Port Kennedy veteran’s replica missiles catch attention

Port Kennedy veteran Laurie Drage spent two weeks at his son’s boilermaking workshop in Boulder last month, building two replica Harpoon missiles to be unveiled at the Totally and Partially Disabled Veterans of WA’s Remembrance Day service in Baldivis on Sunday.

Mr Drage said he chose to replicate the Harpoon because it was a modern weapon Australian land, sea and air forces had used in conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan. He said the 1.8m replicas, constructed of steel and bearing the proper insignia, weighed about 80kg each and made quite an impression when transported on the back of his ute from Drage Boilermaking Services in Boulder to the organisation’s clubrooms in Baldivis.

He generated plenty of comment from the State’s trucking community as he was travelling along Great Eastern Highway.

“By the time I got to Perth, I was the ‘rocket man’,” he said.

“Some even stopped me to get their picture with the missiles.”

The replica missiles will be placed in the memorial gardens, next to another replica weapon that Drage Boilermaking Services previously built — the World War II-era two-man “human torpedo” frogman submarine, which was unveiled at last year’s Totally and Partially Disabled Veterans of WA’s Anzac Day service.

At the time, Mr Drage said serving Australian submariners marched during the ceremony and stood behind the replica, which was unveiled by HMAS Stirling Commanding Officer Captain Brian Delamont.

He said the idea was for people to sit on it and reflect on the people who have served and died.

The Vietnam veteran said he was already contemplating future replica projects including a personnel carrier or 50-calibre machine gun.

Totally and Partially Disabled Veterans of WA president Les Crowe and vice president Laurie Drage will unveil two replica Harpoon missiles at a Remembrance Day service in Baldivis.