Our People in SA
Ben Johnson - Following in his father's footsteps
Growing up in the Johnson family, Port Victoria local Able Seaman (AB) Ben Johnson looked up to his father Graham Johnson and wanted to experience for himself what the Navy had to offer.
AB Johnson joined the Navy in 2004 after completing year 12 at Maitland Area School, in Port Victoria South Australia.
"I always knew I was going to join. Watching my dad in my early years his job always looked exciting and I would listen to his stories about his time at sea and thought, 'I want to do that'," AB Johnson said.
Currently posted to Cairns in Far North Queensland, Able Seaman Johnson had the privilege of participating in the decommissioning of HMAS Wewak on 11 December.
HMAS Wewak was the first of the Balikpapan Class Landing Craft Heavy ships to be decommissioned, after serving 39 years in the Royal Australian Navy.
"Being the last crew onboard a ship for its decommissioning is a unique and historic event," said AB Johnson.
Coming from a small town, AB Johnson found the small boat crew easy to adapt to.
"I used to play basketball for Port Victoria Basketball Club, a small bunch of guys working to the same goal, which is quite similar to being onboard a small boat," explained AB Johnson.
AB Johnson has experienced a variety of postings, ships and has travelled around the world on HMAS Ballarat's world trip in 2008. During his time in the Navy he has been awarded the Australian Service Medal for his tour in Timor-Leste, South Pacific and Solomon Islands.
"I joined the Navy to experience all it has to offer and I have been fortunate to have
experienced a lot," he said.
AB Johnson and his wife Alyssa are looking forward to a busy year ahead, including the birth of their first child.
"Once the baby is born we are hoping to get back to Port Victoria so my family and friends can meet the new addition," AB Johnson said.