put on for them by the American Legion (as usual). During the day, I had one of those life decisions to make (as you can see by the attached photo). The Supply Officer's wife or the beer? Wife or drink? Beer or bird? Decisions, decisions!! Fortunately the Supply Officer was close by and assisted me in my decision-making. The beer was very nice, thank you.

Gayle Brady sends:

Have just spent an enjoyable afternoon on the U.S. nuclear sub. (Los Angeles class) USS "City of Corpus Christi" which is in Brisbane for one week from its home base, Guam. A most interesting tour - our guide was a Chief Petty Officer and the other members of the group were RAN Midshipmen - mostly from the medical branch. Having been aboard H.M.A.S. Rankin it was a good chance to see the differences between the two Navies - not many - although the Rankin seemed less cramped for space but as the U.S. Sub. is 25 years old that was only to be expected. The crew appeared quite surprised to find that Brisbane was an up to date city and that no one was seen taking their pet kangaroos down the street on a leash!!
Gayle sends 27/07:
My biggest surprise on the USS "City of Corpus Christi" was not running into Nullabor Baker!!  For once I thought I beaten him to the punch - not to be - he was off with an Officer's wife!!!


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM sends:

NSW News

The Bi Annual Get Together will be held at Parramatta RSL Club on 12th August, commencing at 12.30 till you wish to call it stumps. Dress casual but in compliance with dress standards of a registered club. Cost is $20.00 which is put into the kitty, drink what you wish, food at your own costs. Partners, and friends if you wish are more than welcome.

Parramatta RSL Club is situated on the corner of Macquarie & OConnel Street, Parramatta about 10 minutes walk from train and bus inter-change. If driving (but not advisable if drinking), there is a 6 floor car park). All are welcome to call in and stay as long as possible (or till the Club closes the doors!!!).

Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans Service. The RANCBA has been invited to attend this Service, to be held at 11.30am on the 20th August. It is a very well conducted service and having attended about 5 of them, no complaints. Dress is jacket tie, medals where applicable. It is a small March and the Guest this year is Lieut.General Ken Gillespie AO, DSC, CSM , Vice Chief of ADF. They put on a sausage sizzle (free ) after and drinks at Club prices. There will be a Wreath Laid of behalf of all communicators as this now includes all eras, Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, Iraq, etc. So all are invite, free travel by Rail to Springwood has been advised, but only for those wearing OFFICIAL Medals or taking part . Check with City Rail for times. March commences at 11.30 am sharp so be there no later than 11.00.

I normally march with the FESR Assn but there are other Assns, Vung Tau Ferry, HMAS SYDNEY etc.

Anyway to all communicators who may be in Sydney or passing through and wish to attend both these functions, you will be more than welcome.  See ya there.  Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM.  24/07/06.


MSO Revisited:

I originally had the two messages below (sent by Les Church) posted to the MSO page, but Royce Bell sent me such a good email about them I thought it worthy of a posting to QSO. 


Fm Royce:
Long time since I’ve seen the old “deferred” precedence. I wonder how many of our modern communicators will recognise the “M”. Originated ACNB on the 3rd April, received Penguin on the 5th probably by hand from Kuttabul. Obviously PASEP'ed to Voyager with reply on the 6th. Also note the response was cleared by Voyager on HIC late in the first watch on the 6th even though it was received in the MSO early in the afternoon. Wonder if it was cleared into Kuttabul or Nowra?

I also note from the dist on both messages that the messages are probably those as disted in VOYAGER (guess the N doubled as the SCO) but there is no double header DTG to indicate it being PASEP’ed from Penguin. Only the note on the top of the message indicates it had been passed for action to Voyager. Could this be a result of it having been forwarded ZFH1 as opposed to being double headed? My memory does not allow me to cast back that far but I cannot remember ZFH1 being in general use.

Perhaps I’m just being the pedantic old CY who still needs to check the dist on messages before taking them to “father”.
Cheers, Royce.
24/07/06.  Like Royce I enjoyed seeing the old S1320d again, it took me back to the days of Hermes typewriters and ormig machines.  But it does show how we operated in those days.  I wonder who RJW was ??

Fm Les Church 25/07:
The message was passed by hand from the MSO in Hong Kong as we were there at the time, and we sent the answer by HIC to Hong Kong signal centre. I was in the MSO when the message came in and the Nav was the comms officer on the Voyager on the trip up top in 1963 (its last trip).

I distributed the signal as follows:
X - Captain
X1 - 1st LT
N - Navigator
W - Wardroom
S1 - Captains Sec
The Yeoman wasn't in the dist as he got every signal

We had one day to make a decision on whether we would sign on, and from HK in those days it was hard to talk to home from up there.

RJW was Bob Walker the senior TO on Voyager at the time, I think he has passed on.  The signal crew at that time was:
CCY Bob Barker
LTO Les Church
A/LTO Arthur Teape
TO Bob Walker
TO Neil Edwards
OTO Peter Cockroft
OTO Owen Sparks
OTO Gary Evans
OTO Bob Jocumson
OTO John Burdett


Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:
Many older sailors (especially the Sweeper men) would have fond memories of HMS Mull of Kintyre, shown on the attachment at Sembawang in 1964.  Cheers, Nullarbor.  Ah, memories of Divisions on the wharf and runs ashore! 21/07/06.

HMS Mull of Kintyre

Dinga & Anne Bell send the following:

Just to let everybody know that Barry Charles Jackson (Jacko) ex PORS has been admitted to Intensive Care at Townsville Hospital with a brain haemorrhage which was suffered this morning (Tuesday 18th July).

Prognosis unknown at this stage but I will keep you informed.

Please direct enquiries to myself on 0429 899 721 and I will pass on to his wife Leeanne.

Dinga and Anne Bell
Many thanks to you both, this is shocking news.  For those of you not aware, Jacko & Leeanne are travelling around Australia in their pink 'Panther' bus.  I have been publishing their 'travelogues' on this site.  We sincerely hope that Jacko makes a swift and full recovery.  19/07/06.

Update 21 July from Dinga & Anne:
Still no improvement with Jacko but at this stage the hospital intends to fly him to Brisbane on Sunday and operate on Monday. There is no definite prognosis as they still have him in an induced coma.  Will keep in touch.

Update 21 July from Dinga & Anne:
The hospital in Townsville has now put Jacko on 40 minutes notice to move him to Brisbane. So if a plane becomes available - he will be moved to Brisbane and is going into the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Could you please put a note on the site asking if anybody who knows Jacko and lives close to the Princess Alexandra Hospital and has a spare room.  His wife (Leeanne) needs somewhere to stay between visits to the hospital.  If anybody can assist - could they contact me on 0429 899721.

Update 25 July 06:
A short update on Jacko - he was operated on yesterday (Monday) and was kept sedated until this morning.  The checks today have found several other blood clots and he has suffered a small stroke. Prognosis not good. The hospital intends to have another MRI this afternoon and make a decision on where to go after that. I will keep you informed.

Update 31 July 06:
Jacko was operated on Last Monday 24th July and other blood clots were located. This was a non-intrusive operation. Went through the groin and heart to the brain via several arteries. This operation caused a small stroke with minimal damage to the heart. They then operated again on Tuesday 25th and had to enter the brain through the skull. It was decided to keep him in an induced coma until the weekend so that his brain swelling would go down.

They have been reducing the drugs over the weekend, and today they intend to do a tracheotomy (hole in throat) to put breathing tubes etc in (rather than through mouth).

Our latest information is that the prognosis is not good - they seem to think he will lose some movement on one side of his body - will not drive again - and may need a carer for the rest of his life.

This all has to be confirmed when they finally wake him - and I will keep you informed, as further news comes through.

Update on Jacko - 6 August 06:
Spoke to Leeanne last night.
Jacko has been moved out of Intensive Care to a semi Intensive care ward.  He is now off the critical list.
They have woken him up and his vital signs are good - though they are unable to assess the effects of the stroke as yet.
He will be required to undergo a long period of rehab - and final prognosis is looking better.
Leeanne has decided to sell the bus - so if anybody is looking - give us a yell.
We are organising to send her gear down from Tully this week.
She has found accommodation very close to the hospital and says thank you to those who offered.
More updates will follow when known.

Update on Jacko 14 August 06:

Spoke with Leeanne on Thursday. She says Jacko is still asleep (sounds normal) and should wake up when the brain swelling subsides.  The docs are hopeful he will have full use of both legs, and some impairment of his left arm. He should be able to speak fully, but will need a fair bit of rehab before he can leave hospital.

They say that if they get an empty Royal Flying Doctor plane going back to WA he will be put on it so that he can do his rehab back there - but in the meantime he is scheduled to commence his rehab as soon as he wakes up.

Leeanne is doing well - and has been taking lessons on how to care for Jacko and spends around 5 hours per day looking after him.  She sends here regards to everyone who has sent well wishes.  Further update when available.

Dinga and Anne Bell

Update 25 August 06:

Hi All:  Good news on Jacko at last.

Spoke with Leeanne last night (24th Aug). She advises that Jacko is now awake and sitting up in a wheel chair. He is talking - but has little recollection of anything in the past as yet. He is eating and breathing by himself and most vital signs are good.

The docs have decided that when he is strong enough to handle it they will send him back to WA to Charlie Gardiner Hospital for his rehab. This cannot occur until he gains some strength as he has been on his back for over six weeks. (That sounds like Jacko anyway doesn't it?)

We will keep you informed as news comes to hand. Regards, Dinga and Anne.

Update 3 September 06:

Just a short update on Jacko:

We spoke with Leeanne on Thursday evening.

Jacko has had to have another operation - they have inserted a shunt into his brain, and he was having trouble coming out of the op.

He is out of it all now and Leeanne reports that he has lost his short term memory - (last year or so) - but his long term memory is quite good. He seems to remember a lot of the old stuff like pussers etc.

He will remain in Brisbane for some time yet - but as for now he is not allowed visitors (except for Leeanne).  Regards, Dinga & Anne.


Allan Bruse has made the following request:

"My father (Signals Yeoman Ron Bruse) served as 2IC at Stony Hill, Albany and Booby Island, Torres Strait during WW2. Is there any way you know of to find out more about these 2 places (eg accommodation and uses during the war; use after the war; etc.), please?

My father is losing his sight and I thought it would give him a 'lift' if I could obtain some information.

Thank you for any suggestions you may have.
Kind regards,
Allan Bruse
18/07/06. If anyone is able to point Allan in the right direction it would be appreciated.  Please contact him direct.

