December 7, 2021

WO1 JAMES HUSBAND

husband
Jim Husband

 

Joined the Regular Army on 3 June 1952 in Sydney NSW

On completion of recruit training at Kapooka NSW was posted to 2 Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment at Puckapunyal , Vic where the battalion trained for deployment to KOREA.  Note that my father, who was in the lst Machine Gun Battalion in WWI, wrote to the battalion and requested that I be moved to the MMG Platoon in keeping with the “family tradition” My older brother. John, served in the Pacific theatre during WW2 in the 2 1st Machine Gun battalion. I was moved to MMG platoon as a Regimental Signaller and remained with them during my stay in Korea with 2RAR.  As a signaller I participated in the Battalion’s battle on “The Hook”. At one stage I was the only link to the section on Hill 111, which was crucial to the outcome of the battle.

In 1953 (after the Korean Truce) I was medically evacuated to Kure,  Japan. After Hospitalisation I was posted to Britcom Base Signals Regiment as a Despatch Rider. During my time in this unit I transferred to the Royal Australian Signals Corps and was promoted Lance Corporal.

In 54/55 I was promoted to Cpl and posted to the British Commonwealth Battle School at Haramura, Japan as an Assistant Instructor, Regimental Signals.

In late 1955 I returned to Australia and was posted to 19 National Service Battalion at Holsworthy NSW still as an instructor. It was here that I changed from a regimental instructor to the physical training field. I successfully completed a course at the Army PT School at North Head, NSW and was then posted as a long term student to the Royal Australian Naval School of Physical Training at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria.

After the six months course I was then posted to 1 Recruit Training Battalion at Kapooka, NSW where I was eventually promoted to Sergeant. I remained at Kapooka until 1957 when I was posted to the Army Apprentices School at Balcombe, Victoria still in a Physical Training role. During my term at the Apprentices School I was awarded the British Empire Medal.

Army reorganization caused me to transfer back to Infant Corps. I attended the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam selection course,  was promoted  to Warrant Officer Class 2 and was posted to the Team in 1963/4 as an Assistant Advisor at the Dong Da National Training Centre near Hue, in ARVN 1st Corps area.

A disciplinary misdemeanour saw me being posted as an Assistant Battalion Advisor with the 2 Battalion. 5 ARVN Infantry Regiment in the ARVN 2nd Corps area. During this time the Battalion was involved in numerous combat situations, and during one of these operations I was awarded the Vn Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star,

My next posting was as Company Sergeant Major to 2 Commando Company at Ripponlea and Williamstown in Victoria where I qualified for my Green Beret. I undertook all of the commando skills courses and qualified in the the fields of CIiif Assault (Climbing), Small craft operations, Parachuting  and Diving.  During a leave period I was seconded to the Victorian Water Police to assist in the search for the late PM, Harold Holt, at Cheviot beach near Portsea Victoria,

Still with the commando company I undertook extensive parachute training and qualified as a Parachute jump instructor (PJI) in both static line and freefall skills, I was a member of the RAAF Dominos Parachute Display Team.

In early 1968 I was selected to he attached to the British Royal Marine Commandos . I attended the Cliff Leaders Course at the Royal Marine Corps Infantry Training School at  Lympstone in Devon.  Training took place in Wales and Scotland as well as Britain. On completion of my attachment I returned to 2 Commando Company.

in 1969 1 was reposted to the ParachuteTraining Flight at RAAF Williamtown, NSW, however whilst visiting the postings officer at Albert Park Barracks he received a telephone call from the CO of 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment,  wanting a replacement Company Sergeant Major for deployment to Vietnam. Being in the right place at the right time. I secured the battalion posting. I served as CSM of A company:

I served with 7RAR during the Battalion’s 2nd tour of South Vietnam and on return to Australia was posted to the Infantry Centre at Ingleburn NSW instructing on the Warrant Officer Courses. It was at the Infantry Centre where I was promoted to Warrant Officer Class One. I was with the unit when it relocated to Singleton NSW

The RAAF relinquished the role of training army parachutists and when the unit became the Army Parachute School I was posted as the first post-war School Regimental Sergeant Major. I was a member of the original Army Red Beret Parachute Display Team which performed nationwide. In all I completed 400 odd parachute descents, including, a water descent in the UK with the Marines. Most of the descents were free fall from 10.000 feet although on one occasion I undertook a descent from a helicopter at 13,000 feet which was the record height at that time. In later years, when the school relocated to it’s present location, the main training drop zone was named “DZ Husband” on account of my being the first RSM.

