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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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113 items

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

Kenneth Frank Mathieson, Service No. 37175

Medallion

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Round medallion, xxmm in diameter. Bronze-like in colour.

Historical information

TBA

Significance

The medallion represents a partnership between Diamond Valley Sub Branch and the 39 Army Cadets Unit out of Simpson Barracks. This partnership has endured for many years and the cadets assist with the Cenotaph Party for the Sub Branch Community Memorial Service in August each year.

Inscriptions & Markings

A blue centre piece is in the middle of the medallion with a crown on top and a yellow kangaroo in middle which is overlaying an eternal flame crossed over a sword; numeral 39 sits below the kangaroo. Outside the blue centre piece is a red ribbon with gold edging 3/4 surrounding the blue centre piece and with lettering *Australian*Army*Cadets* therein. Placed below the red ribbon is a smaller yellow ribbon with 'Watsonia' therein. Finally at the foot of the medallion is 1988 - 2013.

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,

A stone rectangular plaque representation of the Royal Australian Navy Service in Vietnam. Prominent cable and anchor as Centre Piece with a listing of the names of various Navy craft which served in and around Vietnam waters.

Historical information

This stone plaque was presented by Bill Hey on behalf of Mackay Vietnam Veterans in 2016.

Significance

An emotive record of Naval service in and around the waters of Vietnam.

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque is headed "R.A.N. In Vietnam" with two side columns recording the names of various craft then "To All Who Served" near the base of the plaque followed by three more names of crafts who served.

Commemorative 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 VVAA (Vic)'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 wife of Vietnam veteran.

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

John William Kirby, Service No. 27758

Jersey

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

In portrait aspect. Jersey as worn in Vetride 2012 by Sgt. Daniel Ferguson. Predominantly white/grey/black in colour with VETRIDE across the chest. Includes logos of Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia and Shirt maker. Includes signatures of famous cycling commentators Phil Liggett and Paul Shepwin. Includes a picture of Sgt Daniel Ferguson in bottom righthand corner.

Historical information

This jersey was worn by Sgt Daniel Ferguson in 2012 Vetride in Australia and then in Veterans 'Tour of Duty' ride in USA.

Significance

It provides a memory of the earliest beginnings of Vetride.

Inscriptions & Markings

Plate states: " 2012 Vetride Jersey" with following text: This is an original Vetride 2012 jersey and was worn by Sgt. Daniel Ferguson during that 400KM ride. Later that year Daniel took part in the 'Tour of Duty' Veterans ride in the USA again with this jersey, which he had signed by the famous cycling commentators Phil Liggett and Paul Shepwin. Founding Chairman of Vetride 2012, Peter Liefman, donated the jersey to a raffle during Vetride 2013 and it was eventually purchased by Roger Greene on behalf of Team DVIETS to be hung beside their jersey. Below left in the frame are two medallions supporting the jersey: (1) a 'Tour of Duty medallion with USA Flag, and, (2) a medallion with a kangaroo in the foreground and an Australian flag in the background. A red circumference of the medallion details the names of the four riders in the Tour of Duty ride: Sgt Dan Ferguson, PO Brian Fish, Sgt ??? Seery, Maj Ty Domin.

Model

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Wooden model, centurion tank, polished wood.

Historical information

Model of centurion tank as was in Service in Vietnam.

Significance

Centurion tanks were a valuable resource in some operations; they provided valuable support to infantry soldiers.

Badges, medals

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

WW1 trio of Medals: 1st medal: 1914-15 Star: The four pointed star is bright bronze, ensigned with a crown. The obverse has crossed gladius, overlaid with an oak wreath that is ensigned with the cypher of King George V. A scroll bearing the legend 1914-15 is centrally placed across the crossed blades. 2nd Medal: The medal is circular, 36mm in diameter, silver in colour. The obverse bears an un-crowned effigy of King George V, facing left, with the inscription; ‘GEORGIVS V BRITT: OMN: REX ET IND: IMP:’ The reverse depicts St. George naked on horseback, armed with a short sword. The horse tramples on the Prussian shield and the skull and cross-bones. Just off-centre, near the right upper rim, is the Sun of Victory. The dates 1914 and 1918 appear in the left and right fields respectively. The recipient's details can be found on the medal's rim impressed in sans serif capitals - but due to the large numbers that were issued and the several suppliers that were involved this varies. The ribbon is 36mm wide with colours orange, white, black and blue. 3rd Medal: Victory Medal: The medal is bronze with a winged figure of Victory on the obverse. The reverse has the words ‘THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILISATION’, all surrounded by a laurel wreath. The ribbon has a ‘two rainbow’ design, with the violet from each rainbow on the outside edges moving through to a central red stripe where both rainbows meet.

Historical information

Medals from WW1.

Significance

Significant to remember previous wars and conflicts as it is from these that the qualities and attributes for future generations of soldiers (including Vietnam veterans) have been born.

Inscriptions & Markings

1st medal: The obverse has, centrally located, a scroll reading 1914-15. 2nd medal: The obverse has the inscription; ‘GEORGIVS V BRITT: OMN: REX ET IND: IMP 3rd medal: The reverse has the words ‘THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILISATION’.

Shield

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Trophy shield of mahogany polished wood for the Breaking of the Seal award at the members' annual day out. Brass plates on the shield record the winners from inception in 2005 to retirement in 2014

Historical information

The Sub Branch male members began an annual day out in 2005 whereby they took travel by train to and from Gisbourne to enjoy each others company over a lunch and an ale and to while away the time. In a lighthearted spirit, the Break The Seal competition was began to honour that member who held off the longest before succumbing to the 'call of nature'.

