Commodore David York, AM, RAN, Rtd.

Death Notices, Obituaries, Remembrances of Departed Shipmates
Post Reply
SLSU1966
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:47 pm
Real Full Name: Michael Fogarty
Rank and Rate/Category: LEUT
Enlistment Date: 28 Feb 1966
Date of Discharge: 12 May 1972
Ships and Depots Served: Cerberus, Duchess, Melbourne, Kuttabul, FHQ, Harman

Commodore David York, AM, RAN, Rtd.

Post by SLSU1966 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:24 am

Born Canberra died March 2019 Sydney. RANC normal entry 1953. Same intake as Ian Pullar. A engineer officer who served in Duchess among other ships. Details of his funeral service in the SMH and Canberra Times today. Other engineers who served in the Daring's around mid sixties include his colleagues Bob Nattey and maybe Peter Dechaineux? David York served in Confrontation and Vietnam. A devout catholic he had 12 children, one of whom pre-deceased him. Fondly remembered as a good officer who applied his specialist training to many high end projects and new ship classes.

SLSU1966
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:47 pm
Real Full Name: Michael Fogarty
Rank and Rate/Category: LEUT
Enlistment Date: 28 Feb 1966
Date of Discharge: 12 May 1972
Ships and Depots Served: Cerberus, Duchess, Melbourne, Kuttabul, FHQ, Harman

Commodore David York, AM, RAN, Rtd.

Post by SLSU1966 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:17 pm

My comments should have been extended. Technically educated in the UK, gaining the requisite professional qualifications, later buttressed by practical training in the fleet, he had the background and later gained the expertise to prepare for and discharge increasing higher responsibilities. To his credit, the Defence Secretary of old, Sir Arthur Tange, promoted the formation of ADFA. He was critical of the education standards within the service. To wit, he disdained many service chiefs for their relative lack of formal (tertiary) education. He spoke too soon and more than he knew, for it was a false gesture. I respect and admire Tange for he spent much of his post-war leisure time in advancing our foreign policy interests abroad. The respective heads of the armed services during his tenure humoured Tange. He never held a combat command so he escaped any responsibility for leadership and morale of a unit in wartime. He was a major joining the army at the fag end of WWII. The then CNS was on board Australia during the kamikazes in 1944-45, he retailed to me decades ago that he was burned, covered in blood and the entrails of those who were only talking to him a few minutes ago, before the attacks. Tange might have realised that combat experience was an education in itself. He should have been less evasive. He was a good man but he might have shown more respect to those educated by wars in which he was unable to match by his studied MIA absence.

SLSU1966
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:47 pm
Real Full Name: Michael Fogarty
Rank and Rate/Category: LEUT
Enlistment Date: 28 Feb 1966
Date of Discharge: 12 May 1972
Ships and Depots Served: Cerberus, Duchess, Melbourne, Kuttabul, FHQ, Harman

Commodore David York, AM, RAN, Rtd.

Post by SLSU1966 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:17 am

This is not fully off the track as the loss of David makes you think about naval training and education. Sir Arthur had the vision to push the concept of a tri-service college in ADFA. But he was not alone, for Rear Admiral Bill Dovers, senior, also had a role. Some shell backs at senior levels in the three services were aghast and against it, feeling individual arms should pursue their own in-house training and 'education' rather than young cadets and midshipmen be contaminated in what they mistook would be a civilian university and exposed to liberal and humanitarian concepts at an impressionable age. The chiefs also feared the impact of sandals and beads with the obligatory long hair. At ADFA, women can control that option.

The service students are very much in an ADF environment and march or double in formations as required. Then you return to the notions of their own finishing schools so they are re-socialised in their particular service environment. Sir Arthur missed the point on training, as if it was not an education in itself. The bases which specialise in training for all branches have a professional role, to similarly train and 'educate' those whose tasks it will be to operate all the weaponry and sensors, be it gunnery, TAS, radar, navigation, aviation, MCD, technical and logistic and all specific branches and throughout the whole spectrum to prepare our people for sea so they can operate and maintain equipment as well all the manifold duties performed by a ship's complement - at sea and ashore.

Getting an MA (War Studies) from ADFA will not turn one into an instant warrior, although studying strategy, defence policy, history and ethics is not misplaced. It should not be the sole preserve of officers as it is an online course being long-distance. I would like to think the opportunity can be afforded to all ranks if they have the potential and initiative to pursue such a course, as their duties and family responsibilities permit. Surely where social outlets are limited! I dare say such an experience exists as it would be discriminatory not to allow them access to higher education.

