213316 John Moller RAE

Sadly I advise of the death of 213316 Sapper John Ignatius Moller.

John served in Vietnam with 21 Engineer Support Troop RAE

No funeral details available as yet, I am assuming that it will be a private funeral (10 pers).

May he rest in peace.

2783420  Cpl  A E  Evans

2783420  Cpl  A E  Evans

1 Field Sqn RAE South Vietnam 7/1/1967 to 28/11/1967.

Sunday 5th April 2020 Australia lost one of its best.

2783420  Anthony George  Evans- 1 Field Sqn RAE.  South Vietnam 7/1/1967 to 28/11/1967.

Tony the plumber was just Tony true blue, the quiet achiever.

May he now rest from his labours. His earthly duty done.

First LRIP Hawkei vehicles delivered to 1RAR

The 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) based in Townsville, Queensland, disclosed on its website that it had formally taken delivery on 24 March of at least five Hawkeis to complement its current motorised capability of Bushmaster Protected Military Vehicles – Medium.

Under an AUD1.3 billion (USD975 million) contract signed in October 2015 Thales Australia was to supply 1,100 of the seven-tonne vehicles – along with 1,058 companion trainers – to replace the majority of the army’s blast-protected Land Rover fleet in command, liaison, utility, and reconnaissance roles.

The Hawkei project has been delayed because of reliability and design issues. In July 2019 Thales bought bankrupt Hawkei engine manufacturer Steyr Motors after the Austrian company went into receivership in February 2019, putting at risk the supply of engines to the Hawkei programme.

THE IMPORTANCE OF MATESHIP

There has never been a more important time to invoke the ANZAC characteristic of mateship. I wish to encourage you all to stay in touch with each other and look after their mates during this time of isolation.

Calling or texting is an easy way to check-in with your mates’ and family, or why not try a video chat using Zoom, Facebook Messenger or Skype.

ANZAC DAY INFORMATION

The ABC will broadcast Nationally the Anzac Day service at 5:30 am AEST on the 25th April,  Anzac Day, with Television coverage beginning at 5:00 am. It will be a private service, not open to the public, and televised from the Great Hall at the Australian War Memorial.

States with later time differences (WA, SA etc) the coverage will be delayed to their time.

The President of the RSL has asked all RSL’s throughout Australia not to commence their private Anzac Day services, or drive-way individual services until 6:00 am AEST to allow the public to watch the War Memorial Service at 5:30 am AEST. There will be no public memorial services.

Strong support is evident for driveway observance of ANZAC Day with Australians to asked to stand on their driveways or balconies at 6:00 am to observe a two-minute silence in remembrance.

Wreaths will be laid at Gallipoli and in France.

At 11.30 am (AEST) on Anzac Day, all radio stations will stop for a two-minute silence to remember our departed. This will equate to 4.30 am Turkey time, the time of the Gallipoli landings.

Please share this information.

ADF Afghanistan Inquiry

ADF Afghanistan Inquiry

By Peter Condon – Southport QLD 4215 (Retired RAAF Officer)

The Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) is conducting an Inquiry into rumours of possible breaches of the Laws of Armed Conflict by members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in Afghanistan, between 2005 and 2016.

To do this inquiry, the IGADF has placed notices in local Afghani newspapers seeking evidence of possible breaches of the laws of armed conflict by Australian servicemen while on operations in a war zone. What an incredible ask. What kind of un-Australian legal professional suggested this approach. Basically, they are asking the enemy to list their complaints into Aussie behaviour while on patrols-no doubt the Afghanis are expecting some monetary compensation. I find the IGADF approach positively appalling.

Being a retired serviceman who served as a Forward Air Controller in Vietnam, where I heard of Viet Cong atrocities against local village leaders and others, I know that usual standards deteriorate when on the battlefield. One cannot suppress the emotion of hate for an enemy combatant when one sees the enemy soldier cut a mate’s throat. Do you kill that enemy soldier or take him as a prisoner during the hectic battle in progress? If arresting him may cause you to be killed, you kill him. All readers will have experienced the hate that I’m trying to describe when they viewed videos of recent Islamic State atrocities such as the cutting off of a defenceless prisoner’s head with a knife and the burning alive of captives in a cage-and that was not while under extreme pressure on the battlefield. The current enemies who we are fighting have no rules.

