Don Anderson's story

Don Anderson joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) at age 17 on 11 March 1942. He served on a number of ships including HMAS Bunbury, HMAS Castlemaine, HMAS Quickmatch and HMAS Napier.

Don's early war service entailed convoy and supply work in Northern Australia. He visited the port of Darwin, where he saw the effects of the aftermath of the first bombing by Japanese planes.

While serving on HMAS Castlemaine, Don sailed to Timor to collect refugees as part of the operations that saw the ill-fated HMAS Armidale sunk by Japanese planes.

When assigned to the N Class destroyer HMAS Napier, Don supported British troop movements in Burma before the ship was attached to the British Pacific Fleet.

Late in the war, Napier participated in operations along the east coast of Japan. Don witnessed a spectacular and horrifying kamikaze attack against the British aircraft carrier HMS Formidable.

Don was in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese signed the Instrument of Surrender on board USS Missouri. Napier was anchored only 100m away from the American battleship.

Don discharged from the RAN on 15 July 1946, ending just over 4 years of war service.

Last updated: 17 November 2022

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2022), Don Anderson's story, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 3 October 2023,
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