AS a teenager, Bill Jones (68) had never been to sea before joining the Royal Australian Navy as an air controller in 1966.
Mr Jones grew up in Kojonup and when he was four years old, told his mother he would join the Navy.
He was 17 years old when he realised that ambition on June 2, 1966. Given a choice between becoming a radio operator or sonar operator, he opted to work with radars.
“I had never been to sea in my life – the farthest I had been offshore was about 50 yards,” he said.
“The first trip I did was to go from Melbourne to Sydney – it was pretty rough.
“I was too busy to bother getting seasick, so I never did.”
Mr Jones said he “did a few highly interesting things over the years” while in service, including training in the US.
“I did a couple of stints in Vietnam and 11 trips up the Far East,” he said, adding he also made a few trips to Hawaii, the Persian Gulf and Russia.
The veteran said he later tracked down the Nimrod aircraft he was in over Russia, finding it in a museum in the UK.
Almost 20 years to the day after joining, he left the navy on June 1, 1986.
This Anzac Day, the Yanchep Two Rocks RSL president will be making sure “everything runs smoothly” for the two local events: a Dawn Service at the Yanchep Sports and Social Club followed by a parade and service at Yanchep National Park late morning.
Mr Jones said they expected attendance numbers to increase on last year’s events, when about 1000 people attended the Dawn Service and 1500 to 2000 were at the parade.
“We are working on at least the same amount of people turning up this year,” he said.
Anzac Day Dawn Service
Where: Yanchep Sports and Social Club, Yanchep Beach Road
When: 5.45am on April 25
Parade and service
Where: Yanchep National Park, 1 Indian Ocean Drive
When: 11.30am on April 25