Anthony 'Tony' Ey was born in 1948 in Medindie, South Australia. He attended Urrbrae Agricultural College and joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 1965. He trained at HMAS Cerberus [Navy]; the Navy's training base in Victoria.
Tony found an interest in clearance diving. As a clearance diver, he received training in weapons handling, explosive device disposal and sabotage, as well as combat swimming, ship attacks and counter-terrorism.
In 1970, 22-year-old Tony was deployed to Da Nang Port in South Vietnam where he served with the Clearance Diving Team 3 CDT3), 8th Contingent. His unit worked closely with United States forces during the war.
The main role of clearance divers was harbour defence. This involved protecting shipping against underwater attack from Viet Cong sapper/swimmers (saboteurs). The divers performed difficult and dangerous tasks, often in very unpleasant conditions. Their work was vital to the safety of both military and civilian shipping in South Vietnam.
Tony recalled feeling unwelcomed when returning from the war to Australia. He felt proud of the Australians' efforts and felt the Vietnam veterans weren't given the same respect as soldiers who returned from previous wars and conflicts.
Tony continued his naval career. He was posted to diving instruction and promoted to Senior Demolitions Instructor. He served there for 12 months before going on an exchange for 3 years to the United States Navy.
Tony retired from the Navy in 1985 as a Senior Chief Petty Officer and wrote 2 books on his experience as a clearance diver in the RAN.