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Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch

BACKGROUND
The Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans (DViets) is an affiliated sub branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (Vic) and was formed in 1999.

The sub branch operates from the Greensborough RSL as its host RSL, which is very supportive of the DViets by providing meeting facilities and an area for the sub branch to carry out its activities.

Members meet each Friday from 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm for an informal gathering to exchange news and views. Whilst we generally meet at Greensborough RSL, on the 3rd Friday each month we travel to Montmorency-Eltham RSL.
Partners are most welcome and encouraged to attend on the Fridays and, indeed, at any of our functions.

The sub branch has around 200+ financial members and partners; all the male members are ex-servicemen that served in Vietnam during the Vietnam conflict.

AIMS
The aims of the sub branch are identical to the aims of the VVAA i.e. the welfare of veterans and the families of veterans.

ACTIVITIES
The sub branch is very active in the ex-serviceman community and in the general community as a whole and is involved in:

• assisting in provision of welfare services for veterans,
• supporting and providing assistance to the Austin Repatriation Hospital,
• providing support for Vietnam Veterans Day appeal,
• organising and providing regular welfare activities for all members.

Links

Contact Information

location
PO Box 542 Greensborough Victoria 3088
phone
+61 0432 631413

Contact

Location

A collection of memorabilia from the Vietnam conflict largely donated and/or lent by members of the sub branch; includes details of the sub branch assets; includes a picture gallery of members' functions. The collection dates from mid-1960's to current date and continuing. Items include army gear as used in Vietnam; pictures/newspaper cuttings; books; flag;, vehicle models; aircraft models; replica weapons; and other associated memorabilia. Collection includes pictures of Sub Branch activities since formation in 1999. Collection includes Sub Branch assets eg Honour Boards, flags.

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Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Collection of various and not necessarily related documents from Vietnam War era.

Historical information

Various pieces of documentation from the Vietnam War era.

Significance

A historical reference to the types of propaganda targeting Allied forces; example of a Safe Conduct paper; and extract of the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention, 1949; example of a Military Pay Certificate - common currency at the time..

Inscriptions & Markings

Documents include: a Safe Contact Pass (front and back); four x primitive typewritten Notices disparaging Allied action in Vietnam; extract of the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention, 1949; specimen of Military Pay Certificate, Ten Cents, as was in common use during the Vietnam War.

Photo

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Photo of Pipers Lament at Long Tan Cross, Vietnam, respecting the soldiers who died in Battle of Long Tan, 1966; includes short text describing Battle of Long Tan. Rectangular shape, dark brown wood frame.

Historical information

A commemoration ceremony at the Long Tan Cross, Vietnam with Australian soldiers reflecting on the battle and the cost therein; supported by two pipers. Includes the Heading for the text: The Pipers Lament to the dead of Long Tan by 6RAR/NZ Battalion. Photograph AWM Bel 69/556VN.

Significance

Solemn record of the Long Tan Cross as it was positioned in Vietnam at the site of the Long Tan Battle - the Cross was relocated to the Australian War Memorial in 2018.

Inscriptions & Markings

Text describing in brief the background of the Battle of Long Tan.

Cigarette Lighter

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Silver lighter with engravings: angel on front and text on back: Silver metal, rectangular shape; flip top.

Historical information

Common cigarette lighter amongst Australian Servicemen; facilitated calming within stressful situations ie smoking eased stress and fatigue.

Significance

This lighter will have memories of great significance and feeling with soldiers who had used it after very stressful situations - it would have served to facilitate relief and calmness when most needed including some giving emotional escape from immediate circumstances..

Inscriptions & Markings

Front: Engraving of classic woman with bird in hand. Rear: Engraved text: Ba Ria Nui Dat 67-68; Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for I am the evilest son of a bitch in the valley"".

Book - Vietnam War, 50th Commemoration, USA. A Time To Honour

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Hard Back copy of book issued at USA 50th Anniversary Commemorations, Hawaii, 2017

Historical information

Book with DVD � A Time To Honour - is souvenir book issued at USA 50th Anniversary Commemorations, Hawaii June 2017

Significance

A detailed commentary of the Vietnam War, albeit, from the American angle.

