W3 Company - News  Pūrongo

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Remembering ALL Our Fallen

2015 Reunion project to collect photos of all
our deceased veterans headstones

- see examples 

email the photo here 
 [do close-up photos for best detail]

link to more news beginning January 2017 - news archive

W3 Reunion 2015 - read about the W3 Coy 45th reunion   13 - 15 November 2015 in Timaru

next reunion Dunedin November 2018

Introducing NoDuff NZ - webmater [27 December 2016]
NoDuff is a radio proword used during exercises to indicate real life radio traffic which takes precedence over exercise messages, such as when a vehicle has a traffic accident with injured reported.  The proword is adopted by NoDuff NZ, a volunteer Veterans organisation in NZ, committed to providing immediate welfare support to past and present members of the NZDF, particularly veterans.  Their basic concept of operations is to provide ‘first response’ support to veterans in critical need, to secure the person in crisis and then work with partner agencies who can put in place more long term care as and if required.

NoDuff NZ have an extensive network of volunteers across NZ, the majority of whom are operationally experienced, serving and former members of the NZDF, providing an important bridging link between contemporary veterans and support agencies like the RSA and Veterans’ Affairs.  In recent months the RSA National Office, local RSAs and NZVA have partnered to deliver successful outcomes in a number of cases involving younger Veterans.  This has involved NoDuff referring people to the RSA and VA, and vice versa.  Contact details for NoDuff support by veterans or their friends and family is:

cellphone: 022 3071557
email: noduff.ngo@gmail.com

civilians, serving and ex-service people wanting to join NoDuff can start with a questionnaire at this link.

NOTICAS FATAL 42876 Pte Parekura (Pat) Kupenga RNZIR, Coy HQ - webmaster 22 December 2016
Veterans were advised today of the passing of Pat Kupenga at 11AM at Gisborne Hospital.

Pat's tangi is at Te Ao Wero marae near Ruatoria at 11AM Friday 23 December 2016, other details to be advised.

Post tributes for the W3 website here.

Staying in Touch - webmaster [12 December 2016]
Click the link for the latest NZ Vietnam Veterans Association Newsletter 'Contact'.
PUBLINTICAS Capt Bill Blair Coy HQ/1Pl - Bob Upton [9 December 2016]
Bob Upton advises that Bill Blair had major heart surgery to replace a valve on 7 December.  The surgery went well and Bill was recovering in the St George hospital Christchurch ICU, he is expected to be returned to a general ward by this weekend.

Bob will update the item later.

Commemorating Tom Cooper 3Pl - died of wounds 11 October 1970

On 10 October 1970 3 Platoon suffered a 'blue on blue' accident when one element fired on another element by mistake.  Friendly fire killed Pte Tom Cooper, crippled Pte Ian Herd and wounded LCpl William Samson and Pte Ross Dunlea.  The accident cast a pall over the otherwise successful W3 tour and left the company personnel traumatised, saddened and frustrated. 

Tom was struck a glancing blow to the head by a bullet.  He was winched with the three other wounded from the accident site by US Army 'dustoff' helicopter about 40 minutes after being wounded and flown to the Australian Field Hospital at Vung Tau.  Unconscious, Tom’s condition was assessed as critical and needing immediate specialist treatment and he remained on the helicopter which then flew him to the US Hospital at Long Binh.  Tom died of his wound sometime on 11 October 1970.

When returned to New Zealand Tom's body lay in state for three days on the Te Awamarahi Marae [Tuakau, Port Waikato] before, on the Maori Queen’s orders, being buried in the Royal Graveyard on the sacred Taupiri Mountain above SHW1 in the Waikato.  Tom’s sister Liz recollects that Tom was buried with full military honours including gun carriage and graveside volleys. 

Attendance at 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Canberra - webmaster [28 August 2016]
A ballot was held to identify 35 New Zealand Vietnam veterans to be part of th
e New Zealand contingent to attend the Australian Long Tan 50th anniversary in Canberra 18 August 2016 - the battle by D Coy 6RAR which included support from 161 Bty RNZA had occurred on 18 August 1966.  Three W3 veterans were in luck - [from left] Pte Dick Bennett 2Pl, LCpl Bill Paki Coy HQ and Cpl Mark Binning Mor Sect.  The contingent flew by RNZAF Boeing 757 and stayed three nights in Canberra.  Mark Binning describes his experience and the groups itinerary here.

Amber Bond daughter of Pte Gary Brooker Coy HQ, with her daughters Jasmine and Hayley attended the 50th anniversary parade and wreath laying service in Blenheim 18 August 2016. hattip Marlborough Express

On 18 August 1969 6RAR (then an ANZAC battalion and on their second tour) raised the original Long Tan cross at the site of the battle.  Following the war the original cross was removed and a replica installed.

A commemorative service planned at the Long Tan site in Vietnam for 18 August 2016 attracted around 3000 veterans and visitors but was cancelled at the last minute by the Vietnamese government, perhaps because they had not anticipated the large numbers.  After discussions with the Australian government and other parties groups of 100 veterans were allowed to visit the site.

NZ Vietnam Veterans Association website - webmaster [4 August 2016}
Check out and register on the new NZ Vietnam Veterans website, replacing the old EVSA model - the site has sidebars with useful links that add to the resources available to veterans.  Link is here
Staying in Touch - webmaster [31 July 2016]
Click the link for the latest NZ Vietnam Veterans Association Newsletter 'Contact'.

Red Diamond Facebook Page - Chris Stock [31 July 2016]
If you wore the Red Diamond during your service there is a Facebook group you can join - click this link.  The page introduction says "the group is open to anyone who served with 1RNZIR or 2/1RNZIR and wore the Red Diamond".  There are presently 1981 members so you should be able to connect to old mates.  There are links to other veteran pages as a sidebar.

Links with the Past - Evan Torrance [25 July 2016]
On Sunday 10th July Gen Mateparae  hosted a Duntroon Society lunch at Government House Wellington.  Zilla and I attended  and we were
surprised to be greeted at the door by the GG's aide Captain Luke Greenaway, son of Roger Greenaway W3.  I had met Luke some time ago in Linton but was unaware of his current posting.  Photo were taken at the gathering and shows Monsignor John Carde NZ Component 1970 flanked by Luke.

Bill Ashford Enquiry - webmaster [25 July 2016]
Jeremy Hoskin believes Bill Ashford is his birth father, Jeremy being adopted when two weeks old in 1973.  Jeremy is researching Bill's life and would appreciate contact with W3 or other veterans who knew his dad.  Jeremy is unsure if Bill knew he had a son.  If you can contribute to Jeremy's research his email address is here.

Website Statistics - webmaster [31 July 2016] 
The first half of 2016 saw almost 9000 unique visitors to the W3 website, readership peaking in February with 1623 unique visitors dropping to 1290 in May.  The average monthly unique readership for the six month period was 1491.  243 visitors in June (10%) remained for over 2-minutes to greater than an hour

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.

The second table illustrates the wide range of countries finding the website - figures are for July 2016 only; the US is again the largest source of visitors.  New Zealand is in the top three.  Russia appears to be researching the site:


link to more news from before July 2016 - news archive