John Cummins joined the Merchant Navy as an apprentice officer after his father had refused to let him join the Royal Australian Navy. He recalled it taking some time before he found his ‘sea legs’. John sailed in a number of convoys across the Atlantic and around Scotland. He remembered the frightening nature of a German air attack on one occasion. Added to that incident there was the constant threat of being attacked by German submarines.
Another danger John mentioned was the cargoes they carried. One ship he served on had been converted to transport the explosive, TNT, which made the vessel an extra dangerous place to be should it have come under fire.