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16 October 2014

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Bill Brazendale: Happy Warrior

Happy Warrior

By Bill Brazendale
July 2005,
A digital story from Shoebox Stories

"In 1954 I was eighteen and in the Far East in a happy ship with a proud crew. What made us proudest though was something very unusual for a warship. We were carrying refugees from Haifon to Saigon and away from the battle at Dien Bien Phu. My ship made three, thirty six hour round trips carrying a thousand people on each trip. Incredibly, three babies were born on board during this time, and it was this experience that made the crew overjoyed and walk with a spring in our step.

When we entered harbour in Durban, South Africa some months later, some artistic wag drew a painting of three stalks at the stern of the superstructure, a place usually reserved for battle honours. Such was the pride in the ship; our skipper turned a blind eye. Happy ship, happy days."

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