The war also had great effects on the American people. It was the first war ever broadcast on television.
Most could answer truthfully. But because of the security blackout the government imposed on them, the Royal Australian Air Force RAAF ghost warriors who fought a secret war in Thailand to support the troops in Viet Nam have had to be silent for 40 years.
Each airman served a minimum of 6 months in Ubon, Thailand, near the Laotian border. When they arrived back home it was to find that no one was interested in their war. Yet more than 2, personnel served there between May and August Because of this, the government claimed that the veterans were not entitled to Vietnam war support benefits.
When the vets started submitting petitions to the government for recognition and benefits, they pointed out that Malaya was a long way from Ubon and in another country. Aerial view of Ubon air base Malaya did not want anything to do with the Vietnam War either.
For that reason, the Sabres flew on changeover from Butterworth to Ubon and back tucked under the wings of re-supply planes so that they could not be detected by radar.
Bob Hope Show December But the federal government refused to recognize for many years that these troops qualified for medical help.
Some even died as a result, ignored, unacknowledged, and neglected. Surviving veterans unearthed files to support petitions to the government for benefits and recognition when the statute of limitations ran out on the Freedom of Information Act.
The vets claimed they had been denied equal recognition for their service in a war zone. Bob Hope and Racquel Welch entertaining the troops — Ubon, They were not the only ones who were ignored either.
Australian Defense Force ADF troops who took part in Malayan Emergency operations, and others who were on active service during the Indonesian Confrontation, returned home to the same treatment from an ungrateful country.
In the Australian Federal Government commissioned an independent commission to review these petitions. The government refused to act on it. This finally convinced the Australian government to honor them with a package of benefits, including medals and pensions to the survivors.
Although the Australian government has awarded the Australian Active Service Medal to those who served afterit seems the award may actually be invalid. The laws that govern who can be awarded that medal state that it is only awarded after receiving a campaign medal.
The Ubon vets have not yet been awarded a campaign medal. By awarding this medal, the federal government would at last acknowledge that the Ubon vets were supporting active service troops in Viet Nam. Commemorative medal issued by Thai King Adulyadej in appreciation of the veterans who served in his country during the Vietnam war Compare this to the attitude of the Thai people.
The medal is worn with pride by all those who served at Ubon Ratchathani between May and August Despite the awards and benefits the Australian government has grudgingly given since the Mohr Review, the vets feel there is still much to be done.
For years the Australian government was reluctant to acknowledge that their service in Ubon was in support of the Viet Nam war. Was it just for the money involved, or does it go deeper? This was not what the Australian federal government said officially, but that is certainly what the RAAF boys were doing there.
It seems that after all these years they are still afraid of having embarrassing secrets revealed about their involvement in the Viet Nam war.
The Australian base was about meters from the runway, so all RAAF personnel were deafened by the roar of 7 afterburners at full throttle every time a flight took off. Nervous disorders and hearing problems are common among the vets as a result.
These are not the most serious illnesses that can be attributed to serving in Ubon. Many Ubon vets have suffered slow chemical poisoning as a result of the poor controls on how chemicals were used around the base.
For example, one of the troops assigned to fill a water tanker with drinking water for the troops reported he was ordered to use the same tanker to transport insecticides. Even though the tanker was supposed to be cleaned out before changing cargos it was extremely difficult to remove all traces of the chemicals.
Using the same tanker to transport drinking water was an irresponsible act, and a clear health hazard for the troops. But no one in the Australian government at the time cared.
Photo by George Knowles Since then the vets have had a hard time persuading the federal government to accept that the disabilities some of them suffer today were caused by these dangerous chemicals. Some have even died as a result. Illnesses include cancers, palsy, diabetes, and abnormal births, to name a few.Help us build this feature.
Send us an image of your community's Doughboy Statue or World War I Memorial. This essay delves deeply into the origins of the Vietnam War, critiques U.S. justifications for intervention, examines the brutal conduct of the war, and discusses the .
Free Essay: Unique Design of the Vietnam War Memorial At the age of twenty one, a female undergraduate at Yale University named Maya Lin submitted her design. Vietnam War Memorial original design submission by Maya Lin In , at 21 and still an undergraduate, Lin won a public design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, beating 1, other competition submissions.
. Derek Seidman. In June , a group of American soldiers stationed in Vietnam huddled together to write a letter to an antiwar newspaper in Berkeley, California, called the Ally.
They described their feelings towards the war they were being made to fight. On the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, “The Marines and Tet: The Battle That Changed the Vietnam War” will showcase the work of John Olson, a young photographer with Stars and Stripes who spent three days with the Marines at the Battle of Huêˊ (pronounced hway), the bloodiest.