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Collection of 94 documents relating to Captain James Walter Fletcher

Date: 1927 - 1959
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from James Lister Fletcher
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS1299

User Terms

    This collection of 94 documents relates to the maritime career of Captain James Walter Fletcher. The series consists of five pilotage exemption certificates; one shore leave pass; three pilotage certificates; one permit to leave Australia; one employment permit; one Merchant Service Guild of Australasia membership booklet; two certificates of authority to wear campaign stars for the Mercantile Marine; one National Maritime Museum Reading Room card; one electoral claim receipt; 73 certificates of discharge; one pilot's licence; one identity card; one identity document; one certificate of proficiency booklet and one document holder. The documents span the period 1927 - 1959.
    HistoryJames Walter Fletcher was born at Annandale on 17 November 1910. He left school 14 to work in the office of Elliott's Chemical Works at Balmain. In 1927 at the age of 16 he went to sea as a deck boy on the Union Steamship Company's SS NIAGARA on foreign going voyages. His discharges show that he stayed on the ship until July 1933, by which time he was ranked Able Seaman. He then enrolled at Sydney Navigation School and served in coastal ships as he progressed from third mate to master in 1945. He served in Australian merchant ships during World War II, and after the war obtained pilotage exemptions for numerous ports around Australia. He joined the NSW pilotage service in 1954, and was appointd master of the pilot boat BIRUBI. In 1957 he was appointed chief pilot at Newcastle, where he lived, and remained in the service there until he retired in 1970.

    The name Fletcher and Drake Shipbuilding was provided by the donor, James L Fletcher, son of James W Fletcher. There is little published history of Balmain shipbuilding to provide information as to this firm. The job book indicates that it must have been fairly substantial. For instance it built a ferry for the North Shore Steam Ferry Company. Some unused printed bill forms have the lettterhead of Walter Fletcher, House and Ship Joiner, at 3 Reynolds Street Balmain. This would appear to be James W Fletcher's father or uncle.
    Additional Titles

    Collection title: Captain James Walter Fletcher collection

    Assigned title: Papers relating to the maritime career of Captain James Walter Fletcher (born 1910) as a merchant shipmaster during World War II and harbour pilot in Sydney and Newcastle from 1954 to 1970

    Web title: Collection of 94 documents relating to Captain James Walter Fletcher

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