Significance

Significant is respect to being a lighthearted evidence of the comradeship and supportiveness of Vietnam veterans.

Inscriptions & Markings

Shield heading on a gold plate at the top of the shield records: D Viets Whistlestop Tour, Gisbourne. "Break"-The-Seal "Perpetual Trophy. Individual brass plates record the winners since inception in 2005 until the Trophy was retired in 2014. Central in the body of the trophy is a circular disc imprinted with By Presidential Decree with sketches therein: possum on the left, a beer glass in the middle and a koala on the right with a jagged lightening like slash diagonally through the middle of the circle.

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

Robert Tom Convery, Service No. 38627.

Print

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Rectangular print 'Dustoff' in a wooden frame; this is an iconic picture out of the Vietnam war

Historical information

Picture depicts a frequent activity of infantry in Vietnam - either waiting for pickup by Huey helicopters or having a drop off by the helicopters; in this case it is a pickup ('dustoff') of xxx section, yyy platoon, mmm Company.

Significance

Especially for infantry, the picture captures the moment of accepting a dustoff at the end of, or during, an operation.

Inscriptions & Markings

Presented to: The Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch on Friday 27th October 2006. By: David Streatfeild No. 9 Squadron (Royal Australian Airforce); Vietnam 1969 1970 and 1971. Centrally below the picture and columned vertically: Dustoff (CASEVAC Vietnam), by Brian Wood; Royal Australian Air Force insignia; Rising Sun insignia with scroll: The Australian Army. Signatures by: The Hon. Graham Edwards, Member of Parliament; The Hon. Tim Fischer, Member of Parliament; W.B. "Digger" Jam,es AC, MBE, MC, Major General (ret'd); Keith Payne VC, Warrant Officer Class 2 (ret'd); Brian Wood 4 RAR 70/71

Equipment

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Hootchie tent for use in field; colour is camouflage green.

Historical information

The hootchie was the field soldiers home-away-from-home while out of base; an easy to set up, lightweight shelter that could be quickly packed up.

Significance

The field soldier spent many nights under the cover of his hootchie during his tour of service and consequently, it along with other field equipment, has great significance to the veteran.

Inscriptions & Markings

Oxford Clothing Co. S.A. 1971. D.S.N. 8415-66-021-5442. Size M. Includes 'maintenance instructions'. Has handwritten detail: To: Plt 1, HQ Coy, Derek Welton.

White Cross

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

White cross with name and service number with a 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 Noel McCarthy, Service No. 3112702

Photo

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Photo, Framed, wooden.

Historical information

2005 DViets visit to the older Vietnam Veterans Museum, Phillip Island and present the museum with a $1,200 donation.

Significance

Photo shows DViets members at the time plus exterior wall of the older national museum.

Inscriptions & Markings

DViets visit National Vietnam Museum Phillip Island, September 2005; During the visit the Sub Branch presented a donation cheque of $1,200 to the museum.

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.

Soldiers Handbook

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

TBA

Historical information

TBA

Significance

TBA

Inscriptions & Markings

TBA

Pith Helmut

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Pith Helmut as issued to Army of North Vietnam soldiers, olive in colour with a North Vietnam star central to the front.

Historical information

Helmet is an examples of equipment (clothing) issued to the soldiers of North Vietnam. It is unknown how it came into the hands of the lender.

Significance

Significant in respect that the soldiers of North Vietnam were a respected foe and these items represent a tangible reminder of the enemy faced.

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil

Hexamine Stove

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Metal hexamine stove for use in field, includes hexamine fuel.

Historical information

Hexamine stove used by Australian soldiers for cooking when in the field.

Significance

The stove is significant to veterans for recollections of use in field for creative cooking.

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.

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.

Honour Roll Record

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

TBA

Historical information

TBA

Significance

TBA

Inscriptions & Markings

TBA

Back Pack and Webbing Kit

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Standard issue of infantry back pack and webbing kit for carrying of day-to-day needs whist on patrol or other duties. Contents included, but not limited to (and In no particular order): food, clothing, cooking utensils, water, spare ammunition, arms, maintenance tools, hutchie/mosquito net, personal items, machete,Two pieces in total.

Historical information

The back pack and webbing was the infantry soldiers 'house on feet'; whilst on patrol, he carried all that was required for days/weeks at a time with some re-supplies during the course of time sometimes; it was common practice to slide into the backpack whilst prone on the ground and then slowly turn and rise to standing as the most convenient of loading up.

Significance

Despite the effort required to patrol long distances with a heavy load, many soldiers had a close affinity with the backpack and webbing as it provided him with comefort and necessities during an Operation.

Inscriptions & Markings

Donors name "Langley"

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

Peter Raymond Gillson, Service No. 37857

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

Photo

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Photo, Framed, wooden: Padre Noel Boyce with Bob Elworthy, 2002

Historical information

Photo of Padre Noel Boyce with Bob Elworthy, 2002

Significance

Photo of early DViet padre.

Inscriptions & Markings

DViet Padre Noel Boyce, 2002.

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.

Book - The Vietnam War Experiance

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

Hardback book in box; Authors: Gerry and Janet Souter

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)>

Equipment

Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch,

South Vietnamese Army Backpack. Canvas; comprising straps, backpack and pouches

Historical information

Example of Army of South Vietnam issue backpack.

Significance

An example of equipment as issued to Army of South Vietnam.

Inscriptions & Markings

Empty

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.