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Topic review - A Farewell to those with whom we served...
Author Message
  Post subject:  Re: A Farewell to those with whom we served...  Reply with quote
Capt. John Stevenson RIP you deserved better.
Post Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:12 am
  Post subject:  Re: A Farewell to those with whom we served...  Reply with quote
John Philip Stevenson was born in Melbourne on 24 August 1921 and entered the RAN College (HMAS Cerberus) as a 13 year old cadet midshipman in 1934. He gained his sporting colours for tennis and at passing out was awarded the prize for mathematics-physics-chemistry.

As a midshipman he served in the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (I) before traveling to the United Kingdom in mid-1939 for loan service with the Royal Navy. He joined the heavy cruiser, HMS Shropshire and was serving in her in the Mediterranean when World War II broke out. Shropshire then operated in the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean on patrol and escort duties. After completing training courses in the United Kingdom he served as a sub-lieutenant in the commissioning crew of the destroyer HMAS Nestor which operated in the North Atlantic on escort, patrol and screening duties. Nestor was involved in the hunt for the German battleship Bismarck in May 1941.

Nestor later served in the Mediterranean and South Atlantic, and on 15 December 1941 sank the German submarine U-127 off Cape St Vincent. The destroyer operated in the Indian Ocean during January - June 1942 before returning to the Mediterranean theatre. On 15 June while escorting a convoy to Malta, Nestor was badly damaged by enemy air attack and later scuttled as she could not be saved. Lieutenant Stevenson was amongst the ships injured. He then served in the destroyer HMAS Napier, in the Indian Ocean, before joining the now HMAS Shropshire in mid-1943 (replacing Canberra sunk at Savo Island in August 1942). Shropshire served in the Pacific campaign during 1943-1945 and, apart from radar training in the United Kingdom, Stevenson served in her for the remainder of the war and was present at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945.

After the war Lieutenant Stevenson went to the United Kingdom on loan to the Royal Navy where he underwent courses in navigation and fighter direction. He served in Royal Navy ships in the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf, Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean and also saw operational service in the early days of the Malayan Emergency. Promoted to lieutenant commander in 1950 he returned to Australia in the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney (III) which had embarked her second carrier air group in Portsmouth. Upon arrival in Australia he took command, in March 1951, of the frigate HMAS Barcoo which operated as the RAN training ship. He later served in the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (II) as navigation officer, and later re-joined Sydney as the Fleet Navigation Officer.

Sydney visited the United Kingdom for the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II where Stevenson commanded the RAN detachment during the coronation parade. In 1954 Sydney conducted a post-armistice patrol in Korean waters and in June 1954 Stevenson was promoted to commander. In 1954 Commander Stevenson was Director of Plans in Navy Office and also served in HMY Britannia as the naval equerry to His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh who was to visit Australia for the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.

He commanded the destroyer HMAS Anzac (II) during January 1957 - June 1958 during which time she served in the Far East Strategic Reserve. In 1958-1959 he attended the Naval Command Course at the US Naval War College followed by the US Naval Tactical Course. In May 1959 he was appointed as the Defence attaché to Thailand and was promoted to captain in December 1960. Captain Stevenson assumed command of HMAS Watson, in October 1961, and the following October took command of the destroyer HMAS Vendetta (II) as well as commanding the 10th Destroyer Squadron.

In April 1964 he temporarily commanded the fast troop transport HMAS Sydney (III) which took Australian troops to Borneo. In 1965 he commanded HMAS Cerberus and was also Naval Officer in Command - Victoria. Then in late 1966 he became the Australian naval attaché in Washington, D.C. After returning to Australia he assumed command of the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (II), then in refit, in October 1968.

Melbourne commenced work-ups in February 1969 and sailed for Southeast Asia waters on 5 May 1969 with 805, 816 and 817 Squadrons embarked. In the early hours of 3 June 1969 during Exercise SEA SPIRIT, in the South China Sea, the American destroyer USS Frank E Evans crossed Melbourne’s bow and was cut in two in an incident reminiscent of the Voyager (II) collision five years earlier. The forward section of Evans sank immediately with the loss of 74 lives and Melbourne sustained extensive damage to her bow.

A joint USN/RAN Board of Inquiry held Stevenson partly responsible stating that, as commanding officer of Melbourne, he could have done more to prevent the collision from occurring; however, a subsequent RAN court-martial cleared him of any responsibility. The integrity of the initial Board of Inquiry has since been questioned, particularly as it was presided over by Rear Admiral Jerome King, USN, the officer in overall tactical command of Evans at the time of the collision. Stevenson’s defence council, Gordon Samuels, QC, stated he had “never seen a prosecution case so bereft of any possible proof of guilt.” Captain Stevenson subsequently resigned from the RAN bringing to an end a distinguished 35-year naval career.

John Stevenson worked for the Australian Gas Light Company (AGL) from 1970-1987. He retired in 1987 moving to Burradoo, NSW with his wife, Joanne in 2000. They had been married for 54 years when she died in 2012. In December 2012, Stevenson received an official apology from the Minister for Defence, the Honourable Stephen Smith, MP, in which he stated that Stevenson was not treated fairly by the government of the day and the Australian Navy following the events of 1969, and describes Stevenson as 'a distinguished naval officer who served his country with honour in peace and war'.

John Stevenson was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2018 Australia Day Honours List.

:salute1: Captain John Stevenson passed away in Sydney on 29 January 2019. [-o<
Post Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:15 pm
  Post subject:  Re: A Farewell to those with whom we served...  Reply with quote
This is now starting to circulate.

