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Corrimal air and ground display will mark 50 years since end of Australia’s part in Vietnam War

Former RAN Huey 898 will land and be on display during the Vietnam War commemoration display at Corrimal on Saturday 17 September. Picture: Howard Mitchell.

AN air and ground display at Corrimal this weekend will provide an impressive aviation focussed commemoration to mark 50 years since the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

Army cadets, Vietnam veterans and displays will support the show of Vietnam-era former RAAF and RAN aircraft from the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) at Corrimal Rangers sport ground on Saturday, September 17.

A de Havilland Caribou transport aircraft, a C-47 Dakota and a former Navy marine surveillance Grumman Tracker will conduct a tribute flyover of the Wilga Street sport ground at 11.30am, subject to service availability and weather conditions.

Dakota A65-94 was the first Australian aircraft deployed to Vietnam, delivering cargo from RAAF Butterworth to refugees in May 1963.

Caribou 234 is one of four former RAAF aircraft from HARS Aviation Museum set to provide a flypast over the Vietnam War commemoration at Corrimal on Saturday 17 September at 11.30 am. Picture: Howard Mitchell.

Caribou A4-234 was the last RAAF aircraft to leave Vietnam in 1972, bringing to an end seven and a half years of RAAF operation.

After the flyover the Caribou, Dakota and Tracker will return to Shellharbour Airport, at Albion Park Rail, where they will be on display for visitors to HARS Aviation Museum.

A highlight will be the landing of Vietnam era Iroquois helicopter 898 at the Corrimal sports ground.

The former RAN UH1B Huey is due to land at the sports ground at 10.30am where it will be open for inspection until a scheduled departure at 3pm.

Displays, support and food stalls are being arranged by Corrimal RSL Club, Corrimal RSL Sub-Branch, the Illawarra Branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association, 26 Australian Army Cadet Unit and the City of Wollongong Australian Air Force Cadet Squadron.

Event co-ordinator Michael Hough said while the event was weather dependent, it would go ahead even if the weather turned poor but with only light rain.

This will be the Illawarra’s opportunity to recognise service provided by Australians during the Vietnam War.

The year 2022 is recognised by the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park Sydney as marking 50 years since the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Currently the Memorial is featuring a Vietnam 50th display.

Located at Shellharbour Airport at Albion Park Rail, HARS Aviation Museum is open from 9.30 to 3.30 daily with the last guided tour starting at 2pm.

Details of check-in at www.hars.org.au

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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