John Adidi
Torres Strait Islands (Saibai Islan – Shark Clan)
Able Seaman MTP (Mechanical Technical Propulsion)
Royal Australian Navy

Australian Service Medal 1945-75 with clasp FESR (Far East Strategic Reserve)
Australian Defence Medal

Able Seaman John Adidi, who is of the Shark clan from Saibai Island in the Torres Strait is part of a proud family tradition of military service.

“The WW 2 medals belong to my Father, Late Sgt Waraka Adidi who was the Highest Ranking Officer in the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion. Under the Old Government Act, an lndigenous person was not allowed to go above the rank of a Sgt. Dad has a military family. I serve in the RAN, my late brother Sgt Henry Adidi, 20yrs in the Army. His Son Robert in the British Army, 3 x Deployments in Afghanistan. 3 x Grandsons in the Army, and 1x grand-daughter recently joined the RAN and currently currently based at HMAS Albatross.” – John Adidi 2023

John enlisted in the Navy in November 1966 and served for 7 years with the category of Mechanical Technical Propulsion before his discharge in 1975. During this time John served at several shore bases including HMAS Cerberus (Training – Melbourne), Kuttabul (Dry dock and maintenance – Sydney), Watson (Anti-submarine and radar – Sydney) and Penguin (Diving and fire fighting – Sydney).  John was also deployed at sea, including on active operations as part of the Far East Strategic Reserve (FESR), on a number of RAN ships: HMAS Melbourne (Aircraft carrier and RAN flagship), HMAS Sydney (Troop carrier – converted aircraft carrier), HMAS, Vendetta and Anzac (Destroyers), HMAS Stuart (Antisubmarine frigate), HMAS Diamantina (Oceanographic Survey) and HMAS Seal (Deep sea diving tender).

Able Seaman Adidi’s shipboard deployments saw him visit many places in Australia and overseas including Hawaii, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, PNG and New Zealand. John’s voyages also took him throughout the Pacific, visiting New Caledonia, Fiji, Vanuatu, Nuie, Mawai, Kawai, the Marshall Islands and Cook Islands. As part of these deployments John’s ships also visited the large US Navy 7th Fleet bases at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii and Subic Bay, the Philippines.

John recounts the following memorable incident during his time at sea:

In 1969, during the SEATO exercise, my ship the HMAS Melbourne (Aircraft Carrier) , Flagship of the RAN, was involved in a collision with USS Destroyer Escort the Frank E Evans. Out of 250 American sailors, 72 lost their lives. It was one of the biggest disasters since the HMAS Voyager.‘ – John Adidi 2023

Other images of John Adidi

“That is me in TI 1969, dropped off HMAS Melbourne passing through Tl on Rec Leave from overseas.”