Home' Navy News : September 17th 2009 Contents MORE POWER TO YOU.
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September 17, 2009
By Michael Brooke
THE unsung heroes of the Australian
Merchant Navy (AMN) who helped
the Allies achieve victory in WWII
were remembered at a ceremony
marking Australian Merchant Navy
Day on September 3.
This annual commemoration was
first gazetted by the Governor-General
More than 100 participants includ-
ing NSW Governor Marie Bashir,
foreign diplomats, government offi-
cials, AMN veterans and RAN per-
sonnel including CO Penguin, CMDR
Michael Hickey, attended a sombre
ceremony at the Cenotaph at Mosman
CMDR Hickey said it was impor-
tant that the nation remembered the
courage and sacrifice of the AMN,
which helped turn the tide in WWII.
CMDR Hickey said more than 3500
Australians served in the AMN, with
more than 845 losing their lives.
"The true number will never be
known as these 845 do not include
the hundreds of unrecorded Australian
seamen killed while serving in British
saluted by RAN
merchant ships and in the ships of the
International Seamen's Pool," he said.
CMDR Hickey said taking mer-
chant ships into harm's way required
a quiet heroism and an uncomplain-
ing dedication to duty that was unsur-
passed by any of the armed services.
"Both the heroism and the tragedy
of the AMN story should now take a
more prominent place in the annals of
Australians at war," he said.
"The capacity for endurance of the
common man facing uncommon dan-
ger is a lesson that every generation
needs to learn afresh."
CMDR Hickey acknowledged the
assistance of LCDR Desmond Woods
at the Australian Defence College in
researching his speech.
IN MEMORY: LCDR David Murphy places a wreath in memory of the
Australian Merchant Navy sailors who played such a critical role in World
By Gary Booth
CPOMUSN Gabe Kicsak considers
himself a bit of a late bloomer when
it comes to model making, but he is
making impressive inroads into his
CPO Kicsak has been into model
building for the past three years, con-
centrating mainly on Australian Army
equipment such as the Centurion and
Leopard tanks, M113 and ASLAVs.
This is probably because he has been
based at the Army's Irwin Barracks
at Karrakatta for the past three years
as the Bandmaster for the Western
Australian Detachment of the Royal
Australian Navy Band.
Recently, CPO Kicsak thought
of models closer to home and
began building a replica of an A4-G
Skyhawk aircraft, as flown from the
aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne.
The Skyhawk aircraft were in
service from 1967 until the ship's
decommissioning on June 30, 1982.
The colour markings and insig-
nia adorning the model are those of
an aircraft from VC 805 as operat-
ed from HMAS Melbourne in June
"The model took me about two
months to complete but it is a lot of
fun to do," CPO Kicsak said.
CPO Kicsak has found a suitable
home for his model by donating it
to the small historical collection at
HMAS Stirling, which is located in
the canteen complex. The model is
now on display in the collection along
with a model of HMAS Melbourne
CPO Kicsak has started on a
model of a Seahawk helicopter in
service with the RAN.
If anyone based in the West is interested
in model making as a hobby contact CPO
Kicsak on 0411 234 329 and he will
introduce you to the Scale Modellers'
Club of WA.
craft to ABCSO
Photo: Gary Booth
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