My Uncle Frank

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A short historical digression
This is a picture of my Uncle Frank with George VI during a fleet review at Scapa Flow in Scotland. See if you can pick him, there may be a slight family resemblance. Frank served on board HMAS Canberra an Australian heavy cruiser during WWII. Canberra was bounced by a Japanese surface action group at Savo Island during the Guadalacanal campaign. She was heavily damaged in the night engagement, and had to be sunk by American torpedoes the day after the battle. The picture below was taken on one of Canberra’s home port visits.

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My Uncle never talked about it much but getting off the Canberra in the dark amidst all the fire, blood and chaos was something he never forgot. Frank was one of the reasons I decided to join the service, and as fate would have it I also ended up serving on a HMAS Canberra, in my case the guided missile frigate. Whenever the Navy crosses the spot where Canberra went down they still lay a wreath on the water.

P.S. Frank’s the third from the left 🙂

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