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Photographs supplied by Ian Bevege / Russell Byers

"Home At Last" plaques commemorate Australian servicemen who were "missing in action" in the Vietnam War whose remains have been found in Vietnam and returned to Australia.

Lance Corporal Richard "Tiny" Parker and Private Peter Gillson who were both regular army soldiers with A Company, 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and on  8 November 1965, in fighting at Dong Nai both were observed by their comrades to be hit repeatedly by enemy machine-gun fire at close range.  Their bodies could not be recovered and remained unaccounted for until a team of Australian veterans unearthed their remains in South Vietnam in April 2007. The remains of the two soldiers were brought back to Australia in June 2007.

Private David John Elkington Fisher (23), was a national serviceman serving with 3 Squadron, Special Air Service Regiment.  On 27 September 1969 a patrol which had contact with the Viet Cong in Cam My district, and during a "hot extraction" by a RAAF helicopter, Private Fisher fell about 30 metres into dense jungle from a rope attached to the helicopter. He was believed to have been killed and searches failed to recover his body.  On 11 September 2008, the Australian Defence Force advised that the remains found as part of the investigation had been positively identified as Private David Fisher.  He was the last of the missing Australian army personnel to be located in Vietnam.

Pilot Officer Robert Charles Carver and Flying Officer Michael Patrick John Herbert of No. 2 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)  were based at Phan Rang Air Base and on 3 November 1970 on a night bombing mission disappeared in the northern 1st Corps Tactical Zone region of South Vietnam near Da Nang.   An extensive aerial search of the area failed to find any trace of the aircraft or crew and was called off after three days. On 21 April 2009, the Australian Defence Force reported that they have located the RAAF Mk 20 Canberra bomber wreckage in thick jungle in an extremely rugged, remote and sparsely populated area of Nam Giang District near the Laotian border.   The Australian Government announced on 30 July 2009 that the remains of the airmen have been found in the wreckage of their crashed bomber and repatriated to Australia on 31 August 2009.

Lance Corporal John Francis Gillespie (24) was a helicopter medic with the 8th Field Ambulance.  On 17 April 1971, during an operation in the Long Hai hills in Phuoc Tuy province to rescue a wounded South Vietnamese soldier, the helicopter was hit by enemy ground fire and crashed. Gillespie had been pinned under the wreckage and his body could not be recovered from the burning wreckage. Three other soldiers also died in the crash. The remains of Lance Corporal Gillespie were located in February 2004, positively identified in December 2007 and repatriated to Australia on 22 December 2007.

Australia's military involvement in the Vietnam War began with the arrival of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) in South Vietnam during July and August 1962.  Australia's participation in the war was formally declared at an end when the Governor-General issued a proclamation on 11 January 1973.

However, the end-date of Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War has officially been amended to 29 April 1975 to reflect Australia’s further involvement in the war during the fall of Saigon in 1975.  The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Australian War Memorial, in Canberra now recognise this new date.


Address:ANZAC Parade, Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial, Reid, 2612
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.28675
Long: 149.143021
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:08-November-1965
Actual Event End Date:19th-April-1971


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 18th August, 2007
Front Inscription

Peter Raymond Gillson
Discovered Dong Nai Province 18.4.2007
Returned to Australia 6.6.2007
Buried Fawkner Cemetery 15.6.2007
Home at Last

Richard Harold John Parker
Discovered Dong Nai Province 18.4.2007
Returned to Australia 6.6.2007
Buried Woden Cemetery 12.6.2007
Home at Last

Left Side Inscription

David John Elkington Fisher
Discovered Cam My District 11.9.2008
Returned to Australia 10.10.2008
Cremated Magnolia Chapel, Macquarie Park 14.10.2008
Home at Last

Back Inscription

Robert Charles Carver
Discovered Nam Giang District 18.7.2009
Returned to Australia 31.8.2009
Cremated Garden of Remembrance Lawn Cemetery Toowoomba 3.9.2009
Home at Last

Michael Patrick John Herbert
Discovered Nam Giang District 18.7.2009
Returned to Australia 31.8.2009
Buried Centennial Park Cemetery Adelaide 7.9.2009
Home at Last

Right Side Inscription

John Francis Gillespie
Discovered Baria Vung Tau Province 30.11.2007
Returned to Australia 19.12.2007
Buried Springvale Cemetery 22.12.2007
Home at Last

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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