Bataan Veterans Association Essay

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The old saying is that ‘old soldiers never die...’ so what do old sailors do? For one such group, the answer is ‘form an association of fellow sailors’. Such is the case for the members of the HMAS Bataan Veterans’ Association. On the weekend of September 10th to 13th, this group got together for what may well be the 30th time to enjoy each others’ company at the Greenmount Beach Resort at Coolangatta. This association has survived where other Tribal Class destroyer associations have not, so this group now welcomes former members of the ships’ companies of HMAS WARRAMUNGA and HMAS ARUNTA at their annual reunions. Last year, the strongest of these associations, the group in South Australia, invited their recently retired Governor, Rear…show more content…
RADM Noonan had been a guest at a previous reunion when he was still a commodore. On that occasion, he gave a stirring account of the significance of the service of those people who served in the Bataan era. Commander Peter Tedman DSM OAM RAN, Commanding Officer Navy Headquarters South Queensland, delivered the keynote address, a history of the service of HMAS BATAAN. Another very interesting talk was delivered by Commander Graham Atkinson RAN Ret’d on the service of AE2. One of the most engaging of the talks was delivered by Captain Chris Stewart (Ret’d) who was a member of the Army Intelligence Corps. He traced the story of two of our WWI diggers who had served and died on the Western Front, through to their commanding officer and, ultimately to Commodore Dacre Smyth. Commodore Smyth served as first lieutenant aboard HMAS BATAAN prior to and during the ship’s first deployment to Korea in 1950-51. A very tall, capable, quietly spoken man, Commodore Smyth was the very essence of the Royal Navy type of officer. Your correspondent remembers serving under him in 1949. This background story explained completely the character I
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