Lieutenant David John Hamer
David John Hamer was born in Melbourne on 5 September 1923 and joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1937 as a cadet midshipman. Hamer served as a gunnery and air defence officer aboard HMAS Australia during the allied campaign to retake the Phillipines in late 1944 and early 1945.
In January 1945, while operating in the Lingayen Gulf, Australia was subjected to repeated aerial attacks, being hit five times by suicide aircraft. Hamer was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his part in this operation, which mainly involved directing Australia’s anti-aircraft fire. On one occasion when it appeared certain that a suicide plane would hit his position he maintained his place without flinching, the wing of the plane passing close to his head.
Hamer survived the war and went on to enjoy a long and successful political career, serving in both houses of Federal Parliament.
In 2011, Hamer 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 14 of the Report of the Inquiry which focusses on Hamer.
The Tribunal recieved 9 written submissions that included reference to Hamer.
Photo of David John Hamer courtesy of the Royal Australian Navy