HMAS Vampire: ‘Some funny memories’

HMAS Vampire’s crew boarding at Williamstown after refit, 1971. Image Sea Power Centre – Australia

HMAS Vampire’s crew boarding at Williamstown after refit, 1971. Image Sea Power Centre – Australia

Terry Gaffney describes his experience serving on our ex-Navy destroyer HMAS Vampire. This blog post is part of a series written by sailors who served on the vessels inside our Action Stations Experience.

I have so many memories of my service aboard two daring class destroyers (HMAS Vampire and HMAS Vendetta). As a leading cook, basically same stories apply to both. We did some good missions of help aboard them, notably in 1974 whilst on Vendetta going to Darwin on a relief mission, but on both warships we rescued stranded boats and did other rescue ops.

Some funny memories were crossing the line ceremonies that would not take place today. Also stirring up some of the crew members when on watch or asleep.

Whilst at sea when prepping vegetables we would do them near the potato peeler. If we didn’t like someone on watch in a boiler room or engine room we made a point of peeling onions just near the fan intakes for those positions!

Also whilst preparing for breakfast we’d turn on the garbage disposal because below the galley was the Petty Officers Mess — it caused a bit of a stir!

Also speaking of Action Stations, whilst the ship is at that state some of the cooks are involved in Action Messing. We would take meals around to different parts of the ship that could not stand down.

The only position I never went into or was allowed into was the special Radio Room outside the Ops Room (aka the Bat Cave) as we didn’t have clearance. A hand would come out and take our offerings!

One thought on “HMAS Vampire: ‘Some funny memories’

  1. Thanks very much Terry! I lived in the Petty Officers’ Mess in the early 70s, directly below the main galley and had a top bunk just under the deck-head. (And inches away from your noisy garbage disposal unit!) I can tell you first hand, it caused more than “a bit of a stir”!
    cheers, old shipmate.
    Dave Rickard

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