Les Boyd
Mob – Gudgjala (ChartersTowers) Kuku Yalanji (Port Douglas-Cape Tribulation)
Radio Operator
Communications Branch 1966-1974.
Royal Australian Navy
Vietnam veteran

Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 with clasp Vietnam
Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal
Elizabeth II Dei Gratia Medal
Australian Service Medal 1945-75
Australian Defence Medal

It all came together when I was 14 years old, watching  a movie about the war in the Pacific during WW2 featuring Ernest Borgnine as the Captain of the Patrol Boat. I saw the Radio Operator in action and said to myself, ‘That’s me.’ The movie also referenced JFK, who later became the President of the USA. Three years later, I joined the R.A.N. At recruiting school, they had a nickname for me, Mr Immaculate.  Each Monday morning, on parade before classes, I would be called to stand out the front. Lt Curry would then compliment me with the words, ‘Now this is how a Radio Operator should look – spit polished boots and neatly dressed uniform.’ So then whenever Officers would ask me, ‘Where did you get those pig-skin boots, sailor?’ I’d reply, ‘Sorry Sir, spit polished.’ You could see your face in them.  During my time as Purser in the Navy, I received four Bravo Zulu’s (‘well done’) for directing a Gunnery Shoot off Sydney Heads and the next morning received a standing ovation from my fellow compatriots on entering the Comm’s Section at HMAS Kuttabul. A year or so later, my fellow Radio Operators (RO), Bazza and Macca, aboard the Patrol Boats Attack and Assail based in Darwin, stopped me on the way to collect mail from HQ and said, ‘Les, we’ve been taking votes throughout Purser, on who is the number one RO in Comm’s. Just about everyone picked you.’ ‘Thanks,’ I said and carried on up to HQ. The vessel I served on, HMAS Advance, is now tied up alongside the National Maritime Museum in Sydney.