Fm Sandy McNab 21/07/06:
Neville Philp whose contact details are 21 Dianella Drive, DIANELLA W.A. telephone 08 9349 9052 was stationed there during WWII as a leading telegraphist, am not sure if he was the original commissioning crew or the first relieving crew. I met Neville at the communicators National reunion here in W.A. in 1999 and Neville was subsequently able to provide me with some photo's and a write-up of the station, its location, victualling, accommodation, and transport, which from memory I forwarded to Allan Moffatt, the secretary of the RANCBA NSW who published them in one of his quarterly newsletter. I returned the photo's and write-ups to Neville for his personal safe keeping. Allan Moffatt may have a spare copy of that particular newsletter, or even photo copy it for your elderly father.  Similarly Neville may be able to assist.

During one of my visits to Albany several years ago, prior to the HMAS Perth being sunk as a dive wreck around in Frenchmans Bay, opposite where the old whaling / flensing / carcass processing plant is (it's a museum now) my wife and I took a drive up to Stony Hill not far from there and it is a magnificent view out over the great southern ocean to the SE, S and SW and back NE over King George Sound to the Albany town site. The old concrete footings where the signalling mast support cables were secured are still there today, and also a memorial plaque was commissioned some years back with the help of Neville and a keen support group of ex-communicators and the Naval Association of Australia, in recognition of those WWII communicators and support staff who manned the coastal Signal Stations.

There is a NAA Albany sub-section up and running these days, if you go to the National NAA website you will see some contact details of the local lads and lasses and they may have some additional information and photo's etc.

You may also be able to get current information from the City of Albany archives.


The following sad news was passed on by Gary Swanton, who saw it on the Gunplot site:

Vale CPOSY Stephen John Summers

It is with heavy heart that I report Steve's passing. HMAS Leeuwin 17th intake JRTE. Steve served some twenty odd years and still has a son in the mob. Died this morning (Friday 14 July) from a massive heart attack.

Born 21-02-1951, died 14-07-2006. Nowhere near old enough.

I am sure I speak for all who new Steve when I say our thoughts and prayers are with Christine and the family. I will post funeral details when they are available. You surely will be missed old son.


Ray Green has now advised funeral details:
Date – Thursday 20 July 2006
Time – 1100 (Please arrive 30 minutes earlier)
Where – Leppington Crematorium, North Chapel, 11 Camden Valley Way, LEPPINGTON, NSW

"My email address is  If you are attending please wear medals and either email me or ring me on 0407 708051 to advise attendance.  The family would like a rough idea of numbers.”

Seminar on the Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station - Its Heritage Significance and Uncertain Future

organised by: Engineering Heritage Canberra (Engineers Australia Canberra Heritage Group) in conjunction with the National Trust of Australia (ACT).

Thursday 20 July 2006 - 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Venue: Auditorium, Engineering House, 11 National Cir, Barton

The Department of Defence is preparing to dispose of the Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station (BNTS). This iconic feature of North Canberra has high military, engineering and social heritage significance and concerns exist that this important symbol of Belconnen, the ACT and the RAN presence in the capital, will be lost.

In 2005 the Minister for the Environment and Heritage rejected an application to include the Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station in the National Heritage List. This action was taken, even though the Minister accepted that the place may have outstanding heritage value. He considered that decommissioning the place would not reduce the potential National Heritage values and did not pose a present threat to any potential National Heritage values.

On Thursday 20 July, Engineering Heritage Canberra in association with the National Trust of Australia (ACT) will conduct a seminar to provide an understanding of what is intended, an historic overview of the facility and its role in World War II and since, the heritage and environmental aspects of the station and options for its future. Speakers will be Dr Brian Egloff of Canberra University, Dr Peter Dowling of the National Trust, an archaeologist and former RAN communicator and Duncan Marshall, consultant and heritage specialist.

All interested parties are invited and encouraged to attend this important event in Australia’s and Canberra’s heritage.

RSVP: or phone 6273 1314
Barbara Lowe.


Bob Orr seeks Dinga Bell:

My name is Bob ORR ex greenie 19th intake JR March 1967 . We are having a 40th reunion and one of the blokes we seek is a 'dinga' Bell - yeah I know all Bell's are Dingas- I thought this one was Phil but a name on the back of a photo of him would tell us it is Graham/Graeme? He hailed from Queensland initially but was rumoured to last work for Defence Dept in ACT. Now he'd be @54-55 . Was a communicator so thought someone there may know of him . Any info appreciated.  If anyone can help please contact Bob direct.  14/07/06.


Gary Sposito sends:

Thought you might like to add this photo to your site.
It was taken in 1979 at the old communications school, around the same time as your 1979 photo of the school staff. The photo is of the presentation of the statue of the messenger god Mercury to the school. I can only imagine that the statue would now reside at the new school. The commander on the right is commander Briggs the then officer in charge of the school. The Wrans and sailors in the middle, myself being one of the sailors, were selected for the photo as we each represented the different sections of the communications branch being taught at the school RO, ROS, SIG, ROEW, etc. Hope you find it useful.
Regards.  Many thanks Gary - does anyone know if it is in the new school??  02/07/06.

Presentation of Mercury statue to comms School 1979

Fm CPO Rohan Jennings:
In response to Gary Sposito's entry, the Mercury statue shown can still be found in the foyer in the new DFSS-MCISW (comms School). It is the first thing you see when you enter the building.


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

I have just had a phone call from the son of one of our Members, to inform me his father had sadly passed away on Thursday, 29th June. His name was Ken Craig, he was a Signalman, served throughout WW II 1940 - 1946.

Now, his father often spoke of a good friend of his who he served with and lives in the ACT. They met up at the 2002 Reunion in Canberra.

Unfortunately the son cannot remember this man's name, so if anyone reading this item, could they contact me and I shall pass on your name (with your permission) to his son.

On behalf of the RANCBA I shall send a Sympathy Card to the NOK.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt


Laurie 'Lugs' Malone sends:

I followed one of the references in QSO to a WW1 website on which I found the 1917 naval phonetic alphabet. It made me recall the remonstrance I often heard in the comms Mess on HMAS Napier in 44-45: "Negative Pudding Zebra" to anyone whose elbows were sticking out and annoying a neighbour. Apparently "PZ" was short code for "Stream paravanes" (paravanes were a form of towed underwater "glider" developed by Cdr Usborne and Lt Burney financed by Sir George White, founder of the Bristol Aeroplane company which, when streamed from each side of the bow of the ship streamed out at about 45 degrees and acted as minesweepers).  Many thanks Laurie. 02/07/06.

Laurie was a Sparker on HMAS NAPIER in 44-45 and afterwards at Coonawarra in 1946. He sent the photo below plus several others of forms and publications from his service days.  Laurie also has some Coonawarra photos from 1946 - if he ever finds them he will send them to me for publication.

HMAS NAPIER comms Personnel 1945  HMAS NAPIER comms Personnel - 1945

Gus Dodds sends:

Well I must admit I have not kept up with current events. It did, however, give me a few chuckles to read some of the known names and their escapades. Really not new from the earlier days!

Ken Street, John Scanlon, who could ever forget Alan "Murgy", Tackers, the irrepressible Bob Argent, Tug Wilson, "Foot in the fire" Rouse, Jim Eagles (who was a good friend to me when needed). The list goes on and on of the stirling men I have had the privilege to meet.

As we Sparkers did say "Biddy Biddy Bum Bum Biddy Biddy" - wasn't that IMI?
Gus 28/06/06

Fm Shorty Moffatt:  In response to Gus Dodds, I didn't think he knew what IMI was!!! He was a pretty crash hot morse reader and didn't miss a beat.  I shall never forget one 500 plus grouper I sent whilst on HMAS MORESBY (1964) and using an indefinite callsign, and it was Gus who was on the other end at HARMAN and Rogered it, he never asked for any IMI's etc then said GN Shorty AR.  I thought I pretty good on the key belting it out and having Gus at the other end make it a pleasure.  Good to hear from him, Regards Shorty.


William Edward George 'Molly' Malouf - ex CPORS

Bill's daughter Doreen contacted the RANCBA ACT Chapter this weekend to inform us that Bill is dying of cancer at Clare Holland House, Barton - the hospice by the lake.  He has only a short time left with us.  Dave Jeffrey, our welfare office, will visit Bill this week and I will keep you informed of developments.  If any friends or colleagues of Bill would like to make contact the address of the hospice is shown below.  Bill's daughter Doreen can be contacted on 0401 456 423.

Clare Holland House
Menindee Drive
Phone:  02 6273 0336
Fax:  02 6273 0338

Dave Jeffrey (RANCBA ACT Welfare Officer) has now been to see Bill Malouf several times and is working on a DVA claim with Bill. Bill is in the advanced stages of Prostate Cancer and does not have long to go. Notwithstanding that, he is bright when he can be and really would like to see/hear from old ship mates. He was on Hobart in 1968 in Vietnam, and other ships were Duchess & Sydney ( pre - VungTau Ferry days).  2/07/06.


Pension Taxation Benefits 1 July 2007:

If you are wondering about the new superannuation taxation arrangements that come into effect from 1 July 2007 and how they will affect DFRDB pensions, follow the link to a very well written precis by Rodney Nott, President of the Vietnam Logistical Support Veterans Association (VLSVA) Queensland. 

Government Plans to Simplify Superannuation



Ray Knights sends:

I am Sorry to inform you of the passing of Bill McAllister Honorary Signalman Radar Plotter Lieut SD.

I was fortunate to have met Bill last year in Lake Awoonga Qld we spent many a night Reminiscing about Old Days.

Those who served with him would have been very fortunate

Bill did his SD course with Artie Wyatt and Ken Swain, he had a long illness but was proud to have made Anzac Day at his Local RSL at Sawtell NSW.  His Funeral will be held at Coffs Harbour Tuesday 20th June 2006

Regards Ray (Bogey) Knights 15/06/06.


Who is this anonymous Senior communicator?

  Pick your caption:

a.  Visiting up top looking for lost siblings from the past.
b.  Had a heavy weekend and decided to go canoeing with a plant pot on my head.
c.  Wanting to be a rock star with a hit called "I am turning Japanese, I am turning Japanese, I really think so!"
d.  Holidaying at Sea World on the Gold Coast and sucked in for one of those silly tourist photo's.
e.  Trying to relive a Vietnam experience on the Mekong Delta.
f.   Meg told me to do it.
Fm Bones Lehmann:  Wouldn't be on his way to see a bluey by any chance??????