Inscriptions & Markings

Title: Vietnam War, 50th Commemorations. A Time To Honour. Stories of Service, Duty and Sacrifice.

Honour Roll

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Rectangular Honour Roll of the 521 Australian soldiers killed while In Service; picture embedded onto the Honour Roll of an assembly of soldiers at the Long Tan Cross, Vietnam.

Historical information

A listing by name of the 521 Australian Soldiers killed whist In Service; the recognition of those who paid the Supreme Sacrifice is the cornerstone of The Ode which is recited at all formal gathering of Vietnam Veterans.

Significance

A reverent recollection of those who paid the Supreme Sacrifice even if the individual has no personal knowledge of those who died.

Inscriptions & Markings

A brief description of the Battle of Long Tan is underneath the picture of the Long Tan Cross; names of all 521 Australian soldiers killed whilst In Service makes up the Honour Roll.

Photo

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Photo, wooden framed.

Historical information

Photo: DViets Vietnam Veterans Day March, August 2002 - marching up Main Street, Greensborough.

Significance

Historical record showing marching members in 2002..

Inscriptions & Markings

Text in photo: DViets Vietnam Veterans Day March, August 2002

Clothing

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Field sweat rag for field soldiers made of soft absorbent material and suitable for a wide range of uses.

Historical information

Amongst field kit, the sweat rag was every bit as important as other items - it served many purpose eg washer, towel, cleaning equipment, pillow, sun shade.

Significance

Held in high esteem by the field soldier because of its efficient and many purpose usages.

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil

Gavel and Plate

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Model in polished wood of a Gavel and Plate.

Historical information

Donated to Sub Branch to provide historical and formal elements to Meetings.

Significance

It is significant to members in as much as it provides a standard of protocol, authority and respect to formal meetings eg the Annual General Meeting.

Inscriptions & Markings

Plate has inscription plate "To The DViets From Mackay Vietnam vets."; gavel has on the side a badge of the Rising Sun and on the top face an insignia of TBA; the hande of the gavel has a decorative snake entwined thereon.

White Cross

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

White cross with name and service number printed; red poppy attached.

Historical information

One of 521 crosses placed in lawns of The Shrine, Melbourne, on 18th August 2016 as part of Victoria's 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan - each cross carries the name of an Australian soldier killed in the Vietnam war and a red poppy made by the wife of a Vietnam veteran.

Significance

A poignant reflection of a life lost whilst in Service in Vietnam.

Inscriptions & Markings

DFennis Lindsay Brooks, Service No. 3787889

Model

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Model Cobra Helicopter, further info TBA

Historical information

A model of a helicopter that saw Service in Vietnam; the model appears to be a reasonably faithful representation of the actual helicopter.s

Significance

Significant in as much as it represents one of many aircraft that provided support and fire cover to the ground troops.

Inscriptions & Markings

AH640

White Cross

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

White cross with name and service number printed; red poppy attached.

Historical information

One of 521 crosses placed in lawns of The Shrine, Melbourne, on 18th August 2016 as part of Victoria's 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan - each cross carries the name of an Australian soldier killed in the Vietnam war and a red poppy made by the wife of a Vietnam veteran .

Significance

A poignant reflection of a life lost whilst in Service in Vietnam.

Inscriptions & Markings

Francis Lindsay Raffen, Service No. 4186

Cutlery Set, Field

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Army issue of field cutlery set comprising knife, fork spoon with clip. Made of metal.

Historical information

Field cutlery for use on patrol.

Significance

Such items had great relevance to soldiers whilst 'ón patrol'; they facilitated some comfort ie food in often strenuous and tiring circumstances and for many...was their first foray into cooking.

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil.

Model

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Model of Huey helicopter, made of polished wood.

Historical information

Depiction of Huey helicopter, the prime source of assisted transport for infantry during Vietnam war.

