W3 Company - News Pūrongo
Remembering ALL Our Fallen
project to collect photos of all
displayed against their name on
the Company roll
John Gurnick 3Pl - died of wounds 29 May 1970
John was cover scout for 3Pl on 29 May 1970 when a booby trap was missed and he and Chris Kennedy were wounded, John dying of his wounds within a short period. Chris recovered after a period in 1AFH and returned to 3Pl for the remainder of the tour.
MIA Pte Trevor Philip 2Pl
- webmaster [30 May 2015]
Veterans in Australia are reporting the Ginge's email address is bouncing, anyone help re-establish contact please..?
updated thanx Dick Bennett and Colin Fraser, contact with Trev has been established, he has not presently got computer reception at his property near Goulburn. He advised Colin that he will be at the Timaru reunion.
Different - Vietnam Battle Map - webmaster [19 May 2015]
A team of Australians are working on a project to record every contact involving 1ATF over the 10-year period of the ANZAC involvement, building an interactive map that shows where, when and why contacts occurred.
Background - As currently configured, the ‘Australia’s Vietnam War’ website provides a unique, interactive method of studying a major component of Australia’s war in Vietnam. The Website is the product of many years of work, starting with the creation of the 1 ATF Contact Database in the 1980s. Work on the current website commenced in late 2012 and the team looks forward to extending its capabilities in preparation for the 50-year anniversary of the 1 ATF campaign. Ultimately, they hope to help shape the way information is collected and analysed in future military operations, to shorten decision cycles and save lives. At the moment, it only deals with the combat operations of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF). The Team led by Bob Hall ex 8RAR hopes that vets will contribute to the program by providing more information on any contacts they were involved in and other info such as photographs etc. These facts will provide a unique data base for future analysis. Whilst the official launch is not until 27 May 2015 it is available now and participation is welcome. Before the launch a “Grunts” guide on how to drive the program will be included.
W3 Effort - I have been using the site for a week and have added most of the W3 website timeline research notes for December 1969 and January 1970. I say most because the filter used requires you to search under their criteria and the proffered detail sometimes doesn't make much sense so some elements of the Company can't be identified. Anyway have a go, read our entries and if you register you can add notes about contacts you were in J
The website is here:
When you enter the site click on the link 'Battle Map' which will take its time loading given the size of the existing database and I suspect a very slow link. The filter on the left of the map looks like this: note the spaces in the units involved field and by just changing the pl number and the operation name you can trace most of your time in the bush. Refer to the W3 website history for the operation names.
I will carry on and add the remaining entries from our timelines as opportunity allows - send your comments here
Farewell to the Huey -
webmaster [13 May 2015]
A bunch of about 30 veterans scored their last ride in a Huey early in May when three aircraft made a farewell visit to Christchurch before their decommissioning in July. Among the veterans was Blue Caldwell 1Pl - the farewell flight was airborne for around 20-30 minutes and involved low level passes along the beach and time above Banks Peninsula. The distinctive sound of the Huey will be missed by veterans, I remember at Parade 98 in Wellington watching veterans weep when the aircraft made an unexpected fly past at the end of the Sunday morning church service.
Veterans Support Act [VSA]
Klitscher (past National President RNZRSA 2008) [25 April 2015]
Veterans have been
some parts of the new Veterans Support Act 2014 [VSA] which
replaced the War Pensions Act 1954 [WPA] at the end of 2014.
The following explanation is for all who may be concerned ......
Vietnam Veterans (Neville
Wallace Memorial) Children’s & Grandchildren’s Trust -
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT [25 April 2015]
It is my privilege to present this report on the activities of the Vietnam Veterans (Neville Wallace Memorial) Children’s & Grandchildren’s Trust for the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014. During the past year the Trust received $4030.00 in donations and this, combined with capital gains from our equities portfolio, saw the Capital Fund increase by over $34,000 to $537,651. I particularly acknowledge the generous donation of 500 copies of the book ‘A Duty Done’ by the Royal Australian Regiment Association. The books are being marketed on our behalf to the New Zealand Vietnam veteran community by Major General (Rtd) Maurice Dodson and I thank him for the time and effort he has put into this. We are already starting to see the results from this reflected in the Capital Account.
Since its inception the Trust has made a total of 462 grants ranging in value from $159 to $2,500. In 2014 we awarded a total of 24 bursaries (c/w 33 in 2013) with an average value of $524. The assistance given continues to be wide and varied encompassing the whole gambit of education, sporting and cultural endeavour - 88% of the bursaries awarded went to first time applicants (up 6%); 92% went to applicants resident in New Zealand; 29% were to the children of Vietnam veterans (down 7%); female recipients comprised 67% of the total (down 6%); 64% were aged <20 years of age; 7% were aged between 20 and 30 years and 29% were aged 31>.