Ken Swain - SCO HMAS YARRA 1969

A well respected SCO on Yarra, Ken had no hesitation in entering in the spirit of Christmas Day 1969, up top, by scrubbing out 3F comms Mess!

Ken Swain  Ken Swain & Cliff 'Squizzy' Taylor  What about this one, 10 years previous to the other! 14/06/06

Fm Ken 25/06/06:
"Its nice to see my photo appearing from I know not whom however I would just like to add that I cleaned up the comms Mess in Yarra on Christmas Day 69 pretty good because I had plenty of experience cleaning up the comms Mess in HMAS Vampire 59/61 with my OD and subsequent AB mates Cliffe Taylor, Bas Cleary, Mel Prosser, Bill McGeorge, Kev Davis and you can add a few bunting tossers in that lot such as Les Church etc. Thanks for posting the photo for its one I have NEVER seen before. I have the second photograph of myself and Cliffe Taylor taken in Auckland in 59 on the ships first ever visit to NZ. I suspect it came from Les Church".

OAM Awards:

Two very well deserved Order of Australia Medal (OAM) awards were announced in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, Monday 12 June 2006:

Mr Allen David MOFFATT, Toongabbie NSW:  For service to veterans through the Royal Australian Navy communications Branch Association.

Lieutenant commander James Michael McCONNELL, RAN, NT:  For meritorious service in the Royal Australian Navy in the field of communications and as Warrant Officer of the Navy.

Heartiest congratulations to both recipients, it is a pleasure to see communicators recognised for their outstanding work.  BZ.  12/06/06.

Medal  of the Order of Australia


Tim Mackey sends: 

Following 12 months in the same donga as Pete 'Pedro' Franklin as a trusty JR, (photographic evidence exists of him learning to play my guitar- it's a hoot!!) I was on Duchess as an OD with him - we got back from 'up-top' and despite the fact that I had never driven a car in my life, I bought a VW in Sydney and between us we BOTH learnt to drive between G.I. and the Gold Coast and got our driving license on the Coast - there's a story in that, too, but I won't bore you with the details. Whilst on the Coast I taught him to play golf (that's my story) neither of us had played golf and we went to Beaudesert with his Dad - we went around, Pete in about 173 and me in about 870, (thinking I had done pretty well) until he brought me back to earth by asking if I wanted to do the 2nd nine. In Pete's defence though, he did try to smarten-up my tennis game - he tried, and he tried and he . . . . . . .. Tks Tim - so someone taught him to play golf?  09/06/06.


Barry 'Bones' Lehmann sends:

Had the pleasure to catch up with Bob (Timber) Mills, Pedro and Sue Franklin during a recent trip my wife and I did to the Gold Coast. Visited Pedro's ranch in the hinterland, had a game of golf and even saw my old CRS - Terry Morris - at the Golf Club. I told him it was only because of me we won the Wardle Cup way back when... but for some reason I was howled down by everyone present. I have included a photo of Timber showing his best profile, my wife Annemarie, Pedro and his wife Sue.  Regards Bones. Tks Bones, good to see Pedro looking well without a grey hair in sight!  30/05/06.


Barry 'Tex' Sherriff advises:

Fellow Port Adelaide member (ex POPHOT) Steve Coates took some great shots at the Dawn Service which he has posted on his website.
Cheers Tex.  30/05/06.


Keghead Weaver sends:

Re the PJM. A lot have received this medal and a lot more, who really are entitled to it, will never get it. The criteria, with a start date of August '57 is ridiculous, because without us being 'up there' prior to that, ie '55, '56 and early '57 doing the initial 'hard yards' keeping the 'insurgents' out, there would never have been a "Malaysia". When is someone in DoHA going to use some CDF and advise the "Malaysian authorities" that it needs 'amending' ?? Keghead Weaver. 23/05/06.


Jim Eagles sends:

Following rcvd on my email today: "Last week the Minister for Veterans' Affairs is quoted in an interview with Cynthia Banham May 9 2006, as saying "Whereas in the past the military was viewed as a place where social 'misfits' did time in order to get 'sorted out', such people were not suited to today's defence force." This statement caused outrage in the defence community who see this statement as a personal insult to all who have volunteered to serve this nation. A politician calling us 'misfits' - that takes the cake - they should take a good long look at themselves sometime! 23/05/06.

Fm Terry Crane:  I would like to add the following in response to Jim Eagles's entry of 23 May. Firstly my declaration of interest - I served from 72 to 84 (PORS) but am now a Senior Adviser in the Prime Minister's Office.

The offending passage which was carried in the SMH article of 9 May was in fact commentary prepared by the newspaper and not a statement quoting the Minister. The Minister issued a press statement following the article, which unfortunately did not get the same level of coverage (that's a surprise). In the press release the Minister committed "to providing ongoing support and assistance to our veteran and defence force communities and promoting an outstanding history of integrity and courage in the service of Australia".

Regards to all.  20/6/06.


Jim Anderson sends:

Over recent months I have become increasingly interested in the history of the Overland Telegraph network and have become involved with the fully restored and operational OT Station at Cardwell, up here in the north.

I am in the process of setting up my own operational station (within my Amateur Radio "shack") and I'm on the lookout for old landline telegraph equipment like sounders and relays etc together with desktop items from the period (blotters, inkwells, pens/nibs) from the late 1800's early 1900's, including signage of the day.

A number of ex-PMG telegs still communicate using this method using a modem and the telephone lines. I was surprised how quickly I took to the "dakka dakka" morse as several ex PMG fellows told me how hard the transition would be and how hard pussers sparkers found it after the war.

So … if any communicators come across anything they think may interest me, I would love to hear from them. I am happy to meet all reasonable costs.

Best regards
Jim Anderson VK4AQ

Eddie Pearson asks:  Question... Does anyone know the address of the Old White Ensign Club in Melbourne.  Regards, Eddie.  To the best of my memory it was in the Exhibition Buildings, Nicholson Parade?  Can anyone help?  04/05/06.

Fm Dave Sutherland:  Further to the location (Exhibition Buildings, Nicholson Street (not Parade, in Carlton) that Curbs gave in response to the above query, you may wish visit the “gunplot” website. When in the site, go to “Search this site” and type in “white ensign club”. The outcome is quite a comprehensive overview of “Screamers”, along with a number of photographs.  Regards, David S.

Fm Les Thurgood:  Further to Eddie Pearson's request on QSO for the address of the White Ensign Club. It was in Nicholson Street (not Parade) Carlton, and part of the Royal Exhibition Buildings northern end. That end was demolished years ago, probably late 70's early 80's. The site is now the Melbourne Museum.


Campaign to Save the Belconnen Transmitting Station.

The following request was sent to Peter Guy, the Secretary of the RANCBA (ACT), from Peter 'Skeet' Dowling.  It is an issue that should be pursued and I invite your attention to it.  01/05/06.

Dear Peter

I am sending you this email and the accompanying article because of my concern for the future of the Belconnen Transmitting Station.

As most members will know Bells was decommissioned last year and now is no longer used as a transmitting station. As a result the Department of Defence intend to dismantle at least two of the prominent LF towers, most of the HF masts and aerials which will be broken up for scrap metal and dismantle and remove most of the transmitting equipment from the interior of the building.

As a member of the ACT National Trust I have been campaigning for the retention of all the transmitters, aerials and associated equipment at Bells and for it to preserved as an important part of the Navy's history and Australia's defence history. The site was heritage listed some time ago but this does not seem to be stopping the Department of Defence from going ahead with their intentions.

As part of the campaign to save Bells I have been interviewed on radio, TV and have had an article written in the local Canberra Times.

This has resulted in some response from a few former communicators and families who once lived there. But this response has not been high. I, along with other colleagues have written letters to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Senator Campbell, asking him to rethink the decision to dismantle and remove the equipment but our requests have been rather tersely dismissed.

I am therefore asking you, if you could post this letter and the attached article I have written for the National Trust magazine, on the RANCB website.

I would like to hear from as many ex-communicators and present RAN communicators who would support the campaign.

The National Trust has employed a media advisor who is willing to help bring this matter into the wider public arena via local and state media organizations and to keep the pressure on the Government and Department of Defence to change their intentions. A strong show of support from RANCB members would help us in our campaign. We would also like to organise a meeting of ex-communicators here in Canberra (a venue is being organised) who are concerned for the future of Bells. We intend to conduct this meeting in mid July if we can get support from members. the meeting will be an hour or so long and there will be two or three speakers who will speak on the history of Bells and why it should be saved.

If members wish to support this campaign and/or would be willing to attend the meeting please email me at

If we can get up to 60 people who feel that Bells should be kept as it is and be available for visits then we will have a substantial argument to present to the relevant Ministers and the Department of Defence.

Peter (Skeet) Dowling
Dr Peter Dowling
5 Pasley Place
Wanniassa ACT 2903
P: 02 6231 5521
M: 0417 233 194

Please follow this link for Peter's National Trust magazine article.

Please follow this link to read the Navy News article about the closure of Bells in 2005:

Update 25/06/06:

Thanks for your help in posting the information regarding Bells on the RANCBA website it was much appreciated.

The campaign to save the dismantlement of the aerials and transmitting equipment from Bells is still going.

I have had several responses from ex-communicators through the RANCBA website (some I haven't caught up with for 30 years) who have expressed their personal concern for the future of Bells. I am compiling a list of names, ranks and postcodes of those who have already contacted me. The list is growing but I would like to have more names on it.

I have been involved in the campaign through the ACT National Trust and now I have the help of Engineers Australia (EA) whose headquarters are here in Canberra. EA , which has several ex servicemen and former comms electricians (Navy, Army & Airforce) in their membership, are equally concerned about the future of Bells and have shown their willingness to help save the place. Together, we have organised a seminar on the future of Bells to be held here in Canberra on 20 July. Several speakers have offered to give short talks on the history, heritage significance and future of Bells. The main outcome of the seminar for the National Trust and Engineers Australia to develop a 'communiqué which we will present to the Minister for Defence, Minister for Environment & Heritage, and their respective departments. We will also invite these government bodies as well as the media to the seminar.

The details of the seminar are attached. Can I ask another favour from you in posting this letter and the attached flyer to the website.