Significance

Of great relevance to infantry soldiers: the helicopter provided many services to soldiers in the field and were much respected by the soldiers in return. Services included, but not limited to, were: transport to and from the field; medivacs for wounded soldiers; re-supply of food, arms, reinforcements etc,

SLR Accessories

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Two pieces in total: 1 x SLR Separated Cartridge Extractor, 1 x SLR Coach Sight Adaptor

Historical information

Rifleman's tools for maintenance of SLR rifle.

Significance

Significant to infantry solder re recollection of rifle maintenance.

Photo

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Photo, Framed, wood, brown; DViets at ARTC, Kapooka, 2002

Historical information

Dviets visiting Army Recruit Training Centre (ARTC) Kapooka, 2002

Significance

Records some DViet members 2002.

Inscriptions & Markings

DViets "Back To Basics; Kapooka ARTC, November 2002.

Plaque

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Rectangular wooden plaque with black face and gold lettering describing the historical background of the Long Tan Cross.

Historical information

From birth of the Sub Branch, this plaque is what is looked towards in reflection of times past.

Significance

The Long Tan Cross is highly significant to all Vietnam Veterans; this plaque is highly significant to members of the Diamond Valley Sub Branch.

Inscriptions & Markings

Text describing the background of the Long Tan Cross.

Photo

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

In portrait orientation; framed black and white photo of head and shoulders of soldier in uniform

Historical information

TBA

Significance

TBA

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil

White Cross

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

White cross with name and service number printed; red poppy attached.

Historical information

One of 521 crosses placed in lawns of The Shrine, Melbourne, on 18th August 2016 as part of Victoria's 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan - each cross carries the name of an Australian soldier killed in the Vietnam war and a red poppy made by the wife of a Vietnam veteran.

Significance

A poignant reflection of a life lost whilst in Service in Vietnam.

Inscriptions & Markings

John Milton Rands, Service No. 2787069.

Flag

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Viet Cong flag, made of cloth, looks 'hand made'. Dimensions are xxmm long and xxmm wide. Colours are equally red on top half with blue on bottom half; yellow text at top of the flag is Quyet Thang; a yellow star straddles the halfway line of the flag and has yellow 1969 below the star.

Historical information

Souvenired flag as used by Viet Cong; unknown how it came into hands of the donor.

Significance

A significant reminder of what enemy the Australian Defence Forces were up against.

Inscriptions & Markings

Colours are equally red on top half with blue on bottom half; yellow text at top of the flag is Quyet Thang; a yellow star straddles the halfway line of the flag and has yellow 1969 below the star.

Plaque

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Wooden plaque with light metal face.

Historical information

Wooden plaque with metal face.

Significance

Though DViets had only minimal connection with the Gardeners Cellar, the plaque reminds us of how some things were in the 1960's and beyond.

Inscriptions & Markings

Story on face of plaque describing history of the Gardeners Cellar.

Photos

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Collage of photos of Australian Task Force, Nui Dat and Vung Tau; six pieces in total. Photos taken circa 1965 showing living and working positions in Nui Dat; showing street scenes of Vung Tau.

Historical information

Set-up period photos of Australian Task Force Area and of Vung Tau.

Significance

Nui Dat photos significant because of they being of earliest set-up in Nui Dat.

Equipment

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Machete: metal blade, wooden handle with wrist strap; sharpening stone; canvas holder for machete with pouch to contain sharpening stone

Historical information

Important tool especially for infantry and used for range of purposes while in the field.

Significance

Machete was a versatile tool for soldiers but infantry in particular. It assisted with negotiating through thick scrub, various cutting usages; also assisted, with shovel, in digging usages.

Trophy Shield

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Perpetual Trophy for Nashos vs Regs for an Annual Challenge; first awarded 2002. Normally lawn bowls but in 2003, it was ten pin bowling. Rectangular in shape; dark polished timber with centre piece surrounded by a border of mini plates for winner each year.

Historical information

Beginning in 2002 DViets conducted an annual lawn bowls 'çompetition' between National Servicemen and Regular soldiers; competition was lightly competitive and generally, the results were spread evenly between the two sides.

