Bryan Wearne

On 29 July 1942, shortly after his 18th birthday, Bryan Wearne enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy. After serving on HMAS Westralia he was posted to HMAS Manoora in July 1943. Manoora took part in all three OBOE landings. Bryan was a Coxswain of M10, one of the Manoora's landing barges, which carried the infantry ashore.

Bryan served throughout the Pacific and the South West Pacific, including an attachment to the American 7th Amphibious Task Force. He participated in the amphibious assaults at Tarakan, Labuan, and Balikpapan. For the landing at Tarakan, he felt fortunate to have Lieutenant Tom 'Diver' Derrick, VC, DCM, on board. Derrick was later killed in action and was buried on the island.

At Labuan, M10 was part of the tenth wave, under the command of Sub-Lieutenant Stokes. Forming up into a 'V', they approached the line of departure (LD) and came under heavy bombardment from Japanese light artillery. The wave idled at the LD awaiting orders. As the Japanese gunners adjusted their fire, the shells inched their way towards the barges. The order came to move and the Australians sailed through the shelling. Luckily, none of the vessels were hit. By the time they arrived on the beach the artillery fire had stopped.

On 7 November 1945, Bryan discharged from the navy. He went to night school and became a carpenter, eventually opening his own business, 'Wearne and Gray Builders'. In this time, he did a lot of contract work for a variety of government departments. He also found the time to build his own home in 1954.

Was this page helpful?