HMAS Perth (I) survivors visit IFR

Published on SGT Dave Morley (author), LSIS Helen Frank (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Perth (I), International Fleet Review

WWII sailors from HMAS Perth (I) Lieutenant Gavin Campbell, 92, of Denistone, NSW; Able Seaman Frank McGovern, 94, of North Randwick, NSW; and Able Seaman David Manning, 90 of Mount Helen, Vic.  (photo: LSIS Helen Frank)
WWII sailors from HMAS Perth (I) Lieutenant Gavin Campbell, 92, of Denistone, NSW; Able Seaman Frank McGovern, 94, of North Randwick, NSW; and Able Seaman David Manning, 90 of Mount Helen, Vic.

Survivors of HMAS Perth (I) went to sea again yesterday to observe IFR warships in Sydney Harbour.

Three of the six remaining Perth (I) men along with more than 200 HMAS Perth (II) veterans and their families cruised the Harbour on the ferry Proclaim.

Perth (I) survivors former ABs David Manning, 90, Frank McGovern, 94, and former LEUT Gavin Campbell, 92, who served from February 1939 to July 1950 had the Sydney media queuing up to speak with them.

Mr Manning said the potential in today’s Navy was unlimited.

“I think the training the Navy give these days is much more detailed than we got when I started at 13,” he said.

Mr McGovern said every now and then he felt nostalgic and felt the urge to go to sea.

“But the opportunity doesn’t happen very often,” he said.

“A few of us still keep in touch and go out every month for a drink and a natter.”

Mr Campbell said it was great to be going back to sea.

“It’s lovely to see all the ships and it’s a terrific day,’ he said.

“The new ships are a bit smaller than what we went to sea in although they pack a bigger punch than ours did.”

The outing was organised by the HMAS Perth National Association.