Significance

Historical record of a social activity for members with a friendly rivalry between "Regs' and Nashos'.

Inscriptions & Markings

Centre piece comprises a Heading of "Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Regs Vs Nashos Challenge Shield" and a large VVAA logo; mini-plates border this text with engraving of the winners each year thereon. A border of mini-plates surround the centre piece with the names of winners each year engraved thereon.

Red Wine

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Commemorative Bottle of Red Wine issued at VVAA National Congress, Seymour, May 2015.

Historical information

Commemorative Bottle of Red Wine issued at VVAA National Congress, Seymour, May 2015.

Significance

Significant as a memory of the State Conference in May 2015.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label measures xxmm x xxmm and comprises: Background of blue sky and gum tree. Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia logo is front and top of label; text beneath the logo is in upper case: "Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia National Congress, May 2015, Seymour, Vic". Below that text are two pictures of the Vietnam Wall in Seymour - the Honour Roll with an Australian Flag overlay and, the Long Tan Cross. At the bottom of the label is text: Hosted by the VVAA Victorian Branch and Mitchell Sub-Branch.

Commemorative Plaque

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Rectangular shape, polished wood; gold lettering text, shield for each of three arms of the Defence Force that served in Vietnam: Army, Navy and TBA. Long Tan cross placed centrally on the plaque.

Historical information

Commemorative Plaque � 50th Anniversary, Long Tan battle; wooden. Presented by Bill Hey on behalf of Mackay Vietnam Veterans 2016

Inscriptions & Markings

Vietnam. To All Those Who Served and To Those Who Did Not Return. Lest We Forget.

White Cross

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

White cross with name and service number printed; red poppy attached.

Historical information

One of 521 crosses placed in lawns of The Shrine, Melbourne, on 18th August 2016 as part of Victoria's 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan - each cross carries the name of an Australian soldier killed in the Vietnam war and a red poppy made by the wife of a Vietnam veteran.

Significance

A poignant reflection of a life lost whilst in Service in Vietnam.

Inscriptions & Markings

Brian Rennie, Service No. 312641

Flag

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Framed flag of South Vietnam as used during that country's existence between 1948 and 1975; yellow colour with three horizontal stripes across centre of the flag.

Historical information

The flag of the Republic of Vietnam served as the South Vietnamese national flag during that country's existence between 1948 and 1975. The flag, being of a defunct state, is no longer officially used in Vietnam today, but is still shown and used overseas by many Vietnamese emigrés.

Significance

The flag under which the soldiers of South Vietnam fought and by association, alongside which the Allied nations also fought during the Vietnam War.

Inscriptions & Markings

Flag of the Republic of Vietnam

Photo

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Photo, Framed: VVAA (Vic) Council Meeting, 2003, Hosted by Diamond Valley Sub Branch.

Historical information

Shows delegates from Sub Branches throughout Victoria and includes local MP Jenny Macklin.

Significance

Record of delegates to Council Meeting of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (Vic), 2003.

Inscriptions & Markings

VVAA Victorian State Council Meeting, November 2003; Hosted by Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch; special guest is Jenny Macklin, MP.

White Cross

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

White Cross with name and service number printed; red poppy attached.

Historical information

One of 521 crosses placed in lawns of The Shrine, Melbourne, on 18th August 2016 as part of Victoria's 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan - each cross carries the name of an Australian soldier killed in the Vietnam war and a red poppy made by the wife of a Vietnam Veteran.

Significance

A poignant reflection of a life lost whilst in Service in Vietnam.

Inscriptions & Markings

David Anthony B Wallis, Service No. 3794885

Black Beret

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Corps Beret with Corps Insignia for Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME); black in colour.

Historical information

This beret is symbolic to the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and is held in the highest regard by serving and ex-members of that corp.

Significance

Like all uniforms specific to different corps within the army, the beret holds particular interest and reverence to ex-members of Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

Inscriptions & Markings

Insignia: Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME)>