Story 12 - Family Members


Nev and Des Haskett at Nui Dat 1971It was not normal to have family members serve in the same units in Vietnam.  Brothers Neville (Nev) and Desmond (Des) Haskett however both served in 104 Sig Sqn for a six month period in 1971.  Nev was a Technician with the Unit from Nov 1970  to Nov 1971 and Des was a Operator from Jun 1971 until Dec 1971.

Nev was originally called up as a “Nasho” but decided that, as service was unavoidable, he may as well get a trade out of it so signed up as a “Reg” on the understanding that he would be trained as a Tech Elec.


Ken and Ray Mackenzie at Dat Do 1971Ken Mackenzie served in 104 Sig Sqn as a Radio Sgt from Nov 1970 until Nov 1971 and his brother Raymond Mackenzie served with 110 Sig Sqn from May 1970 until May 1971.


Click to read article from Army Newspaper Vol 9 No 21 Feb 1968Ronald McGarry served in 104 Sig Sqn (Apr 1967 until Apr 1968) while his Father, Charles McGarry, served with 4 Fd Regt from May 1967 for a full year.

(Source - Army Newspaper Vol 9 No 21 Feb 1968)

Click to read


Brothers Harry and Russell Martin both arrived in South Vietnam on the 2nd May 1967 (on the same Plane) and served with 104 Sig Sqn for a full year.  Their Father 'Harry Senior' served with 547 Sig Tp in 1968/69.  Russell return to Vietnam with 110 Sig Sqn in 1970/71.  So between the three Martin's (Father and Sons) they had a presence in South Vietnam from May 1967 to April 1971.  Not a bad record !!


Kevin Schmitt at Nui Dat 1967Warrant Officer John Schmitt served with HQ 1ATF  and his brother Kevin Schmitt was posted to 104 Sig Sqn one week after John return to Australia.  Kevin was the 104 Radio Tp Sgt during his tour from May 1967 until March 1968.


Brothers Alan and George Day arrived in Vietnam on the 2nd May 1967 and both served in 104 Sig Sqn.   George return to Australia on the 22nd Dec 1967 and Alan came home on the 20th Feb 1968.


Wally Heath leaving Nui Dat for the last time in Sept 1970Walter (Wally) Heath served with 104 Sig Sqn in Vietnam from 16th Sept 1969 to 3rd Sept 1970.   His brother Kevin Heath served during the same period with 110 Sig Sqn in Vung Tau from 14th Oct 1969 to the 15th Oct 1970.


Rosie Thorne - Second Tour manning SB-22 SwitchboardPeter (Rosie) Thorne served with 104 Sig Sqn 19th Feb 1968 till 21st Jan 1969 (First Tour) and 11th Mar 1970 to 30th Sept 1970 (Second Tour).   His brother Ronald Thorne served with 110 Sig Sqn  28th Apr 1967 to 19th Dec 1967.


Ralph Schwer served with 104 Sig Sqn 17th Jan 1968 till 27th Aug 1969 (First Tour) and 547 Sig Tp 28th Oct 1970 to 16th Jun 71 and then HQ AFV until Feb 1972 (Second Tour).  His twin brother Richard Schwer served as a grunt with 4 RAR and HQ 1 ATF from Mar 1969 until Mar 1970.


Rob Davey at Nui DatRob Davey served with 104 Sig Sqn April 1967 to March 1968 with Radio Troop.  His brother Philip Davey served with Signal Platoon, Support Company, 3RAR from Dec 1967 to Aug 1968.   Rob was detached to the 3RAR Signal Platoon for a time from Dec 1967 so Philip got the big brother family welcome to South Vietnam.


John Hunter in South VietnamJohn Hunter served with 5RAR and 104 Sig Sqn from Jan 1969 to Jan 70.   His brother William Hunter did two tours with 3 SAS Sqn from Jun 1966 to Mar 1967 and from Feb 1969 to Sep 1969.   William (Bill) second tour was cut short when he was WIA.   Before Bill was Medevac from Vietnam he  was stabilised at our Field Hospital at 1ALSG, Vung Tau.  John was rushed to his brother's side from Nui Dat.  He arrived just as the Task Force Commander was visiting.   Brig Sandy Pearson looked at the situation and immediate ordered that John would accompany Bill home on the Medevac Hercules.   This order was overruled by the wounded SAS Sgt stating it was family honour that John completed his tour in Vietnam.    Most likely the only time the Brigadier was over ruled by a Sergeant!

Footnote:   Any other families mising   ??

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