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VIETNAM VETERANS DAY 18th AUG 2007

 

Inscription on the Long Tan Cross reads

“In Memory of those members of D Coy 6 RAR and 3 Tp 1 APC Sqn who gave their lives near this spot during the Battle of Long Tan on 18th August 1966

Erected by 6 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Bn
18 Aug 69"

 
And now the 41st Anniversary of Long Tan Day – Vietnam Veterans Day was held on a beautiful sunny day at Cockscomb Veterans Camp.  This service is held at Cockscomb every year at 11am on the 18th Aug, be it a weekday or the weekend.  The service is open to all serving and ex services, their families, our war widows and legacy ladies and the public.  It is a day to remember the 504 Australians who died during Australias commitment to Vietnam.  It also remembers all those who have died since Vietnam.
 

This year five new names were addred to the Cockscomb Memorial

First

Second

Surname

Serial

Unit

Colin

 

GROSSE

11708

6RAR

Herbert

Robert

HALL

7129

1 RAR

Robbie

Frank

HEARD

3792647

DET 1 COMM Z POSTAL

John

Roderick

MCDONELL

1732740

12 FD REGT

George

Longinus

NICIAUSKAS

450080

3 RAR

Let them rest in peace

Lest We Forget

 

Cockscomb Veterans Camp started to get ready for the big day at least 2 months before hand.  Rocks and leaves were raked up, the kitchen and toilets were scrubbed and the entrance road  repaired at the gate.  The effort put in by veterans partly goes unseen on the day and to help reward those who diligently work behind the scenes, the girls from the Kepple Sands Hotel were hired again to setup and cook lunch on the big day.

Tony Dawes ex 104 Sig Sqn lead the parade with an address of detail and a timeline of Australias commitment.  Tony emphsised the fact that there was more to Vietnam than just the Battle of Long Tan.  It was the first big loss for Australia and why the 18th of August was picked as Vietnam Veterans Day.  But what followed two years later was the Battle of Coral where the Australian base was over run by VC and NVA. 
The Australians fought back and regained control, but not without many casualties and twenty five Australians killed in action
It lasted for 26 days from the 12 May to 6 June 1968 and was made up of several actions. From the enemy view there was a great number lost, 267 NVA/VC killed in action (body count), 7 wounded and 11 Prisoners of War.

(Left) Ronald Yowyeh
ex 6 RAR lays the first wreath

 

The original Long Tan Cross Erected by 6 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Bn 18 Aug 69"

 
 

During the proceedings a presentation was made to Bruce Accut for his wonderful assistance over the last 10 years of the Cockscomb operation.

Tony Dawes, Bruce Acutt and Allan Evans

Cockscombs 10th birthday will be celebrated later in the year, but for now all concerned at Cockscomb know that the operation has been on the go since July 1997.

   

 

 

L to R
Kirsten Livermore MP
, Tony Dawes and Paul Hoolihan MP

Representitives, Kirsten Livermore Federal Member of Parliament, Tony Williams and Rose Swadling from Rockhampron City Council, Mayor Bill Ludwick of Livingston Shire Council and Paul Houlihan local Member of Parliament supported our day of remembrance.

     
 

The day is made up of many organisations all working together.  Our thanks go to 42RQR for providing the Cataphalque party and the tent shade and chairs.

42RQR are based at Western Street near the Rockhampton airport. 

L to R
PTE Brendan Ridgley, PTE Tristan Rasmussen, CPL Gavin McMillan, PTE Peter Fontaine (in cams), WO2 Dean Schmidt, CPL Edward Ward, CPL Stephen Wooler, CPL David Coulter, WO1 Malcolm Cockburn

     
 











This year
Vietnam Veteran John Gehle played the last post and Lester Soblusky the lament on the pipes
     
  Three men everyone got to know on the day were our reps behind the BaMeBa Without their assistance it would have been a long dry day
     

To keep us all hopping Flashback played all day and must be congratulated for the music for the day

 

 
     
During the service a new visitor to Cockscomb said that he was overwhelmed when asked to say a few words during our service.  The Rev Horst Souer said that he was honoured to take part in the service  
     
 

On Friday the 17th August 2007 a tree was planted at the Kershaw Gardens Vietnam Memorial remembering the five newly deceased Veterans in our region

L to R
Tom Platts US Military Police, Linda Edmistone (Gardens) Ken Boaler, Paul Baker (Gardens) Counciler Rose Swadling, Nick Quigley OAM, Phil Aplin and the two flags represent Pvt Jim Cox and Pvt Kevin Prior killed in Vietnam

     

Each year Cockscomb invites the War Widows and Legacy Ladies.  The girls have a great time with the good food and entertainment.  But this year one widow only lost her husband a few weeks before the 18th.  But in a twist of good luck she won the first prize in the multi draw

Tony Dawes presents Peggy Mcdonell with an infantry brass statue which was First Prize

Both Statuetts were donated by Gene Owens our onsite caretaker, thank you Gene

 
     
  War Widow Mrs Grosse and her family
     
 

Yeppoon Vietnam Veterans Leagion held a service at the cenotarf at Yeppoon on the 19th August at 1030am

Ex SAS Wayne Carter lead the parade with a short address and wreath laying and then it was off to the Marsden Hotel for lunch.  The service was well attended by both Veterans, local members and the public

     
 

L to R
Wayne Carter
, Rocky Walace, John Gehle and Ronald (Bindi) Yowyeh

     
On a much happier note, Leah Cudmore gave birth to this years Vietnam Veterans Day Baby.  Talia Khan is the first daughter for Leah Cudmore and Jamie Khan.  Talia was born at 0915am on the 18th August 2007 and weighed 3270grams  
     
 

In a twist of fate Allan  Roy Young (Ozzie) 43556 was born on 3 Oct 1948 and lived in Mt Morgan. QLD He died recently on the 3rd August 2007 and his funeral notice caught my eye.  He, like many Aussies went on a working holiday of New Zealand.  But Ozzies fate was that his number came up in the Australian Draft and he was told to return to Australia to do his National Service.  Ozzie negotiated with the Government and joined the New Zealand Army and was a member of V4/6RAR. Ozzie toured Terendak Camp Malaya 1969 and went on to Vietnam.  His brother Owen Gregory Young 2795572 was also drafted and served with 1 FD Sqn in 1971.  Owen was missing for 33 years after the war and only recently surfaced just before his brothers death.

Allan has family in Queensland and had been married but was divorced.  He left behind 2 Daughters & 1 Son plus a total of 6 grandkids.