Fred Sharon's story
Frederick 'Fred' Sharon enlisted in the RAAF on 11 March 1944 at 18 years of age. He enlisted as air crew and trained in Victor Harbor, South Australia, before transferring to ground crew and continuing his training in Lara, Victoria. He was posted to the No. 1 Airfield Construction Squadron where he was employed as a Plant Operator.
On enlisting, Fred instantly 'clicked' with Eric Stead and Norm Edwards. They became close friends, transferred to ground crew together, were posted to the same unit, were employed in the same role, and ultimately landed at Tarakan together. He was taken by the loyalty and mateship that his fellow servicemen shared, regardless of what service they were in or rank they held.
Fred's squadron moved to Morotai in January 1945, celebrating his 19th birthday there, while the unit prepared for the Tarakan landing. For Fred, this included setting up camp sites for the 2/48th Battalion, preparing machinery and loading it on to the Landing Ship Tanks (LST).
The landing beach chosen for their LSTs proved unsuitable, being extremely muddy and boggy and much of their equipment was lost or damaged during unloading.
In December 1945 Fred sailed for home. He discharged on 1 March 1946 and, shortly after, joined the RSL. He has occasionally done voluntary work for Legacy. In 1964, he transferred to the Salisbury, South Australia sub-branch, where he served on the committee as treasurer, vice president, and then, from 1974-1978, as president.