My last posting in the regular army was to 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, at Enoggera QId where I served as RSM. This tour of duty included a joint army exercise in NZ. My service in the battalion gained me the Queens Jubilee Medal.  My next scheduled posting was as Divisional RSM of 1st Division. however I opted instead for retirement. I completed a further four years with the Army Reserve at Ingleburn NSW.

I was awarded the OAM for services to the veteran community in 1999

25 thoughts on “WO1 JAMES HUSBAND

  1. I served with Jim during his tour with the 7th Battalion and was one of the first to sign up when he instigated the raising of the 7 RAR Assn. Jim was always the life of any gathering. I have lost touch with him over the last few years but still regard him as a friend and hope he is well.

  2. My oh my, what a man. Sgt “Jimmy” Husband was a PTI at the Army Apprentice’s School when I was an apprentice 1963 – 1965. He was tough and expected us to learn and do tough things but he was fair, always fair and acknowledged a good effort from us. This post on your web site is the first I have heard of him since leaving the AAS. What a great contribution he has made. Hoping he is well, Wal B.

  3. I only knew him as RSM in 6 RAR. One of the “Last of the Characters” in the Army, being that there seems to be no real characters left. Jim Husband…A good man and was a soldier’s soldier. A loss to the Army when he took discharge, would have been a good DIV RSM. I wish you good health Jim or at the least as good as it can be, and I hope we can meet up again soon.

  4. WO1 Jimmy Husband was the reason that my late husband was able to continue with his military career. Peter Curtis was involved in a major car accident in September 1976. He was posted to 6 RAR Enoggera at the time. Once he had recovered enough he was sent on leave to his home state of Western Australia for Christmas leave. Unfortunately he did lose the sight of his right eye which could have caused him to be discharged but WO1 Husband went in to bat for him and instead of discharge Peter corps transferred to RAAOC. My husband spent the next twenty two years serving. Your name was mentioned more than once in this household. Thank you Jimmy Husband.

  5. We first met at the Infantry Centre, Ingleburn where as a very new 2Lt he encouraged my desire to get into parachuting through the local Sydney School of Skydiving. Ironically he was RSM of the Army Parachute Training School when I eventually started my military parachuting career. He then came to 6 RAR where I was serving as Pioneer Platoon Commander. I am sure that his move to 6 RAR was part of a carefully hatched plot by Lt Col Tony Hammett and Maj George Mansford to have 6 RAR recognized as `The` Parachute Battalion. Jim is a professional soldier, a good bloke and a friend.

  6. Thankyou all for your kind words gents. He is alive and well although has Parkinson’s. He lives in Coolum Beach enjoying retirement. He always has time for old friends so please get in touch if you like.
    Cheers

    1. G’day Jim & family,
      I hope things are ticking along nicely mate; having crossed tracks at both 7 & 6 RAR, over the years, i remember the top example you set all soldiers. I do remember the “rusty nails” when the Canadians visited at 6 Bn. Their response was “Moose’s milk” which was rather enterprising of them.
      Keep on keeping on Jim and all the best.
      Jim J

  7. I joined 7RAR in November 1968 and Jimmy Husband was C.S.M.of A Company. I was always in the shit for different matters and along with Corporal Battersby (Bottles) we had many trips to Company Headquarters to face our punishment. Jim used to march us over and was very serious and Regimental about his business.However, he never ever held any grudges, and would always have a beer and laugh about it later on.He would often come into the Rails Hotel in Liverpool and have a drink with his diggers, a great bloke. He certainly was a soldier’s soldier . Thinking of you Jim and hopefully catch up down the track.

