It was the middle of the night and Ronald “Dixie” Lee was in a small boat with two others. The men were Coastwatchers and they were preparing to go ashore in the middle of enemy territory to spy on the Japanese during the Second World War.
“We were sent to a little island called Stirling Island in the Treasury Island group which was just off Bougainville,” he said.
“The islands were completely controlled by Japan, and we set up a little camp there.
“There were three of us – an officer, a sergeant in the army, and then me, a coder from the navy.
“Your heart probably beats a little bit faster because you don’t know what’s ashore… but I realised early on that I was immortal, so nothing sort of frightened me.
“Some of our blokes were beheaded and terrible things … But I just did my job. It wasn’t a case of coming back saying, hey, I’m a hero; you didn’t think about it, and I just came back and did ordinary work – the fighter pilots, and tail gunners, and things; they were the brave ones.”