All members of the RANCBA are most welcome to attend the seminar - there will be plenty of room - they can participate in the final session if they wish or just come along, sit and listen. At the moment we have a gap in our list of speakers - we would like someone to talk about the technical side of the equipment. If there is any member out there who feels they could fill this slot, please contact me at:

Thanks again for your help
Peter (Skeet) Dowling
Dr Peter Dowling
5 Pasley Place
Wanniassa ACT 2903
P: 02 6231 5521
M: 0417 233 194

Ray 'Bogey' Knights sends:

Just thought we should let you know what a few comms People have been doing since the Canberra Reunion.  Anzac Day in Yarrawonga is in its 4th year and it continues to grow.  People who have been enjoying our town since 2003 have been Shiner Wright, Russ Hooper, Bryce/Betty Diggle, Marion Hooper, Doug/Sally Kissick, John/Dee Payne, Peter/Mazz Archibald, Wally Leijen/Jenni,  Bronte/Glenys Daniel, Reg/Gayle Robins, Doug/Terri Moore, Bogey/Sandi Knights, Scotty/Pat Green, Trog/Jeannie Keenan, Moby Edwards, Phil Longden, Mal(Mack)/Sue McKenzie.

We also have other Riff Raff in the area One Adopted Signalman Terry/Chezz Powell ex Gunnery rate, Pedro/Wendy Rich, Bruce/Irene Ellaway, Frank/Maureen Warren, Ted (Noddy)/Marg Mellish, Bill/Chris Holmes, Bill/Jenni O'Day, plus various others.

Our agenda has been Pizza/Pissy Night (Meet and Greet ) this year 21 Starters.  Anzac Eve SMOKO Night at the Yarrawonga/Mulwala RSL, 36 Starters out of total of 130.  Dawn Svc and Gunfire Breakfast Numbers are dwindling, 8 this year.  March in Mulwala and then march in Yarrawonga, then off to the RSL and for a change a win to Collingwood, then back to home for R&R and Sunset. We need a Prep so we can carry out Sunset correctly.  All in all we feel Anzac is a live and well in Yarrawonga. Regards Bogey.  Sounds like a good spot to be on Anzac Day.  Tks Bogey.  01/05/06.


Photo 1 - Sunset Colour Party:
Back: Trog Keenan, Reg Robins, Pony Moore, Pete Archibald, Bryce Diggle, Front: John Payne, Bogey Knights, Scotty Green.  Absent: Doug Kissick Due to 60 yr old man trying to cut wood and falling down a rabbit burrow..we think he should have more sense.
Photo 2 - Moby Edwards and lovely ladies.
Photo 3 - Phil Longden and lovely ladies.


Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:

Spent ANZAC Day in Berridale (about 30k from Cooma) and was invited to a luncheon at the Berridale CWA (not unlike the old VRI dance in Melbourne on Friday nights back in the 60's). Anyway, there was a group of HMAS Albatross personnel there and we had a good time telling lies and spinning war-stories. A bus and two helos transported the group, who stayed for a couple of nights courtesy of the Berridale pub. The helos were parked out back on a vacant block. Have attached some photos. Cheers Nullarbor.  28/04/06.

Helo - Berridale Anzac Day 2006   Berridale Anzac Day 2006


Neville Phillips sends:

Had the opportunity to march with HMAS Hobart Association this Anzac Day, and whilst waiting to march off one of the members noticed a bunch of guys just away from us with "WHITE HATS" and made the comment that must be where the communicators are mustering. As it turns out they were members of the Naval Assoc, just goes to show if nothing else the 1999 reunion is still remembered by others if only because of the "WHITE HAT" Cheers Nev. 28/04/06.  It was the start of a great tradition Nev, carried forward by the Canberra 2002 & Sydney 2005 reunions.  28/04/06.


Neil Nunn (Unwin) sends:

Just a piece of advice please folks. Is anyone aware of Pussers discount type accommodation in the West? Am heading over there for three weeks in July to see the young bloke before he heads back to the NAG on Warramunga. Unfortunately he won't have civvy accommodation available for us at that time. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Cheers Neil.  I'm pretty sure the RAAF or the Army run accommodation centres in the West - perhaps one of the locals could help out with information ??  28/04/06.


Jim Berridge sends:

Out of the blue today I received the Aust Defence Medal. I had forwarded an application only 5 days before so this delivery pre-dates my application. I guess that because my initial starts with B they must be automatically forwarding to all to whom they have a current address. Conversely, I forwarded an application for the Malaysian medal in Feb 05 and received a holding reply but no further correspondence. Other than Shorty has anyone else from the branch received theirs ??? Hope this finds you and yours in the best of health, you do a fantastic job in keeping us all in touch with one another.  27/04/06.

Fm Les Church:  At the Sydney ANZAC day reunion about four of us had the PJM, Regards Les.

Fm Ron Hyland:   Re Jim Berridge MALAYSIAN MEDAL - I received mine about 3 weeks ago. Very nicely done all mounted, regards Ron.

Fm Jim Anderson:  I received the PJM about a week before ANZAC Day and the ADM the day after. Put my application for both in about a year ago.

Fm Jim Eagles:  Okay, so Jim Berridge, Les Church, Shorty Moffat and Ron Hyland got theirs, wot happened to the E's, looks like mine ended up in Iraq, I'll probably get a couple of Iraqi ones. By the way did you see that funeral for Private Kovac ? While I fully sympathise with his family, I hope Johnny down there in Canberra is going to do the same for all returned servicemen now, a hundred man guard, the PM, Min of Defence, Military chiefs, the band and a fly past by the RAAF. Or could it be someone was feeling the heat ??  Jim Eagles, Townsville.


VALE Bluey Oliver:

It is with regret that the HMAS BRISBANE Association advises of the passing of a shipmate and a friend. R62297 LEMC Kevin William "Bluey" Oliver, 61, passed away Wednesday, 19 April 2006, at Wesley Hospital in Brisbane, following a long battle with lung cancer.

Bluey Oliver was one of the Bay City residents, who stood by BRISBANE and then commissioned the ship in Boston, 16th December, 1967. He remained on the ship and went to Vietnam during the ships service on the gunline in 1969.

He was a resident of Ferny Hills, in Brisbane.

May you always have blue skies and gentle breezes, wherever you may roam shipmate.

Rest In Peace.

Peter Maher,
National Secretary,


Letters to the Editor:

Sometimes you come across a real gem like this letter to the editor in last week's Australian:
"The Cole Inquiry has to separate the wheat from the chaff because the AWB couldn't see the wood for the trucking fees."
Just about says it all doesn't it.  20/04/06.


Laurie Pegler has almost finished his revamp of the HMAS SYDNEY & VLSVA (VIC) web site and has done a terrific job with it.  Check out his good work at - a wealth of information is on the site.  20/04/06.


Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:
An ex-Steward mate of mine, Allan (Spike) Jones is making up a sort of "honour board" for 16MSS and requires 3 tally bands (Curlew, Gull and Hawk). If anyone has any of those tally bands and doesn't need them, he is willing to pay for them if necessary. Donors (or sellers) can contact me and I will pass on his email details. Cheers Nullarbor.  They may also be available from the HMAS SYDNEY & VLSVA (VIC) - check the link for more information.  18/04/06.


Alan Murgatroyd sends:

'I, like about a million other people have been fascinated with the demise of HMAS Sydney in 1941. I have read most of the books and most of the theories on how it happened but there is one thing I would like to clear up in my own mind, and it is relevant to the so called 'signals' that were transmitted by Sydney while she was engaging Kormoran.

I would like to know when whip aerials first came to use as transmitting aerials on RN/RAN ships. All the photos I have looked at of the Sydney , and indeed any early WW2 ships don't seem to have an whips on them, rather they have very complex wire aerial setups.

The point I am trying to get at with regards to Sydney during the battle is that the wire aerial setup would have been very easily damaged by shellfire and I don't think they would have been able to rig emergency aerials while all the metal was zinging around, so no messages would have been transmitted. Does anyone have any ideas about this ???'  Regards Murgy. 18/04/06.

Fm Jim Eagles 18/04:  Whip aerials were first introduced towards the end of WW2 by the Yanks, up until then the British and Australian and most other ships used the inverted-L aerials, i.e. wire aerials slung between the masts or from the masttop to the deck insulators etc. Yr rite it would have been suicide to have tried to rig jury aerials under such close range 20mm fire from the Kormoran. I have lots more on the Sydney's comms if you are interested you can buzz me direct if you want to. Your are also correct regarding the vulnerability of the wire aerials - a torpedo hit often caused the pole mast to whip from side to side pretty violently and many ships were sunk without being able to wireless anyone. The tripod mast helped to solve that problems to a certain degree but the whip aerials were much more successful and less likely to receive battle damage.  Jim Eagles, Townsville.


Jim Eagles sends:

Some time back I posted a review of the book "Somewhere Below" by John Samuels. Since then I received an extraordinarily incoherent and almost unreadable email abusing me. Now the book has been reviewed by Dr Thomas Lewis in the magazine "Australian Warship". If you thought my review of the book was not accurate then you should read Dr Lewis's review. He is better known as Tom Lewis and has published many articles on naval subjects and is the author of a number of books. He ended his review with these words:

"The saddest aspect of "Somewhere Below", however, is the anguish it will bring anyone related to a member of Sydney's ship's company who is unlucky enough to read this book. They have suffered enough already without going through the torment of imagining their loved ones being secretly buried in an unmarked grave. I urge them not to buy this book for that reason alone, and for anyone else, you will get far better entertainment from a good Roswell flying saucer story, for it is alongside such fantasies that "Somewhere Below" should be shelved."

I couldn't agree more.  13/04/06.


Arthur 'Tugboat' Shiplee sends:

John I was advised that the RANCBA had a web site by my son who lives in England. And I spent about three happy hours reacquainting myself with the doings of RANCB.  Most of the people who signed the guest book are after my time 1938 till 1955 so I sent a message to you but only the address got through I was hoping some of my old navy pals would like to know that TUGBOAT was alive and kicking, well nearly. Time marches on and although I hope to go to the march on the 25th I will be pushed around in a wheel chair by my strong grandson, my walking these days is about 100 yards max, but in the chair I manage to make the full distance. PS, I tried the morse exercise on the web and find that I can still read at 22wpm - not bad for an 85 year old sparker. Regards to you and hope you will put me on the guest book so some of the other oldies may like to give me a shout. Arthur (Tugboat) Shiplee.  Many thanks Arthur, great to hear from you.  11/04/06.



For all those that made application and had the necessary criteria, the PJM Medal is now being sent out. The Department of Defence (Honours & Awards) are acting as agents for the Malaysian Government. Mine arrived by Certified Mail today, in a nice case. It includes a full Medal, a Miniature and a Ribbon for mounting on Ribbon bars.

