He continues to use these skills after retirement, working at Canning Men’s Shed.
Mr Turbett joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1965, aged 17, and worked as a navigation instrument fitter on the F111 aircraft.
He stayed with the Defence Department until 1985 in other roles, such as writing manuals for navigation equipment.
Mr Turbett then worked for the Water Authority for 11 years before he left to work with submarine torpedos on Garden Island.
He said he had not previously worked with torpedos but thought he would give it a shot for something different.
‘Most military services had similarities so I thought it wouldn’t be too difficult,’ he said.
Mr Turbett said a position became available when the Defence Department relocated its torpedo recovery facility from Sydney to Perth in 1996.
‘It was pretty simple work refuelling the torpedos,’ he said. ‘But it can be hard and the fuel can be dangerous to work with.’
Mr Turbett worked on torpedos used for training exercises that were designed to return to the surface after use.
After retiring in 2008, he searched for volunteer work to keep himself busy and came across the men’s shed. The shed aims to give men a place to keep busy and socialise, as well as providing services and crafted items for charities.
‘I wanted to spend my time doing volunteer work rather than stay at home,’ he said.