On the isolated banks of the Shoalhaven River, the Keith Payne VC Veterans Benefit Group has held a memorial service to mark the 56th anniversary of the sinking of HMAS Voyager.
Voyager sank off Jervis Bay after a collision with HMAS Melbourne on February 10, 1964.
Eighty-two of the Voyager's 314 crew were killed on impact or drowned, trapped in the bow section which sank only 10 minutes after the collision.
The service was conducted, with great compassion, by Navy Chaplain Stephen Estherby from HMAS Albatross.
His address on CPO Jonathan 'Buck' Rogers GC, left no one with dry eyes.
'Buck' joined the destroyer Voyager in July 1963, as coxswain and was the senior sailor on board and responsible for the 'good order and discipline' of the ship's company.
On the evening of the crash, Rogers has presided over a game of tombola being played by about 60 men in the ship's forward cafeteria.
At 8:56pm, 20 nautical miles (37km) south-east of Jervis Bay, Voyager collided with Melbourne and was cut in two.
Voyager's severed forward section immediately heeled sharply to starboard and about five minutes later turned upside down.
Water began pouring into the cafeteria, within another five minutes the forward section sank.
Rogers was one of the 82 men who died.
Sailors who escaped from the cafeteria later told how Rogers had taken charge of the situation, calmed terrified shipmates, attempted to control the flooding, tried to free a jammed escape hatch with a length of pipe and a spanner, and organised men to move into other compartments with functioning emergency exits.
Meanwhile, he knew that he was probably too large to fit through an escape hatch himself.
When it was obvious that some of his comrades would not get out in time, he led them in prayer and a hymn, 'encouraging them to meet death' beside him 'with dignity and honour'.
He was posthumously awarded the George Cross.
He was survived by his wife, son and three daughters.
A number of veterans present at the service, including Keith Payne VC AM, accompanied by his darling wife Flo Payne OAM, who flew down from Mackay for the occasion.
Thank you to all who attended the service, especially those who travelled great distances to be there (Mackay, Adelaide and beyond).
A huge thank you to Cameron Boxsell for allowing the group to hold the service at his beautiful property and for his ongoing gracious hospitality.
This event shows, no matter where we are...'We will remember them' - Lest We Forget..
An annual anniversary ceremony to remember the victims and survivors of the Voyager disaster was also held at Huskisson in Voyager Park.
Survivors also attended an anniversary reunion dinner at HMAS Creswell, while staff and the new entry officers' course at HMAS Creswell also held an early morning service.
Anyone who might have a photo of a survivor or of the unlucky crew members who perished on the night are asked to contact the HMAS Voyager Survivors Association Facebook page.