79 Sqn RAAF Base Ubon
79 Squadron Ubon Thailand
In 1962 Thailand, a member of the South East Asia Treaty Organisation requested the SEATO nations for military assistance to help defend Thailand in case of any attack from North Vietnam troop movements along its northern borders.
As of 31 May 1962 to 1968 (to honour Australia's commitment to the SEATO) the RAAF committed a contingent of 250 personnel, and provided a support squadron of eight sabre aircraft to be sent to Ubon, Thailand to patrol the Thai/Laos border area, assisting Thailand in defending against communist insurgents and terrorists from neighbouring countries to the east.
Ubon, near the Laos border in eastern Thailand was, over six years, home to some 2000 RAAF personnel living in very basic conditions and operating with just bare necessities. No.79 Squadron (formed on 24 June 1962 from 77 Squadron detachment) and RAAF Ubon personnel can be very proud of the excellent serviceability rate maintained over the years and have finally been recognised by the Australian Government with the recent award of the Australian Service Medal and clasp "Ubon" 1945-1975.
In 1965 their role was broadened to assisting the USAF in the tactical air war against Vietnam. The USAF used the air base at Ubon to launch air attacks on North Vietnam 24 hours a day.
79 Squadron was affectionately known as TWA - Teeny-Weeny-Airline, by the USAF who operated some 90-plus F-4 Phantom Fighters from Ubon on Vietnam missions.
RAAF Contingent Ubon was withdrawn 31 August 1968.
Gunny Section sign brought back to Aust by Pete Dolan and nailed up in
in No2 OCU, then stolen by 76Sqn and bolted to the rafters. ;-)
Painted by Ken Wilkinson
It brings a tear to the eye ;-)
Glen LLoyd on left
I can see Reg Meissner and Tony Karpys
Recognise any of these? Ron Brett!
Fourth from the left in the back row Doug Waters (Elec)
Bill Riley marshalling a Sabre From a trip to Udorn
Joint USAF and RAAF Plaque from the "Gentleman's Club"
Even More Ubon
These Photos by Alan Blundel
"A pissed A.J.B. failing miserably
with the Kclub barmaid"
Royal Thai Airforce T28's
The CO Fraternising with the kids?
"The Globe Master took back a
C or D8 Caterpillar tractor"
"Two fotos of the Sqdn piss up at the Kclub.
I can only recall one name and I think it is Les Smith"
Bill - "I think the guy on the left is Barry Ellison"
These Photos by Des Stark
A different view
More From Des
Des Starks Photos
Concert Day at RAAF Ubon
Ron Brett's Photos
79 Sqn personnel UBON
just before the Sqn pulled out
Front of card given me by
USAF EOD man Ubon 1968
Back of card on left
Four SABRES on the ORP 79Sqn UBON
1966 974 the
second A/C in from the left is now at _
the Classic Fighter Jets Museum PARAFIELD SA
Kev Wilkinson sent these slides of the
earliest days at RAAF Base Ubon
The first attachment was deployed from Butterworth on 2 June 1962
where the infrastructure was zilch and has to be built from scratch.
Vern_Mychaels Running Repairs
Kens Edwards Photos of Ubon 1966
Ubon - Sabre outside hangar - 1966
Fitting Bomb Rack to Sabre 1966
by RAAF Photographer
We have an active Ubon Group in W.A. of which I am the Secretary.
Many Armourers are with us here. Glenn Lloyd Pieter La'Brooy.
Denny Haines. and quite a few more. We see each other 4 times a year.
A very happy group of fellows. Those with Internet have got on to your site.
“REUNION - RECOGNITION” GROUP
3 Hilton Close, Fadden Hills
11 Brauer Court, Mt Warren Park
Ph. 07 38071482 A/Hrs
Ph. 07 38951466 Work
Nov / Dec 2001
Just in case you thought we were still asleep!
RECOGNITION: I can assure you that we have not been sleeping. Whilst we waited for the outcome of the election…. To know just who to fight again…. We have been gathering some good ammo. More files from Archives that continue to align us with the Vietnam War effort! We have a “trump card” that we will be playing very shortly….. Time for action again! Here we go… as soon as the Government settles down (after ‘silly season’, etc) in February; we can attack the New Minister. We also have received some help from a most unexpected area.
We have won, one small battle (or John Howard won it for us) we have struck out Bruce Scott!!!!
Well, now after the election, we have now replaced Bruce Scott as Minister for Veteran Affairs’ with Minister Danna Vale, member for Hughes (we don’t have any members in Hughes). We have already sent off a letter to her, expressing our congratulations and stating that we are looking forward to an amiable relationship. We have also requested a personal interview to get things straight from the start! We await a reply……..
The opposition has appointed Senator Mark Bishop (Perth based) as their Veterans’ Affairs minister. We have again ‘put pen to paper’.
As usual we now have all new faces in both parties to fight with….. so what else is new? Maybe fresh faces are a blessing, but create a lot more work….. we start again!
Anyway once again time has beaten us, nothing will happen until next year……but at least we know just whom we are fighting now!
One thing for sure, the more we get into files the more obvious the Vietnam connection is! I guess we keep on fighting……one day someone will really want to listen. After watching (again) “Erin Brockovich” last night, I feel a new zeal…..lets go…..justice will be done (eventually)!
SABRE PRINT: Copies of this magic print [65cm X 47cm] (copy of painting by Mike Lavercombe – Pilot 67/68) are still available for those who could not purchase them at the Sydney reunion.
Please contact Mike direct at Mike Lavercombe 3 Parnell Place, Fadden ACT 2904
Phone 02.62928989 mamlaver-AT-ozemail.com.au
Cost per Print, posted in a tube is only $ 25 (and well worth it!)
THAI GONG: I have a small quantity of the Ubon Commemorative medal, approved by the King of Thailand, available again. COST $40 each, registered post. Again let me know if you want one…..send money. (P/Notes, Cheques payable to Mal Barnes – Ubon)
REUNION 2003: We shall start working on the next reunion next year…… Can anyone think of a better place than Canberra? Remember it must be easy for the majority to get to (provided Australia still has an Airline in operation) and have facilities to handle 200 plus!
Hang in…. The fat lady has a long way to go before she can really sing!
Have a good Xmas and New Year! Will inform of any ‘good news’ IF we get some. In the mean time we shall, on your behalf, start attacking the new Minister….Letters; Papers; Media; Personal interviews etc. We have three years before this minister goes!
Remember we have now outlasted Minister Bishop, Minister Scott……Ministers may come and go, But we shall remain until we win! (I told you it would be a long road!)
Mal Richard & Co.