Vale John :salute1:

Dear members

I regret to advise the passing of Captain John Stevenson on 29 January at the ripe old age of 98. Captain Stevenson’s highly successful career to that point ended prematurely as a result of the Melbourne and USS Frank E Evans collision in 1969. An obituary article for Captain Stevenson will be included in the next NOC newsletter and will highlight what a special officer he was.


The RAN will be honouring Captain Stevenson by providing a full naval funeral at the Garden Island Chapel commencing at 12.00 on Friday 15 February. All welcome.


Rick Bayley
Captain RAN (Ret’d)
President, Naval Officers Club of Australia
Post Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:12 pm
  Post subject:  Re: A Farewell to those with whom we served...  Reply with quote
Image :mickey1: ERA2 :omg1:
FORSYTH, Roy McCrae.
01-12-1924 - 12-01-2019

Loving & adored husband of Nancy (dec).
Much loved father & father-in-law of Andrea & Greg, Ross & Jean.
Loving Pa to Paul & Tracie.
Forever In Our Hearts

Friends & family are warmly invited to attend a celebration of his life in
the Chapel of White Lady Funerals, 402 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills
(car park entry of Boundary Rd) on Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019 2pm.
Post Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:21 am
  Post subject:  Re: A Farewell to those with whom we served...  Reply with quote
Those early days, and it was not just Roy, but other old tiffies and/or instructors, really did instill some life long values to us following MOBI's.

We are special bunch!!!

Thank you Roy RIP. :salute1:
Post Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:33 pm
  Post subject:  Re: A Farewell to those with whom we served...  Reply with quote
VALE: Former Chief Engine Room Artificer and Senior Civilian Instructor at HMAS NIRIMBA, Mr Roy Forsyth... [-o<

Charlie Layzell has passed on some SAD NEWS for many MOBIs and others.

Mr Roy Forsyth, a former Chief Engine Room Artificer and later Senior Civilian Instructor at HMAS NIRIMBA, passed away on
Sunday 13 January 2019. Roy will have been well known to many MOBIs, MECHs, MUPPETs and others who had served at NIRIMBA.

Roy was at NIRIMBA as a CERA when the MOBI training began. He paid off in 1957 and immediately began as a Civilian Instructor in
Fitting and Machining. Roy’s tenure as a Civilian Instructor continued for 30 years until, as a Senior Civilian Instructor, he retired in
1987. A tough but fair man, Roy will be remembered for the knowledge and expertise he passed on to many a trainee, some of whom
may still be in the Navy and many still in the trade and technical workforce (to say little of the many who are now retired).

Roy is survived by his daughter Andrea and son Ross.

Roy’s funeral will be conducted at;
The White Lady Chapel
402 Pennant Hills Road
(near Boundary Road)
on Tuesday 22nd of January
commencing at 1400.

Rest in Peace Roy, you were well respected and fondly remembered. [-o<
Post Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:31 pm
  Post subject:  Re: A Farewell to those with whom we served...  Reply with quote
I never knew Les personally, but I did deal with him via the HMAS Sydney website.

I knew he was a busy man, but I didn't realise just how dedicated he was.

My condolences to his wife and family, and he will be sadly missed.

Vale Les :salute1:
Post Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:16 pm
  Post subject:  Re: A Farewell to those with whom we served...  Reply with quote
Facebook came alive today with the sad news of the passing of Les Dwyer...


This was posted on Facebook by James O'Connor...

"It is with great sadness that I need to inform members that Leslie [Les] James Dwyer crossed the bar today at 15:00. Les served the Association (NAA) as our National President, National Vice
, Chairman of White Ensign Magazine, President of eFLEET, Advocate and Welfare Office(r) and Web Master."

I didn't know Les personally, but he was clearly a Legend in many areas, with a wide circle of friends and followers on Facebook.

This was posted on Les' own Facebook Page by his wife, Lynda...

It is with immense sadness I’m informing you that Les Dwyer crossed the bar on 16th August 2018 at 3pm.
Les suffered a major heart trauma on Monday the 13th August 2018 whilst whipper snipping on our property, 36 hours before our planned trip to Shanghai.
Les was treated by the Ambulance Service, Nambour Hospital Emergency Department and Sunshine Coast University Hospital Intensive Care Unit with the utmost care and professional attention.
Despite their best efforts, Les did not regain consciousness after the heart trauma. Prior to this incident Les was healthy, well and looking forward to our trip.

Posted by Les’s beloved wife, Lynda Dwyer.

Funeral arrangements for Les Dwyer.
Gregson & Weight Chapel
34 National Park Road
Nambour QLD 4560

Thursday 23rd August 2018 at 2pm.

Not quite sure how I ended up on Les' list of Facebook friends, but like many of us, I'd been following he and Lynda's many trips overseas and can really say they were living life to the fullest...
...clearly his sudden passing was totally unexpected...

VALE Les, rest on your oars, your journey's done, RIP... [-o<

P.S. Les (perhaps prophetically,) posted this :type: thought provoking clip :-k on Facebook on July 10th, updating it with comments posted only four days ago..!

I liked it so much, I went searching (unsuccessfully,) through YouTube for a version I could share with you Guys...
Post Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:25 pm
  Post subject:  Re: A Farewell to those with whom we served...  Reply with quote
Wayne Lewis ex chief greenie passed away yesterday will be sadly missed

Murray Sells
Post Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:01 pm
  Post subject:  Re: A Farewell to those with whom we served...  Reply with quote
Bob Kincaid was a good rugby player, a nuggety little hooker and one the nice guys; Fair winds and a following sea, Bob. :sheeesh:
Post Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:22 am

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