Story 12 - Family Members

104 Sig Sqn members with fathers and brothers
that also served in South Vietnam at the same time



110  104  21 RAE Troop  102 RAEME  106 RAEME

Bob Coventry
Bob Coventry

Robert "Bob" Coventry served in 110 Sig Sqn, Deployment Troop September 1971 to January 1972 and was detached to 104 Sig Sqn during September to October 1971.  110 Sig Sqn Deployment Troop  was assisting 104 Sig Sqn with communications during the withdrawn of the Task Force from Nui Dat to Vung Tau.

His father Ronald "Eric" Coventry (AACC) did two tours in South Vietnam, the first tour with 21 Engineering Support Troop, 1 Field Squadron (RAE) May 1966 to Jun 1967 and the second tour with 106 Field Workshop (RAEME) and then 102 Field Workshop (RAEME), April to December 1971.   Eric also served in WW2 as a  Gunner with 108 Anti-Tank Regt (later changed to Tank Attack).

104 Sig Sqn Families
Eric and Bob on back beach at 1ALSG, Vung Tau, late Nov 1971

DAVEY Family

Unit   Unit

Rob Davey at Nui Dat
Rob Davey

Rob 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.

DAY Family

Unit   Unit

Alan Day
Alan Day

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

DEED Family

Unit   Unit   Unit

Brian Deed
Brian Deed

Brian Deed was a regular soldier serving with 103 Sig Sqn then 104 Sig Sqn.

On the 10 May 1967 his older brother Sapper Ramon John Peter Deed, serving with 1 Field Squadron was one of six engineers injured during mine laying operations at the Horseshoe.  Ramon died of wounds he received a few days later.  He was a national serviceman, from Berri, South Australia and married.   With the death of his brother Brian return to Australia on the 17 May 1967 to support his family.

Ramon Deed
Spr Ramon Deed

Brian return to South Vietnam for a second tour with 104 Sig Sqn from the 2 Apr 68 to 30 Apr 69.

'The Ramon Deed Veterans Retreat' in named to honour Ramon and is only 17km from Mildura near the town of Dareton, NSW.   See

Newpaper 11 May 1967
Source: Trove digitsed newspaper, National Library of Australia (11 May 1967)


   Unit  1RAR

Larry James Donnelly served with 104 Sig Sqn from 30 Apr - 3 Dec 1968 and was a Nasho.  

His younger brother, a Regular Soldier, Private William Wayne Donnelly served with the 1 Australian Reinforcement Unit 9-24 Sept 1968 and then with 2 Platoon, B Company, 1RAR from 25 Sept 1968.  William died at the 24th US Evacuation Hospital, Long Binh after being shot during an Op Capital contact in the May Tau Hills, 24 Nov 1968 at age 19. 

Larry return home to the family.

Pte W W Donnelly
Private William Donnelly


Unit   Unit

Nev and Des Haskett at Nui Dat 1971
Neville and Desmond Haskett

It 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. 


104 Sig Sqn   Unit

Ray Hinchey
Ray Hinchey

Raymond "Ray" Hinchey serve with 104 Sig Sqn 11 Nov 1968 until 19 Aug 1969 and was a Nasho.  His brother Cpl Adrian John Hinchey was a Section Commander with 4 Platoon, B Company, 5RAR, serving from 27 Jun to 18 Aug 1969.

During  Op Camden in the Hat Dich Secret Zone, on the 15 Aug Adrian's section entered an occupied bunker system and he was seriously wounded by RPG and small arms fire.

Adrian was Medevac back to Australia, after being stabilised at the 1st Australian Field Hospital, at Vung Tau.  Ray was also return to Australia.

Hinchey Family
The Minister for the Army, Mr Andrew Peacock, talks with Corporal (Cpl) Adrian Hinchey of Holsworthy, NSW, and his wife, Glenise. Cpl Hinchey was one of the 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (5RAR), wounded who watched his comrades march through Sydney recently. Cpl Hinchey lost both legs and part of his left arm when he was wounded by a rocket proplelled grenade while on operations north of the Warburtons in Phuoc Tuy Province in August 1969.  Ref:  AWM PEA/70/0075/EC 10 March 19770


1ALSG   104 Sig Sqn

Mick Mazengarb
Mick Mazengarb updating communication plans at 104 Sig Sqn, Nui Dat

Michael "Mick" Mazengarb served with 104 Sig Sqn as the Signals Daughtsman from Jul 1970 to Jul 1971.   Mick's father, Major Peter Mazengarb AM MiD, served with the 1st Australian Logistic Support Group (1ALSG) from Sept 1967 to Sept 1968 and was awarded the Mention in Dispatches (MiD) for his vietnam service. 

Footnote:  In  Jan 1995 Peter was also awarded the AM for service to veterans.

HEATH Family

Unit   Unit

Wally Heath leaving Nui Dat for the last time in Sept 1970
Wally Heath

Walter "Wally" Heath served with 104 Sig Sqn in Vietnam from Sept 1969 to Sept 1970.   His brother Kevin Heath served during the same period with 110 Sig Sqn in Vung Tau from  Oct 1969 to Oct 1970.


Unit   Unit   Unit

John Hunter in South Vietnam
John Hunter

John 'Grunt' 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 in the early hours 5 Sept 69, near the hamlet of Duc Trung  (1)

Bill was in-charge of a Mobile Advisory Team (MAT) and two of his Vietnamese soldiers were also wounded in the same action. The three were medical evacuated by 'dustoff' to the 1st Australian Field Hospital, at Vung Tau.

Before Bill was Medevac back to Australia he  was stabilised at the Field Hospital.  John was rushed to his brother's side from Nui Dat.  He arrived just as the Task Force Commander was visiting the Hospital.  

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!

(1) AWM95-1-4-165 1ATF Sept 1969 Page 41 and AWM-7-12-17 3SAS Sept 1969 Pages 11 and 107.


Unit   Unit

Ken and Ray Mackenzie at Dat Do 1971
Ken and Raymond Mackenzie

Ken 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.


Unit   Unit   Unit

Russell and Harry Martin

Brothers Harry and Russell Martin both arrived in South Vietnam on the 2 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 !!

McGARRY Family

Unit   Unit

Ronald 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.

Newspaper - McGarry Family

Source: Army Newspaper Vol 9 No 21 Feb 1968


104 Sig Sqn   1st Field Australian Hospital

104 Sig Sqn George Patterson
George 'Irish' Patterson

Brothers David and George Patterson both served in South Vietnam mostly at the same time.   George "Irish" served with 104 Sig Sqn as a Radio Operator from May to Dec 1971 and David "Patto" was a Medic with the 1st Australian Field Hospital (Callsign Vampire) from Nov 1970 to Dec 1971.   Both were born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and missed our national service call up but both joined the Australian Army anyway.

George stated their Parents got them out of Belfast to avoid the "troubles" and Mum and Dad were not impressed with them joining the Australian Army and then serving in the war!


Unit   Unit

Kevin Schmitt at Nui Dat 1967
Kevin Schmitt

Warrant 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.


Unit   Unit   Unit   Unit

Ralph Schwer
Ralph Schwer

Ralph Schwer served with 104 Sig Sqn 17 Jan 1968 till 27 Aug 1968 (First Tour) and 547 Sig Tp 28 Oct 1970 to 16 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 1ATF from Mar 1969 until Mar 1970.


Unit   Unit

Rosie Thorne - Second Tour manning SB-22 Switchboard
Rosie Thorne

Peter "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.

 Any other families missing   ??

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