Captain Waller joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1913, and by 1942 had already seen action in the Meditteranean, where he was awarded a Distinguished Service Order and Bar and was twice Mentioned in Despatches. In September 1941 Waller returned to Australia and took command of the cruiser HMAS Perth. In February 1942 Perth was involved in the Battle of the Java Sea, but was later sunk in the subsequent battle of the Sunda Strait on 1 March 1942. Waller was not among the survivors. Waller received a posthumous Mention in Despatches for the latter action.
In 2011, Waller was listed in the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry into unresolved recognition for past acts of naval and military gallantry and valour. The following is a link to Chapter 20 of the Report of the Inquiry which focusses on Waller:
The Tribunal received 13 written submissions with reference to Waller. These are listed below: