Photo Memorabilia Page 2

 

Photo Memorabilia Page 2

 

 

Left - HMAS Brisbane entering Bombay, India 1981 Persian Gulf Deployment. My Fo'c'sle Crew. What a great mob of young blokes they were, happy, efficient and competent. Working 'Part of Ship' on the Fo'c'sle up top, (during non 'active' periods), clad only in shorts and sandals was a delight, the clear blue skies, glass like seas, the breeze over the fo'c' sle keeping you cool. It's not for everyone but we certainly enjoyed it.

 

 

Left - Closed up in 2 Watch Defence Stations in the Gun Plot. Leading Systems 'Greenie' Red Barry and ABFC Kulzini at the 53 Foxtrot Gunnery Radar Console. One had the opportunity to become very well read during these periods at sea, for whilst at 'Defence Stations' there wasn't much to do once closed up and Daily Systems Operability Tests (DSOTS) were completed.

 

Left - Leading Systems 'Greenie' 'Tiny' McPherson in the Gun Plot maintaining the Mk 47 Fire Control Computer. What a diligent man he was! This piece of outdated 'farm machinery' was in need of constant 24 hour tweaking and TLC. Tiny had a camp streatcher set up in the gun plot and made it his home where he lived like a mushroom 24 hrs per day so as to keep the gun system functioning. By the way we were pushing out the best gunnery results in the RAN during this period.

 

 

Left - PORP Tony Tooke and POETC Jim Currie setting up for the movie in the Aft PO's Mess HMAS Brisbane 1981. Note the 16mm projector on the mess table. Movies were a major event at sea. They would be shown in the various messes and in the ship's company cafe. When 'Up Top' the weather conditions in the tropics would be so good they would be shown on the 'upperdeck' by turning a gun turret around etc and hanging a sheet of it.

Sailors would bring their own seating, along with their beer issue and hoot, yell and roar as John Wayne cleaned up more Japs or Apaches! This great cultural event ceased with the introduction of videos being piped into TV sets placed throughout the ships individual messes. Television went a long way to destroying a great social occasion in the RAN -' Tonight's Movie on the Upperdeck!'

Footnote: When operating with the Yanks it was customary to offer good Aussie Beer in exchange for a lend of the latest Hollywood movies.

 

The CPO's Mess Cocktail Party at Port Victoria Seychelle Islands 1984. The Brisbane CPOs Parties became somewhat famous during this era. During a round Australia tour the mess was subject to a mention in Federal Parliment by a complaint from the male members of 'Parents Without Partners' that we were discriminating sexually by not inviting any men to attend. Whoever said that sailors were suspect should have attended some of these raunchy events.
HMAS BRISBANE CPO's MESS Seychelles 1984
 

The Castle Hotel in the main drag of Mombasa, Kenya. Usually the first watering hole on the agenda after stepping ashore. The place was full of lovley African ladies wishing to learn more about Australia and there was no shortage of willing sailors only too ready to oblige them. Who can forget the 'Tusker' and 'White Cap' beer at only a few shillings a bottle. The infamous Rainbow and Sunshine Bars were just down the road and were the places to head for after the sun went down. Kenya was no doubt one of the most popular R&R Ports during the Iran-Iraq War era of the Persian Gulf Deployments.

Castle Hotel - Mombasa 1981
 
An ancient ceremony carried out by all Australian Warships the 'Crossing The Line' (or equator) Ceremony was a celebrated event and all young raw sailors who had never been across the equator before were subjected to a liberal dose of foul and evil smelling concoctions then quite physically dunked in a makeshift pool on the upper deck. most of the officers came in for this treatment too at the hands of King Neptune's bears and bodyguards. Pictured here is King Neptune with his dainty and beautiful missus and his dutiful pirate long John Silver. It was all carried out in good spirit and relieved the monotony of being at sea. An upperdeck Beer Issue and Banger Sizzle generally followed after everyone finally got cleaned up. It is not true that sailors sometimes exacted revenge upon some of the ship's officers. Not bloody much they didn't!
'Crossing the Line' Ceremony - HMAS Brisbane 1981
 
At a particular time each year off the East Coast of Africa the Monsoon season sets in, this makes life very uncomfortable on a destroyer. This type of weather is unrelenting and the upperdeck is constantly 'out-of-bounds', restricting the sailors to the messdecks. Morale has to be good during these long periods of discomfort tempers easily become frayed, mealtimes are a nightmare whilst you hang on with one hand and try to eat with the other and anyone with a tendency towards seasickness goes through a living hell. Just life in a blue suit!
Monsoon Roughers - East Africa Coast 1981
 
Taking to the roads in Kenya and conducting your own Safari through the game parks was just one of the options available for some R&R. The Kenyans themselves are a great people, they love a beer and a laugh, and this was perhaps one of the best times of my life. A couple of tours here made me fall hopelessly in love with Africa. Then there was the time when myself and Ray Surridge drove through West Tsavo game park in an open mini-moke. Much to the amusement and bewilderment of the local population. Crazy, damn Aussies!!!!
On Safari - Kenya 1981
 
My old mate Simmo, doing an impromptu 'Dance of the Flamers' in Sembawang Village, Singapore. Don't try this at home only skilled professionals should attempt this feat of sticking a lighted wick of paper up your bum and leaping about like a mad bastard to the chant of your fellow shipmates singing "Haul 'em down you zulu warrior".
Simmo Dance Of the Flamers - Sembawang Singapore 1975