Biography

Final rank: Wing Commander
Service number: O35028 - Vietnam, 1962-1975

Rolls and Awards

Honours and Awards : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: Royal Australian Air Force
  • Conflict: Vietnam, 1962-1975

Collection Items

Film

[9 Squadron RAAF] Vietnam Xmas period

Early morning take off RAAF, USAF. View of 35 RAAF Squadron hangar opposite end from number 9 Squadron RAAF. Sikorsky CH-54 Sky Crane heavy lft helicopter. 218809 Cpl Frederick Arthur Mascord engine fitter and 44636 LAC Wayne Monty 'Whisky' Carter electrical fitter on engine build up. BBQ at the...

F00454

John Alan Paule as Wing Commander 9 Squadron RAAF interviewed by Greg Swanborough for 'The sharp end'

Roll 11. Scene 16 Take 1 Medical evacuations known as Dust offs not the usual 9 Squadron job; no more difficult than any other job; aircrew could not look after wounded as could the regular Dust off helicopters and crew; the effect of seeing wounded including the enemy; remembers most about being...

F10610

Photograph

P01957.001

Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopters of 9 Squadron, RAAF, line up for refuelling at the Kangaroo Pad, the main helicopter landing zone (LZ) within the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF). Adjoining Luscombe air field, this main air base was located 28 km north east of Vung Tau. Fuel lines edge the strip...

P01957.001

P01957.002

Officers relax at the mess bar of 9 Squadron RAAF. From left: 314174 Squadron Leader Brian L J Dirou (commanding the gunship flight), 01202 Lieutenant Commander Rowley Waddell-Wood (commanding the Royal Australian Navy pilots' contingent augmented with the unit), 22103 Squadron Leader Brian...

P01957.002

P01957.003

0314174 Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) Brian Leslie John Dirou, works on a Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter gunship of No 9 Squadron, RAAF. Sqn Ldr Dirou was the project officer during the development phase of the 'Bushranger' (gunship) models, he is shown here arming one of the squadron's aircraft with...

P01957.003

P01957.004

A Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter gunship of 9 Squadron RAAF firing rockets into the jungle during a training run. These gunships were identified by the callsign 'Bushranger'. (Colour version of the same image is held at P02975.059)

P01957.004

P01957.005

The crash of a United States Army helicopter gunship (centre) outside the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) base precipitated the first use of a Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter gunship (not in view) of 9 Squadron RAAF five days before they officially became operational in their new offensive role. ...

P01957.005

P01957.006

A maelstrom of fire emits from a Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter gunship of 9 Squadron RAAF. This photograph dramatically captures the flash from the firing of a M-134 (GAU-2B/A) minigun, a six-barelled weapon capable of firing 4800 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition per minute, with devasting effect up...

P01957.006

P01957.007

A burning fuel tank in the bulk storage area adjacent to the Vung Tau military airfield at about 9.30 am, some thirty minutes after an enemy attack. 300 000 gallons of fuel were lost in the blaze caused by three Viet Cong 122 mm rockets which hit the fuel dump. Helicopters on the airfield and a...

P01957.007

P02852.001

A flight of five Iroquois helicopters of No 9 Squadron over Ap Suoi Nghe, built during the 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF) Operation Ainslie, 31 August to 21 September 1967. The village was built to rehouse inhabitants of the VC-influenced Slope 30 area some 14 km further north in Phuoc Tuy...

P02852.001

P02852.002

Looking down at five helicopters of No 9 Squadron, RAAF, in a clearing picking up troops at Fire Support Base (FSB) Kwinana, during Operation Windsor.

P02852.002

P02975.001

Group portrait of members of 9 Squadron RAAF in front of a Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter and squadron hangar at the Vung Tau military airfield. Approximately 85% of the squadron was present. Those dressed in light khaki were employed in non-flying duties, while those in green flying suits are...

P02975.001

P02975.002

Recovering a Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter serial number A2-769 of 9 Squadron RAAF following a forced landing after engine failure, six kilometres west of Ap Suoi Nghe (background left). Purple smoke has been thrown for the crew of the recovering aircraft, a US Army Boeing Vertol CH-47 Chinook...

P02975.002

P02975.003

Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter serial number A2-769 of 9 Squadron RAAF undergoing inspection after recovery to the squadron maintenance area at Vung Tau military airfield, following an engine failure and forced landing six kilometres west of Ap Suoi Nghe. The aircraft was initially assessed as...

