Edward Chapman's story

Edward Chapman had been a member of the sea cadets before joining the navy as a 16 year old. He spent 6 months training at the Flinders Naval Depot in Victoria.

After training, Edward was drafted back to Queensland where he participated in the government's requisition scheme of private yachts and boats to form up a river and coastal protection flotilla.

About 12 months later, Edward was drafted to a river patrol boat, travelling up and down the Queensland coast inside the Great Barrier Reef looking for enemy submarines. He recalls the boat being armed with a 'Vickers machine gun and two Thompson machine guns, a couple of hand grenades' and 'two enormous depth charges', which were later swapped for smaller versions.

On one occasion, Edward was called to investigate the presence of an enemy submarine near Fraser Island. The submarine was not found although evidence of its presence was discovered.

Edward was stationed at Bribie Island when the hospital ship Centaur was sunk by a Japanese submarine. He recalled hearing the explosion in the early hours but the ship he was on was debarred from being sent out to investigate because it was too small and not armed heavily enough.

Edward was in Brisbane when the war ended. He remembered the wild celebrations. He was discharged from HMAS Moreton.

Last updated: 17 November 2022

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2022), Edward Chapman's story, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 25 September 2023, https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/stories/oral-histories/edward-chapmans-story
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