Members from the Tweed Heads, Canberra, Batemans Bay and Melbourne joined the South Australian members of 107 Fd Bty Association in Adelaide for ANZAC week.
In the Grenfell Street FUP, the RAA group are about to step off. Holding the Banner are left, Allan Henderdson (Pascoe Vale Vic) and Ken Rosenlund, (Tweed Heads NSW) while John Connellan (Flynn ACT) stands between. Public turn out for the parade was described as the best for any ANZAC day. Well done to the "crow eaters"! Ant thankyou all for the friendship and hospitality. We will return!
After the completion of the march Ken, Brian Johnson (Barmera, AS) Colin "Bruiser" Bain (Woodcroft AS) Hendo (hidden) John, Hilton Lenard (Batemans Bay NSW) and Adrian "Wally" Walford (Modbury AS) who was the RAA contingent parade Sergeant Major.
After the required “two cans per man" at the Torrens Parade Ground, it was back to Walkerville RSL where President Wally made all feel most welcome. Shown are 25 Pdr, L5 (behind tree), Rapier gun tractor and M5 troop carrier. Both vehicles were used to ferry the marches from the Gun Fire breakfast at the RSL to the FUP for the march. The military equipment was provided by the Wartime Vehicles Conservation Group, which meets at Walkerville RSL. They are owned by Ray Carn, behind the 25 Pdr, and David Lean, of 6 RAR's second tour. David was also the piper at the Walkerville Dawn Service.
AAs they had other commitments on ANZAC Day, some of the Association members and partners met at the Werribee RSL Club on Easter Monday 17 April 2006.
The BLACK SHEEP in HAWAII -
During 107 Fd Bty’s exchange trip to Hawaii in 1975, I was attached to 107 Fd Bty from HQ Bty at the time. The photo was taken at Kolekole Pass, Oahu (Where the Jap fighters and dive bombers first crossed land on that infamous morning on 7 Dec 1941. I can only name one member, centre is Capt Jim "Dutchie" Holland. Regards John "Blue" Bailey.
Robin Cook reports that he believes that the person on the right is Graham Leonard. Your association secretary is happy also to support that. Graham, if you goggle and find this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know that we are correct. You will recall me as my surname is very similar to yours and at Townsville was always confusing to all others!
HANS WYNEN, Association member who served with 107 Fd Bty in Vietnam 1970-
Hans reports "My son, CAPT Brenton Wynen (1999 ADFA/RMC graduate) is posted as Ack-
All the best to all "Rampant Rammers"!
Warren “Noddy” Feakes in Canberra
I first went to the Royal Military College, Duntroon on 26th January 1965 and was transferred to the Officer cadet School, Portsea early the next year after struggling with the academics but coping with the military skills. I graduated into the RAA as a second Lieutenant in December 1966 at just under 18 and a half years old.
After my Young Officers’ and GPO’s courses at North Head, I was posted to 12 Field Regiment at Holsworthy and allocated to 107 Field Battery as I was too young to go to Vietnam in May with the rest of the Regiment.
I turned up on day one in my open top Austin Healey Sprite and made the mistake of waving at the then Lieutenant Graham Phegan. ‘F—kin’ ell’, I heard some gunners say, ‘with Phegs we have Big Ears, so this little bugger in the blue car must be Noddy”
“NODDY? ” And that’s how it all started….
I was the only single officer, so in September that year took the single soldiers to Brisbane and boarded the LSL Sir Lancelot at Breakfast Creek bound for Singapore. The married members and families were to fly and therefore leave later.
Two years in Malaysia with a short stint in Brunei rates a book. Suffice to say that the experienced NCOs’ were my saviours and I survived relatively unscathed to return to Townsville to join George Salmon’s Australian contingent to prepare for deployment to South Vietnam. I was promoted to Lieutenant and allocated to Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion RAR as Forward Observer. I had the best OF Party I could have wished for, including Paul ‘Dutchy’ Holland, another Malaysia vet, as my ack.
