85 Transport Platoon Reunion 2015

I have just returned from a wonderful time with old mates at a reunion of 85 Transport Platoon, the Army unit in which I served in Vietnam. The unit was formed in 1966 specifically for assignment to Vietnam and was the first new unit in the Australian Army formed specifically for combat duties since WW2.…

Follow The Flag

The National Gallery of Victoria is currently showing around 150 works of art, created by Australian artists that show Australia’s life at war. This exhibition is part of the commemoration of the centenary of Gallipoli and titled ‘Follow the Flag: Australian Artists at War 1914–45’. These works are displayed in five separate gallery rooms and show…

A Concert by the Glenn Miller Orchestra

Whilst there are a few things that the City of Melbourne could do better, there are some things that we have that are outstanding. One is the National Gallery which is a world class art museum (and the reason why we are fortunate to host so many superb international visiting exhibitions). The other is our…

Images of World War One

The Melbourne Museum is currently holding an exhibition of items from WW1. It commemorates the Centenary of the First World War. All of the items come from the IWM (Imperial War Museums) in London and they are first to ever leave Great Britain and visit Australia. There are over 350 precious artefacts including the artillery…

ANZAC – Our Family Story

April 25, 2015 is the commemoration of the Centenary of ANZAC.   I have a great deal of pride in being one, of what I estimate to be perhaps as few as only 15,000 to 20,000 Australians, who are third-generation returned servicemen. I wrote this rather longish post in an attempt to describe the experience…

Sydney and Seals

There’s no doubt that Sydney and its harbour is a very scenic place. The Opera House is one of the world’s iconic buildings and the Bridge is a significant feature of the city. The harbour is quite magnificent. I’ve just spent the last two days in Sydney, catching up with some wonderful friends that I…

Visiting My Old Army Unit in Brisbane

I flew up to Brisbane yesterday afternoon to visit my old Army unit (85 Transport Troop) after an invitation from the Commander of 26 Transport Squadron to present a copy of my Vietnam diary to the unit. My flight up was non-eventful other than some dumb passenger had not boarded the plane and we were…

ANZAC Centenary Commemoration

It is not until April 15th 2015 that we will commemorate the famous landing of the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) at Gallipoli on the peninsular of the same name in Turkey. However, August 5th 2014 is very much the start of the Centenary of the Commemoration of WW1 as it was on…

Contributing to the Army Museum

During WW2 and into the early 1960’s, the Army had a very large Ordnance centre at Bandiana in northern Victoria. It had its own railway line, sidings and a mass of buildings that housed all sorts of stores and military equipment. In one of the old buildings (around 1940’s vintage) is the Army Museum. It…

Puckapunyal Revisited

Puckapunyal is the army base in Central Victoria where I first did my army recruit training and specialist driver training in 1968 when I was called up for National Service. Today, my ‘fellow comrade in arms’, Robert Bruce and I returned there to make a presentation to the Army’s DriverTraining Centre. Robert and I both…

Vietnam Veteran Myths

  I’m leaving for Albury tomorrow for a reunion of the army unit (85 Transport Platoon) with whom i served in Vietnam. We expect 150 – 160m people to attend. The unit was formed in Brisbane in 1966 especially to serve in Vietnam and it returned to Australia in 1972. My service was from April…

Vietnam Veterans Walk

I have just spent a few days in Albury with other members of the team organising the next reunion of our 85 Transport Platoon which will be helped over the Vietnam Veterans Day weekend from August 16 to 18. On our way back to Melbourne, we stopped at the town of Seymour to visit the…