Our website www.evsayouthtrust.org.nz continues to attract considerable interest and, to date, has received in excess of 39,000 ‘hits’. I acknowledge the professionalism of our webmaster Wayne Cribb. Wayne is a barrister who has an interest in website design. He works for gratis and we thank him for that. I am pleased to advise that the website is now fully sponsored by Jimmy Jacks Ribshack in Paihia. I acknowledge the ongoing support we continue to receive from NZ Post by way of standard post-paid envelops.
During the year we welcomed George Mathew to the Board as well as Anita Killeen as our Honorary Legal Adviser. I thank everyone for their valued contributions to our work. The Trust is in good shape. We can face the future with confidence.
Ross Miller, MNZM, JP
30 March 2015
Evan [age 78] and Zilla Torrance were part of a 113 strong tour party who laid a wreath at Chunuk Bair on 24 April. Evan had told the group that two All Blacks had died at Gallipoli; Albert Downing on 8 August and Henry Dewar on 9 August, both had arrived on 8 August as members of the 5th Reinforcements and their names are inscribed on the Chunuk Bair Memorial panels. Evan's father Andrew Torrance was in the same draft and landed 9 August 1915 - one of 300 reinforcements for the Otago Infantry Battalion [note that Downing died the day he arrived - Ed].
From a Timaru newspaper clipping: Evan was thinking about his father Andrew who landed at Gallipoli aged only 18. "The only time he spoke to me about his experiences in the First World War he mentioned that they were never too far away from the Turks, the food was dreadful and all they had was bully beef, biscuits and water was just so short". Andrew contracted dysentery and was evacuated but fought on the Western Front until gassed at Passchendaele. He died aged 82.
ANZAC Day 25 April 2015
- webmaster [19 April 2015]
As we lay there together men smitten with fear
RSA Fight For Our Flag
- Bob Upton [14 April 2015]
The New Zealand Flag Referendums Bill was introduced to the House in March and an announcement was made that the closing date for submissions on the Bill is Thursday, April 23. The RNZRSA is championing the current flag on behalf of concerned members and will be making a submission to ensure their voices are heard. They also want the Government to hear the voices of all New Zealanders who think, as they do, that the referendum process is flawed and costly, and that the current flag is the right choice for New Zealand today and into the future. The flag represents the history that makes us uniquely Kiwi. It unites our present with our past and encompasses the heritage that shaped and formed the pioneering and innovative people that we are today. It is our flag. Let's make sure it stays that way. On Sunday, the RSA issued a press release encouraging Kiwis to email or write to their local MP asking them to vote against the Bill, or make a personal submission to the Select Committee. The RSA also launched a new page on the RSA website - rsa.org.nz/Community/FightforOurFlag - to give people the resources to do just that.
The current flag is part of the Vietnam story. If you agree with the RSA position why not email or send a letter to your MP asking them to vote against the Bill..? You can use sample letters from the RSA website or write your own. Direct people to rsa.org.nz/Community/FightforOurFlag for information on the RSA position and how they can help.
Noticas Fatal 312920 Gnr
Michael John Sullivan RAA - Coy HQ FOO Party - webmaster
[30 March 2015]
Gnr Mick Sullivan passed away in Australia on 12 March 2015, near Ballarat in Victoria - more details of the funeral have been requested from our other FOO party colleagues.
Our 4 Fd Regt FOO Kevin O'Brien offers this tribute "Mick was a gunner when we first went to W Coy but after a couple of ops, I was able to get him promoted to LBdr. He performed exceptionally well in the contact on Long Son Island and was sent out on several patrols with the spare radio with approval to provide fire support if needed. Before joining W Coy, he was involved in a major fire fight, where he initiated contact when deployed as the sentry. Great young soldier. Missed by us all". Colleague Bob Brumm remembers Mick as a champion country boxer in Victoria before joining the army.
Canadian Interest in W3
website - webmaster [24 March 2015]
A Canadian army officer with the Canadian Directorate of Army Doctrine recently approached the webmaster for permission to use the W3 website as a reference site while re-writing the Canadian Army 'Jungle and Forest Operations' manual. Major Murray Robertson has worked with Kiwi's in Bosnia and visited New Zealand. Major Robertson describes the website as excellent [J] and sees it as balancing the mainly American experience widely available in North America. Approval was freely given subject to attribution of source.
Jim Cutler's [unsolicited]
comment: It is simply not proper that it takes a
Canadian to tell us that the W3 Coy website is "excellent".
So, for all those W3 Coy members (and others) who regularly
'check in' to the website to see what's new, I must say on your
behalf, what an excellent job Bruce Young is doing for us.
