Gary Oakley - HMAS Sydney

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


they drafted me onto the Sydney to do my sea time training, HMAS Sydney, and Sydney was doing the trips backwards and forwards to Vietnam. So, I did a couple of those. I think it was either 3RAR up and 7 back or the other way around, I can't remember. And we took a bunch of trucks as well, International trucks, up to Vietnam as well.

So, yeah, I spent about six months doing trips backwards and forwards backwards and forwards and as a trainee as a trainee electrician or Ord D EM, my job was also to be the dogman for the seaplane crane. The Sydney had a seaplane crane, which was an electrical crane and it had a really smooth movement to pick things up and down.

So, my job was to be the dogman. When we'd come alongside in Vietnam, Sydney carried landing craft, so you need to drop the landing craft and load stuff into the landing craft and take them ashore or you take troops ashore. When we had troops on board, they would either go off in Chinooks or they would go off in barges. Two times I was there they both went off in Chinooks. But we used to run our landing craft backwards and forwards to pick stuff up.

When we had the tracks on board, my job was to basically get the trucks onto the seaplane crane and lift them off onto the barges alongside, which can get a bit frightening too, because they slipped in the nets or whatever because you run them on a net, and if the bloody things tipped sideways, the stuff in the back of it might fall out all over the place.

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