I remained with B Coy for the entire tour, which rates another book of course. The inevitable break-
On promotion to Major, I went to HMAS Albatross at Nowra as Carrier Borne Ground Liaison Officer for HMAS Melbourne and the Fleet Air Arm. A couple of years there and I was off to UK for two years to the Royal Military College of Science then Proof & Experimental Gunnery Training. Back to command P&EE Port Wakefield for a couple of years then to Canberra and further promotion. Except for a stint on HQ 1st Division in Enoggera, I was in Canberra until my retirement in June 1998, a month and a day short of my 50th birthday.
I now spend five months of the year as a Ski Instructor, living in the Snowy Mountains, five months in Canberra and the remainder overseas somewhere white, fluffy and cold, competing in International cross country ski races, with my wife, also a keen skier and racer.
AROUND NORTHERN TERRITORY:
Jim Wright, Northern Territory Representative, reports from the TOP END:
Greeting from the warm, relaxed and friendly north. I wish to report that I have been taking exceptional care of the member in the territory and I am quite happy with the dissemination of information to myself.
Two items of general interest, that were significant to me in the distant “Top End”:
• In late March, Jen and I had the pleasure of catching up with Keith and Vi Hall while they were in Darwin for a few days after spending a month working on a remote Aboriginal community. (Our first ex 107 Fd Bty visitors since I was posted to Darwin in 1981!). We managed to do a few of the ‘touristy’ things and enjoyed a meal or three together. Good food, good wine and good company – what more can you ask for?
• In late May, we had a visit from the Secretary/Treasurer whom I am sure was originally on an “Audit” trip, but the northern hospitality and life-
It has been wonderful to see some old friends (old as in long-
Jen and I are always open to visits by members and can provide limited accommodation (double bed, caravan space, etc) for anyone stopping in Darwin for a few days or passing through to other destinations.
Jim Wright, State Rep, Northern Territory, 29th May 2006
Previously Jim advised that he started his military life as a Regimental School Cadet (Artillery -
107 Bty Bty BC's party at Fire Support Base GAIL, Vietnam Aug 1970. From left are Gnr Daryl Madge, LBdr Rob Cook, Sgt Jim Wright, Gnr Charlie Scott, Maj Keith Hall. Front row are Gnrs "L.J." Simth and Alan Leaf.
Commissioned from Sergeant, graduated as a Lieutenant in June 1973. Jim then saw postings in Victoria (Commander 23 Cadet Battalion as Lt & Capt), New South Wales (QM School of Artillery & QM 8/12 Mdm Regt RAA as Capt), South Australia (Snr Asst Proof Offr P & EE Port Wakefield as Capt) and the Northern Territory (HQ 7 MD, 7 Trg Gp and 72 GL Section -
Jim Wright left, Palmerston NT, at BBQ after the "Welcome Home Parade" Sydney with John (Bo) & Maria Plenty, Morphett Vale AS.
As early as 1981, Jim became involved in the RAAA (NT) and has served as their President for seven years. After retirement, Jim worked generally in the area of governance & community development, mostly on Aboriginal Communities throughout the NT and through his company, Ubique Consulting Group, for the three years leading up to forced retirement. Jim's primary 'civic service' involvement since 1982 has been as a Rotarian and he has held every position in his club (most two or more times). In 1990 Jim became involved with the local Speedway where he raced (Street Stocks) for ten years and has been involved in the administration of the Association since 1994 (Secretary for seven of those years), being made a life member of the Darwin Speedway Riders and Drivers Association in 2005. Jim has also been and remains an active member of the VVAA (Past Vice-
NT and through his company, Ubique Consulting Group, for the three years leading up to forced retirement. Jim's primary 'civic service' involvement since 1982 has been as a Rotarian and has held every position in his club (most two or more times). In 1990, Jim became involved with the local Speedway where he raced (Street Stocks) for ten years and has been involved in the administration of the Association since 1994 (Secretary for seven of those years), being made a life member of the Darwin Speedway Riders and Drivers Association in 2005. Jim has also been and remains an active member of the VVAA (Past Vice-
Jim with wife Jenny, Wendy (age 8) and Andrew (8 months) at Townsville airport just before midnight on 6th May 1970. Moments later Jim, with the rest of 107 Fd Bty were on their way to Vietnam aboard QANTAS 707 aircraft. Jim's family consists of wife, Jenny, daughter, Wendy -
Jim and Jenny are currently members of the SKI generation (Spending the Kids Inheritance) and are travelling regularly afar from their NT home. Although doing a lot of travelling, Jenny and Jim do miss old friends and would be more than pleased to receive visitors to the Darwin area of the Top End, when they are home. The spare room has a double bed which is rarely used these days. Contact Jim on mobile 0419 842 158.
