Webinar: The Yachties: Australian Volunteers in the Royal Navy 1940-45. – Speaker: Janet Roberts Billett
December 6 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
This book is a unique saga of exceptional valour of Australian volunteers who served in World War II as officers in the Royal Navy.
Their recruitment, training and war service is detailed and was as diverse as it was dangerous. They served in the Atlantic and Arctic convoys, Combined Operations which included the amphibious landings, covert operations and mine-sweeping. Ten volunteers distinguished themselves in Rendering Mines Safe. Many towards the end of the war returned to Australia and served with the Royal Australian Navy in South East Asia. As a cohort, they are probably the most highly decorated Australian servicemen.
The Yachties was launched by Vice Admiral Peter Jones AO DSC (Retd), President of the Australian Naval Institute at the 2023 Goldrick Seminar in the Adams Auditorium, Australian Defence Force Academy on 19 October 2023.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mark Hammond AO was Keynote speaker and ensured that he was in photos taken with the author and the Yachties’ families in attendance.
It was a very emotional and also poignant occasion for the author and the families concerned. Later that day the Yachties were remembered at the Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial. The first casualty. Ordinary Seaman Bill McGregor who was killed in an air-raid on 27 April 1941 in Portsmouth Barracks was the Yachtie who represented the volunteers on the day.