RAAF Vietnam Veterans Association

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FLGOFF Mike Herbert (Pilot)

State Funeral for Mike Herbert

Born in Freeling, South Australia, to John and Joan Herbert, Michael completed his secondary schooling at Sacred Heart College in Somerton Park.

Interested in aviation from a young age, he graduated from South Australian Squadron Air Training Corp and was awarded a prestigious Flying Scholarship in 1962.

Michael trained and achieved his civil private pilot’s licence aged 16, in 1963, and was accepted as a cadet at the Royal Australian Air Force Academy in January 1964.

After graduating in December 1967, he moved to RAAF Point Cook for training, then on to RAAF Pearce, graduating with his Pilot’s Wings in January 1969. He was posted to No 2 Squadron as a pilot in Canberra Bombers.

Flying Officer Michael Herbert arrived in Vietnam in February 1970. On his 199th mission, on the night of 3rd November 1970, flying a Canberra Bomber, Michael and his navigator, Pilot Officer Robert Carver, reached their target and successfully completed the bombing run.

Returning well above the range of anti-aircraft artillery, in fine weather, while climbing from 22,000 to 25, 000 feet, the aircraft vanished from radar screens. Despite intensive searching for the next three days, no trace was found.

The aircraft wreckage was discovered in dense jungle near the Laotian border in April 2009. On 18th April 2009, the remains of Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver were found in the same site, and were repatriated to Australia on 31st August 2009.

Flying Officer Michael John Patrick Herbert was born on 6th September 1946 and died on 3rd November 1970. He was interred in a private burial on Monday, September 7th 2009 after a Pontifical Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial at the Cathedral Church of St Francis Xavier, Adelaide.

Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: 9 Squadron RAAF Association Wreath Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: Vietnam Veterans Museum and RAAFVVA Wreaths Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: RAAFVVA Wreath

Vietnamese Veterans and Vietnamese Community Wreath Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: Nick LeRay-Meyer and Norm Goodall attend the Funeral Service Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: Mike's Coffin arrives, with 8 RAAF Pilots as Pall-bearers

Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: Mike's Coffin placed on bier, ready for the Pontifical Celebrated Mass of Christian Burial Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: Mike's Dad arrives straight from hospital in a special wheelchair, accompanied by his son, Mike's brother, Shane (centre). Shane was 11 years of age when Mike became MIA Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: Shane and Kerryn (Mike's brother and sister) place personal memeontos on the coffin. The mementos includes their Mother's Rosary and a Silk Scarf. Mike's Mom passed away in 2007, never ceasing to pray that Mike's body would come home.

Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: Mike's Coffin departs after the Pontifical Celebrated Mass of Christian Burial Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: Preparation for the State Procession of Mike's remains, from Saint Francis Xavier's Cathedral on Wakefield Street, through Victoria Square, to a private family internment ceremony Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: RAAF Guard of Honour prepares to move off

Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: The Flags of Australia and South Vietnam fly in Mike's Honour Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: A lone RAAF F111 passes over the funeral procession in a Salute to Mike Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: The RAAF Guard of Honour leads the Funeral Procession

Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: The RAAF Band accompanies the Funeral Cortege Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: Principal Celebrant, Most Reverend Philip Wilson, Archbishop of Adelaide, and accompanying Priests lead the hearse carrying Mike's coffin Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: The Escort Party, consisting of 14 RAAF Pilots and an Escort Commander, march alongside the hearse carrying Mike's coffin

Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: Mike's Air Force Regalia, carried by a Flight Lieutenant Pilot and escorted by a RAAF Warrant OFFicer, follows behind the hearse Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: Mike's Family accompany the cortage, with the Premier of South Australia, Mike Rann

Official Department of Defence Media Release

Funeral for FLGOFF Michael Herbert: 07 September 2009

Family and friends, along with government and military representatives, gather for the funeral of Flying Officer Michael Herbert at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral in Adelaide. Flying Officer Herbert was repatriated by the Royal Australian Air Force from Vietnam to Australia on 30 August 2009 with military ceremonies in both Hanoi, Vietnam and at Royal Australian Air Force Base Richmond, New South Wales.

Flying Officer Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver went missing in action when the Royal Australian Air Force Canberra Bomber they were flying in disappeared on 3 November 1970 while returning to base following a bombing mission. As part of Operation Magpies Return, the remains of Flying Officer Herbert and Pilot Officer Carver, along with the wreckage of their aircraft, were located in thick jungle in a remote and sparsely populated area of Quang Nam Province, Vietnam.

The return of Flying Officer Herbert and Pilot Officer Carver of Number 2 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, completes the search for all missing Australian Defence Force personnel who died while on operations during the Vietnam Conflict.

Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: The coffin of Flying Officer Michael Herbert, surrounded by a Royal Australian Air Force bearer party, in front of the altar at St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral in Adelaide. Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: Kerryn Herbert (Sister) and Shane Herbert (brother) during the funeral service for Flying Officer Michael Herbert at St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral in Adelaide, South Australia. Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: (L to R) Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin AM and Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon John Faulkner, during the funeral service for Flying Officer Michael Herbert at St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral in Adelaide, South Australia.

Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: The coffin of Flying Officer Michael Herbert in front of the altar during the funeral service at St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral in Adelaide, South Australia. Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: A Royal Australian Air Force Bearer Party carries Flying Officer Michael Herbert's coffin from St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral to the hearse after the funeral service in Adelaide. Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: The coffin of Flying Officer Michael Herbert is carried by a Royal Australian Air Force Bearer party to the burial site at Centennial Park Cemetery in Adelaide

Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin AM, presents a Royal Australian Air Force Ensign to Flying Officer Michael Herbert's family after the funeral at St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral in Adelaide, South Australia. Funeral: Mike Herbert ~ September 7, 2009: Flying Officer Michael Herbert's brother and sister, Shane and Kerryn, place rose petals on his coffin at Centennial Park Cemetery in Adelaide.