Webmaster Bio

 

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Left: Chief Petty Officer Fire Control Russell Graystone  joined the R.A.N. in January 1969, from Eltham, Victoria,  as a 15 year old 'Junior Recruit'. 

 

After one year of training in Academic and Naval subjects he was posted to sea in January 1970 in the Destroyer, then designated Type 12 Frigate, HMAS DERWENT where he deployed to the Far East Station.

 

He served in HMA Ships, Derwent 1970,  Stuart 1971-1975,  Derwent 1975-1978,  Vampire 1978-1979, Attack 1980 - 1981, Brisbane 1981-1985.

 

Much of his career saw him serve on the Far East Station, and then later in DDGs, in the Persian Gulf. Russell retired from the permanent Navy in January 1989 as a Chief Petty Officer Fire Control (Gunnery) sailor.

 

He remained in the Active Reserve and returned to the RAN full time in 1999 to serve as their Navy Internet Manager and Webmaster until 2003.  See image at bottom of page.

Reference Link Below: Navy News 13th March 2003 (Goto Page 4)

http://www.navy.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/Navy_News-March-13-2003.pdf

 

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Left: Green as Grass, as a Junior Recruit 2nd Class, at the age of 15, with my Father, when I was granted special leave to see him on his visit to Perth, WA, early in 1969.

 

Stationed at HMAS LEEUWIN in Fremantle where 600 boys, divided into 4 intakes per year, between the ages of 15 and a half and 16 and a half years were trained in academic and naval subjects before being sent to the fleet for Sea-Training.

 

Many ask if we were actually 'Cadets' as we were below the usual enlistment age.  No.  We were not Cadets, our enlistment was in the Permanent Naval Forces and all that entailed.  Except the rules did state we couldn't serve Overseas on Active Service until we were 18 YO.  These rules were 'bent' a little during the Vietnam War though.
 

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Left: At the age of 16 undertaking my First 'Strategic Reserve Deployment' in HMAS Derwent. The photo was taken on the Fo'c'sle of HMAS DERWENT whilst conducting a fleet entry into Singapore June 1970 after completing a major SEATO Exercise, Bersata Padu.

 

Port visits on this deployment included, Thailand, Subic Bay, Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan including World Expo 70 in Osaka.

 

This was a life changing event and influenced me greatly,  and is perhaps the cause of why I live in retirement in SE Asia today.

 

CPOQMG Alan 'Tiny' Small & CPOFC Russ Graystone FOE Brisbane City 1984

Left: The late CPOQMG Alan Tiny Small (left of picture) & Myself. Being a 'Gunnery Chief' - As Parade Marshall presiding over HMAS Brisbane's Freedom of Entry to the the City of Brisbane February 1984. Freedom Of Entry to a city is as old as King Arthur and is carried out with much pomp and ceremony. The city turns out to honour its warriors who are permitted by ancient right enter and march through the city with Band Playing, Colours Flying, Swords Drawn and Baynoets Fixed.
 

A Parade Marshall's job is to get every sailor mustered and fallen in, at the correct 'stepping off point' , to oversee everyone's drill and bearing and to ensure protocol is adhered to. Being a Gunnery 'Jack' it is always mandatory to berate slovenly sailors in a loud clear voice with a unique repatoire of curses and threats.

 

 

Below: Carrying out live 5 Inch Gun Firing as Gunplot Officer HMAS Brisbane Persian Gulf Deployment 1981. For all those wondering what a 'Gun Plot' is then this is it. As it is called in the US Navy.

 

Its equivalent in 'British Built' Ships of the Royal Navy was called the TS or Transmitting Station and these are the compartments on a ship from where the large calibre naval guns are controlled.

 

These days most modern warships have all operational control of the ships' guns from Multi Function Displays located in the Operations Room or Combat Information Center (CIC).

 

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Below: Navy News  Article March 2003