George Frederick Constable
1921- 1993

39-45
Star

Africa
Star
Pacific
Star
British
War
Medal

Aust.
Service
Medal

Greece
1940
1941


Malta
50th
Anniv.

HMAS PERTH
June 1940 -November 1941
Gunner "Y" Turret

 

After training on HMAS PARRAMATTA, my father was drafted to HMAS PERTH on 12th July 1940. He was assigned to "Y" 6" Gun Turret which was the turret closest to the stern. He worked as a rammer, ramming the shell, then the cordite charge, tightly into the breach of the gun.

 

6d
Inside a 6" Gun Turret. The men holding the long rod are the Rammers.
chlk
A chalk drawing of the gun crew at work in a 6" turret (IWM)

 

Egypt 1941: Unknown - Dad - Guide - Unknown - Dallas Pascoe - Richard Dickson

Greece 1941: Unknown - Dallas Pascoe - Unknown - Dad - Richard Dickson

Mervyn LAMBDEN ( KIA 1st Mar 1942 ) - George CONSTABLE - Les GRIFFITHS
Photo courtesy of Mervyn's Great-Niece Sally Shine

 

SPECIAL SERVICES
1941 - 1945


814
ML 814 in 1943

 

HMAS PERTH returned to Australia in Aug 1941. In Nov 1941 Dad transferred from PERTH to Special Services where he would remain until demobbed in Oct 1945.

After initial training he was attached to the new motor launch ML 814 in Apr 1943. He remained with Special services until Dec 1945 when he was demobbed.

ML 814 operated from Darwin where ,apart from routine duties, she took part in a clandestine operation inTimor which saw the evacuation of 80 Timorese civilians who were being hunted by the Japanese. Supplies were also landed for the local guerrilla forces together with an Army signaller. This operation required the crew to go ashore at night in Japanese occupied territory and rendezvous with the guerrillas whilst trying to avoid Japanese patrols.

During her time in Darwin the ship also experienced several Japanese bombing raids..

Life on board these craft was quite difficult. They were fairly cramped and could give a rough ride in heavy seas.

Unfortunately for ML814, the Navy had ignored the advice of builder Harold Halvorsen . He pointed out that Hoop Pine was totally unsuitable for decking in warm and tropical areas and should be replaced by Oregon timber. The Navy ignored his advice which resulted in the timber deck shrinking when wet and allowing the seawater to pour into the crew's living quarters.

 

ds
Deck scene on an ML by artist Rex Julius
sm
Seamen's Mess on an ML by artist Rex Julius

 

Dad's other ships
parra
Sunk off Tobruk, North Africa 27 November 1941 - 138 of her 162 crew were lost.

 

lei

 

win

 

ba

 

1329

 

 


 


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