John Abraham - Being drafted
In May, I was drafted to the HMAS Manoora. May, 1941. She was a armed merchant cruiser. You know what an armed merchant cruiser is? It's a ... well, you know, the ship that sank the Sydney, I suppose you've read all the story about the Kormoran? That's the type of ship we were.
Now, the only difference between the British Navy and the Australian Navy is we fly our flag the white ensign and our armament is exposed. The difference between the German Navy, which were operating around our coast at the time when I joined, was, that they had their guns disguised, camouflaged, and they don't fly their origin flag. And you don't know if you approach them, that you're in danger. And that's the difference.
Now, we kept chasing those ships when I joined the Manoora. We knew they were active, and in fact, they sunk three or four ships at ocean at Nauru island, phosphate ships. But unfortunately, we weren't in the area at the time.