I had previously checked with the Directorate of Honours and Awards, and the Medal is Officially recognised by the Australian Government as is mounted and worn on the left hand side with other Awards/Medals.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt  11/04/06.



Australia will recognise the service of more than one million current and former Defence Force personnel with the Australian Defence Medal (ADM), Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence Bruce Billson, announced today.

"Her Majesty the Queen has approved the official regulations and design for the award that aims to recognise current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) Regular and Reserve personnel, and volunteer and National Servicemen, who have served since the end of World War II," Mr Billson said.

"The Australian Government is committed to recognising the outstanding contribution to our proud military history made by Australian men and women in uniform."

"After extensive consultation with veterans' organisations and the wider community, the government has decided to broaden the eligibility criteria to include former ADF members who completed their initial enlistment period, or four years service, whichever is the lesser," Mr Billson said.

"The criteria also recognises National Servicemen and those who could not serve the four-year qualifying period because of the ADF's workplace and enlistment policies of the time."

"The expanded criteria also includes those who die in service or are medically discharged due to permanent injury and unable to reach four years or complete their initial period of enlistment," Mr Billson said.

"Although creating any new medal is an extensive process which includes consultation, design and testing, Royal approval and manufacturing, the medal is an important tribute to those who have given so much for our country."

"Presentation ceremonies by senior military officers and Federal parliamentarians are expected to commence in mid-2006 as the medals become available. I encourage all those eligible to submit applications and supporting evidence as soon as possible to receive the recognition they deserve," Mr Billson said.

For further information, a special application form for the ADM is available from the Defence website at and from RSLs and other ex-service organisations or by calling 1800 111 321.

The Hon. Bruce Billson, MP
Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence 

Australian Defence Medal

Peter Guy attended the plaque dedication ceremony for the 16th Minesweeping Squadron at the Australian War Memorial on Friday 31 March 2006.  The following photos were taken at the ceremony.  10/04/06.

16th Minesweeping Squadron - Plaque Dedication   16th Minesweeping Squadron - Plaque Dedication   16th Minesweeping Squadron - Plaque Dedication

The second photo shows from left:  Blue Orr, Peter Guy, Ian Pfenningwerth, Bob Downs, Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt, Ian Schubert, Ray Cross, Len Rogers, Dolly Gray, Ken 'Taffy' Eynon, Dick 'Timber' Mills.

The third photo shows 4 Signalmen, all from Class T1/65:  Peter Guy, Ian Schubert, Ken 'Taffy' Eynon & Ray Cross.


Ray Meaker sends a couple of photos which show Coonawarra communicators at a days off down the track smokey in 1971.  Have also put them on the MSO page.  Thanks Ray, we used to enjoy life in those days.  I wonder if the communicators of today have continued the tradition?  10/04/06.

Days Off Smokey Darwin 1971   Days Off Smokey Darwin 1971


Rohan Jennings sends:

To all Navy Folk in Canberra,

The Defence Aussie Rules National Carnival started Friday 7 April at Manuka oval with Army defeating Air force quite comfortably. This means that Navy will play Air Force on Sunday 9 April (1200 - Women, 1415 - Men), with the Championship Round against Army on Tuesday 11 April

(timings remain: 1200 - Women, 1415 - Men).

Navy (Men's Side) are the current holders of the 'Jim Smail' cup - and as defending champions, are looking good to go back to back! The women's side have a strong team this year and are 'fired up' to go one better this year and take out the 'Geoff Ledger' Women's champions trophy.

There are several current communicators managing, coaching and playing with many ex communicators flying in from interstate for the Carnival.

come along to Manuka Oval this Sunday and Tuesday and support 'Pussers Footy' 10/04/06.

Fm Rohan 12/04/06:  Could you please update my last entry about the national football carnival with the good news that Navy are both Male and Female Services Football Champions after defeating RAAF on Sunday followed by 2 very hard fought wins against Army on Tues. This is the first time Navy has been dual champions and it was good to celebrate this achievement with many current and ex communicators who came out for a look.  Regards, Rohan.


Daryl Cross sends the following:
Former TO Barry 'Horse' Dun (RAN 1950's/60's era) was admitted to Princess Alexandra Hopital in Brisbane on Monday 3rd April after suffering two minor and one major heart attacks. He is currently in an induced coma in intensive care and according to his partner Charlene the doctors will make an assessment later this week on the future. Stuart (Knobby) Clarke and I will be visiting him on Thursday of this week and I will update everyone via this forum on his situation. Barry served on Quiberon, at Harman and on Duchess during his time in the Navy. Many thanks for letting us know Daryl, our thoughts are with Horse and his family.  10/04/06.

Fm Daryl:  A follow up from my previous advice on Barry's heart attacks early this week.  Along with Stuart Clark visited Barry at PA Hospital here in Brisbane yesterday and was shocked to walk in and find him sitting up in bed and demanding to know "what the bloody hell are you lot doing here". Gathered from that he was well on the road to recovery after the scare that it was a 50/50 chance of a recovery at all. He had his first meal while we were there and he was told that they were moving him from intensive care to the heart recovery ward that afternoon. He is still pretty weak but at least in getting better.  Daryl Cross.  10/04/06.


Trevor Percival sends:
Calling all ex Melville or Coonawarra folks that may have a story or photo of their times at Woolianna on the Daly River during George Lavater's time there. A history of Woolianna is being compiled by the current owners and would appreciate any help they can get so if you are willing to help them out please mention you heard about it through me and forward to Manager, Gloria Konen, Woolianna Caravan Park, Daly River, NT. I have only great memories but I am trying to contact George Lavater's son to see if he has any photos Woolianna can borrow. Thanks again and best wishes. Trevor Percival.  10/04/06.


Sonja Hellier has news of Jim Anderson in Innisfail in the wake of Cyclone Larry:

Have spoken with Jim Anderson today Friday, and he said they are managing OK. Got some damage, but not as much as his neighbours. Could be in the vicinity of $10,000, but has already had contact with DSH Insurance and they are getting on with sorting things out. Lost half his roof but not all. Being in our age bracket and being prepared, he has not gone without too much - own generator, cooking arrangements and such supplies for emergencies. Said to thank those of us down here who were thinking of him and said he hoped to catch up with us in Brisbane at the Bookies Club in October.  If you want to contact him direct his number is 4061 7236.  Sonja 24/03/06.

Fm Jim 12/04/06:  Well we're getting back to normal again after having been "Larried". War Service assessors estimate my structural damage to be in the order of $30k and RACQ are giving us about $5k for contents damage on top of a new dining room suite valued at $1500.00. So we are pleased in that regard. The yard is looking good again but took us a bit over two weeks to get it to that point and we carted about 7 tonnes of tree branches/trunks, roofing iron (back yard neighbours) and building material out of our yard. We were on our generator for power for 15 days and bottled water for almost as long. Nothing taller than 4 feet in our yard anymore. Just have to await tradesmen now and that could take up to 6 months. There were many, many more far worse off than Bev and I. Every second house in the district suffered major damage.
And a PS for Shorty … does the PJM get mixed in with our other medals in order of sequence or is it worn at the end of the others (on the left hand side of chest)???  Cheers Jim.


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt advises:

DSTO / RANEL Celebration.

For all those that served on the "Mighty Warship HMAS KIMBLA" , we have received a invitation to attend a Celebration to be held on the 28th April, 2006.

The formalities are from 1000 - 1200 and with the informal "Get Together" and sausage sizzle etc from that time. HMAS DIAMANTINA (Nuship) will be alongside as part of the Celelbrations.

Subject to how I pull up after Anzac Day, I shall attend. When I have further details I shall promulgate, but you can also ring me on 02 9631 8068 or e-mail

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt Ex KIMBLA.  24/03/06.


Here's one for the Buntings - anyone feeling nostalgic contact the nearest recruiting centre!  Isn't it great to see the modern fleet leaving harbour in traditional style.  23/03/06.


Barry 'Tex' Sherriff sends the following gem - excerpts from ABR 27 Vol 2 (10) (ORD CO) - The Ordinary Seaman (communications Operator) Pocket Book.  This brings back memories.  It would be great to identify those RO's and TO's pictured, I'm guessing that the Sparkers in the second photo are (very young) Des McKee and Jim Berridge.  Is anyone able to identify the others?  Tex has very kindly offered to lend me the publication and I will eventually display it as a PowerPoint presentation.  23/03/06.  The full publication is now available as a PowerPoint presentation on this link.


Fm Sonny J Fay:  The Leading Sailor in the photo alongside Berridge and McKee (photo 3) is none other than Keith 'Dips' Sands.  This was taken on the Parramatta.  Last time I saw Dipso he was working for Customs in Brisbane... regards... sorry I don't know the flag wavers.  24/03/06.

Fm Jim Berridge:  I think the Kellick Sig on the flashing light is Hughie Mitchell and the photo was taken on HMAS Vendetta. I don't think I remember seeing that photo of myself and Des McKee before so it is a bit of a shock to see what you looked like all those years ago. I have just returned from Sydney where I had both knees replaced by Dr Merv Cross. Am on the mend, don't have bandy legs any more, and expect to be back to the golf course by the middle of June. It can't come quick enough. Regards to all, Jim.  10/04/06.

Allen 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

It is my solemn duty to advise you all of the sad and very unexpected passing of Ex Convoy Sig. WWII , John Oliver.  John passed away last night, and I was informed by Don Ferguson a very good mate of his, they both served in Convoys from 1941-45 and then a few minutes ago by Bob Clayton Ex N Class Destroyers. He was a very, and I sincerely mean a very good and staunch Member of the RANCBA, being one of the first to join way back at the end of hostilities, and the communicators marched in their own right in 1946. 

I shall be attending the Funeral Service and presenting the RANCBA , but all are invited.

No final details are known at present, but I shall pass on as soon as I am notified.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt
Lest We Forget 21/03/06.

Funeral details for the late Ex WWII Convoy Sig. John Oliver.

Service will be held on Thursday, 23rd March commencing at 09.30am at St. Martins C of E , Stuart & Gold Streets, BLAKEHURST, Sydney.

There will be a later Service at the Family Plot at Palmdale (off the F3 near Wyong/Ourimbah).

I shall be attending the early Service accompanied by my wife Helen, also Don and Jan Ferguson will be in attendance.

Back in the November 2005 RANCBA Newsletter, I spoke of the Convoy Sigs.  John Oliver served on 21 Merchant ships before joining the SS BONTEKOE which he remained onboard there from 19/7/1943 til 4/6/1945.

