Vietnam Veterans Day 2023: 50th Commemoration

This year, on August 18, we marked a momentous milestone: the 50th anniversary of Vietnam Veteran’s Day.

We are deeply honoured to pay tribute to the brave men and women who served in this conflict.

The public service, run by the Ballina RSL Sub Branch NSW commenced at 5pm at the cenotaph, and featured a unique spectacle – a fly-by from a Bell UH1H Huey Helicopter.

This historic aircraft holds a special place in our nation’s military history, being the first turbine-powered helicopter in service with the Australian Armed Forces.

It was in mid-1966, that No. 9 Squadron RAAF were deployed with these steadfast aircraft to South Vietnam, providing indispensable support to the 1st Australian Task Force. Their resilience, courage, and commitment to duty are values we still cherish and uphold today.

Presently, one of these magnificent Bell 205 UH1H helicopters, operated out of Ballina by AIR T&G Helicopter Services, contributes to our community in a different but no less important way. Now an aerial crane and a firefighting aircraft, it is instrumental in water bombing, air attacks, and mapping for bushfire response across NSW and Queensland. This essential service further strengthens the legacy of this aircraft.

Let’s come together to not only remember the sacrifices of our past but to also appreciate the continual service of this aircraft and our local heroes.