AROUND the REGIONS -
On return to Australia, Doc Barclay was posted to the School of Army Health, Healesville as an instructor and promoted to SGT.
In December 1972, Doc was posted to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force Training Depot as the Sergeant in charge of Goldie River Medical Centre, which was upgraded to a Rural Health Centre in 1973. This gave the Medical Centre an extra 25000 people to look after who suffered a myriad of diseases, so as you can guess it was a very interesting posting for Doc.
In 1974 Doc returned to Australia and was posted to 2 Military Hospital Casualty Department until his discharge in May 1979. Doc was a true treasure of the Battery. He was always loading on a gun, on the radio in the command post or as above, filling sandbags at FSB GAIL.
Doc has over thirty years of service to the RSL community. He has filled many RSL Sub-
At the 97th Victorian State Conference of the Victorian RSL (2012) Ken was presented with the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal by the Chief of the Army Lt Gen David Morrison AO and the Victorian RSL State President. The Meritorious Service Medal is the highest award that can be bestowed on a member of the RSL.
He lives at Merbein and is still active in the Mildura veteran community.
AROUND the REGIONS -
Noel Paterson "working hard" while posted with 107 Fd Bty Malaysia 19-
AROUND THE REGIONS -
Barry Pearce (Dec) has been involved in ex-
Barry is involved in the RSL at Meredith, the Geelong Vietnam Veterans' Association of Australia sub branch, the Corps of Commissionaires in Melbourne and the TPI Association. Barry, as the Association Newsletter Editor, is keen to make the 107 Fd Bty RAA Associations a viable network for ex-
TOWNSVILLE REUNION exceeds expectations.
All who attended declared the Townsville Reunion an outstanding success. The second Reunion to be organised by the 107 Fd Bty RAA Association was conducted from 13th to 21st August.
Sunday morning was the visit to the Kissing Point Fortifications and Kennedy Regiment Museum. Lunch at Tim’s Boardwalk Seafood Restaurant followed. That evening the new arrivals of Barry Artup, Tim & Leah Mooney, Greg (Spook) Wilkinson and Jeff & Stephanie Buckman were initiated to the RSL Club.
Monday saw the group board the fast Sunferries catamaran to tour Maggie Island on the hop-
Some of the lads at the "Townsville 107 Fd Bty" sign near Ingham. New arrivals to the Reunion on Tuesday were John & Annette Connellan, Graeme & Diana Lucas, Allan & Lyn Henderson, Allen & Diana Betts, Jeff Roser, Mick Buckley, Ken Rosenlund & Gaye Hodson, Rob & Denise Cook, Russell Robertson and John & Shani McKay.
After collection by the Reunion Bus, members negotiated Lavarack Barracks Security at the main gate and visited 107 Fd Bty at Chau Pha Lines.
Callsign Enterprise 12 (FO Party, B Coy 2 RAR/NZ) 33 Years after the Vietnam deployment. L to R -
Christine, Chris, Gay and Trevor under the cam net. What "warie" is Trevor spinning, to impress the ladies?
An impressive three gun quick action and a series of demonstrations were staged by the Battery to get the nostalgia running in us Olds & Bolds.
Some of the Reunion team in the 107 Fd Bty History Room at Lavarack Barracks. Arch Foley was there to formally capture the moment. He was there back in 1970 but there was no time for photos, just High Range, more High Range, Canungra, High Range, Shoal Water Bay, High Range again then Vietnam.
