Posted by Gary Swanton
It is my sad duty to inform my fellow RANCBA members the sad news of the passing of Chris ‘Gags’ Gallagher. Gags was an inspirational Signalman, Communicator and a great person.
The following reflection of his career has been provided by the current OIC of the Communications School, LCDR Nathan Cole OAM RAN.
In keeping with Gags’ wishes, there will be no service, it is asked that he is remembered with a beer and stories.
Career Reflection by LCDR Nathan Cole OAM RAN
I wanted to take the time to reflect on the Naval Career of a mate of mine, LCDR Chris ‘Gags’ Gallagher who passed away today (12Jan22) after a short but aggressive illness. Gags was a career Communicator and served at the School as a Warrant Officer and Chief Petty Officer. Rest In peace Shipmate.
Lieutenant Commander Christopher Donald Gallagher joined the Navy via the then Junior Recruit scheme and on completion of basic training he began his career in Communications. On completion of category training he was employed at sea and ashore in communications core tasks working his way through the ranks eventually achieving the rank of Warrant Officer.
Sea highlights during this time was the involvement in the Vietnam War that included escort duties to HMAS SYDNEY and in 1971 being embarked in HMAS BRISBANE for the last RAN deployment to Vietnam.
Shore highlights included employment in Shore Communications Centres and training roles at the Communications School, HMAS CERBERUS. The years prior to commission he was on the staff of the Maritime Commander and assistant Staff Officer to Commodore Flotillas (COMFLOT). In these positions he was part of the Major Fleet Unit Sea Training Group. He deployed in HMAS DARWIN when COMFLOT acted as the Commander Task Group (CTG) for Damask (I) deployment during the Persian Gulf conflict.
On promotion to Lieutenant his first job as an officer was the Staff Officer to Commander Australian Patrol Force (COMAUSPABFOR) based in Cairns where secondary to staff duties he formed part of the Minor War Vessels Sea Training Group.
His employment opportunities then included; Operations Officer to the Master Attendant, Sydney, Commanding Officer, Australian Defence Force Recruiting Unit –Townsville where he was selected for promotion to Lieutenant Commander and then to Officer in Charge of Personal Services Organisation Cairns.
The diversity of these jobs prepared him for his next role as the Executive Officer, HMAS CAIRNS where he completed two years prior to taking up his appointment as Maritime Surveillance Adviser, Tonga in December 2001. From Tonga he was employed as Staff Officer Reserves in the Director Naval Officer Postings (DNOP).
On becoming a Naval Reserve Officer he was again appointed as Executive Officer, HMAS CAIRNS for all of 2005 to release the incumbent for a higher priority position. From 2006 until 2008 he again became full time and performed the duties of Executive Officer Naval Headquarters Tasmania (NHQ TAS). In 2009 & 2012 he was recruited by his former Commanding Officer/s HMAS CAIRNS to fill the roles of Executive Support Officer (HMAS CAIRNS), Staff Officer to Chief Staff Officer Establishments and Deputy Director Navy Cadets.
It all came to an end in 2013 where he was employed as Staff Officer Operations for the RAN’s International Fleet Review (IFR), consequently, completing almost 46 years permanent /continuous full time Navy service. When not employed full time he conducted part-time service, thus, having an involvement in the RAN for 50 years.
His awards include a Queen’s Birthday Order of Australia Medal, a Commander Australian Naval System Commander (COMAUSNAVSYSCOM) Commendation, a Commodore Warfare (COMWAR) Commendation and a HMAS CAIRNS Commanding Officer Commendation.
Additionally, he is in receipt of :
Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 with Clasp VIETNAM; Australian Service Medal 1945-75 with Clasp FESR; Australian Service Medal with Clasp KUWAIT; Vietnam Medal; Defence Force Service Medal with First, Second, Third, and Fourth Clasps; National Medal; Australian Defence Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal, and, Returned from Active Service Badge.

  • Paul Cashman
    Posted at 06:20h, 20 January Reply

    A pure gentleman. Very sad news. RIP Gags

  • Gary Guidotti
    Posted at 00:47h, 26 March Reply

    One on my Instructors at Cerberus. RIP Chris.

  • michael millsom
    Posted at 20:00h, 14 May Reply

    A fellow signalman aboard HMAS Brisbane Vietnam deployment 1971.
    RIP Gags. It was a pleasure to know you.
    Mick Millsom

  • Gary (Surfie) Laurance
    Posted at 10:48h, 26 December Reply

    @&?%…I only found out today! BZ on a fine career. Tku for being a friend. Condolences to the Family.

Post A Comment