The Redfins and Fliers are loose! Parents! Lock up your daughters!
Well, actually, it wasn’t that bad.
Al Jacobson, the youngest unmarried officer on board was enjoying himself sixty-six years ago today. Foot loose and fancy free he attended many dances and stayed out of doors as much as possible. In his last letter home to his youngest sister Muriel, Al said the officers aboard had threatened to marry Al off to an Aussie girl before the R&R was over. How seriously they took that threat and tried to match Al up to a young lady, I don’t know, but I know that it didn’t take!
There were small casualties too. Sometimes the men got a little too deep in their cups and trouble happened. We know from the records at least two Flier men were penalized for their antics on R&R and if the Deck Log from Flier’s first eight months of service is any indication, there probably were a couple more who stayed Absent Over Leave (AOL) once they were supposed to report back (though I have no evidence to confirm this, I’m just going by previous patterns).
What we do know is that one man, (who I will not name here) was arrested for confusing a bathroom with the middle of a crowded street. Jacobson remembers that he had to go bail him out of jail.
Earl Baumgart was also brought up before a Deck Court or Summary Court Martial for an incident involving alcohol. What, I’ve never been able to find out, but I know that he was knocked down a pay grade as a result. It was, to his mind, a monumentally unfair punishment, since other guys got just as drunk, but were not punished at all, let alone cut in pay. He was determined to ask for a transfer when Flier returned from her second patrol and fight the charges. But he would stay on board until then.
I’m not sure what exactly the Redfins were up to in Fremantle, though this page on their website shows some of the crew on R&R during this time. Take note of the young man getting physically removed from the Hyde Park Hotel.
Actually, all things considered, the men behaved themselves by and large.