Thank you Bruce, and long may it continue! [yeah
Veterans Support Act [VSA]
Changes to War Disability Pension [WDP] - webmaster [14
Veterans need to be aware of nuances and changes to our WDP conditions in relation to the passing of the Veterans Support Act last year, especially the cross-over if having further claims or treatment - start by reading these two documents [courtesy Viet Vets net] and take up any concerns with your VANZ case manager or local RSA welfare officer;
David Wright 2Pl - died of wounds 19 March 1970
Pte David Wright [left] succumbed to secondary infections [likely renal failure] from his earlier wounds in January and died in Concord Repatriation Hospital Sydney on 19 March 1970. Dave had been well enough by early March 1970 to be writing from Concord to friends in W3 and his death was sudden and unexpected, so sudden that a last letter was received in SVN after news of his death.
Dave is buried in Esk Valley South Canterbury; his grave will be visited during the W3 2015 Reunion in Timaru.
2015 - Newsletter 1 - webmaster [7 March 2015]
I have posted Reunion Newsletter 1 at this link on behalf of the Reunion organising committee. A copy has been sent to the W3 email distribution list. You require Adobe Reader to open the newsletter, get a free download at this link.
Waiouru - shrinking town
soldiering on - webmaster [21 February 2015]
At the link is a story on the current state of the community we knew as Waiouru Camp, thought you might be interested - Manawatu Standard
the 1st Reunion Newsletter
- webmaster [1 February 2015]
The reunion organisers report they are still approaching motels in the area near the Timaru RSA to organise accommodation deals and expect to have these settled by mid-February. There will be a meeting with the RSA mid-February to settle arrangements and meal costs. By mid-March the anticipated 1st Reunion newsletter should be available.
If the veteran or their family have advised their current email address the Newsletter will be distributed by email. Otherwise the website will offer the newsletter from a link on the reunion website page and people who use the website automatic update option will receive an email whenever the website welcome page is updated - note that update email addresses are separate from the veteran email notification and not available to the webmaster.
Email Address Bounces -
webmaster [4 February 2015]
the email address for the following people has bounced [meaning no longer receiving email] - if you are in contact with the veteran or their family please request an updated email address be forwarded to here:
the current emails are necessary for forwarding updates on the W3 45th reunion this November
Fatal 981277 Pte WAG [Gene] Illingworth 3Pl - webmaster
Warren passed away Wednesday 7 January 2015 after a long battle with cancer. His funeral is on Monday 12 January 2014 at 1430 hrs at Beauchamp Crematorium Chapel, 167 John F Kennedy Drive Palmerston North. For further details please refer to Dominion Post of 8 January.
Tributes here V4 Coy has been advised, Warren came to W3 from V4
Evan Torrance [15 January 2015] - On Monday I attended the funeral of Gene Illingworth who according to the service sheet would answer to Buddy, Gennie Weenie, WAG, Illy, Jumpy, Junior, Punung [?? Philippines] or Gene. The service was conducted by Mark Donaldson (All Black 1977-1981) and attended by friends and whanau that filled the Chapel and adjacent Reception Room. Ngatoko Kupe, Dave Gundersen and I represented W3 and we were joined by a few other ex-Vietnam Vets, one of whom had travelled to Palmerston North from the Far North. Gene was 67 and he and his wife Jaqui had six children all being present with their offspring to give him a heartfelt humorous farewell. Gene's three year army service that included four months with V4 and six months with us was recognised with the reciting of the Ode and the playing of the Last Post.
Website Statistics - webmaster [1
In 2014 the W3 website had its best year for readership with 31981 unique visitors, a roughly 50% increase from the previous year [19537 in 2013 and 15834 in 2012] perhaps reflecting that the website is being noted as a reference in other published research.
While figures differ month to month I have chosen December figures as illustrative [highest month ever and reflecting the upward trend in visitors]. Generally visits duration figures show 85-90% of visitors leave within 30-seconds [6152 in December 2014] which suggests Google displays the website as a first option during random searches, but e.g. in December 507 visitors engaged for longer than 2-minutes with 291 reading on for greater than 15-minutes including 74 who stayed for over an hour. Based on these figures W3vietnam.org.nz is a relevant reference website.
The first table illustrates different statistics for visitors: unique visitors is based on different IP addresses [same computer multiple visits equals one] - No of visits is a computer who has not linked to the site in the previous hour - pages is the total of times a HTML [web] page has been viewed [but does not count PDF or other files or images], while hits show total of everything viewed or downloaded [page plus all images on page are counted] and bandwidth is the amount of data downloaded and read each month.
Who is reading W3vietnam.org.nz? The second table illustrates the wide range of countries finding the website with the US consistently the largest source of visitors. New Zealand monthly downloads were down from December 2013 [212.39Mb] averaging 113.35 Mb/month for 2014 with the highest months being January [198.20 Mb] and June [121.36 Mb]:
In December 2014 the website disk space consumption on the
host servers reached a data limit requiring data to be
either cleaned up [delete some] or additional disk space purchased.
With a major revision of content completed a year ago and a reunion
to look forward to in 2015
a hosting plan upgrade was desirable and has been organised at no