Navy veteran returns to where it all began

Commander Martin Holzberger, left, and Warrant Officer Tim Brading, right, with former Able Seaman Ronald Bergman and his brother, retired Army Captain Don Bergman. Photo: Leading Seaman James McDougall

Navy veteran returns to where it all began

A World War II veteran has returned to the shore establishment where his career in the Royal Australian Navy began almost seven decades ago.

Former Able Seaman Ron Bergman, aged 94, served in the Navy between 1942 and 1947 as an AA3 gunner.

He undertook his recruit and basic category training at HMAS Cerberus before serving at sea in HMAS Warramunga I. 

On February 19, Mr Bergman, his brother Don, a former Army Captain, and other members of his family were given a VIP tour of Cerberus.

“I remember that it was the petty officers from the World War I that provided the training to us and I can see that level of training has carried through to today,” Mr Bergman said.

During his visit, Mr Bergman was presented with a World War II 75th anniversary commemorative medallion and certificate of appreciation by the Executive Officer Cerberus Commander Martin Holzberger, who is a former HMAS Warramunga II crew member, giving the pair a unique bond.

“No matter where I served, I always enjoyed sharing a brew or a meal with those associated with Warramunga. That ship is very special to me,” Mr Bergman said.

Mr Bergman was asked what words of wisdom he could offer today’s recruits starting their careers.

“Always be honest, no matter the circumstance, even if it goes against you. Be honest from the start,” he said.

Mr Bergman spent the majority of his post-military life living in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. 

He was a master builder and telephone technician but has always tried to maintain close ties with his military family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.