Jim Vane - Travelling through the Coral Sea

Running time
2 min 14 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We weren't told where we were going or anything in them times, "You're going on board the boat," and that's it. We didn't know until we got there. It took us, a big experience, I tell you what. We went out through the channel, and so forth, and we met more boats, a convoy out there.

There was a couple of big American cruisers out there, on the outside of us, and a lot of other smaller craft... Australian, I don't know what you'd call them, smaller vessels, there... and it got very rough going up through the Coral Sea. Oh Geez, the bloody boat was going… But we survived, and further on ... though I don't know fair dinkum or not, we had submarine alert that the boat stopped.

The engine stopped in the boat, and we were told before-hand if we had an alert that we were just to stand still and breathe, that's all, and no noise. You couldn't tap anything or anything, of course, sound travels in water. We had the ... I don't know what you call the smaller boats, Australian, they were fast. They were zooming 'round. They'd drop depth charges further up along the line. The water went spraying up, and so forth, I think it could have been fair dinkum, when those things were happening, yeah. We're like that for ... oh... an hour at least, from memory. And then things started in the boat, then and we were off, and everything. This was up above the North of the Coral Sea.

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