Commodore Ian Arthur Callaway OAM, RAN (Rtd.)


Ian Callaway photoIAN Arthur Callaway was born in Sydney on 21 May May 1937, the son of Lieutenant Commander Arthur Henry Callaway DSO RANVR and Thelma May Callaway [nee Rowe]. He was educated at Sydney High School before being selected for the Royal Australian Navy’s 1953 Intermediate entry.

After graduating from the Naval College in 1955, Callaway completed training in HMS Triumph, the Royal Navy’s training ship for officers, before joining HMAS Melbourne for its maiden voyage to Australia. He was awarded his Bridge Watch Keeping Certificate in HMAS Swan in 1957.

He met Beverley Ancher whilst serving as a Recruit School Divisional Officer in November 1961 and they were married on 16 June 1962, immediately before sailing to the United Kingdom for three years.

Callaway was posted to HMS Excellent in the UK and the long Gunnery Course which commenced in August 1962. On completion of the long Course he served as the Gunnery Officer in Scarborough whilst on two years exchange with the Royal Navy. Daughters Kirsten and Lisa were born in June 1963 and November 1966.

On return to Australia he was Gunnery Officer, HMAS Parramatta, towards the end of confrontation with Indonesia and HMAS Hobart, during her second deployment to the war in Vietnam. He was Mentioned in Despatches in 1969 for the meritorious performance of his duties as Gunnery Officer. It was during this deployment that Hobart, during a friendly fire incident, was struck by three Sparrow missiles fired by a Thailand-based US Air Force Phantom aircraft. Two sailors were killed and several wounded.

An important warfare staff postings was as Gunnery Trials Officer. During this posting, the new M22 gun and M44 Seacat systems in the new construction ships Swan and Torrens were accepted into service and the first Australian post refit 5”/54 gun and Tartar Missile system trials in the DDGs were carried out. Head Fleet Training Group, OIC Gunnery School, Navy Office Director Surface and Air Weapons and Naval Warfare Study Project Officer followed. The report Callaway produced during this last posting proposed the introduction of an Australian Warfare Officers Course and the establishment of the RAN Surface Warfare School. This recommendation was implemented.
His sea commands were HMA Ships ANZAC [1970-71] and Stalwart [1979-81]. During the latter period he accompanied Melbourne during this ship’s last overseas deployment before paying off in 1982.

He was the Australian student at the National Defence College, India in 1984 and he finished his nearly 40 year naval career with seven years in the Defence Intelligence Organization, where he reached the position of Deputy Director Military.

Ian served as President of the Naval Institute from 1986 to 1992. In retirement he was heavily involved in the community. He was Secretary then Chairman of The East Roseville Bowling Club from 1993 until 1999; Secretary of the Cammeray Bridge Club from 1997 until 199; a member of the Sydney to Canberra Remembrance Driveway Committee from 1993, and President from 2000 until forced to stand down from the presidency in early 2012 due to his ill health.

He was very proud that he and his predecessor Major General Kevin Latchford AO, with the help of NSW Roads and Maritime Services finally completed the development phase of the Driveway project and rescued it from nearly a decade of near inertia.

Ian was also Chair of the Sydney ANZAC Day March Executive Committee and Chief Marshal of the March from 2000 until he was forced to stand down in early 2012. When he stood down from his March duties, John Haines, RSL State Vice President [Metropolitan] wrote that: “With an eye to history and an understanding toward the motives of those who wish to honour their relatives, you have steered the March through some troubled waters and yet managed to maintain the respect of many who disagreed with the policies set by the committee for the benefit of the veterans. That the March is currently in such a healthy state is in no small measure due to your stewardship as Chief Marshal”.

Ian was awarded the Medal in the Order of Australia on 26 January 2013 for service to veterans and veterans’ families. He was particularly proud of this award and the successes he had achieved when advocating the interests of those who served.

Ian Callaway was diagnosed with mesothelioma in early 2012, and battled the disease for some time. He passed away on September 26th 2013.


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