Back in the saddle again are TARA Sgt Peter and GPO Hilton and two 107 Bty signallers. The tannoy, Hilton claims, is the same one he had in Vietnam. The shooting tables could do with Peter’s fine woodworking craftsmanship.
Next to the Sheep Dip, where else would a Rampant Ram or a Black Sheep go for refreshment?) to meet the gunners of 107 Fd Bty to be welcomed by BC, Maj Richard Vagg and BSM WO2 Brett Armstrong.
Barry Pearce presented his set of Vietnam Medals, Return from Active Service Badge and Zippo lighter to the Bty History Room. By some SNAFU, Barry was issued two sets of medals and RAS Badge on return from Vietnam. Thank you Barry, from the 107 Fd Bty History Room.
Hilton presented one of the cartridge cases fired in anger during the first contact mission the Battery fired in Vietnam. It is the unpolished (because at war spit & polish us discouraged) case on the right. Hilton followed with the Number One copy of the 107 Fd Bty RAA Association’s Scrapbook project, titled “The Back Sheep at War -
At a moving and well-
Thursday morning, by necessity, was “Make and Mend” In the afternoon most gathered for the Vietnam Veterans Association Long Tan service at ANZAC Park on the Strand.
After the service and brief stop in the Irish Pub in Flinders Street, the Reunion members joined other Veterans for refreshments and a meal at the RSL Club.
Rob Cook, Noel, Peter & John Shelly at the pre dinner drinks before the RAA Dinner. Note Peters 1969 issue twiggy green trousers he won at the 4 Fd Regt Historical Collection the previous day.
Despite the difficulty in hearing speakers and an initial reluctance, the RAA Association of NQ President and Dinning President, John Wilson, permitted Wally Walford to make a surprise presentation to Hilton for his efforts organising the Reunion. It comprised of a polished (rubber wood, Peter assures) box with the inscription “Thanks for a great Reunion Townsville August 2005” It contained a pewter mug inscribed “to 2Lt Hilton Lenard, the fastest GPO in the East, 1970-
With over 370 old gunners, current members of 4 Fd Regt and our Association and their partners, it was a most impressive, spectacular and enjoyable evening.
GUNNERS BURIED AT TERENDAK
(Compiled by Hilton Lenard, Historian 107 Fd Bty Assn)
Before the 107 Field Battery's Memorial Service at the Terendak War Cemetery, a request was made for details of the other gunners (other than 107 Fd Bty's original BC, Peter Badcoe VC) buried at Terendak. The following is a summary of the information received from the people listed.
If you go to Google -
I have today received your email from 105 Fd Bty Qld regarding info on former members of the Bty in Terendak, Malaysia.
Thomas Simpson joined the Army in Geelong Victoria in October 1957, allocated to the RAA and served with 4 Fd Regt, 101 Bty went to Malaya from 1959 -
I went to Terendak in 1990, which had been handed over to Malaysian Army and visited the cemetery having been taken by car by the then Australian Ambassador. I greatly appreciated this kindness as I did not realise it was no longer Australian area and permission had to be granted to enter.
I trust this information is of assistance, as he was only known to 105 for a short period of time excepting those who went across with him in the make-
Sandy Simpson -
Tom Simpson belonged to 105th Field Battery (Independent) on their first tour of Vietnam in 1965 when they were based at Bien Hoa as part of the 173rd US Airborne Brigade (Separate).
Tom was a driver in the battery who contracted a virulent strain of cerebral malaria, went down hill quickly and passed away on 9 December 1965. He left Vietnam with full military honours and was interred on the nearest friendly soil in the cemetery of the Australian battalion group at Terendak, Malaysia.
