TRACK TALK & GENERAL INFORMATION

All photos will be placed on the MEMBERS PHOTO ALBUM page after they are removed from this and the REQUESTS, NEWS or URGENT MESSAGES page.

                  Track Talk Updated:  03:0:2009

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FEES ARE DUE EVERY ANZAC DAY

                 
  Annual Membership Dues 25th April each year) $20.00
  National Name and Address List     $10.00
  Association Cloth badge (suitable for jacket. etc.) $8.00
  Scorpion (in resin) key ring       $6.50
  Association Tie…(2 for $50.00)     $30.00
  Association Baseball type cap       $20.00
                 

           (See MARKET PLACE for other item on sale)

 

 

To renew your membership to the Association, a form is located for printout at the MEMBERSHIP FORM page.

 

Post cheque or money order to:

3rd Cavalry Regiment (Vietnam) Association,

61 Sawtell Road,

TOORMINA. NSW. 2452

 

 

 

TRACK TALK

 

 

Bill and Sandra Shakespeare have been busy all last year building a new house in Albany. Unsurprisingly, he is finding that being on the shovel and wheelbarrow can be rather tiring at his age! They will be going back to Europe this year to the barge, “Ruisseau”, to cruise south from Holland to Belgium and France, so may miss the Plaque Dedication etc planned for later this year.

Jim (Roo Dog) McLean asks that anyone who was in 1 Troop during 70/71, to contact him if they already haven’t heard from him, regarding the tables bookings for the Formal Dinner at the AWM in November. Jim can be contacted on 02 66777448.

Bob STOREY from N.Z writes:” I joined you all direct from NZ mid ’70, replacing the late Snow Ballance. Initially, I worked with one of the Independent Sections where Bud Abbott taught me all the tricks of the trade. Then I had a six month period, or thereabouts with 2 Troop working for Peter Murphy and wound up with the honour of commanding 3 Troop for a period. This really was a very special time for me and I have memories of many great blokes, fine soldiers all of you, in my mind. I am really disappointed that I am unable to join you (at the Reunion) but have been planning this adventure for a couple of years now. And time is marching on and I need to go up there now or not at all. I will be shortly be moving to Alaska where I will be participating in a number of dog sled races. I would appreciate if my apologies could be formally acknowledged. My memory of my time with Cavalry are very special”.

We thank you, Bob for your letter and thoughts. We wish you well in the races and would be interested to hear how you did later.

Recently I received a letter from Allan Wade. Allan is a commercial pilot, and is the son of David Wade, who members may remember from his service in Vietnam in 69/70. Unfortunately, David died young with a heart attack at age 38, leaving behind a young family. I was able to forward on the Army Combat Badge to Allan, and explain the significance of it, as well as ensure that he had the full medal entitlement of his late father. Allan has requested that we include him on the mailing list, which we gladly will do. It could be hoped that perhaps Allan ,or members of the family may be able to join with us in the future at some event.

Roger Mackley photo number 2..JPG

Pictured above, Roger Mackley , at the Wall of Remembrance in Washington, USA. Roger and family were on a trip to see his daughter who works and lives in Ridgeway, Colorado as a Registered Nurse. Whilst there he also drove though Nevada with his son and wife, and on to Canada on that particular trip. Overall they spent 3 months in the US of A. Members may remember Roger’s earlier visit to Vietnam, reported in a past issue, where his son and he rode throughout the former Phouc Tuy Province virtually unchallenged on motorbikes, visiting all the significant sites familiar to all former Task Force members, and not having to endure the usual local authoritarian interference which is a hallmark of those visits.

 

 

ANZAC DAY 2009 – ULMARRA??

 

In 1989 Roger Mika organised a group of us to meet up at Ulmarra (just south of Grafton NSW) for a weekend of comradeship and fun. To say it was a success would be an understatement. I recently floated the idea of members celebrating ANZAC Day in country towns rather than cities for a change and in order to give these smaller communities a well deserved boost.

Roger has contacted Ulmarra and the locals are happy for us to join them this year. It is a small village on the bansk of the Clarence river, very scenic and the locals aregreat.Hopefully we could gather on the Friday and enjoy a couple of quite beers in the pub, then join their march onnthe Saturday with the local RSL’s blessing. For those interested in making a long weekend of it, no doubt we could organise a bbq on Sunday, possible behind the pub overlooking the river. Accommodation is limited, for those happy to share there is a discounted rate at the Old Kent Apartments (www.oldkentroadapartments.com.au) there is a B&B (www.therooftops.com.au) , and rooms at the pub, Commercial Hotel 02/66445305/ For those with caravans, the closest park is at Tynedale 02/66476226. It will be up to the individual to organise accommodation, but I would appreciate if those interested could let me know so that we can have some idea of numbe4rs

Cheers, Nick Weir (0741282710.)

