This presentation will examine the rationale for the award of Australian Defence honours and awards and explain why, unlike the Royal Navy, the Victoria Cross has never been awarded to a member of the RAN.
The Presenter is NHSA member and volunteer, Terry Feltham.
Terry joined the RAN in 1960 as a Junior Recruit Radio Operator through HMAS Cerberus. After training he served in various sea-going and shore postings between 1962 and 1970. During this period he achieved the rank of Chief Radio Supervisor. Unfortunately he experienced two tragic events during his sea time; the Melbourne/Voyager collision of 1964 and Melbourne’s second disaster, when it collided with USS Frank E. Evans in 1969. In 1964 Terry was serving in HMAS IBIS which was tasked with salvage operations. In 1969 he was serving in HMAS Melbourne.
In 1970 he commenced the transition process for promotion to officer which involved training and an exchange posting in the United Kingdom. Lieutenant Feltham returned to Australia as the Communications School Staff Officer in Cerberus in 1975. Several postings followed including Command of HMAS Brunie in 1979 and as Officer in Charge Naval Communications Station, Canberra before retiring in 1983.
After a second career of 9 years as a Director in the Department of Aboriginal Affairs an extensive period of travelling and contractual work with the Department of Defence he finally retired in 2000.
For seven years 2012 to 2019 Terry worked as a researcher with Dr Ian Pfennigwerth (Captain RAN Rtd) on Naval honours and awards. Terry is eminently qualified to talk on the controversial subject of Victoria Crosses for RAN personnel.