Woolgoolga Vietnam Memorial
Iroquois UH1 helicopter commemorating those RAN and RAAF members who died, and those who served, on operations in Vietnam in this type of aircraft. US Army insignia on starboard side and RAAF insignia on port side.
IROQUOIS UHI HELICOPTER
This memorial is in recognition of the invaluable assistance given by the Iroquois to the men of the Australian Defence Forces during the Vietnam conflict. Especially in remembrance to those RAN crewmen killed in action: Lt Cdr Patrick Vickers, Lt Anthony Casadio, Sub Lt Anthony Huelin, POACM Cedric O’Brien, LACM Noel Shipp and the following members of RAAF 9 Squadron: Flt Lt Everitt Lance, P/O Ronald Betts, Cpl David Dubber, LAC Alan Bloxsom.
The RAAF acquired eight UH-1B Huey helicopters in 1961 and these formed the basis for the RAAF 9 Squadron that operated in Vietnam. It was appropriate that in 1966 RAN personnel were attached to 9 Squadron for it began its life in 1925 as 101 Flight attached to the RAN. The ANZAC tradition was continued with RNZAF personnel attached to the Squadron from 1967 to 1971.
9 Squadron’s role was to support the First Australian Task Force (1ATF) to seek out and destroy the Viet Cong. 1ATF consisted of infantry battalions plus support troops-engineers, signals, artillery, armoured and medical. The Huey’s task in Vietnam was the insertion and recovery of troops, delivery of supplies, as ‘gunships’ and in the medivac role; many soldiers, not only Australian, owe their lives to the bravery of the Huey crews.
The characteristic “whap-whap” sound of the Huey is fondly remembered by those who depend upon it for their survival. In all over 78 Distinguished Flying Crosses were awarded plus many MIDs.
Although helicopters were in use towards the end of WWII it was the Vietnam conflict that saw the newer, faster helicopters being used fully as multi-role aircraft. This particular helicopter, a UH-1H, is on permanent loan from the United States Government to whom we are most grateful. This one was built in 1974 and saw service in the Gulf War. The RAAF flew various models in Vietnam, the UH1B and 1D with this the 1H being flown from 1968. It had a range of 500km, a top speed of 200kph, a 1400 shp engine but most importantly could carry six litters plus medical crew. Although the Huey remained in production until 1980 the RAAF replaced it’s Hueys in 1976.
Dedicated on 29-09-01 by Mr Garry Nehl M.P. Federal Member for Cowper, Deputy Speaker of The House of Representatives
J.H. Roche Chairman Memorial Committee
C. McKenzie President RSL Sub-Branch
T. Goldthorpe President RSL Club Ltd.
Dedicated to those who served on operations with this type of aircraft
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