Archived Posts

Photos of May 2015 Regimental Dinner

 Long Tan Battle Area – from Dave Sabben.

Just back from VN and I can advise that the gatherings at the Long Tan cross for 2015, 16 and later will HAVE to be limited. With the trees down, new plants have been sown – the new rubber trees are about 18″ to 24″ high right now. They’ll grow quickly but will still be fragile for 3 or 4 years yet. As they grow, the rubber plantation managers do at Long Tan as they do elsewhere – they intercrop until the rubber canopy covers the ground between trees. Currently, it’s tapioca, standing about 3′ to 4′ tall at the moment. Imagine what 1000 visitors will do to the tapioca crop as well as the new rubber trees? I wouldn’t be booking onto any tours to the Cross for a while. I’d also be looking closely at any move to take people to the Cross for the 50th in August 2016. Pass to any who might need to see the reality beyond the grand plans and money-making ideas.
Cheers, Dave Sabben

Date: 5 November 2014 4:46:17 pm AEST
From: Dave Sabben Reply-To: Subject: Long Tan battle area Oct 2014

FYI, here’s a panoramic photo taken Oct 2014 from the top of Nui Dat2 looking south. To the left is the Long Tan cross – as a tiny white dot. To the right is Nui Dat1 in the distance. Most of the rubber trees have been removed from the main battlefield. Click on the photo for better viewing.

LongTanArea Oct2014

Many other Provincial landmarks are shown as distance objects. Whilst it is being sent FYI, I’d like comments back on any improvements I could make to make it clearer or more comprehensive


2RAR Korean War Mascot

Lt Col Patrick Forbes MC (Retd) as a young lieutenant in Korea had a bloke in his platoon called ‘Sparrow’ Ross. He was quite a small man and this was most probably the reason he was called ‘Sparrow’. ‘Sparrow’ had a brown felt toy dog that he carried in his pack. The dog had a small army slouch hat and various insignia including the Commonwealth Division Badge.

Some years after Korea, the then Major Forbes, as a member of the CMF, was at JTC Canungra doing his promotion exams for Lt Col. At the end of the course he returned to his room to find ‘Sparrow’s Dog’ on his bed with a note saying ‘I thought you might like the dog, Sparrow’. Unfortunately he was never able to catch up with ‘Sparrow’, who died a number of years ago, and has had the dog ever since.

Lt Colonel Forbes decided that he would take the opportunity to present the dog, now named ‘Sparrow’ in memory of his former owner, to the battalion CO Lt Colonel Michael Bassingthwaighte, DSM who was attending the 2RAR Association’s 2014 ANZAC Reunion in Adelaide. Lt Colonel Bassingthwaighte accepted ‘Sparrow’ on behalf the Battalion who will now hold a place of honour in the soon to be upgraded Battalion museum. The museum will be an important educational tool for all members of the Battalion, especially for new members marching into the Battalion.

Photo, Left to Right

Colonel Gordon Hurford AM (Retd), Secretary 2RAR Association / Brigadier Laurie Lewis AM (Retd), Patron RAR Association (SA) / Lt Colonel Michael Bassingthwaighte DSM, CO 2 RAR with the 61 years old ‘Sparrow’ / Lt Colonel Patrick Forbes MC (Retd), donor of ‘Sparrow’ / Major Leo Van De Kamp (Retd), President 2RAR Association. As always, click on the photo for improved viewing.



Also of interest is that Lt Col Forbes’ father was in the first class to enter Duntroon in 1911 and was awarded his MC during WW1. Patrick’s elder brother, Dr Jim Forbes, was also a Duntroon graduate and was awarded the MC in WW2.


Update on NofK of Vietnam War Dead and Photos

We continue to seek an NofK or relative of the 52 Vietnam War Dead named below.

Unknown Next of Kin Unknown Next of Kin – @ 11 Mar 14

Any assistance in locating the eight images or the 52 NOK/relatives is much appreciated.

Missing photos Missing photos – @ 11 Mar 14 – working sheet

Best regards,

Brigadier Chris Appleton, CSC, Retd | Director | Office of Australian War Graves | Department of Veterans’ Affairs | GPO Box 9998 | CANBERRA ACT 2601

T: +61 (0)2 6289 6477 | M: +61 (0)434 667 350 +61 (0)434 667 350 | F: +61 (0)2 6289 4861 |



The Spirit of Australia

A Collection of Short Stories & Verse by “Warrie” George Mansford 

George Mansford

Read about it here; The Spirit of Australia


Old JTC footage

According to the guy who originally posted this, the film shows the endurance course culminating in a jump off the tower into the freezing river.  They also fired an Owens machine gun with live rounds over their heads whilst traversing the obstacle course.  In the meantime they had exploding charges set in the ground to give you a taste of what you might come across in SVN.


Insecticide deceit? by John Mordike

For those of you who recall the spraying at Nui Dat, this paper may prove interesting  insecticidedeceit


D440′s History

Vietnam veteran and linguist Ernie Chamberlain has recently written and privately published The Viet Cong D440 Battalion: Their Story.  The D440 history complements the history of its ‘brother’ The Viet Cong D445 Battalion: Their Story, which was published in 2011.

The core of the new work is a translation of D440 Battalion’s history, as written by Vietnamese historians. Nominally a ‘Viet Cong’ battalion, it was predominantly a North Vietnamese unit. In order to provide context, and to comment upon the Vietnamese account, the book is comprehensively referenced by the author. While the book is not available commercially, it has been placed on the Internet as ‘free-to-read’ at:

D445′s History is here:


Subscriptions to Duty First

If members wish to subscribe to Duty First, here is the form to do so:

Duty First Subs

You do not need to have served in the Regiment to subscribe.


Care of ADF Personnel - Info is here Care of ADF Personnel


Finding Next of Kin – Details are here Finding Next of Kin