James “Jim” Paizis
Royal Australian Navy - Veterans’ Voices
Sub Lieutenant Jim Paizis shares his memories of life in the close confines of the navy, post-war visits to his ship’s namesake and the changing skyline of Melbourne.
James “Jim” Paizis was born in West Melbourne to Greek parents in 1924. Thinking he’d “look rather smart with gold buttons and a strap”, Jim enlisted in the navy just days after his 18th birthday.
Jim served on corvettes, initially as a midshipman on HMAS Glenelg—undertaking convoy and escort duties up and down the east coast of Australia and into New Guinea—then, as a Gunnery Officer on HMAS Colac.
On 26 May 1945, supporting the army in the Solomon Islands, the Colac was shelled by a Japanese shore battery which killed two of Jim’s shipmates and tore a giant hole in the engine room. Taking on water, the Colac was lucky to make it out of the channel, and was eventually towed back to Sydney for repair. Jim was on the Colac in dry-dock in Sydney, on VP Day.
After the war, Jim married, started a family and moved to the then newly-established suburb of Balwyn, where he lives to this day.The RAN corvette HMAS Colac proceeding at full speed to attend an alarm while on convoy duty along the coast of New Guinea. Source: Australian War Memorial.
We acknowledge the trauma experienced through conflict is a cross-generational lived experience for veterans and their families. If support is required, please seek counselling or support through Open Arms, Beyond Blue, Lifeline or your local ex-service organisation.
Open Arms—Veterans and Families Counselling provides 24-hour free and confidential counselling, group programs and suicide prevention training for current and ex-serving ADF personnel, and their families. Call 1800 011 046 or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au.
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