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5th Battalion RAR Association Message Board
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Unknown Next of Kin of Vietnam War Dead.

Hi Guys,

The Department of War Graves is trying to update records, photos etc of the Vietnam War Dead for the proposed Memorial in Washington DC which will feature a "Wall of Faces", essentially a photographic Roll of Honour featuring a photo and some details of each Australian and American service men and women who died in the Vietnam War. Only 105 next of kin have responded to the letter from the War Graves and some of those unknown NofK are from both tours of 5RAR. I have been sent a list of those names and need help in identifying/finding their relies. If you had a best mate or knew someone enough to remember their parents/wifes details please contact me so I can forward that info to Canberra. Looking forward to the reunion in October for D coy, Cheers, Jenny.

Re: Unknown Next of Kin of Vietnam War Dead.

Jenny...

I have received your email and replied to you regarding Andy Drummond and Baron Smith.

Thanks

Bill

Re: Unknown Next of Kin of Vietnam War Dead.

G'day Jennefer,

The 5RAR Association Committee has asked me to let you know that we are on the case as an Association but are concerned about third party privacy issues as we have not been approached by DVA War Graves. If you has a DVA POC in your letter then perhaps you can advise me of this.

Kind Regards,

Ted Harrison

Re: Unknown Next of Kin of Vietnam War Dead.

Hi Ted,

Thankyou for you input...I am simply trying to help as a result of a direct request from War Graves Commission. I am aware they have notified all RSL's and other associations including 5RAR however a personal approach is often more helpful in these situations as we have a shared knowledge of the loss of our loved ones. Please define in layman's terms "POC" as I am not trying to cut across any established criteria but simply trying to help to assist in this request from War Graves.

Regards Jenny.

Re: Unknown Next of Kin of Vietnam War Dead.

G'day Jenny,
I understand the reason for your post and you are to be congratulated on your initiative. I just wanted you to be aware that the Association is aware of the search for the next of kin and we will do all that we can in assisting the War Graves Commission.

The problem we face as an Association is the current privacy laws which prevents us from disclosure of certain information.

Did your letter indicate a Point of Contact? someone who you can contact directly? If so could we have their details please.

Keep up the good work.

Regards,

Ted.

Re: Unknown Next of Kin of Vietnam War Dead.

Thanks Ted,

These privacy laws are probably why I was asked in the first place as I do not represent the Association or RSL in my quest.
Considering I was horrified to find out last night that my late husband Brian Walker was listed by 5RAR Association WA branch as not having any Next of Kin details I do not have a lot of faith in the Associations detective work. It wouldn't have been hard for WA Branch to find me,Joanne or Brians'grand-daughters. My old unit of WRAAC School OCS found me on this very web site after 40 years, thanks to Dave Wilkins!
I will phone my POC on Monday and ask him if he wishes me to give out his details.

Regards, Jenny

Re: Unknown Next of Kin of Vietnam War Dead.

The simple way around the privacy laws is for anyone (including the 5RAR Assn) knowing the name of a NOK is to directly inform that NOK of the project and leave it to them to get in touch with DVA and provide their own details.

Re: Unknown Next of Kin of Vietnam War Dead.

G'day Jenny,

Our President, Roger Wainwright has been in touch with the War Graves Commission head, Brigadier Chris Appleton. WG will send their letter to the NOK to our mebership officer who will then forward a copy on to the NOKs on our register.

Regrads,

Ted.

Re: Unknown Next of Kin of Vietnam War Dead.

Hello Everyone,

Well isn't that a great result....Brig Chris Appleton's letter is the perfect solution as it is very sincere and most honorable. Perhaps we could get the other Battalions to do the same..anyone have any contacts???

Thankyou Ted, Bob, David, Russell etc., I may have seemed a little brash but this is a very "touchy" subject. The Association sending the letters to known NOK is sure to get some results.....we hope!

Who wants to go to Washington in 2015?????

Regards, Jenny.

