The remains of the last Australian servicemen missing from the Vietnam War discovered
39-year search for the remains of the last Australian servicemen missing from the Vietnam War has ended — with the help of the former enemies. The remains of pilot Michael Herbert and navigator Robert Carver have been discovered on a remote hillside in Quang Nam province, where they have remained since their plane went missing after a bombing raid on Nov. 3, 1970. The search, by an air force investigation team, used scientific modelling, archival records and the memories of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers and villagers, who had seen the plane and corrected American records, which incorrectly stated the plane was downed at a site to the north.
The grave of the last unaccounted Australian Vietnam War digger discovered
A search team thinks it has discovered the grave of the last Australian digger unaccounted for after the Vietnam War. Special Air Services Regiment (SASR) soldier Private David Fisher fell from a rope suspended by a helicopter over jungle in southern Vietnam in 1969. His patrol was being "hot extracted" by a RAAF helicopter at the time and in spite of a wide search of the rough terrain, Fisher was lost without trace. Federal Minister for Defence, Science and Personnel Warren Snowden said a team had uncovered an id tag and bones after pinpointing a burial area in the Cam My region of Vietnam.
Awards win for the Battle of Long Tan heroes
The review by a panel ordered to probe why the nominated awards for the heroes of the best-known battle involving Australian troops in the Vietnam War were downgraded or ignored. Senior Australian commanders, operating under a quota for bravery awards by the British imperial decorations system, were blamed for the decisions. The panel recommended that commander Major Harry Smith be awarded the Star of Gallantry, the modern equivalent of the Distinguished Service Order. And that Long Tan platoon commanders David Sabben and Geoff Kendall be awarded the Medal for Gallantry, the modern version of the Military Cross.
Reliving wartime sights and sounds
Brigadier Chris Roberts felt a shiver when he saw a new exhibit at the War Memorial in Canberra. The centrepiece is a simulation of a helicopter landing in Vietnam. It has a Huey helicopter and life-size models of soldiers against a backdrop of footage of the Hueys delivering soldiers to operations, with the sound. Brigadier Roberts was a 23-year-old lieutenant in Vietnam in 1969 and he says the simulation "brings back memories". The display is part of an exhibition "Conflicts: 1945 to Today," which features all the wars and peacekeeping operations Australia has participated in since WW2.
Vietnam, The Australian War by Paul Ham
"Vietnam, The Australian War" by Paul Ham has revealed that Australia's politicians ignored advice of military leaders on the ground and ran much of the war from Canberra. The book is partly based on interviews, kept secret for 30 years, that were conducted by the Australian Defence Force with its military commanders. It also draws on secret interviews carried out by Australian intelligence officers with Vietcong captives. The book contends that PM Robert Menzies' decision to commit Australia to the war was partly driven by a desire to give certainty to the ANZUS treaty.
Bid to bring Australian's fallen Vietnam soldiers home
The bodies of two Australian soldiers killed in Vietnam could finally be coming home. Jim Bourke, leading a recovery mission, is tipping a better then even chance their bodies will be found. He said next year's mission would use ground penetrating radar to search a site where it was believed Lance Corporal Richard "Tiny" Parker, and Private Peter Gillson, were buried in 1965. They are two of six Australians missing in action from the Vietnam war. Lance Corp Parker and Pte Gillson were shot dead by Viet Cong forces on November 8, 1965. Intense enemy fire halted attempts to retrieve their bodies and their mates withdrew when ordered.
Vietnam clash that became a legend - Battle of Long Tan (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Battle of Long Tan, on August 18, 1966, defined the way in which the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong would respond to Australians for the remainder of the war. The battle took place not long after the Australian Task Force had established at Nui Dat in Phouc Tuy Province. Until then, the Viet Cong had dominated the area, with little resistance from the South Vietnamese Army. Given the presence of the Diggers, the enemy's aim was to overwhelm Nui Dat before it could be established as a permanent base for operations. To that end, a reinforced NVA Regiment was sent to conduct a major operation.
Minister apologises to Vietnam War veterans
Veterans Affairs Minister Bruce Billson has apologised to Australians who served in Vietnam for the way they were treated when they came home. He also warned of the complexities of issuing new bravery medals to veterans amid calls from Labor for an independent review into the fairness of the awards system. "During the course of our involvement in the Vietnam War, Australia became divided and it is regrettable that acrimony from amongst those who opposed the war was directed at men and women who simply did what their nation asked of them."
Tasmania's Vietnam War veterans - Wives recall differently (Article no longer available from the original source)
Tasmania's Vietnam War veterans seem a tough lot made silent when shunned on return from Australia's most unpopular of wars in the early 1970s. But their wives tell a different story. "Many of the men haven't been able to communicate, not about the war, or anything." Many veterans were still suffering because of the way they were treated when they came home from the war. "Returning soldiers on a vessel that docked at Adelaide were then told to find their own way home."