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Image Gallery: August 2009

31 August 2009
Missing Australian servicemen welcomed home

The last Australian servicemen missing from the Vietnam war were welcomed home today (31 AUG 09) at RAAF Base Richmond.

Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver failed to return from a routine bombing mission on 3 November 1970.

They were recovered in thick jungle in an extremely rugged, remote and sparsely populated area of Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, near the Laotian border.

The two airmen were returned aboard a C130H Hercules and welcomed during a ramp ceremony.

RAAF airmen from the Federation Guard formed an honour guard while the bearer party from 2 Sqn carried the remains of their comrades from the Hercules to waiting biers.

Speaking before assembled family, veterans and dignitaries, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science Mr Greg Combet said the repatriation was “the end of an era.”

“Australia can close this chapter of its history,” Mr Combet said.

“We honour all of those who served in Vietnam and sincerely thank them for their service.”

Dignitaries attending the ceremony also included Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support Dr Mike Kelly and Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mark Binskin.

During their last mission Flying Officer Herbert and Pilot Officer Carver flew aboard callsign Magpie 91.

A team of defence specialists completed excavating the crash site on Tuesday 21 July 09.

The successful repatriation was the result of cooperation between Vietnamese authorities and the Australian government.