Don Anderson - Slow convoy work
We were based on Darwin and escorting ships across the Arufua Sea and also doing supply runs to places along the coast such as Milingimbi and Wyndham and a few other places.
And slow 5 knot convoys, oh, you see they were using old supply ships that were outdated. They'd belonged to previous…and their speed was about 5 knots. On one occasion one of the ships was bombed by a Japanese plane and our captain was trying to speed them up.
I can remember Castlemaine turning and coming up very slowly alongside. The James Cook was this old coal burning slow thing and I could see the great big screw in the water turning like that and as we came up alongside her the bridge captain, Captain O'Sullivan, called out "What is your best speed Mister?"
The answer came back, "Five knots. We're doing it". That's what it was like backwards and forwards across the Arufua Sea.