Gary Oakley - The bonds that tie

Running time
1 min 45 sec
Date made
Place made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


ships had the bonds, but the bond in the ships tended to be the electricians did things with the electricians, the stoker's did things with stokers, the cooks did things with the cooks, you know, and sometimes you got together but you tended to move around in those little groups and socialized in those groups.

Submarines, there were all the different trades ratings but because you lived so close together there weren't all that many, you weren't … there wasn't the electricians’ mess, and there wasn't a stokers’ mess, there was the fo’r’ard mess and the after mess and the wardroom mess and the senior sailors’ mess, so it didn't matter what rate you were, you all live together.

So, you know, we had a chef and we had seamen and stokers and greenies all in the same mess. So you tended to bond closer, so the whole boat was the bond, not the trade group. So that was different, that was the different part of it, too. And a lot of the officers that you got, were either ex senior sailors, who then went away and became officers.

So there was that other bond, too, with the officers. And they weren't so priggish and stuck up, like more so in surface ships, because an officer on a surface ship, you might not come across him for days. On a submarine, your bumping into them, you know, every two minutes, you know, because you have to travel, you’ve only got one passageway, and to go anywhere, you’ve got to go up there, that passageway and everything comes off it.

So, you know, you're bonded to them as well and they tended to be, a different group type of officer as well because they had to be, you had to be able to work with these people and get these people. And that's what I found I was really good at.

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