Arrco Playing Card Co. Chicago
|United States of America: Illinois, Cook County, Chicago
Second World War, 1939-1945
Admiral playing cards : Lieutenant A K Englert, RANR
Pack of 52 commercially produced playing cards with green, gold vase and gold patterned backs. The Ace of Spades has the manufacture's name 'ARRCO PLAYING CARD CO. / CHICAGO / MADE IN THE U.S.A.'. There is one black and white joker with 'PLASTIC COATED' written in red on his hat. Included in the pack are the instructions to play 'five hundred' and two odd cards from another pack. One is a female multi-coloured joker and the other is a blank spare. Both backings have two red flags on poles, with navy blue crosses and 'HP' on them with gold patterning and a gold rope border. The case for the cards is made from a gold covered open box that slides into a green protective jacket. The back of the jacket carries the wording 'ADMIRAL / PLAYING / CARDS / MADE IN / U.S.A.'.
Allan Keith (Keith) Englert was born on the 21 April 1918 at Maclean, NSW. He first enlisted with the army on the 7 August 1940, although his army service papers record that he did not march on to base until the same day he was discharged, on 1 October 1941, as a driver in the Army Service Corps attached to 1Cavalry Division. Five days later Englert joined the Royal Australian Navy as an ordinary seaman and was appointed to the Royal Australian Naval Reserve. He undertook six months basic training at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria and was then posted to HMAS Hobart from April to July 1942. He was serving in her when she took part in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942.
After his brief time in the Hobart, Englert returned to Cerberus for two months basic officer training. He then moved to HMAS Rushcutter in Sydney on the 8 September 1942 for an anti-submarine course on Fairmiles and was appointed an Acting Sub-Lieutenant. Englert spent a short time at HMAS Penguin, also in Sydney, in February 1943 before having his rank confirmed. He then posted to Fairmile Motor Launch (ML) 818 when it was commissioned in late March 1943.
Much of Englert's time with ML 818 was spent on anti-submarine patrols along the north coast of New Guinea and the islands of the South-West Pacific using Madang as a base. The launch also ferried army personnel between ports in the area. ML 818 collided with US Navy Patrol Torpedo boat 329 at Mios Woendi on 12 August 1944 coming off the worst with a large hole in her starboard side aft end. After the damage was repaired Englert and his crew were tipped off by a local native to the presence of four Japanese troops in the vicinity of Korim River. On the 24 August together with the crews from MLs 426 and 816 they captured the Japanese, who were armed with grenades and were in poor health.
Englert was promoted to Lieutenant on the 9 September 1944. ML 818 arrived in Sydney in late October for a refit and Englert left the ship to join Harbour Defence Motor Launch (HDML) 1342. He was given the command of the vessel on 13 November 1944.
All of HDML 1342's duties were spent in the New Guinea area. After the declaration of peace in August 1945, Englert and his crew took part in the evacuation of Japanese soldiers from Wewak. They also traded with the islanders of Karkar, swapping bully beef, rice and tobacco for fruit. A snake was inadvertently brought aboard the vessel at this time which caused some consternation among of the crew. Englert off loaded the fruit at the Army hospital at Wewak were it was gratefully received.
HDML 1342 also sunk a sea mine north of Yue Island. After the forward heavy gun failed to detonate the mine, the order was given to close the range and use its .303 calibre guns. These were mounted on the bridge and were thought to provide a better trajectory. When the mine was hit and began to emit a blue-grey smoke, the order was given to move away at full speed. The crew reacted with urgency to this order, however the mine sunk without exploding. After his service in New Guinea Englert was discharged from the navy on 21 March 1946.