Squirrell and Pat Symons were the hosts of the next V4 Reunion which was based at the RSA.
Coincidently, Whiskey 3 who served in Vietnam during our time there were also holding their company reunion,
also based at the RSA.
Next day, both groups moved by bus to Linton Camp where we were hosted by the Commanding Officer of 1 RNZIR,
his RSM and Victor and Whiskey Company Officer Commanders and their CSMs.
The welcome formalities occurred on the Bn Parade ground and a powhiri was performed by their maori cultural group. Our guys replied and Quin provided the waiata…….entitled, ‘My Latrine’. A somewhat unorthodox response,
but what a great rendition.
After a sumptuous meal and a tour of the Bn History Room we were given a briefing of the Battalions role,
current situation and future possibilities. Questions from both V4 and W3 were offered.
A very impressive static display by the 1 RNZIR troops followed. Afternoon tea was provided.
Hell, our guys can eat, eh Wheels?
Two LAVs were on hand that would move to the Bn Parade ground for a photo after the display to conclude events.
A ride perhaps? Yes.
SOPs stated that those on board must wear helmets. Tank was a bit peeved off when he wanted a ride,
but all the audio head protection was taken, so he was refused entry.
As the engines started, he raced to the static equipment table, grabbed and donned a 1940 US Army helmet
(with no inner), then as only Tank could do, squeezed into the already full LAV looking quite pleased with himself.
A photo of him in that headdress would be an iconic image to 1 RNZIR.
Ah, kiwi ingenuity is still alive and well.
The LAV Commander was dumfounded, especially with 5 other Vietnam Veterans ‘giggling like children’
at the rather comical situation. The young soldier in charge of the equipment was absolutely gobsmacked!
No signature, no nothing……….. he just took it, the helmets’ gone!
After a speech by the CO and the reply by Quin and his presentation, Evan Torrance (OC) also spoke expressing
his gratitude for the day on behalf of Whiskey 3.
Group photos took place, then the RSM invited everyone to the bar. That night at the RSA, was a great occasion for all, with another meal, band and enjoyment of everyone’s presence.
Next Day both Companies paraded under the command of Dennis King (W3) at the Palmerston North Square
for a memorial service.
Afterwards at the RSA V4 meeting, we took a collection for a replacement V4 flag.
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