Bright WWII vet­eran shares mem­o­ries

Myrtleford Times - - Anzac Day -

“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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.