Re: Unknown Next of Kin of Vietnam War Dead.

Hi everyone,
This is all in hand. A list of addresses of all our 5RAR members who are affected will be given to the Office of Austalian War Graves this week. Brig Chris Appleton will send out the letters and will indciate that contact details have been provided by our Association. They are very sensitive to the issues involved and in many cases have made contact by telephone to provide more detail on the background to the Vietnam Veterans Education Centre to be built in Washington DC.

The head of the Advisory Committee to the government on Australia's contrinution the the VVEC is our fellow 5RAR veteran, Professor Robert O'Neill.

On another matter, Brig Chris Appleton is departing for France this weekend and will be hand carrying the plaque the Association is presenting to the Victoria School Museum at Villers-Bretonneux. A photo of the plaque is in the current issue of Tiger Tales. As a past CO of 5/7RAR,Chris is a good friend of the Association. His son is a young officer currently serving with 5RAR.

Regards to all,
Roger

Re: Unknown Next of Kin of Vietnam War Dead.

Hi Jenny

It's a long time between drinks from pre-embarkation in 1969 and the home -coming parade in 1987.

I've never forgotten the hospitality that Brian and your goodself showed me by allowing me the privilege of staying in your home prior to us going off to that ""Asian War". Brian and I were good mates even though we were in different Companies but we were fledgling Tigers, and despite Brian's tragic loss, we are now and always will be fully grown Tigers.

In your earlier email correspondence you sounded very bitter (or that may just be me reading between the lines). For those of us that have met you and have had the the pleasure of your company post Vietnam, you're better than that and Brian would be looking down saying "If you keep that up girl, I'll fire aqnother flare across the Sydney skyscape". Yes, no names, no pack drill, but I think the word is aided and abetted.

And remember the bloke that so was taken with your pre-parade hospitality in 1987 that he forgot his camera and left it on the bench?

Jenny, if my be so bold as to say - Tigers don't forget - we do try to look after our own but sometimes, time and tide get in the way and it is difficult to kept in touch with NOK.

Please feel free to get in touch and we can reminisce about the good times and a great bloke called Brian. Who knows, I may even remind you of your mortification that you walked passed me as I slept on your lounge ... but that's for you and I to recall. Fair dinkum, lass, I was asleep!

All the very best to you and Joanne.

Best Regards

Roger L
Sunray 33, C Coy, 5 RAR, 1969/70

Re: Unknown Next of Kin of Vietnam War Dead.

Dearest Roger,

Well said..I even thought I came over a bit BRASH and I do apologise to you all, those who know me know I am not like that.
That said since reading the "official" events of 9/3/69 I am still hurt and offended by the written word as to the results of the investigation...poor Brian would be devestated.
Had a great chat to "Mitch" yesterday so 5RAR is on my mind.
Where are you now Roger, we have retired to Port Stephens, are your parents still in Newcastle? Would love to catch up. Joanne has Jessica, 19 and Jennefer,17 , all of them tall(6ft) and brown eyed like their father and grandfather..definitely Walkers.
Mobile, 0411125270
Much Love, Jen

Re: Unknown Next of Kin of Vietnam War Dead.

Hi Jen

Good to hear from you after all this time. Rhonda and I are in Sydney (Carlingford). Michelle and Amanda have their own units at Cherrybrook and Nth Parramatta respectively but I still seem to be keeping them in the manner to which they have become accustomed. No grandkids I'm afraid as the girls still haven't found the right bloke.

Dad and Mum passed away some years ago now although they both had decent innings into their early 80s. My younger brother is still in Newcastle with his family (coincidentally also two daughters) and my sister is here in Sydney at Breakfast Point.

Joanne's girls are 19 and 17! Where did all that time go? I'm feeling very old.

We'll have to get up to Port Stephens to catch up. Things are somewhat manic at work (re-organisation), so we're probably looking at some time in the New Year. I'll give you a call and we'll see what we can work out.

Warmest Regards

Roger