  8. Jim was a great CSM. Very fair and straight. Sometimes really tough but, in hindsight, it was all for the right reasons. Hutcho is spot on with his comments.

    A “soldier’s soldier”, Jim understood where us Nasho’s were at and treated us like any other Reg. Like Father, he had a feeling for the men under him. He balled me out one day for doing something stupid but I never did it again. He could have been a real bastard but he wasn’t and for that I will always thank and respect him.

    Thinking of you Jim. Hang in there.

    Best wishes

    Hang in there

  9. Phil you are so right in your words on Jim he will be rememberd by all of A Coy 2 Tour for his treatment of the Coy . He is a great man who is respected by all.\

  10. Jim you are a true legend, and so modest and lovely, thank you for being a major part of our lives, you are very loved by your family and all x

  11. When Jim was a member along with me of the DOMINOES RAAF Parachute Display Team we did all the RAAF Displays on the East from SA to NQ. They were very memorable times, being a Cpl at the time Jim treated me as if I was a senior NCO and always arranged accomodation for me in the Sgts Mess. Later years when he was RSM of the Parachute School I had the fortune to do many Freefalls with Jim. One special time was when we were Dispatchers of a Freefall sortie, we were last to exit ,during our descent we linked up and Jim gave me this big smile, the trouble was that he always jumped without his false teeth, when he smiled his mouth and lips almost covered his entire face, we both had a great laugh about it after we landed. The last time I saw Jim was at Coolum in Qld.

  12. G’Day Sir Jim, I served under RSM Husband in Airborne Platoon. He was a hard man then, so lets hope he has mellowed in his ageing like a fin wine. Fair, but firm and a great role model for any digger to follow. Was a pleasure to serve with you and you still have my respect.

  13. I first meet Jim at Coolum RSL and the Coolum Surf Club, where he served in different roles in helping out.
    I had a amazing experience in Jakarta during the riots in 1998. With some expats I went to a local shopping mall.
    Out the front of the Mall there were Marines guarding the entrance. I noticed that they were wearing parachute wings, so I asked the corporal where did they do the training for the parachute wings – he informed that it was in Australia north of Sydney.
    He also said that the Chief Parachute Instructor was a hard man all ways shouting and pushing them to do better, but fair and friendly.
    I asked him if the instructors name was WO Jim Husband – his face light up with a great smile and said yes, and asked if I knew him, I said that I was with Jim a few weeks before – he then turned around and called out the his men and told them what I had said – they all came of the shake my hand and ask how was he going as they all had great respect for him as an instructor and a man.
    This how a man of Jims attitude to life can influence people were ever they are, to go the extra mile.
    It is an honour to know him

  14. Jim husband. You were very tough on an appy who was not so good on the ropes in the gym. Your comments to such appy just prior to graduation after he had played the game of his life in a soccer final where his company won were never forgotten. Thank you so much I have never forgotten you.

  15. Now that just created a huge flashback! I remember Sgt. Jimmy at AAS Balcombe in 1963 when I joined the 18th intake. Who could forget “Brain the bastards” or stone age football. Or hanging on the rack, legs out when the phone would ring and Jimmy would casually answer it and have a chat, all the while watching to see who would be first to yield to gravity and let his legs drop. That meant a run around the oval, or drop and give me twenty. As one of the tallest in the platoon I seemed to be a favorite for Jimmy to use as the dummy in demonstrating some unarmed combat throw. I always seemed to be caught off guard and would end up on the mat before I realized what happened.

    Hope you’re soldiering on Jimmy. Good luck!

