International Naval Reunion, Melbourne, Australia
In 1986, the International Naval Reunion took place in Melbourne, some 800 delegates flocked to this city from around Australia and from across the world.
Whilst assisting the Organising Committee, I was given the task of arranging the seating for the formal Luncheon held in the main ballroom of the Southern Cross Hotel.
In organising each table I tried to equate the number of guests from overseas with Australians, but,on one particular table, I arranged a total group of very interesting overseas guests, and just myself as the only Australian present.
One of my group was Engineering Professor H. Ahl, from Berlin. As a Sub Lieutenant, he had been the Pilot Officer of the Arado aircraft carried by "Kormoran" at the time of her action with "Sydney." He survived the fight with her, and became a Prisoner of War in Australia. I wanted to talk to him about the action, and what he thought had happened to "Sydney."
I was only able to extract from him the Party line as to what happened on that fateful day so long ago, on the 19th. of November, 1941. He told me that he last sighted "Sydney," still heavily on fire, on the distant horizon, some time before midnight, and she just disappeared.
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