Peter Badcoe, of course, was an early member of the 105th Field Battery at Wacol, Brisbane after it moved from Holsworthy to join 4th Field Regiment RAA in 1960. He was later posted to 103rd Field Battery and went overseas with them to Malaysia. Arthur Burke -
FROM: RAA Liaison Letter 2006-
‘Tom Simpson’ Memorial -
The ‘Tom Simpson’ Memorial is located in the 105th Medium Battery area of Barce Lines, Enoggera, Brisbane. 36205 Gunner Thomas ‘Tommy Simpson died of illness in South Vietnam on Thursday 9th December 1965, aged 27 years. Gunner Simpson was a driver with the 105th Field Battery. Gunner Simpson became ill with cerebral malaria on 6th December 1965 and died in the 93rd Evacuation Hospital (US Army), Bien Hoa, three days later. Gunner Simpson, who enlisted on 5th October 1957, had served in the Regular Army for eight years. During this time he had completed two years service in Malaysia as well as his tour of South Vietnam.
Tom Simpson was the first Royal Australian Artillery unit soldier to die whilst on active service in Vietnam and the 105th Battery Social Club was then named the Tommy Simpson Club in remembrance. On the battery’s 40th birthday (lst July 1995) of its re-
GNR Tom Checkley was in SVN with 131 Div Loc Bty Det when he was killed in a vehicle accident in Aug 1966. I believe that he was a Pom. Kim McGrath -
John Garrigan 40. Born in England the eldest of four sons. Garrigan was a career soldier who enlisted in the British Army in 1945. He joined the Australian Army in 1950 and in 1968 he transferred to the AATTV. He drowned when his APC struck a submerged object during a river crossing and overturned in the Cua Viet River, Quang tri Province on the morning of December 27th 1968. He had seven young children. Barry Pearce -
WO2 John GARRIGAN was in 102 LT BTY in the late 1950's I was a Gunner in Alpha troop he was T SM Charlie Troop, Believe me this guy had the strangest feet when he marched his feet pointed out at about 45 degrees so his nick name was Duck Foot when he was heading towards you eyes were attracted straight to his feet along with the fact he was about 5' 5in and a bit chubby. (The last sentence is “Not for Publication” unless you think so, in case his kids see it, However we all had nick names) Paddy Durnford -
Extracts of CARO data in my possession follow. Gaps and consistencies in terminology reflect typical inconsistencies in the records.
Gnr Thomas William Checkley. Born Buxton UK. WWII: RAF. Cyprus & Malaya: RAF. SVN: Gnr 131 Div Loc Bty 22.4.66 -
WO2 John Garrigan (not Carrigan according to my data). Born UK. Brit Army: Enlisted 1945. RA, Palestine. 1 RTB 67-
WO2 Ronald Vivtor (sic) (Victor?) Lees. Lindcome (sic) (Lidcombe?) NSW. Malaya: Gnr 105 Fd Bty 20.10.55 -
Gnr Thomas (Tommy) Simpson. Born Vic 1938. Enlisted 1957. Malaya: Gnr 101Fd Bty 4.10.59 to 29.10.61. SVN: Gnr 105 Fd Bty 14.9.65, died of disease at the 93 Evac Hosp Bien Hoa 9.12.65. Awarded the (US) Armed Forces Honour Medal 2nd Class. The present 105 Fd Bty Tigers Lair is named after him. His father died as a POW in WWII. (End of CARO extract.) My understanding is that he died of cerebral malaria. The above extract has a void from 29.10.61 to 14.9.65 but I was in 105 Fd Bty from Apr 1962 until Aug 1965 and I believe that for most of this time he was in 105 Fd Bty, always as a Driver. I am copying this to Gordon Pound as he was in 105 during its first tour of SVN and may have something to add.
George Salmon -
Ern Marshall, a mate of our medic at Mildura, runs a comprehensive website on all matters "Vietnam 1962-
Ronald Lees. Shot in vehicle in Quang Nam Province (AATTV) 1 Jan 1966.
Simpson died of cerebral malaria 9th December 1965
I don't have a listing for Carrigan so he might have been stationed in Malaya. Ern's website is worth a visit as there is more information than I have given here. You'll find the site at www.hotkey.net.au/~marshalle. Barry Pearce -
Lt Bob Birse was an Artillery Section Commander in 4th Field Regiment in Vietnam in 1968. He was fragged on the sandbags of his weapon/sleeping pit at FSB Brave (YS2590 -
Ed: Warren subsequently provided the extract of the "Courts-
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