LIVING LEGEND: World Ward II veteran Wil Spargo and his son Paul Spargo at Freedom Park for the Anzac Day parade and ceremony.
LIVING LEGEND: World Ward II veteran Wil Spargo and his son Paul Spargo at Freedom Park for the Anzac Day parade and ceremony. Cody Fox

Hervey Bay's special division war vet reflects on past times

ONE week after his 19th birthday, Wil Spargo signed up to go to war.

But the Australian government wouldn't accept Wil because he was too young.

Not taking no for an answer, the World War II veteran got his parents' permission to join.

"I had to go and get a birth certificate which I always carry in my wallet," Wil said.

"That cost 2 (shillings) and sixpence."

The Australian Army sent Wil to various training camps in Australia and after just three weeks in the army, Wil was put to work.

"I was three weeks in the army and they sent me up to Mt Crosby filtration plant to guard it," he said.

"I had a Thompson submachine gun in my hands, fully-loaded, and all I had to know was how to pull the trigger if anybody came.

"From then, I went on to Bathurst, Liverpool, Milne Bay, that was the first regiment of New Guinea, Milne Bay, and I served there for quite a long time."

 

While Wil said he had no regrets joining the army he did have one memory that brought him sadness.

"I had a mate before the war by the name of Bobby Wright," he said.

"He couldn't wait to get in. He wouldn't wait for me. He went over to Singapore and he never came back.

"He was in the 2/26th battalion.

Wil's son Paul Spargo accompanied his father to the Anzac Day parade and ceremony held at Freedom Park, Pialba.

Paul called his father a "legend" and said he was part of a special division that used a cutting-edge radar system to locate enemy forces.

"They used to get out there and tried to figure out where the forces were coming from," Mr Spargo said.

"And they would pass on the information up the chain of command, so the artillery could go in and do what they had to do.

"Apparently they did it pretty tough at times."

He said he felt honoured and emotional joining his father at yesterday's ceremony.

"I'm really honoured he represented us the way he did," Paul said.

"He did the right thing, and he's an honourable person and he has taught us to be honourable as well, and to think of others."