"Their Name Liveth Forever More"

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt


Bogey Knights sends:  I thought this maybe of interest for your web sight, it was drawn to my attention by an old warhorse shipmate - I think underneath he's always wanted to be a flagwaver.  Follow this link Regards Bogey.


Shorty Moffat described this photo in the latest (March 2006) edition of the RANCBA News, here it is for all to see!  A worthy Christmas present, it certainly is "Back in the OL days" and really captures the times when Shorty joined (must have been about 1920?).  Good image of HMAS KIMBLA in the background.  Well done Ken Street.  13/03/06

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt

From Shorty 15/03:  For those who can't remember and those who have never seen HMAS KIMBLA/VLNK the "PRIDE OF THE FLEET", herewith what she looked like. During my time onboard, I had just drafted off HMAS SNIPE I was joined by Kev Davis another sparker, we didn't carry any Sig. and I lost the toss, so in between doing RO's duties had to do light and flags when required, BUT as we had no hi-tech navigation equipment, I was required from the time we left Cape York and working in the Gulf, Darwin to Timor and then Port Moresby areas doing hush-hush anti submarine experimental work with RANEL, another of my duties was to be on the bridge with the XO doing evening and morning stars shoots for astro-navgiation. Kev would have to relieve me on BLS Broadcast even though he may have just finished his watch. For any sparker who liked a lot of sea time, hard living (believe me) but liked fishing and wanted to save money, this was a good draft, Also my part of ship was painting of the mast (right to the top) all the yard arms and bridge area. Kev had some real beauties also, plus many other duties..Shorty.

Fm Ray Davis - Subj: HMAS Kimbla:  I may hold the record for being the only Leading Sig [LTO] posted to the Kimbla, this was during my Rocky time, even exchanged identity with the Melbourne off JB, the skipper of the "Snail" was most wrapped in this mammoth event.

  Shorty Moffatt - HMAS MORESBY - 1964 - sent by Sandy McNab   HMAS KIMBLA - VLNK

Tony 'Tackers' Miles sends:
I have been informed that ex YEO John Keenan had a heart attack whilst visiting in Melbourne . I understand that they have cleared the blockage and no bipass surgery in required . The information was a little vague but was told he was in hospital in Frankston . I only have his mobile and have left him a message to call me. If anybody in the area could find out more I would appreciate it. I can be contacted on mobile 0414294561 or email Regards, Tackers.  09/03/06.

Fm Tackers 10/3:   I have now spoken to John , he is out of hospital with the addition of three stents . Cannot travel for the next 6 weeks but should make a full recovery.  Tackers.


Rodney 'Beaver' Dewis (ex-PTI) seeks our help:
"Could anyone who served at HMAS Coonawarra between 1972 and 1974 please contact the Vietnam Veterans Hervey Bay Sub-Branch on 07 41283759 email or post to VVAA hervey Bay PO Box 5606 Torquay QLD 4655."  07/03/06.


Bob Trotter seeks more information related to the loss of HMAS SYDNEY II:

Thanks for your assistance thus far on communications issues about the loss of SYDNEY II. The haystack is shrinking!
Here is a new one:  How did the Walrus communicate with the ship?  If it had wireless comms, where on the ship were the TX/RX equipment and aerials, where was the operator and what was the range for reliable reception?
Sandy McNab has done some good lead in work on this, and I have also attached replies from Shorty Moffatt and Jim Eagles which are relevant.  If anyone else is able to assist please let us know.  27/02/06.

Fm Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt:  As promised, I rang the man who I knew was a flying Tel (paid off as Chief Tel). Now he was a TAG (Telegraphist/Airgunner), commissioned HMAS SYDNEY II and was shot down whilst flying as a TAG on a WALRUS. He will write to me all the details I think that you will require Bob, but he said give him a week to do so, he has a few things planned this week. Have known him ever since I came onboard the RANCBA, he is a delightful person. Regards, Shorty.  27/02/06.

Fm Shorty 6/2/06:  I have received the following:  "I will admit my memory is not the best these days, but I've had a good think, and by the way , had my 96th birthday on 26th February.  I commissioned HMAS SYDNEY MK II in 1935 as a Telegraphist/Air Gunner (TAG).  I can tell you that the Auxiliary W/T Office, controlled from a remote control office on the bridge was used for communications to aircraft. The Auxiliary W/T Office was between decks aft of the stern mast which supported the wire aerial connected to the Aux W/T/ Office (I understand that after my time onboard it was fitted with whip aerials). The aircraft used a trailing aerial, that was reeled out and reeled in by the TAG. If a aircraft was too low, there was the possibility to wipe off the aerial. If the TAG was seated by the wireless set, messages or signals received, were written on a special thick paper signal pad and passed by hand forward to the Pilot, BUT if the TAG was in the Gun position, he was connected to the receiver by ear phones inbuilt into his flying cap, BUT was not in contact with the Pilot, although the Pilot could see the TAG , he would be shown in the Pilot's rear vision mirror. When the aircraft was high, distance of horizon extended and communications with the ship was excellent, but if the aircraft had to go low and close to the water or land, communications were not very good and in some cases non existent.  I will try to stir the grey matter and give further answers for your letter later. Hoping this make be of some help. Regards, Danny."

Fm Shorty 9/2/06:  Following received from Laurie Malone.  "The Supermarine Walrus, affectionately known as the 'Pussers Duck" came from the same company which gave us the Spitfire. But the Walrus had a top speed of only 217 km/hr and it's only armament were two .303 machine guns. In Australian service the Seagull V/Walrus was operated by 5, 9 and 10 Squadrons, RAAF and was also deployed aboard HMA Ships Australia, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Perth and Sydney. It was retired from RAAF service in 1947. A total of 771 Seagull V / Walrus aircraft were built.

All I know about the aircraft came from an oppo on HMAS Napier in 1944/45, L/Tel Curly Richards who served on a RAN cruiser as a Telegraphist-Airgunner. on a pussers duck. So they did have a wireless operator who also manned (I think) the m/c gun in the rear cockpit. I think I can remember him telling me how scary it was when they catapulted off because he was facing to the rear of the aircraft so he almost fell out of his harness. I have no details as to the radio equipment.

The slow speed of the Walrus was sometimes an advantage. When HMAS Napier was operating off the Burma coast in 1944/45, a Walrus was sprung by a Zero but managed to survive by diving down to almost sea level and flying slow circles. The Zero, couldn't cope with such a slow aircraft and if it missed, took ages to turn around and have another try."

Fm Jim Eagles:  HMAS Albatross was launched 21 Feb 1928 and commissioned 23 Jan 1929, The ship carried six Seagull III amphibians with a further three held in reserve. The aircraft were designated Flight 101 and each aircraft had a crew of three. The aircraft were flown by an RAAF officer with a naval officer observer and a naval wireless telegraphist. The Seagull III was a wooden hulled biplane amphibian in which the pilot sat close to the nose of the aircraft, the observer behind the engine (amidships) and the telegraphist in a difficult position inside the hull aft.
During a gunnery spotting exercise for HMAS Australia in the waters around Tasmania, Seagull A9-4, while executing too tight a turn with the observer taking oblique photographs, spun out from 6000 feet and crashed into the sea.
"Towards the end of 1930 summer cruise the first fatal accident involving one of Albatross' aircraft occurred. On March 19, whilst observing the fall of shot from HMAS Australia, Seagull No 9-4 crashed into the water killing A/Leading Telegraphist Donald McGowan."  (Wings Across the Sea, Ros Gillett, Aerospace Pub, 1988.)

It was the first fatal accident of Flight 101. The three man crew were the pilot FO Grant, RAAF, who received spinal injuries, Lt Elliott RN a broken leg, but A/Leading Telegraphist Donald McGowan was drowned when the wreckage sank. The wireless operators position was in a very difficult position and difficult to exit in an emergency. Although the bow compartment was spacious, much crawling was needed to access the after section of the fuselage. Behind the cockpit was the observers navigational table and behind that the telegraphist/air gunners wireless set. McGowan's body was later recovered when the wreck was found, still inside the rear fuselage. He was buried with full military honours in Hobart. He was the first Australian naval telegraphist killed in an air accident. 

Ah, sorry John I forgot they carried signal flares as well as the Aldis. Any pre-arranged signal could be passed to the ship by using different coloured flares. Cheers Jim
PS Nice photo Ken.  27/02/06.

Wireless operator’s position in the Walrus aircraft. This photo looking aft, the navigator’s desk is in the foreground with the W/T op’s position facing his, but the wireless set would have been between them up against the two vertical straps.


W/T op’s seat looking forward, as can be seen the position is very cramped and leaves little room for a quick exit from the aircraft.  The aircraft is practically empty except for basic components so there would have been a lot more to contend with in trying to escape.  

 Photos: David Crotty

These photos were published by Cliff Wignell in an article from Model Art Australia, April 2006, of the Walrus aircraft being refurbished at Point Cook, RAAF Base in Victoria and was the aircraft originally sent to the Antarctic.   In the Walrus the Engineer’s position was below and behind the pilots, the Navigator behind him and the Wireless Op/Airgunner behind him.


Jim Eagles sends:

Looking for information. Anyone out there with any knowledge of the C143A D/F set (as installed on HMAS Castlemaine). Frequency Range, aerials, anything at all would be good. Surely some of you old sparkers out there must have used it at some point in time. Can email me direct if you wish. Thanks, Jim Eagles, Townsville.  21/02/06.

Fm Jim 23/02/06:  Can you add to my last request : "Thanks for all who replied, I have the info I needed re the C143A D/F.  Jim"


A great photo below, sent by Ken Street.  40 years of RAN Patrol Boats.

40 years of Patrol Boats.

The new Armidale class sure does dwarf the others.  15/02/06.


Jeff Raymond sends:

I thought the following may be of interest and would appreciate if you could promulgate in the appropriate forum:

Whilst doing a tour of the old Beechworth Court House and Telegraph Station in Victoria I banged out a few dits on a morse key display only to be approached by a volunteer attendant (an ex PMG Tel) who advised that he belonged to the "Morscodian Fraternity" (a group dedicated to the preserving the ancient old art) and he would like to get in touch with anyone interested in morse.

His contact details are:
Leo nette
Tel: 03 5728-2517

Thanks & regards
Jeff Raymond 13/02/06.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends the following:

Plaque Dedication, Garden Island Chapel, 12th February 2006.

Yesterday at a very good congregation at the G.I Chapel, nine Plaques were Dedicated and are now permanently fixed in the Chapel of Remembrance. Among this were for 2 former RANCBA Members, PO RS Michael Cairney and PO RS Trevor Robb.

