Radio Officer D. G. Bayliss (rtd)
I am a former Chief Communications Officer (Radio Officer). Although I am now retired from the remunerative workforce, I do still enjoy interacting through medium-frequency and high-frequency radio – especially using radiotelegraphy (ratg).
As a young boy I studied Radio Theory and Radiotelegraphy (under the tutelage of John Birdsall, Norm Innes-Will, and Theo Warren) whilst attending school and working part-time in my father’s businesses. One of his businesses had a Limited Coast Station that serviced the Fishing Fleet throughout Far North Queensland, and I filled the role of Radio Operator / General Hand.
Although certified and actively pursuing a Seagoing career with the Merchant Navy, I found myself adrift with little prospect of securing a permanent position due to being a young “school leaver” without adequate “sea time” – a catch-22.
Strangely, I was recruited into the Australian Army for a short six-year stint that lasted 23-years. My mentors during those early “Army Days” were Ian “Mac” Logan, Dash “Mac” McLean, and Theo Warren. Both “Mac” Logan, and “Mac” McLean were former Signals Officers from 2nd Cavalry Divisional Signals (1930s), and 6th Divisional Signals (1940s), and Theo Warren was a former PMG Radio Mechanic and CMF Signals Sergeant and Signals Officer in TPNG from the 1930s through 1960s. “Mac” Logan also served in the Services Reconnaissance Department (Z Special Unit) towards the end of World War Two. Theo was proud to have been involved with the development of the then new School of Signals at Watsonia, Victoria prior to his retirement during the early 1970s. All three of my mentors were keen to continue the teachings and professional standards of Tactical Communications (especially Zenith Communications) established during the 1930s early 1940s by Major (later Lieutenant Colonel) Robert Humphery, and his protégé Lieutenant Walter “Scotty” Scott. Both Robert Humphery and Walter Scott were killed-in-action during World War Two. After a number of years I decided to also follow Humphery’s and Scott’s example and teach the practical “hands-on” side of Tactical Radio Communications.
Whilst in the Army I deployed on a number of Operations, and completed two bouts of long-term study. After retiring from the Army I went back to the Australian Maritime College with the hope of upskilling as a Deck Officer (Bluewater / Ocean Seafaring) however there were a number of irreconcilable conflicts between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the company that wished to take me on (Norwegian Cruise Lines), so I never got to work on Cruise Ships. I also could not afford to self-fund another University degree (plus the requisite sea-time) and maintain my family if I opted to follow the alternate path of up-skilling/right-skilling from Radio Officer to Electro-Technical Officer.
To complement my existing radio-communications knowledge and skillset, I hold two baccalaureates (University degrees) – one in Adult and Workplace Education, the other in Archaeology.
At times, upon special request, I get involved as a ‘Guest Chief Communications Officer’ and/or ‘Guest Education Officer’ by volunteering my energy, resources, and time to analyse-design-develop-deliver-evaluate radio-communications training packages as a hobby-business, with no expectation of profit or gain (i.e. on a not-for-profit basis).
30 April 2022