I have heard of one former senior sailor with over a decade in the fleet who has been posted to ADFA to undertake an education doing a BSc in (electrical?) engineering and hopefully to honours level if his progress allows. After all, he has the practical and technical training so he would be well equipped to achieve that thoughtful initiative afforded to him. A young officer who graduates might have a sound theoretical command of the speciality but they will lack the practical experience of how it is applied in a ship environment. In short, to be re-educated again - 're-trained'.

Again, it's all about service culture. That former technical branch chief with multi-faceted expertise in the fleet (with operational deployments) would be a leavening experience on his promotion to SBLT and studying full time if so in what remains a true service environment. For he could bring immediate knowledge and wisdom which takes years to acquire which theory can only supplement if not tempered by the realities of life at sea in warships. Recruitment is one thing, as is retention. The command has done well in respecting the aspirations of all who are able to study.

SLSU1966
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:47 pm
Real Full Name: Michael Fogarty
Rank and Rate/Category: LEUT
Enlistment Date: 28 Feb 1966
Date of Discharge: 12 May 1972
Ships and Depots Served: Cerberus, Duchess, Melbourne, Kuttabul, FHQ, Harman

Commodore David York, AM, RAN, Rtd.

Post by SLSU1966 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:44 pm

David was born on 2 September 1939? The week WWII broke out, an auspicious start to life. He died last week Sunday 3 March. Wife Peta, had 37 grand children. SMH notice says there will be a mass for him 1030 tomorrow Monday 11 March. To be held at St Mary's Cathedral. Preceded by a viewing in the crypt at 0900. He did his engineering course in the UK. If one failed the course, he could do a lower order course. His peers would be cranky for he would be less qualified yet be senior to his contemporaries. They may have rectified that situation. With change comes progress as retailed below.

Back to his branch. Of course, one could be commissioned in the former SD list. The service had to create further opportunities for career progression for suitable candidates. It still applies in one generic list nowadays so the artificial barriers have been removed. Assume a non-reduction allowance prevails so senior sailors would not be financially disadvantaged on their promotion.

David's passing made me reflect on the importance of commissioning from the ranks for the worthy experience and contribution they can make from their practical background and wide expertise. The service is enjoined to foster career opportunities at all levels and any measure it can take to provide them is a sound one as it recognises their value to the fleet and elsewhere. We should acknowledge their attributes and potential. A mind-set should exist to advance their skill-sets to benefit the RAN.

SLSU1966
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:47 pm
Real Full Name: Michael Fogarty
Rank and Rate/Category: LEUT
Enlistment Date: 28 Feb 1966
Date of Discharge: 12 May 1972
Ships and Depots Served: Cerberus, Duchess, Melbourne, Kuttabul, FHQ, Harman

Commodore David York, AM, RAN, Rtd.

Post by SLSU1966 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:41 pm

Possibly my last post here. To Sir Arthur Tange again. David would have been happy enough that engineers are being trained at ADFA. I heard it is now also open to some selected civilian students but not known at what level. Unsure about ANU but RMIT would train some I assume? A sizeable proportion of ADFA students do an honours course at UNSW also. All would share a related anxiety about the shortage of technical staff in the fleet. Manning ships is like any business enterprise, it could always be better. Tange was a dutiful public servant even if said to be arrogant, reactionary and conservative.

Tange did some air crossings of the Pacific in WWII, to attend important conferences in the US, at least in 1944. Now that would be somewhat risky. A feat shared by Churchill and Roosevelt across the Atlantic. If not by sea? Perhaps out of his insecurity, he felt that many senior officers were not as educated as himself. It was a false gesture as they were educated in the profession of arms and served Australia well in their guilds. At least Tange had the vision to promote higher education in the ADF. Service chiefs humoured him, for if so educated, he would have heeded their own sound counsel.

I saw a submission in which his deputy at Defence used a word wrongly, using a term principal (say of a school) rather than what he wanted to convey, meaning principle (of policy). This senior ex-diplomat had a university degree so it made for wry humour. Tange corrected the term in the margins. Trivial maybe but I make this point, pre spell check. Our service chiefs had an equal share of wisdom and emotional intelligence but had to surmount perilous conditions Tange had no real experience of or could ever imagine. Tange's 'education' was insufficient to command any uniformed service.

SLSU1966
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:47 pm
Real Full Name: Michael Fogarty
Rank and Rate/Category: LEUT
Enlistment Date: 28 Feb 1966
Date of Discharge: 12 May 1972
Ships and Depots Served: Cerberus, Duchess, Melbourne, Kuttabul, FHQ, Harman

Commodore David York, AM, RAN, Rtd.

