Victor Wallace Fowler
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||14 Jan 1923|
|Place of Birth||Canning, Western Australia|
|Death||4 Jun 2008|
|Place of Death||Como, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||18 years, 3 months|
|Description||5'7" (1.70m) tall ; ; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||Railway avenue, Armadale, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Father , Mr Henry Victor Fowler|
|Date of Enlistment||5 May 1941|
|Ships Served On|
|Ship Name||HMAS Geraldton|
|Tour Dates||18 Jul 1942|
|Ship Name||HMAS Wollongong|
|Tour Dates||18 Apr 1944 ‒ 2 Jul 1945|
|Post War Details|
|Fate||Returned to Australia|
1939-45 Star |
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Victor was mobilised into the Navy on 5 May 1941 at HMAS Leeuwin in Fremantle where he completed basic training, and on 17 Aug 1941 he was transferred to HMAS Cerberus until 23 Nov 1941 to complete his seamanship training. Transferred back to the Leeuwin on 24 Nov 1941 he qualified to act as an Able Seaman on 5 May 1942.
On 18 Jul 1942 he was posted to HMAS Geraldton a corvette used as a minesweeper and convoy escort. The Geraldton had been sent to Fremantle to escort a tanker to a secret base on Addu Atoll in the Indian Ocean, after which she spent time on convoy protection duties between Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and the Persian Gulf. In May 1943 they were transferred for a time to the Mediterranean to escort convoys and to participate in the invasion of Sicily. Victor's time with the Geraldton appears to have ended on 23 Jul 1943 while they were serving in the Mediterranean.
His records indicate that the date he joined HMAS Wollongong, a sister ship to Geraldton, was 18 Apr 1944. Given that the Wollongong was at that time in the Mediterranean, I believe it more likely that he joined Wollongong directly, or soon after, leaving Geraldton. Wollongong returned to Fremantle on 14 May 1944 for a 2 month refit before resuming duties with the Far East Fleet. In January 1946 Victor entered HMAS Leeuwin to undertake his discharge on 15 Jan 1946. At the time of his discharge Victor received his Deferred Pay, War Gratuity Payment of £120 /15/-; and £43/14/4d in lieu of leave.
During 1949, Victor married Gwendoline Joy Mansbridge
Electoral Roll entries: 1949 Railway avenue, Armadale, shop Assistant; 1949 at 50 Lawler street, Subiaco, shop assistant; 1963 - 1980 at 32 Lake avenue, Shenton Park, fireman.
Entries in Victor's records beyond 30 Jun 1943 are in pencil. The date of his transfer to HMAS Wollongong is unclear with potentially a 9 month gap between the two.