Those in attendance included Cas Cairney and family from Victoria, The late Trevor Robb's family from Newcastle and his partner, Narelle Parkinson and family.
The RANCBA was well attended by Ken Swain, Doriel Wailes, Frank & Larraine Lawton, Rod & Jan Withers (Rod is the President of the Victorian Chapter), Laurie Scutts, Don Ferguson and Shorty Moffatt.

Also there was another Plaque Dedicated to EX CPO Eric Haggart who some may have know, having joined LEEUWIN in 1963.

It was a well conducted Service and I thought the sailor who played the Last Post & Reveille was absoultely supberb. Having attended about 9 of these Serv ices, he would rate with the best.

If anyone should know of any person who served in the RAN/WRANS, regardless of rate and branch, please let them know about this unique Service. I would be happy to forward details to them. Sincerely Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt 13/02/06.


Bill Aylott sends:
If Brian Claxton keeps his eye on the RANCBA Newsletter he will see some photos I've submitted to Shorty for inclusion. They show some of Queenboroughs & Voyagers comms Dept playing up at the Brit Club & at ships parties in Singapore & Hong Kong. Regards to you Brian .. Bill Aylott.  13/02/06. 


Shorty Moffatt keeps us up to date with the:

16th Minesweepers Squadron Plaque Dedication - Canberra, 31st March 2006

I have now received the agenda for the Plaque Dedication for the Minesweepers that served during the Indonesian Confrontation that will take place at the Australian War Memorial, 31st March 2006.

They have a form to be filled in so they can ascertain how many will be attending, be it just for the Dedication or staying for morning tea and also the "Meet & Greet" on the Thursday evening and the Dinner to held on the Friday evening. All this will be at the Olim's Hotel (just two blocks from the AWM).

Anyone requiring the copy of the agenda, plus the attendance forms, could you contact me. come on you communicators who served onboard HAWK, GULL, SNIPE, TEAL, IBIS and CURLEW, we were a very important part of the crew, so let's attend this and show our support.  Also, partners and families of deceased ex-crew members are invited. Should anyone know of such, could they let them know about this Service and to contact me for details. Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt Ex SNIPE 1965-66.  13/02/06.

Fm Shorty:  Re Plaque Dedication. The only dates that will be shown on the Plaque is for 1964-66 during the Indonesian Confrontation, but any who served on the Sweepers prior to and after those dates and who will not feel left out of it, are more than welcome to attend.  On Thursday evening at the "Meet and Greet" at Olims Hotel Canberra, lets make this a great night. See you there, Shorty Moffatt.


Jim Anderson sends:
I am looking for some photographs of transmitter types 601, 602E and 603 for an article I'm doing for Newsletter I produce for my Amateur Radio Club if anyone can help out. Ruwie, you must have a back pocket full of them. When you look at the capabilities and physical dimensions of those great old txers compared with a couple I use now (which are way superior, but not as robust let me add) the mind boggles.  Regards, Jim.  13/02/06.

Fm Jim 13 Feb:  On the 600 txer series request, I've had a great response from WORS Jim Dell, RNZN Ret, who has managed to score a copy of the old BR Twicer somehow and has sent me masses of info, plus more, so I fell on my feet there. Many thanks and best regards to all.  Jim.


The following VALE was issued by the HMAS SYDNEY & VLSVA (Victoria).

Regret to advise that ex communicator, Data Operator, Writer, Australian Defence Credit Union Manager, West Brighton Club Manager, "Shiner" WRIGHT passed away suddenly on Tuesday 7 February at his place of employment.

Shiner joined as a Junior Recruit in 1962 and paid off as a Chief Writer in 1985 to become the Manager of the Australian Defence Credit Union at HMAS CERBERUS where he remained until about 4 years ago.

He is survived by his wife Christine.

Address for condolence messages is:
70 Vincent Street,

Funeral details as follows:
1100 - Monday 13th February
Sandringham Uniting Church
Trentham Street

West Brighton Club
22 Park Street


If anyone can help with the below, please contact Harvey Mills directly
Email address is:

I have been having difficulty with a claim of my own and everybody that I know who was present has now passed on. Details are:

Re: Harvey Mills, R50736. LEM (E).
On the 8th. of April, 1960, while running to action stations in "VOYAGER" in an operational area, I was running from aft to forard on the starboard side of the ship and when passing from the starboard waist into the starboard passage way, I jumped through the weather deck doorway, misjudged it and drove my head into the top of the doorway.

I believe I fell through the doorway onto the deck and was knocked out for a short time. Two of my colleagues picked me up, one under each arm until I was able to partly maintain my balance and we carried on to our action stations. My action station was down the hatch on the port side to the FEP compartment, also the Fire Control Table, Gyro, Diesel Generator, etc. I started down the ladder and fell from about half way to the deck.

I am having difficulty with my claim as what was prone at the time, I did not report it, as again at the time, we just carried on with what we were doing.

I would be very pleased to hear from anybody who may recall the first accident at the weather deck doorway, or falling down the ladder, or me having an occasional whinge about my neck or head. Two guys I know who knew about it have since passed away. Can anyone help please?  13/02/06.


Mal Bullivant sends:

If anyone is interested in moving to God's country on the Sunshine Coast, Qld and would be willing to work for a living, be advised that the Qld Police have gazetted 5 new comms Room Operator positions for their Maroochydore Police Stn. Applications close on the 13th Feb 06 and anyone interested should check the Govt or Qld Police gazettes or drop me a line and I will forward all the necessary info. Defence comms experience is a bonus but definitely not a walk in. The job is not that flash but come on up, the weather is great, the surfs up and the beers are always cold. bcnu, Bullant.  Sounds like a great offer to me.  7/02/06.


Jim Anderson asks:  "What was the name of the OTP System (One Time Pad) we were taught as backup to Adonis and Typex in the 50-60's? Regards Jim"  An interesting question, one to get the grey matter going.  I initially thought Pele or Penelope but these may have been related to the numeral code and call sign encryption.  I know Romulus was the KW-26 but my Google search has only turned up Diana for OTP .  This link is interesting if you have a look around.  Can anyone help??  6/02/06.

Fm Royce T Bell, 7/02/06:  Further to Jim Anderson's question, I cannot recall OTP having a mythological designator (maybe Diana is correct but we never used it in the factory. I do remember it being referred to as either 'vernon' or 'vernam').  As you probably know the system is still considered one of the most secure and is still in use in some quarters. Normally it is, nowadays, just referred to as OTP.

Fm Jim 13/02/06:  Many tks for the info on the OTP Royce. I'll research that line further.


Nullarbor Baker has been ship visiting again:  "A couple of days before Australia Day, some of us were fortunate enough to be invited on board the USS Ronald Reagan while she was in Brisbane. We were entertained in the Captain's State Room (also known as the Red Room after the room which Nancy Reagan decorated whilst first lady). Got to talking to the US Consul General (who was up from Sydney) and it turns out he was a sparker in the US Navy. On Australia Day, we helped entertain crew members from the Reagan and the USS Pinckney (Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer). Made friends with the skipper and he invited half a dozen of us to a private tour of his ship the following day. We had coffee and cake in the wardroom, then the skipper took us around his ship for about two hours, before presenting us all with a ship's cap and coin/medal. Had a great time! Attached are a couple of photos taken with the skipper and a shot of the Ronald Reagan. Cheers Nullarbor."  6/02/06.

Nullarbor and CO USS Pinckney   USS Pinckney Gun   USS Ronald Reagan


Geoff Worth sends:  In the past 24hrs I have had a couple of emails re a possible 40TH reunion of the 20th intake of the JRTE from HMAS LEEUWIN (JULY 67 INTAKE) If there is anyone from that intake interested please email me back with your name/address/contact details and I will pass them on for inclusion to the current listing.  Regards, Geoff Worth R96320.  3/02/06.


Bob Toy sends:  Hi folks, I have just been checking back through entries from 2005 and saw one from Jacko Jackson saying he would be travelling to Tully in FNQ. If anyone happens to see him on his trip East could they please pass on my contact details as I now reside in Tully. Work (07) 4043 9146 Home (07) 4068 0740 Mob 0437 881 816. Also if anyone else is travelling up this way and would like to break the trip please call, if you can spare the time and the weather man is kind we may get a trip to the reef. Bob Toy.  Tks Bob - I have sent the above to Jacko's email address but don't know if the 'Pink Panther' is on the road or not.  3/02/06. 


Congratulations to Sarah Curbishley for her award of an Australia Day Medallion on 26 January 2006. The Department of Defence award citation reads, in part, "In appreciation for your continued commitment, professionalism and superior performance in support of the Defence Procurement Advisory Board and the Defence Materiel organisation’s Executive." A well deserved award for an ex-LWRROT. 2/02/06.

Sarah Curbishley (nee Spencer) 25 January 2006


Graham 'Bear' Linton, Honorary Secretary of the RANCBA (VIC) sends the following:

Our former President, Ernie Sumner's health has deteriorated to a point where he has moved into care at Vasey House (RSL Care Ltd facility which has priority access to veterans, war widows and their dependants). He is in good spirits but his wife could no longer manage him at home. Ernie says that visitors are more than welcome.  The address is:

Vasey House
5-7 Tower Avenue
Bundoora, VIC 3083
(03) 9466-9615
Many thanks Bear, we wish Ernie well.  31/01/06.


Danny O'Riordan sends the following:


A position of School Sergeant has become available at Sydney Grammar School (a bit like gangway duty, only easier). Interested persons can apply to the Bursar (Peter Breeze - Ex CMDR RAN)on 02 9332 5800.  Many thanks Danny, sounds like an interesting position.  30/01/06.


Bill Gadd sends:  I have been trawling thru the comms Website and I see where one (possibly two) people have made enquiries re the whereabouts of Gary Mansell (Ex ROS).  I could not find any response to the enquiry, so I expect he is still uncontactable?. Would you kindly put out another APB for him, for I have a question or two for him about a claim thru DVA. Thank you kindly John. The Web site is a tribute to you, well done. Regards Bill Gadd.  Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Gary please let us know.  30/01/06.


Ray Powell went on a 'father/daughter' trip in HMAS KANIMBLA late last year with his daughter Michelle.  Ray has provided some photos from the trip.  They show that the life of an ABCIS at sea today is not all that different from the SIGS of yester-year.  Follow this link to see a photographic display from the tripMany thanks Ray, sorry for the delay. 23/01/06.

