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Royal Naval Museum

 

George Hodson

  Name: George Hodson

  Rank:  Chief Petty Officer - Submariner (before retirement)

When and why did you join the Navy?

I first went to sea on an Royal Navy warship in 1953 when I was a Sea Cadet. That gave me the idea that I'd like to do it full-time so in 1956 I joined up.

What do you do now?

I’m retired.

What was your job? What exactly is that? 

My job was mainly as a Radio/Radar Technician. That means I maintained and mended the electronic equipment on board.

What's the best and the worst thing about being in the Navy? 

What a question! The best thing was probably visiting exotic locations, not always abroad either. The worst thing is being separated from your family and being recalled to go back on board and sort something out even when you're on leave.

What was your most interesting moment? 

Christmas Island in the Pacific - I went there to test Hydrogen bombs. It was really awe inspiring and very strange.

What was the best place you visited?

Probably Niagra Falls on the Canada/USA border

What was your funniest moment?

We used to be quite amused by the comments of visitors onboard such as a little girl running down a passageway to tell her Mother that she'd just seen a lot of hairy men hiding in a cupboard. She’d actually just passed the doorway of the senior rates mess! Also another woman strolling through the engine room past the diesels, said “they’ve got a lot of deep fat fryers on here!”  The cover plates of the pistons do look vaguely like fish fryers!

Did you win any medals – what for?

By working hard for a long time and having courage, I was awarded the long service and good conduct medal along with thousands of other people.

What would you have done if you hadn’t joined the Navy?

Most probably joined the Foreign Legion!

Did you meet any interesting people?

I met Chileans and Brazilians whilst training foreign naval personnel on submarine equipment in the submarine school. Their English was about as good as my Portuguese and Spanish – not very! It was most interesting and enjoyable! 

 

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