Rear Admiral Frank Leveson George

Frank Leveson George was born in North Sydney on 15 March 1910 and entered the RAN College in 1924. He gained his colours for cricket and swimming, and on passing out was awarded the prizes for physics, chemistry and engineering (practical). In addition he was the top Cadet Midshipman in engineering (theory) and seamanship. He commenced training in the light cruiser HMAS Melbourne and was promoted Midshipman in May 1928. Frank George then proceeded to England in mid-1928 to undertake engineering studies at the Royal Naval Engineering College at Keyham. He was promoted Sub Lieutenant in 1931 and for three of his four years at Keyham he also held the Carr Cup for the swimming championship.

George was promoted Lieutenant in 1932 and was appointed to the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia, in which he served during the Duke of Gloucester’s cruise. He was serving in Australia, then on exchange with the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean, during the 1935 Abyssinian crisis and on returning to Australia supervised the fitting and trials of the first sea-plane catapult fitted in Australia (aboard HMAS Canberra). Between 1936 and 1938 he served at Flinders Naval Depot (HMAS Cerberus), with one year of this time being spent as an instructor in engineering at Royal Australian Naval College.

Lieutenant George joined the destroyer HMAS Voyager in April 1938 as the Engineer Officer and after the outbreak of war in 1939, Voyager deployed to the Mediterranean as part of the 10th Flotilla (the famous 'Scrap Iron Flotilla'). His engineering skills were sorely tested during this time keeping the destroyers elderly engines and boilers operational. He was promoted Lieutenant Commander in August 1940 and returned to Australia later that year.

For the next three years he served at Navy Office, in Melbourne, as Naval Assistant to the Director of Engineering, and then in February 1944 was appointed to HMAS Australia and was serving in her during the operations at Hollandia, Wakde, Biak, Morotai, Leyte and Lingayen Gulf. In 1945 he was appointed Officer-in Charge of Captain Cook dry dock, Sydney, being promoted Commander in June 1946. His next appointment was that of Principal Naval Overseer at Newcastle, NSW. He served briefly in the destroyer HMAS Bataan in late 1947 before serving in Australia as Engineer Officer from October 1947 until January 1949.

In early 1949 he returned to Cerberus as officer in charge of the engineering school before taking up the role as Engineering Manager at Garden Island Dockyard in 1950. In 1953 Commander George proceeded to England as the naval engineer on the staff of the Australian Naval Representative at the High Commission in London and was promoted Captain in December 1954. On his return to Australia he was commissioned to undertake a survey of RAN apprentice training and on 5 January 1956 the RAN Apprentice Training Establishment, HMAS Nirimba, was commissioned at Quaker's Hill, Sydney with Captain George as first Commanding Officer. In 1960 he was promoted Commodore and took command of Cerberus where he oversaw the majority of the Navy's training.

His next appointment was, in 1962, as the General Manager of Garden Island Dockyard before promotion to Rear Admiral on 28 February 1963 and becoming Third Naval Member and Chief of Naval Technical Services in Navy Office. Rear Admiral George was appointed as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1964 New Years Honours List for his long and distinguished service to naval engineering.

Rear Admiral Frank Leveson George retired from the Royal Australian Navy in March 1967 and passed away on 12 May 1992.