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August 30, 2012
CMDR Michael Hicking and
ONE of Navy's great cha racters,
LCDR Dave Twiss (retd), died after
losing his battle with cancer on
LCDR Twiss was born on
December 8, 1943, and joined Navy
as a recruit naval artificer apprentice
in May 1959.
He didn't finish his apprentice-
ship, but later entered as an engineer-
ing direct entry sailor.
He commissioned and was even-
tually promoted to lieutenant com-
mander but resigned in April 1988
just before he was due for promotion
LCDR Twiss had a distinguished
career and served in a number of
ships and establishments.
He deployed six times to Vietnam
at the height of the conflict in the
troop transport HMAS Sydney.
For this service he was awarded
the Australian Active Ser vice Medal
1945-75 with Vietnam clasp, Vietnam
Logistic and Support Medal,
Australian Ser vice Medal 1945-
75 with FESR clasp, the National
Medal and the Retur ned from Active
Ser vice Badge.
He also received the Defence
Force Ser vice Medal with first clasp
and the Australian Defence Medal.
Other notable periods at sea were
as a petty officer marine techni-
cian in HMAS Brisbane, the deputy
marine engineering officer in HMAS
Va mpire and marine engineering
officer of HMAS Jervis Bay from
While he was with Jervis Bay, the
ship was awarded the Gloucester Cup
for most proficient ship in the RAN;
this award was a first for a 'non-com-
batant' at the time.
In 1981, as OIC Marine
Engineering School at the Apprentices
Training Establishment HMAS
Nirimba, he arranged for the purchase
of a for mer steam locomotive from the
He had it transferred to Nirimba
where it was restored by engineer-
ing apprentices and used as a steam
When Nirimba closed, he
arranged for the locomotive to be
retur ned for public display in
While in Bundaberg, he found
and salvaged a rare 1923 Foden
steam lorry, which was also restored
at Nirimba before being transferred
to HMAS Cerberus.
Navy head of engineering RADM
Mike Uzell said LCDR Twiss' legacy
"I reviewed ceremonial divisions
at Cerberus on July 20 and had the
honour of embarking in the Foden
steam truck on departure from the
parade ground," he said.
"It was an amazing experience
and a great way for any engineer to
LCDR Twiss was a jolly, gen-
erous, loyal and a quintessentially
Aussie bloke; a larrikin whose first
priority was always the welfare of
those around him.
He had an infectious laugh and a
wicked sense of humour. Once you
became his friend, you had a 'cobber'
After retiring, LCDR Twiss and
his wife travelled Australia.
On passing through Bundaberg,
he saw the steam engine he had sent
there in a state of disrepair.
They settled in the town and he
restored the engine again.
LCDR Twiss was farewelled in
Bundaberg on August 4.
He asked for the Creedence
Clear water Revival song Proud
Mary, the traditional breakaway
RAS song of HMAS Brisbane, to be
played at the ser vice.
to a fine bloke
LAST RIDE: LCDR Dave Twiss in front of the steam locomotive he restored.
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