  ABCIS Michelle Powell & WOSY Ray Powell   A Proud Dad with Daughter


Kev & Anne Ruwoldt will be staying at the Riverside Tourist Park in Queanbeyan for 3 nights from the 31st January. Ruwey would love to catch up with his many Canberra friends at the Queanbeyan Leagues Club on Thursday 2 February for a couple of drinks and a meal. He has asked me to organise a small gathering. If you would like to attend please let me know and I will send further details early next week. 23/01/06.


(Press release from Minister for Defence)

The names of Australia's new large amphibious ships and Air Warfare Destroyers will be named after Australian cities with close links with Navy heritage. Senator Hill said that the Chief of Navy made the recommendation for the names after careful consideration and taking into account the considerable public interest in the naming process. The Government submitted the names to the Governor General for approval, which has now occurred.

Senator Hill said that is was a great honour to announce the two large amphibious ships will be named HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide and the Air Warfare Destroyers will be named HMAS Hobart, HMAS Brisbane and HMAS Sydney. "One of the principal aims of naming ships for our Navy has been to promote links between the Navy and the community," Senator Hill said. "Naming of the ships after Australian cities will hopefully build on these links and gain the wide acceptance from former Navy personnel. Ships of the Royal Australian Navy have previously carried these names and all have received battle honours in conflicts dating from the First World War."

The acquisition projects to acquire these new ships have received first pass approval from the Government. Second pass approval is planned for 2007. Subject to these approvals, the two large amphibious ships are expected to enter service with the Royal Australian Navy from 2012 and the three Air Warfare Destroyers are expected to enter service form 2013. "Both classes of ship will be a quantum leap over our current capability. The AWDs will provide protection to forces from air threats including aircraft and missile attacks," Senator Hill said. "The Amphibious Ships will support the deployment of forces and assist in a whole range of tasks such as peacekeeping and peace monitoring and regional disaster relief."  23/01/06.


John Hogg sends:

I request your assistance in tracking down for purposes of a 40th reunion several ex-communicators who joined up with me. I have perused your email listing and cannot find reference to them.

I need any information to contact like address, telephone number, email, rumoured to be living, working etc. So could you please ask the guys by newsletter or however it is done by you. I am sure you know the drill. I do realise that the rank of ORDCO would be difficult to remember but you never know one may be remembered from basic course etc.

I thank you for your time and await a reply from you or individual communicators at some time in the future. Please leave my details below so as they can contact me with any information.

the guys are:


Bevins D.N.     R106720     ORDCO     5-Jul-72
Bock B.P.        R104115     LSRO        19-Aug-76
Corby R.G       R106713     POEWO    13-Jul-94
Fraser N.W.     R106612     LSRO        23-May-80
Houlgrave L.E. R106492    ORDCO     17-May-71
Howard G.O.   R106594    ABROSM   4-Dec-79
Jackson K.I.     R106744    ORDCO     19-Sep-71
Jennings H.J.     R106723    LSRO         27-Aug-77
Lynch E.J.         R106079   ABSIG        15-Mar-80

Best Regards, John Hogg  (Ex- POSN - 28th Junior Recruit Intake - HMAS Leeuwin - J.RT.E. - July'69 to July'89
Many thanks John, I wish you all the best with your search.  If anyone has any information on the above please contact John direct.  23/01/06.


VALE Wayne 'Spud' Murphy (ex-LSRO)

I am not sure if Wayne was a member of your Association or not. He and I joined the Navy on 13 January 1968 and were both categorised as communicators. He became an RO in 1969 and while I almost completed my TO's course, I needed glasses and subsequently became a Writer.

Wayne completed his 9 years and I don't think that he signed on for another term. Although he was my Brother-in-Law for over 30 years we lost touch for the first 20 years so I don't know much of what he did during his Navy career. I do know that he was a LSRO when he discharged, his O/No. was R67069 and he served onboard HMAS STALWART and HMAS STUART during his service. After his Navy career he worked as a Flight Service Officer at Essendon and other airports around Australia, including Tennant Creek.

Wayne's body was found on Saturday 21st January at his home in Coolaroo - an autopsy is being performed and little details are known.

Wayne had an extremely dry sense of humour and anyone who knew him would remember him well. He had 3 children.

I just thought that your members would like to know of his passing.

Ian Millard
ex-CPOWTR R67043
Many thanks Ian, Lest We Forget.  23/01/06.

Further from Ian 23/01:  A memorial service is being held for Wayne Murphy at White Lady Funerals 174 Burgundy Street Heidelberg Vic at 2:30pm this Wednesday 25th January 2006. His body will be flown to Adelaide where a funeral and cremation will be held on Friday this week but I am unaware of the actual arrangements in Adelaide.


Les Figg advises that planning is underway for the 2006 ANZAC Memorial/Meet & Greet in Cayucos, CA over the weekend of April 21-23. Anyone interested in participating, please email me. Also, if you know of other ex-Pussers living in the US, please have them contact me. Note: We have yet to have any ex-comms people turn up to this annual event.
Best Regards,
Les. ex-LEMWR, 1963-69
HMAS Sydney, Hawk, Perth.


Noel Muller sends:

I have set up a little "Group" which is very much in it's nubile stages at this point and would be indebted if you could add a mention to it upon your web site. Bill Krause (President - HMAS Vendetta Association of Australia, I have appointed he and his wife Margaret as Managers and myself as Group Owner.)  Membership is very small as I have been unable to publicise it.  John F Rowe (ex WO 1 (C)) is a member as are many other communicators and others. I do not have a web page as it seems pointless at this stage and have relied upon word of mouth and you can see the "Email Address" in my "Signature" below.
Best regards, Noel.
Noel P Muller.
Email (1):- (
HMAS Vendetta D08 Group
Mail:- (
12/42 Heather Drive
Ridgehaven SA 5097
Tel/Fax:- 08 8395 0576
Mobile:- 0401 651 145


John Frazier sends:

Just saw where Patrice Dow has passed on. Here is a picture taken at the barbecue which I attended with my son, James. She is just to my right and Pat (Hogan) Brearley is just to her right. Jean Nysen is sitting directly across from me and another WRAN is next to her but I cannot remember her name.

Also found another picture of Patrice sitting next to me. I was at Harman in 1944-1945. The only person I knew from WW2 was Pat.
John Frazier, Louisville, Ky USA.   John flew out from the US to attend the 2005 RANCBA Reunion and had a great time renewing old friendships and making new ones.  Many thanks for the photos John.  12/01/06.

John Frazier and Patrice Dow John Frazier and Patrice Dow.


Brian 'Whizza' Wheeler sends:

Just a short note to all Voyagers one (WW2) and two (DO4) ex crew members that there will be a reunion held in Adelaide 9th/10th/11th February 2007 and you are all invited along with wives, girlfriends (or both), friends and other family members. A number of activities are planned to coincide with commissioning of and sinking of DO4. Details of reunion and registration form will be forwarded if you contact me at

Deadline for registration and $20.00 deposit is April 29. Lets have a better turnout than was the case at the 2004 reunion - 10 sigs and key tappers - and it was left to me and Squatter Thompson to lead each other astray. Regards, Whizza. 12/01/06.


Donna Avery (daughter of Bill) sends:

Thank you for ALL the love and support shown to myself, family and of course my Dad, Bill Avery, throughout this sad time. Special thanks to Tony Miles (Tackers) John Keenan (Trog) John Rowe (Rowey) Kevin Ruwoldt (Rooey) for your special efforts and travelling up to Dad's funeral. A very special thanks also to Noel and Margaret from the Emerald RSL. It was a beautiful service and we couldn't have done it without you. Dad would have been proud. Thanks to everyone that attended and all the messages of support.  Warm thoughts to you all, Donna xxx. PS, hey rooey where are the photos?  Take good care. Lest We Forget 10/01/05.

Bill Avery - supplied by Kev Ruwoldt


Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:

It may be of interest to a small group of communicators that there will be an unveiling, on Friday 31 March in Canberra, for the 16th Minesweeping Squadron crews (Teal, Ibis, Gull, Hawk, Snipe & Curlew) and their involvement in the Indonesian Confrontation. Apart from myself, the only other communicator that I have heard is attending is Pete Archibald (TO on Snipe). My old skipper, Gus Murray, will be doing the unveiling. There is supposed to be an official dinner on the Friday evening, but I haven't got all the details yet. If anyone is interested, they can contact me and I will put them in touch with the relevant organiser. Cheers, Nullarbor.  Shorty Moffatt also put a note on QSO late last year about the plaque unveiling, so I presume he will be attending also.  10/01/06.


Keith 'Curley' Lenton sends:
Are there any old communicators still around from the 1951 intake..class CB24. Bob Dickson, Jim (Tubby) Hoystead, Bob Winton, Barry Baker, Fred Scott, Ben (Bluey) Brennan and others I can't recall. Would like to hear from any of the above or others from that era. I am also on "Smeddles". Have a good new year everybody. 04/01/06.


Death of RS Bill Avery - 1 January 2006:

It is my sad duty to report that RS Bill Avery passed away at 6pm on New Years Day. His funeral will take place at Emerald on Thursday 5th January 2006.  Condolences should be sent to Bill's daughter Donna at:
Unit 6/17
Martin Place
Emerald Qld 4720
Telephone 07-4982 2481
Lest We Forget.  02/01/06.


Death of Derick 'Butch' Berry - ex-WOQMG:

For those communicators who would have known or served with him, it is with sadness that I pass on that Derick (Butch) Berry (WOQMG) passed away on Friday 23 December 2005, aged 79. Butch changed over from the RN & became one of those larger than life characters from the Gunnery School side of things.  It seems that we could never march or do rifle drill like it orta be done. I am sure the bullring up there will be swept ready for his arrival.  02/01/06.


Brian Claxton sends a big hello to fellow ex communicators:
I was in 1954-60 and now in my dotage, I have forgotten the names of most of my Shipmates. Does anybody know of a contact in some section of the RAN Historical Records or some such that may have the names of say the Queenborough comms Div during the mid fifties. Regards to all, Brian Claxton ex LRO R50570." 02/01/06.


Trevor (Percy) Percival from Burpengary Qld sends: 
A while back I saw that someone was looking for Barry (Horse) Dun. Daryl Cross informed that Horse went to live at Minden, postcode 4311. That's all I know but it may help the person enquiring. To all communicators and families, Josephine and I wish you all a safe and healthy 2006.  Horse has recently registered his email address of with this site.  02/01/06.


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