Post by SLSU1966 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:52 pm

Will get back on John Peel, which exposed the mockery of Tange's delusional attempts to belittle our service chiefs. He had to, so he could feel better about his lack of service 'education'. Was he intimidated by the brass, oak leaves, buttons, braid and medal ribbons? CNS VADM Sir RIP said he was.

SLSU1966
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:47 pm
Real Full Name: Michael Fogarty
Rank and Rate/Category: LEUT
Enlistment Date: 28 Feb 1966
Date of Discharge: 12 May 1972
Ships and Depots Served: Cerberus, Duchess, Melbourne, Kuttabul, FHQ, Harman

Commodore David York, AM, RAN, Rtd.

Post by SLSU1966 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:35 am

Our officers and sailors were/are not without intellectual ability. It is just that they once lacked the educational opportunities many civilians could access in a less demanding environment. After all, those RANC graduates who topped their year in mathematics and science met university entry standards. Some of our own have topped courses in the UK or US and many close to it. I think of the WWII hostilities only veterans, being called up, reservist or volunteering at a young age, by necessity curtailing the tertiary studies or going straight from high school or soon after on age eligibility. Many became our post-war doctors, lawyers, engineers and skilled in kindred professions or all career positions they aspired to. Captain Peel was reported as having retired at age 53. He said he did not wish to become a desk bound admiral in Canberra? An excuse or a reason? There are more stars than there are stars to give. Was it offered to him or did he refuse it? It matters not, as there was a deep gene pool of his peers who could and did achieve that honour.

SLSU1966
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:47 pm
Real Full Name: Michael Fogarty
Rank and Rate/Category: LEUT
Enlistment Date: 28 Feb 1966
Date of Discharge: 12 May 1972
Ships and Depots Served: Cerberus, Duchess, Melbourne, Kuttabul, FHQ, Harman

Commodore David York, AM, RAN, Rtd.

Post by SLSU1966 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:48 am

Eric John Peel. Was he unwilling or unable to go to Canberra if sounded out? In the promotion stakes, the board would want to know if he was both suitable and available. So maybe unwilling to undergo a removal and if his children were settled in school at a critical stage of their education? He got his ticket punched as a decorated officer, many ship commands, did all the top flight staff courses in preparation, with requisite seniority as a captain (1958). If he was offered a two star rank, and the chance to remain in the Sydney command area (FOICEA or FOCAF) it might have swayed him to do a last local posting before retirement. Unless he was only marked for Canberra? Postings require long-term planning and others may have been pencilled in before denying him a rear admiral's position in Sydney. Charles Morgan intimated this in his book The Gunroom. The prospect of becoming an admiral did not appeal to him? Had he hung in for a while, he might have scored a commodore's substantive rank in 1970 but for retiring just before.

SLSU1966
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:47 pm
Real Full Name: Michael Fogarty
Rank and Rate/Category: LEUT
Enlistment Date: 28 Feb 1966
Date of Discharge: 12 May 1972
Ships and Depots Served: Cerberus, Duchess, Melbourne, Kuttabul, FHQ, Harman

Commodore David York, AM, RAN, Rtd.

Post by SLSU1966 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:33 pm

See the N N (on-line) dated 28 September, 1990 for Captain Peel's obituary. He died aged 73 and was awarded US Legion of Merit for his WWII service.

SLSU1966
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:47 pm
Real Full Name: Michael Fogarty
Rank and Rate/Category: LEUT
Enlistment Date: 28 Feb 1966
Date of Discharge: 12 May 1972
Ships and Depots Served: Cerberus, Duchess, Melbourne, Kuttabul, FHQ, Harman

Commodore David York, AM, RAN, Rtd.

Post by SLSU1966 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:34 pm

In all, despite my comments, Tange did his best but parts of his character were beyond his ability to influence for a more favourable and balanced outcome. I can not compare him to Admiral Alan Beaumont as the former CDF was a more exemplary human being. He had equanimity and a light touch and treated individuals like human beings. Never pompous, personally insecure about the status of others or acerbic. He did not need a chip on each shoulder to boulder his carriage. EA once had its place for prancing intellectualism but no more. If ADFA is Tange's legacy then good. He stood up to Menzies on Suez 1956. He overplayed his hand with Hasluck and got exiled to India. P H never made PM. It reminds us that we are all in God's debt.

Post Reply