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Vietnam-era soldier's remains found

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  • Vietnam-era soldier's remains found

    Emphasis is mine. Only three Vietnam diggers have yet to return home.

    A TEAM has found the remains of Australian soldier Lance Corporal John Gillespie, who died in a helicopter crash during the Vietnam war in 1971.

    Jim Bourke of the the group Operations Aussies Home, said the remains were dug up at a crash site.

    Gillespie died on April 17, 1971, in the crash of a RAAF Iroquois helicopter in the Long Hai hills of Phuoc Tuy province.

    The helicopter burned on impact and it was believed at the time that all human remains had been consumed in the blaze.

    Mr Bourke said the Vietnamese government had agreed with the assessment of the Australian forensic experts that the remains were those of Gillespie.

    The remains could be returned to Australia as early as next week, he said.

    Earlier this year, Mr Bourke's group found the remains of two other Australian soldiers killed in Vietnam in 1965.

    The discovery of Gillespie's remains leave just three other Australians missing in action from the Vietnam conflict

  • #2
    Fantastic news - thanks for the heads up, Boonie
    I am not stuck in the 60's and 70's -I choose to live there :)
    "Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare."


    • #3

      THIRTY-six years ago, John Gillespie was a medical orderly aboard an Australian Army helicopter sent to rescue a wounded South Vietnamese soldier in an area known as the Long Hai Hills.

      As the wounded man was being winched aboard the helicopter it was hit by machine gun fire, crashed to the ground and exploded. The pilots escaped but Lance Corporal Gillespie, who was pinned under the wreckage, and three other soldiers died.

      All the bodies were eventually recovered except that of Lance Corporal Gillespie, who joined the list of Australians missing, believed killed in Vietnam.

      Most of the 500 Australians killed in Vietnam were flown home for burial and only six were listed as missing by 2007.

      Over the years, a small band of Vietnam veterans determined to bring all the missing Australians home have reduced that list to just four men.

      Operation Aussies Home, led by Jim Bourke, found the remains of Lance Corporal Richard "Tiny" Parker and Private Peter Gillson and they were brought home in June. After more research with the help of the Australian Defence Force and some government backing, the veterans resumed the search for Lance Corporal Gillespie.

      Veterans Affairs Minister Alan Griffin said last night that forensic testing had confirmed that remains found at the crash site were those of the missing soldier.

      "Australia is grateful to the Vietnamese authorities who have greatly assisted the Australian Government team efforts in Vietnam. Their continued assistance in honouring these Australian soldiers is greatly appreciated," Mr Griffin said.

      "I am also grateful to Operation Aussies Home, led by Mr Jim Bourke, who have worked tirelessly for many years to locate these remains."

      Those still missing in Vietnam are Private David Fisher, who was serving with the SAS when he was killed, and Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver, whose Canberra bomber vanished.
      extract from Brisbane Times
      I am not stuck in the 60's and 70's -I choose to live there :)
      "Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare."


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