Ports of Call:

Ron Clark, of the Royal Australian Navy (Ret), submitted the following photos from 1982.
Below them is a slightly edited version of his email to the Association.
Welcome to Fantasy Island
5 star beach burres (huts)
Incoming traffic
Portside to @ Diego Garcia 
       Come fly with us
New parts have arrived
                  USN outflanked by RAN 
Peak Hour
Ron's Ship, the HMAS Perth

As a young petty officer (E-6/8 ?) in the Royal Australian Navy, I had the good fortune to spend about a week on the USS Hector in 1982 whilst it was at Diego Garcia.

In April of that year, my ship, HMAS Perth, was attached to the JFK Battle Group (USN) and was involved in patrolling the area off the coasts of Iran, Iraq, and the Straits of Hormuz. Whilst at sea, my part of ship, the GMLS Mk 13 Launcher, suffered a major breakdown when the main oil pump broke down. I was eventually flown by MAC from Masirah Island off the coast of Oman to Diego Garcia with the broken pump to collect some new parts and make repairs onboard the Hector.

My assistant - aka my chaperone, sent along to keep me out of mischief -  and I had a terrific time whilst on 'Fantasy Island' and was extremely well-looked after by the crew of the USS Hector. I was amazed at the amount and number of skills of the crew, and the engineering facilities available onboard. We were assigned a Chief (Machinist ?) to assist us through the repair process, find odd parts, paperwork, workshop materials et al. I can still remember, when the Chief was showing us around the ship, we looked in on the foundry where they had just finished casting a blade for a DDG uptake fan. I was astonished at the capability. We ate every day in the Chiefs Mess and enjoyed the food, particularly the warm dinner rolls. The coffee was terrific; and the SOS was everything I had ever been told. ( I had heard so many storys, I just had to try it)

It's a long shot but the old Chief  (George ...?)  might see his picture there (I'm on his port  side), and remember the RAN sailors he helped 25 years ago. I still remember him, and the wonderful crew of the Hector.

(HMAS Perth was decommissioned in 1999, practically a baby at 34 years of age.. As it had been my home for a memorable and happy 6 of those years, it wasn't the happiest event for me. I would bet that you guys felt much the same when your ship eventually 'retired' in 1987 -  after an astounding 43 years)...

Fair winds and smooth sailing,

Ron Clark
Petty Officer Electrical Technical Weapons (POETW)
Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Rtd