RAAF Vietnam Veterans Association

UNVEILING OF THE RAAF VIETNAM PLAQUE
SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE MELBOURNE
18 August 2008

Royal Australian Air Force Crest

NEW MEMORY FOR OLD BLOKES
RAAF Vietnam Remembered

A memory is unveiled today – a reminder and so much more
A plaque to honour we who served – as airmen in a war
All volunteers who heard the call – we answered with our heart
And were sent to serve in Vietnam – where each one did his part
On foreign soil we lived and toiled – in the air we made our stand
To support the quest for freedom – in a sad and ancient land

We who served recall the times – when sweat was mixed with tears
And regardless of the task at hand – we swallowed our worst fears
To ensure the job we had to do – in the air or on the ground
Was carried out with speed and care – and we revelled in the sound
Of aircraft engines and surging air – underscored with silent pride
In the knowledge that the job was done – all doubts were cast aside

Silently we returned back home – proud of what we’d done
Though soon we came to realise that – our youth had somehow gone
Replaced by hardened minds and hearts – we fought to find a peace
And over time we saw the light – and though they didn’t cease
Nightmares waned and in our lives – that knowledge and our pain
Was relegated to the cargo hold – and the clouds held no more rain

Wallaby, Albatross, Magpie, Bushranger – call-signs of birds of war
Flown and tended, maintained, remembered – by all who ever saw
The red kangaroo and blue roundel – the sign of Australia’s own
Squadrons that excelled in time of war – and rightly became renowned
And we, my friends, we served with pride – during a time that history shows
Was a pivotal point in a time of doubt – and in our hearts that honour flows

Sir Richard Williams in his plane – high up in heaven’s skies
Looks down on us this morning and – with satisfaction, sighs

©Copyright August 4, 2008 by Anthony W. Pahl OAM

Royal Australian Air Force Vietnam Veterans Association Crest

Written to commemorate the unveiling of the RAAF Vietnam Plaque at the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, Victoria on Vietnam Veterans Day, 18th August 2008 and recited by the Author at the unveiling of the RAAF Vietnam Plaque at the Australian Flying Corps Memorial: RAAF Base Point Cook, 28 March 2010

Recitiation of Poem by Wing Commander Nick LeRay-Myer AM,
former Commanding Officer of 9 Squadron, Vietnam