Bright WWII veteran shares memories
“The Japanese bombing me down to the signal office at Darwin in 1942 when I was 16 Flinders Naval Depot and that’s or 17 years-old, I would say where I stayed for the duration that was the catalyst for me of my service. wanting to serve,” he said. “It was one of the regrets of
“I guess just realising what my life not being on that ship the situation was in Europe and but you went where you were Japan coming in andtold.”moving down the Malay Peninsula towards Australia it looked pretty desperate.”
Mr Tucker did three months of training at the Flinders Naval Depot where he qualified as a coder to be able to receive, decode and re-transmit messages.
He was set to join HMAS Ballarat, which in March through to May 1945 participated in the operation for the capture of Okinawa, but an injury not long before he was to be deployed put an end to that.
“I had a serious fall and fractured my wrist a week or so before we were due to move out of Flinders Naval Depot,” Mr Tucker said.
“With my arm in plaster they cancelled my posting and sent
Despite his disappointment Jack said the mateships he developed during his time at HMAS Cerebus as it’s now known, was the greatest thing he took from his experience.
“There’d be two groups of three working around the clock in the signal office on different watches or shifts with on average about 400 signals coming in a day,” he said.
“The two other fellas I was on a watch with we became the greatest of mates and I kept in touch with both of them right up until they passed away 12 and six months ago.”
Now aged 92, Mr Tucker is one of three remaining World War II veterans in Bright.