Dave Lassam - The medical team on HMAS Melbourne

Running time
1 min 22 sec
Date made
Place made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


There were 11 medical personnel. There were two doctors and then there was senior, what we call senior sailors, chiefs and petty officers and leading seaman. And the number of junior medics was five, I think, and I was one of those but we had an X-ray technician, laboratory technician, operating theatre technicians, because we had a small operating theatre, and a lab and an X-ray unit.

So we could do a fair bit of work and we had two doctors. The junior doctor did most of the day-to-day stuff and the senior doctor was there to help and cover and he would liaise with the captain, if anything was seen to be necessarily had to be done. Sometimes when you do these things, somebody might need to be medivacked off the ship and the doctor can say to the captain, "You've got to turn around".

And they basically have, not the right, but they've got the power to say listen, "If you don't turn around, this is the consequences." and then he makes the decision. If you're not at war, you'd be turning around and doing what the doctor asked. But yeah, that's how we were covered. So we had two doctors, some senior guys and junior guys as well. So that made up the 11.


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