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Maritime Logistics Community News : December 2008
52 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2008 Naval Supply History The photo below shows Paymaster Lieutenant Commander W.H. ‘John’ Ross paying two long serving Chief Petty Officers. The location is believed to be at HMAS LEEUWIN in about 1947/48 when Ross was the Base Supply Officer (BSO). Walter Henry Ross, always known as ‘John’, was 18 years old when he joined the RAN as a Paymaster Cadet on 1 May 1934. His first ship was the cruiser HMAS AUSTRALIA and he was promoted to Paymaster Midshipman while serving in her. He then served briefly in the old cruiser HMAS BRISBANE which sailed to England where the crew took over the newly commissioned cruiser HMAS SYDNEY. Ross served in SYDNEY from September 1935 until October 1941. He was promoted to Paymaster Sub Lieutenant in May 1937 followed by promotion to Paymaster Lieutenant in February 1939. John Ross completed an unprecedented six years service in HMAS SYDNEY and was serving in her during her Mediterranean deployment in 1940 when she was commanded by Captain (later vice Admiral) John Collins. During this deployment SYDNEY saw much action and sank the Italian destroyer ESPERO on 28 June 1940 and a few weeks later on 19 July 1940 she destroyed the Italian cruiser BARTOLOMEO COLLEONI and forced another cruiser GIOvANNI DELLE BANDE NERE to flee or risk being sunk. SYDNEY and her crew became overnight heroes. Paymaster Lieutenant Ross was posted from SYDNEY on 31 October 1941 and proceeded on leave to be married. Less a three weeks later SYDNEY was lost with all hands (645 men) in action against the German raider HSK KORMORAN off the coast of Western Australia. Following his leave John Ross joined the cruiser HMAS CANBERRA and was serving in her when she was sunk at the Battle of Savo Island on 9 August 1942 with the loss of 84 lives. Due to surviving the loss of two ships his friends soon gave him the nickname ‘Lucky Ross’ He served out the remainder of the war in Western Australia as Secretary to the Naval Officer in Charge (NOIC) Fremantle from 1943-46. Ross then served at HMAS MELvILLE (Darwin) for 12 months (1946-47) before returning to Western Australia to become the BSO at HMAS LEEUWIN in mid 1947 (He had been promoted to Paymaster Lieutenant Commander in February 1947). In 1949 he undertook two years service as the BSO at HMAS SEEADLER (later renamed HMAS TARANGAU II) on Manus Island, New Guinea. Returning to Australia in late 1950 he was posted to HMAS WATSON but chose to leave the Navy and he resigned on 22 March 1951 after 17 years service. John Ross returned to Western Australia where he and his wife Mol- lie raised two children while John worked in the Public Service. John Ross died in Perth on 7 February 1996 aged 80. Learn about Financial Advice with our new eLearning module at: www.adfconsumer.gov.au BY CMdR GREG SWINdEN PAYMASTER LCDR W.H. ‘JOHN’ ROSS CIRCA 1947 How does a Financial Adviser get paid? For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org QuarterPageJune08_2.indd 4 7/7/08 1:24:08 PM