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Mr Fermanis-Winward  |  
+61 2 4787 5774
 23-Dec-08   15:13:35 Date
Message I saw an earlier note about Vic Duncan, Chief Petty Officer on the Perth when it sunk. Vic Duncan was the Industrial Arts Master at Heathcote High School when I was there in the 1960’s. He was barrel chested, ruddy complexion and loved running. He spoke nothing of his war experiences, but one sensed he wasn’t too keen on the “tin pot” officers (teachers) heading the school cadets.

His wife was my mother’s bridesmaid before the war (she is still alive but unfortunately blind). They used to visit and while we had a cuppa Vic would go for a run in the Royal National Park for a couple of hours. Vic died of a stroke a number of years ago.
If you ever have the chance, get onto a book by Clay Blair Jr and his wife Joan Blair, called Return from the River Kwai. Clay Blair Jr was a submariner during the war and a journalist afterwards. He did a lot of interviews with Vic, and corresponded with him. His research papers are held at the American Heritage Centre, University of Wyoming, P.O. Box 3924, Laramie, WY 82071. ahcref@uwyo.edu; http://www.uwyo.edu/ahc
http://ahccatalog.uwyo.edu
The book is mainly about the submariners in the Pacific, but it has lot on Vic’s experiences. It is also a good read. In summary Vic was responsible for getting a lot of men off the Perth and was awarded the British Empire Medal. He was captured by the Japanese, went to Changi, and survived the Burma Thailand Railway. He was then shipped out to Japan in a Japanese freighter. This was where he was sunk for the second time by the American submarines. He undertook an “epic” raft voyage trying to navigate to the allied Chinese mainland. He was again captured by the Japanese and finally reached Japan, only to be bombed by the US airforce. You will also find references to Vic at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. There is a flag which is made of canvas which was a makeshift sail and at one stage, the only clothing that one sailor had to wear. After its original custodian it made its way into Vic’s hand and he added to the names already on the flag, some three hundred names of the crew of the Perth. He also added a poem.
Quite a man. I think he was underrated in receiving the BEM (not the MBE). I guess he would have had to have been an officer to have received a higher honour, and yet he showed much more leadership and courage than many of the officers who gave up and perished. Thaty will probably start an arguement, but that is my opinion.
:wink:


Ian 'Bill' Sneddon  |  
02 65671361
 22-Dec-08   18:58:55 Date
Message G'day to all my 'old' mates from the Perth 2. Some of you are still serving. I joined as a JR in 1974 (47th intake, Ramsay Division). Served as a stoker on the Perth in 1975 to 1977 and again 1980 to 1982. Some of you'll remember that I was always 'naughty' but in my defence I was misunderstood. I'm sure that some of you thought I was destined for penal servitude but..to a degree you are right. I have been a Prison Officer for 24 years now (since discharge).Since transferring up to the Mid North Coast Prison I have run into quite a few old ship mates eg. (ex)POMTP Bruce 'Hoss' Raeburn, (ex)CPQMG Mick Blanks, (ex) POMTP? Mick Mullice. There are a few other ex dibbies/stokers working with me as well. Bruce doesn't work with me, he is my neighbour. Would be glad to catch up with a few other 'old salts' from my era. I have some great(& bad) memories of my time in the Navy especially whilst serving on the Perth 2.


Wendy Mason  |  
0431402515
 15-Dec-08   16:42:17 Date
Message My father Frederick John Mason, was on the Perth sunk in World War 2. He was a stoker. I am glad I found this site. I have added it as a favourite, as I think it will be wonderful for my children to learn about what those brave men went thru.


Jan-Claire Wisdom  |  
0883395432
 21-Nov-08   12:23:51 Date
Message Hi Perth enthusiasts. I am researching the Wisdom family history. Does anyone have any information about Able Seaman John Geoffrey Hunt Wisdom RAN who according to Aus War Mem records died on 1 Mar 1942 whilst serving with HMAS Perth?
Kind regards.


Stephen  |  
02 95249440
 12-Oct-08   04:05:43 Date
Message Dear Sir
I am related to F/O Raymond Barker Barrey A/407000 who was killed serving
with 9 RAAF Squadron on board HMAS Sydney November 1941.
I am related to Ray on his Wife's side of the Family and I am trying
desperately to find a photo of him or his Walrus or him on HMAS Sydney from
which he flew while on HMAS Sydney for most of 1941.
I am also trying to contact anyone who may be able to tell me about him.
From Rays extended family 7 served and 6 were killed.
I would appreciate any pointers you can give me apart from contacting the
RAAF or 9 RAAF Association as I have already exhausted that avenue.
They suggested that I try the HMAS Sydney II Association.
Any suggestions etc would be greatly appreciated.

