Skipworth, John Bertram (Able Seaman, b.1922 - d.2010)

Accession Number AWM2018.532.1
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: .5 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Letter
Maker Skipworth, John Bertram
Place made Australia: Western Australia, Japan
Date made 1945-1946
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copying Provisions Copying is permitted for the purposes of research and study, subject to physical condition
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Collection relating to the Second World War service of F3735 Able Seaman John Bertram 'Skippy' Skipworth, HMAS Shropshire, Royal Australian Navy, Japan and Western Australia, 1945-1946.

Wallet 1 of 1 – Collection consists of two letters and two envelopes from Able Seaman Skipworth to his wife, Betty Skipworth (née Trowse). The first letter was written on 2 September 1945, the day of the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender. In this letter, Skipworth writes about seeing a large number of Allied aircraft flying above Tokyo Bay, attending a church service, hearing about the signing of the Instrument on the radio, his ability to fall asleep anywhere, and visiting other ships in the bay. This letter is accompanied by an envelope bearing the signatures of many of Skipworth’s shipmates and an ink drawing of a sailor. In his second letter, written from HMAS Leeuwin in Western Australia and dated 6 May 1946, Skipworth writes about being woken up by two rowdy shipmates, preparing ammunition for a funeral ceremony, leave arrangements, receiving mail from home, and his first time driving a Jeep. This letter also includes a note regarding their future living arrangements.

History / Summary

Able Seaman Skipworth enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy on 2 June 1941. He served on a variety of ships and stations, including HMAS Leeuwin, HMAS Cerberus, HMAS Platypus, HMAS Moreton, HMAS Torrens, and HMAS Shropshire. Able Seaman Skipworth was serving in HMAS Shropshire while it was moored in Tokyo Bay, Japan, for the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender in September 1945. He was discharged from the Navy on 28 April 1948.