Changes were made to the Military Justice System in 1985 where the purpose of the Defence Force Discipline Act (DFDA) is to maintain and enforce military discipline. It applies to all Australian Defence Force members in times of peace and war and includes offences that are uniquely military and other offences that occur in a military environment. However, having legal professionals, or anybody else without battlefield experience making decisions on a soldier’s behaviour on the battlefield is just not appropriate. They don’t understand the complex emotions involved in battle. I often heard the fear in the voices of the infantrymen under attack when they asked me for help. Prior to 1985, Commanding Officers in a combat zone heard charges against their subordinates, and understanding the environment in which the offence occurred, made a decision to punish the offender or not. More serious charges were heard by a Courts Martial panel comprised of senior war experienced officers. The decision was not handed to higher headquarters in Australia years later where the legal teams have no clues other than what is written in a book of law. Peacetime experiences cannot be compared.

Some time ago I researched Charles Bean’s writing on the Gallipoli landing in 1915 and I thought I should include a couple of quotes here for the members of the IGADF team. When the Aussie soldiers were rushing up the side of Ari Burnu Knoll only minutes after landing in their small boats, an Australian soldier captured a Turk soldier with his bayonet because his rifle was still full of sand. “Prisoner here” he shouted. “Shoot the bastard” was all he heard from his mates scrambling up the hill. The men had been constantly warned that Turks mutilated men whom they captured or found wounded; but in this case, the Turk soldier was escorted down to the beach. War is a dirty business.

 

Soon after the Turk was spared, some Turks who had caused havoc on one of the landing boats at close range below the Knoll ran from their trench hoping to escape along Shrapnel Gully, but they were chased and caught. “As the Australians got among them, the Turks threw down their rifles; but they were too many to capture, and they were consequently shot.” These two incidents happened in the first 60 minutes after landing so any reader should get an appreciation of what probably went on for the remainder of the first day-let alone the whole war. Hate in war is normal. In fact, if you want to win the war, hate is expected.

The Afghanistan Inquiry called by the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force is a most un-Australian move. May I suggest that the Australian Government steps in and stops this extraordinary hearing. To me, it is downright disgusting for the Australian Defence Force to be investigating battlefield actions of our soldiers years after the events supposedly took place. Are they going to go back and examine all of the WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam actions too? Yes, there were more. Remember, besides hate on the battlefield there is plenty of fear there too; combine the two and you get some pretty unpredictable soldiers. Unfortunately, the inquiry lawyers would not have experienced those battlefield emotions. Let’s hope the judges have front line experience or at least can suggest to the government that the inquiry be abandoned because their task involves more than the written law, and they are not qualified to judge.

A shameful episode in the governance of the Australian Defence Force.

Peter Condon,

Southport QLD 4215 (Retired RAAF Officer)

Peter Condon

U2605 / 4 Como Crescent Southport QLD 4215

[email protected]

0402 073 464

 

Vic Simon – 1RAR First Tour C Coy – 6RAR First Tour D COY

Vic Simon – D COY 1ST TOUR

From John Heslewood:

 Sorry again to report the passing of another of our members. Vic came to the Company from 1 RAR in June 1966 and was attached to 12 Platoon until he returned home in December 1966. He has been suffering from cancer for some time and passed away on the morning of the 13th March. I managed to have a few words with him in palliative care last week and he asked to be remembered to all his mates in the Company. To his wife Beverly and family I extend our condolences. His funeral will be held on Thursday the 26th March at the Eastern Suburbs Crematorium Botany South Chapel Sydney at 2.00pm followed by the burial at 3pm. I realize we don’t have that many members in the Sydney area but if you can make the effort to attend it would be appreciated by family and friends.

MALCOLM WUTTKE – 6RAR 2nd Tour Vietnam

MALCOLM WUTTKE – 2nd TOUR

Malcolm Wuttke was promoted to Heaven on 13th March 2020 in Greenslopes hospital. It was 50 years to the week after his battle to survive after gunshot wounds in Vietnam.
For years after Vietnam he didn’t participate in many army gatherings,however he has renewed friendships with mates recently.
Malcolms funeral will be on Friday 20th March at Hope Centre, Cnr Kingston and Queens Rd, Slacks Creek at 10am.
He was a much loved man and will be missed by so many.
Our love always Diane and family.

Rodney Cox 6RAR 1st Tour Vietnam, C Coy

Rodney Cox C Coy 1st Tour

I am greatly saddened to learn that Rodney Cox passed away today, Wednesday 18 March.

As you may know Rod and Lorraine moved to Darwin to be near three of their four children.

Their eldest son, Trevor, rang me with the devastating news a few minutes ago.

Trevor will call me again in the next few days to advise funeral details.

Rod Cox was an outstanding young soldier and junior leader and a good mate of 55 years. I will miss him greatly as I know you will.

VALE Rodney Cox.

FUNERAL DETAILS:

Thorack Chapel, Deloraine Road, Knuckey Logan

10am Thursday 26 March 2020.