Ray enlisted in 1940 was trained at Point Cook then sent to the Seaplane
Training Flight and arrived at 9 RAAF Sqd in 1941.
Ray replaced the earlier pilot F/L Thomas McBride Price DFC RAAF who served
with HMAS Sydney throughout the Middle East and had his Seagull shot down
during a shore Bombardment spotting flight which led to the award of his
DFC. Tom Price later converted to Catalina's and reached the rank of S/L and
survived the war serving on seaplanes the entire war in the Pacific. The FAA
in the RN then loaned a Walrus to HMAS Sydney to replace her shot down
Seagull V.

Ray is always remembered to me by his smile (which I have never seen).
At a Family reunion one time His wife reported it lit up the room even if he
suffered from big ears! lol.
They were married in Sydney as Ray was based at RAAF Rathmines at this time
and when he was posted to HMAS Sydney they thought it was fate in a good way
as Sydney was Ray's Home port.
One of the last letters Ray wrote to his brother Clemet Barrey (served with
RAF survived war - painting of him in the AWM) was describing how he
"planned to set up shop with his new wife" in Sydney and as it was HMAS
Sydney's home port he would always be "guaranteed a hot feed ashore and a
beer or two".
He also described the Walrus as being something like flying a "push bike"
and that it leaked water on the pilot "a dam lot" while taxying to be
recovered.
I think the best line in that letter is the one where he describes being
catapulted off HMAS Sydney the first time in Sydney Harbour as being "better
then riding with no brakes down that hill that nearly killed him as a kid"
back in South Australia.
Its something I value highly - even if its only a photocopy.
After dad left the army in 1983 we moved to Nyngan and unfortunately during
the flood in 1993 we lost almost all his material that was passed down to
us.
It was very heartbreaking indeed.

I am also tyring to track down the below 2 members both RAAF Pilots on Cruisers one of which serevd on HMAS Perth and was a POW.

They are -
MCDONOUGH, ALLEN VERNON
Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number 407008 (Note Rays Number)
Date of Birth 6 Dec 1914
Place of Birth ADELAIDE SA
Date of Enlistment 29 Apr 1940
Place of Enlistment ADELAIDE
Next of Kin MCDONOUGH, J
Date of Discharge 9 Jan 1946
Rank Flight Lieutenant
Posting at Discharge 5 MEDICAL REHAB UNIT
Prisoner of War Yes

and

PRICE THOMAS MACBRIDE
Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number 172
Date of Birth 14 Nov 1914
Place of Birth ADELAIDE SA
Date of Enlistment 18 Jan 1937
Place of Enlistment POINT COOK VIC
Next of Kin PRICE J
Date of Discharge 23 Mar 1945
Rank Wing Commander
Posting at Discharge 1 OPERATIONAL TRAINING UNIT
WW2 Honours and Gallantry
Distinguished Flying Cross
Prisoner of War No

Yours in Thanks, Stephen Clifford Sydney NSW.

PS
the casualties were 4 RAN and 2 RAAF. 1 RAAF came home.
2 were Killed on HMAS Sydney (1 RAN 1 RAAF)
2 were Killed on HMAS Perth
1 was Killed on attachment to SRD in 1944
and the last one was killed flying Lancaster's in 1945 in the UK with a RAF
Squadron.
All were encouraged not to join the AIF on their Great War relations views
and all were lost in water related incidents.
Ray was married in 1941 and had no Children.
His wife never re married and is now deceased (and missed greatly especially
those stories of eating rabbit in the great depression!)


mak  |  
 04-Oct-08   07:53:56 Date
Message Prima site! Professional work.


CONNOR C  |  
 24-Sep-08   20:58:11 Date
Message hi all
i bought the other day a ZIPPO with DDG-38 H.M.A.S. PERTH writen on it i think this is HMAS perth 2?
if you know plese let me know
thanks connor


Warren Day  |  
 04-Sep-08   01:31:14 Date
Message I joined the Navy at the tender young age of 28 in 1998 and served 8 years as a stoker, my sea time on FFG04 HMAS Darwin. On my first deployment 'Up Top' in late (October?) 2000 we had a service to scatter the ashes of a Perth I sailor over the wreck. I am hoping someone can tell me who this was and a little about him. It seems we can go through life and make all these small but very personal connections to the whole history of our nation and these websites are the best thing ever for that..


jones norman  |  
0417 937 404
 25-Aug-08   18:20:55 Date
Message Great site, Served on Perth 11 from 70-73. Did last trip to vietnam and the Indian Ocean trip. Left Perth just prior to going to USA for refit for PO's course at Watson. What a ship, there will never be any finer. She was a real lady.
Yours Aye
Norm Jones (Spike) ex CPORP(AC)


Brian Herbert  |  
0404050809
 28-Jul-08   17:59:05 Date
Message My grand father P.O John Samuel Turnbull served on the Perth and was taken POW at the battle of Sunda Strait. I am after service photos( if available)as the family only have one at the moment. If any one could help it would be mkuch appreciated.
P.S. Job Well Done


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