Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Vietnam vets fly to reunion in plane that took them to war

Vietnam veterans to fly to reunion in same plane that took them to war

Andrew McRae, Veterans' Affairs Reporter

Vietnam War veterans attending a reunion in Christchurch this week are being flown there today in the same airforce C-130 Hercules (NZ 7002) they flew to Vietnam in 50 years ago.

A RNZAF C-130 Hercules. Photo: NZDF

Members of Victor Four Company went to Vietnam in May 1969.

Three thousand New Zealand military personnel served in Vietnam between 1964 and 1975.

Of those, 37 were killed and 187 were wounded.

Some of the surviving members of Victor Four Company are meeting in Christchurch to mark the anniversary on 8-9 May.

Vietnam Veterans' Association president Andy Peters, who was a member of Victor Four Company, said the company compromised of between 150-180 men.

"We had a high number of casualties."

For many of them, only aged about 19 or 20, the flight over was just the start of an adventure, he said.

"You put up then with the uncomfortable seating that they had. You are just thinking about getting there.

"You just learn to put up with it, it's part of the job."

Mr Peters said the men were issued with ear-plugs.



"There was a certain amount of noise inside."

The men sat on netting for the flight over.

"Not the comfortable ones you get in aircraft now days.

"We used blankets and jackets and whatever to make yourself comfortable," he said.

Mr Peters said arriving in Vietnam was not so much a shock, as it was more the reality of a war-zone that hit you.

"You look around and see all the equipment that America has got there.

"It was the realisation that you were now in a war-zone," he said.

The New Zealand Defence Force said that although the C-130 aircraft was more than 50 years old, it had been upgraded and modernised since.

In addition, the NZDF had deployed the Hercules aircraft on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions to the South Pacific and Southeast Asia.

The aircraft have also been deployed on logistic support missions in the Southwest Pacific, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and resupply missions to Antarctica.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Resignation Of Metiria Turei: Were Journalists 'just Doing Their Job'?

In our research we examined the role of journalism in animating the Turei controversy and the different perceptions of professional journalists and online commentators sympathetic to Turei’s left politics. ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Extradition Of Julian Assange

It isn’t necessary to like Julian Assange to think that his extradition to the US (on the charge of aiding and abetting Chelsea Manning) would be a major injustice... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Islamic State Meets The Searchers

The histories of the European children forcibly recruited into Native American tribal life during the 19th century do remind us of just how difficult the social re-integration of the children of ISIS is likely to be. More>>

Joseph Cederwall: CJR Analysis Of Post-Christchurch Media Coverage

After the Christchurch massacre, Columbia Journalism Review analysed news sources to see how outlets complied with guidelines from groups that seek to limit the amplification of terrorist acts through media. More>>

News Deserts: The Death March Of Local Journalism

Joseph Cederwall: The corporate media sector seems unable to do anything to halt the raging dumpster fire of consolidation, layoffs and centralisation of content production. All this means we are increasingly seeing ‘news deserts’ appearing in local communities. Illustration by Paul Sahre. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog