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War did not rob mother of sons

Robert Lominga pays his respects to the fallen at the Chris Cunningham Park cenotaph.
Robert Lominga pays his respects to the fallen at the Chris Cunningham Park cenotaph. John Gass

BACK in 1944, mother of three sons Phyllis Lominga made her way daily to work at the Brisbane Wharf dressed in grey overalls.

She would spend her day welding on barges.

On her overalls above her heart she wore three stars - one for each of her three sons at war.

Each day she would pray for their safe return.

"She was one of the lucky ones," said the baby brother, Rob.

"We all came home."

When Robert Lominga tried to join up the first time, he was knocked back because he was too valuable as a shipyard worker.

"The next time I told them I wasn't working and they snapped me up," he said.

"At age 18, I soon found out that going to war wasn't so rosy."

Mr Lominga trained at Cowra and Canowindra.

"It was rigorous," he said.

He was posted to the Solomon's and also Bougainville, New Guinea with the 55/53 Regiment, 11th Battalion.

"It was pretty rough in the jungle," he said.

"You couldn't see two feet in front of you.

"At one stage we were on one side of a small hill and the Japanese were on the other.

"We were rookies, so it was a bit of a shock to the system.

"I lost a good mate called Commo at that time.

"The reality of combat really hits home when you lose a mate.

"When you went out on patrol you never knew who was going to come back.

"I, like so many others breathed a huge sigh of relief when the war ended."

Today, Anzac Day, we give thanks to people like Robert Lominga who risked his life to save ours.

And we commemorate the fallen for their ultimate sacrifice.

Lest we forget.

Topics:  anzac day, rsl, world war 2


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