 

Vietnam Revisited. – Craig Haydock.

 

I first went back to Vietnam in 1993, then again in 1995, & have just spent Christmas & New Year there. The difference over the last 15 years can only be described as profound.

In ’93, virtually nothing had changed since 1969 & it was like stepping back in time. All the old familiar landmarks were still there, transport was mainly by push bike, Saigon’s one & only disco played music from the ‘60’s & charged 30 cents for a bottle of Barmy Bar. Now, it is almost impossible to find any of those old landmarks, the traffic is horrendous, the venue’s & music are totally up to date & 30 cents would not even buy the cap on the bottle.

An article in the paper said that Saigon had 260,000 cars & 3,700,000 motor bikes. The government was pleased that the road death toll was down in 2008 & although the December figures were not yet available, only 19,600 people had been killed & 10,500 injured up to the end of November. Obviously, the American strategy was wrong in the 1960’s. There was no need to fight a war. They only needed to issue a free motor bike to every man, woman & child in North Vietnam, & then let the road toll do the job for them!

It used to take 20 minutes to drive from Saigon to Bien Hoa on a two lane road through paddy fields. It now takes one hour on an eight lane highway, & the whole trip is through the suburbs. Route 15 is virtually a continuous line of buildings, all the way to Baria, & the tiny charcoal burning hamlet of Phu Me is now a city. Baria to Vung Tau is via a major highway, beautifully landscaped & complete with street lighting. Vung Tau is about three times larger, superbly maintained, & the only things I recognised were the town square (Flags) & the Grand Hotel.

Baria has also been totally transformed & if it had not been for the water tower, I would not have known that it was Baria. Binh Ba is also unrecognisable. If the old rubber tapper’s village is still there, it is hidden behind major buildings which line the road, & the manager’s house & factory appear to have been demolished.

If you are contemplating a return trip in order to see the old sights, then don’t bother. Only the geography remains virtually the same. None the less, Vietnam has a lot to offer. The people are very friendly & helpful; much of the beautiful old French colonial character of Saigon remains; the ladies will love the shopping, which is excellent; Vung Tau is still a great beach resort, even though the illicit activities are now far more discreetly hidden; & the country, the people, & the economy are extremely vibrant & positive – something that we have not enjoyed in Australia since the 1950’s. 

Take ear plugs though – the traffic noise in Saigon is truly horrendous.  

 

FORGOTTEN SOLDIERS

 

We take for granted that the LAD were part and parcel of the Lighthorse/Cavalry in Vietnam, but, what about the Medics who manned the RAP or the Cooks who prepared? The food to feed the Squadron, both in the mess and the occasional hotbox that went out into the boonie. Who were they and where are they?

I have been told that all medics in today’s Army are reservists (CMF to us old buggers) but now the Catering Corps has had to be resurrected due to the fact that they could not get enough civilian TF’s to go to a War Zone.

So, can any of you remember the blokes who handed out the odd headache tablet or strapped that sprain and any other injury that didn’t go into your Med Doc’s - I mean that in the nicest way, who wanted anything entered back then, silly us. And the cooks, where are they. The ones who tried so valiantly to make powdered eggs palatable, even though we still had to hide the taste under tomato sauce.

Even at this late stage can we ferret them out and encourage them to come to Canberra.

 

 

 

LOST AND FOUND—One man’s search for Dad's WWII plane.

 

For 63 years, the aircraft flown by Flight Lieutenant Bob McColl has sat at the bottom of a fiord in Norway. So, it will be an emotional moment for Dick McColl when his father’s World War 11 Beaufighter is brought up from the deep. The salvage operation is planned for mid 2009 and Dick will be there to witness it. Flt.Lt. McColl’s Beaufighter was shot down when German fighters intercepted 43 Allied aircraft during a raid on German ships in the Fordefjorden (Forde Fiord) on February 9, 1945. He and his navigator, Warrant Officer Les MacDonald, escaped the fiery crash and survived the war as prisoners. ( Flt.Lt.McColl’s son, Dick served with A Squadron 3 Cav during 1970/71.)