  16. I was at the Army Apprentices School, Balcombe during Jim Husband’s posting as PI Instructor C Company 1959 – 1961. The Army did a great job in selecting Infantry Staff to train Apprentices, and Jim was no exception and well-liked by all. I have a number of boxing photos to remind me of boxing training he gave to myself and other Apprentices, and we won many awards. But, he did not explain to me how to avoid a broken nose, and rang me whilst he was travelling in the West some years ago to tell me I still can’t box.
    I caught up with him in SVN 1970. A few of us Apprentices were Commissioned Officers by then in RAEME. We went to 7 RAR’s Sgt’s Mess to meet him. He took us into the Mess with his arms wrapped around our shoulders and announced to the Members there that ‘we were his Boys’. Typical – great bloke!

  17. In 59 during my first year at Army Apprentices School hard man Jim a RASIGS Sgt joined the PTI staff. Staff at the school were normally well chosen and Jim was certainly that. He expected hard effort. Following my graduation and a 2.5 year trip to Malaysia during the Indonesian bother I was posted to Pucka and discovered Jim’s weekend watering hole in Melbourne during his time as CSM 2Cdo. I developed a habit of joining him sharing his jovial entertaining habit of Jimmy giggles thrown in. Jim was certainly a hard, fair and jovial soldier but great leader. Can recall a number of great times.
    Year before last whilst in Bris from Perth for a Apprentice Re- Union I said to Brian Daley the organiser Where s Jimmie Husband?
    He replied at Coolum couple of hours away. So off we went to meet Jim at his bowling club for a wet lunch. Fantastic catch up with Jim at 82 with steady hands bringing four big ones from the bar.
    What a man , what a soldier – Certainly a Porky hero. Good luck old soldier “you call us your boys” but we certainly remember your strong fir leadership style and exploits throughout our adult lives and military careers. Thank You andGood luck Jim.

    1. Small world Norm you and I served together in Malaysia ’63 -65 then I served with Jim Veitnam he was always the life of any party and great company and was instrumental in the formation of the 7RAR Association
      Regards Richard (shorty) Hylard

  18. Jimmy Husband, a respected and loved ANZAC benchmark, to those of us who had the satisfaction and honour to have served under and with him and to those who got to know the inner “big brother, mentor, arse kicker, terrorizer, tough love teacher”, he was one of the few who did not need rank to command and he taught like types to not fear, that rare command capacity, that was NOT learnt from a book.
    Those of us privileged to have served with him saw the steel in his eyes and the humour within them, reserved for those he respected, after he taught us what our real above and beyond “no rules no prisoners” limits were.
    For the hundreds of the “apprentice mafia” who were “Husband graduates”, years later, regardless of worn rank, real and or imagined status, Jimmy would confront with his “wicked smiley glint” and announce to all and sundry, with affection and pride “this is one of my boys”, as he applied his ANZAC bearhug.
    “admiral” later “grunt” (Barry Corse)

  19. Jim was xgreat soldier and is a great man.
    I first met him at the Army Apprentice School in 1960 when, as a 15 year old he impressed thevhell out of me. When I left the Army as a LtCol 24 years later he still impressed thevhell out of me.
    Jim understood men like none other. He took time to encourage those who were struggling; heckicked ass when it was deserved and he never asked anyone to do something he had not done or couldn’t do himself. There are none better.

  20. I agree with Wally Brewer, Jim was admired and respected by all, even when he was pushing us 18th appies to the hilt in the gym. I was a sgt in 161 recce flt in 1970 when Jim was CSM A Coy 7RAR and remember well his visits to our mess on Saturdays for a bbq and he would purchase bottles of sparkling burgundy to assist digestion. Our SSM at the time was Blue Heritage who knew Jim very well. My best wishes go tomyou Jim and l hope to see you when l am in QLD later this year.

  21. I just found this story on Jim’s life and felt compelled to throw in my two cents worth. As a 16 year old I joined the Army Apprentices School In January 1960, 15th intake, we were all kids and still needed to be taught life skills and it’s thanks to instructors like Jimmy Husband and 90% of the other men who knocked us into shape that we turned into the men we became.
    Jimmy Husband was one of the toughest men I ever knew !!……..and one of the fairest……..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.