P02975.003

P02975.004

A Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter of 9 Squadron RAAF hovering out of the squadron's revetments at the Vung Tau military airfield. The vehicle in the foreground is a RAAF jeep, as also could be the vehicle beyond the hovering helicopter. On the extreme right in the middle-distance can be seen the...

P02975.004

P02975.005

Airmen of 9 Squadron RAAF load a Bell Iroquois UH-1B helicopter, serial number A2-1019, into a waiting RAAF Lockheed Hercules C-130 aircraft, serial number A97-159, whose affix 59 is displayed on the tail. These Australian Hercules aircraft were not based by squadron in Vietnam but regularly...

P02975.005

P02975.006

A Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter gunship of 9 Squadron RAAF is parked in a revetment complete with safety wall features. This was a necessary security protection measure as the area was often subject to mortar and rocket attacks from hostile forces. The tails of other fixed wing aircraft,...

P02975.006

P02975.007

A Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter, possibly a rescue slick fitted with a hoist, code named 'Red Catcher', of Detachment A of 9 Squadron RAAF is parked in a revetment. Other buildings and base facilities are visible in the background. The raised structure behind is possibly a water tower. A...

P02975.007

P02975.008

South Vietnamese soldiers stretcher one of their dead comrades to the United States Army 1st Surgical Hospital at Blackhorse Base Camp as other soldiers, possibly Americans, supervise this transfer. The scene is viewed through the cockpit of a 9 Squadron RAAF helicopter. Blackhorse was a...

P02975.008

P02975.009

A Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter, serial number A2-377, of 9 Squadron RAAF in an early morning operation loading stores for 9 Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (9RAR) at their Kapyong base. Several soldiers are using a military jeep for this transfer. As a utility aircraft, logistical...

P02975.009

P02975.010

Four unidentified airmen of 9 Squadron RAAF carry out routine scheduled maintenance on a Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter. They are changing an engine on this Lycoming turbo powered aircraft. With 16 aircraft on strength, aircraft maintenance was carried out round the clock to maintain operational...

P02975.010

P02975.011

A restrained Viet Cong prisoner (centre) is escorted by two unidentified Australian soldiers - a corporal (left) and a Special Air Service (SAS) soldier (right). The prisoner is probably being taken for interrogation by an Intelligence Unit in order to gain specific details on the enemy presence...

P02975.011

P02975.012

A Bell Iroquois helicopter of 9 Squadron RAAF carrying an external load of barbed wire in a cargo sling. These aircraft carried out many roles and were much in demand to support the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) which was then engaged in extensive military operations.

P02975.012

P02975.013

Along the road from Nui Dat to Fire Support Base (FSB) Avenger. To protect road convoys, mine clearing tasks were regularly carried out by soldiers of 9 Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (9RAR). This road, designated as National Route Two, was the main provincial road which passed through...

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P02975.014

This artillery base was under construction near a South Vietnamese Army outpost located to the west of National Route Two in Phuoc Tuy Province.

P02975.014

P02975.015

Fire Support Base (FSB) Bass, pictured in the rainy season. This isolated outpost was part of an inter-locking chain of artillery bases designed to protect the surrounds of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) based in Nui Dat. Several gunpits are covered by hootchies (canvas awnings) to protect...

P02975.015

P02975.016

A helicopter, possibly of 9 Squadron RAAF, has landed in a jungle clearing at Xa Bang in response to purple smoke which is visible in the centre. This image, taken from a command and control ship above, also features a large bomb crater in the foreground. The smoke was probably thrown by a...

P02975.016

P02975.017

An isolated outpost, possibly an Australian Fire Support Base (FSB), stands amid a jungle clearing during the dry season. Several items of military equipment are visible including a jeep and an artillery piece in the centre. Some soldiers can be seen carrying out their duties. Many gun...

P02975.017

P02975.018

At Fire Support Base (FSB) Janice near Nui Dat, two unidentified Australian soldiers, possibly staff officers, confer at 4 Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (4RAR) Command Post (CP) situated in a rubber plantation. A sign marked S3 identifies a specific hut for the staff officer responsible...

P02975.018

P02975.019

An M113A1 armoured personnel carrier (APC) of 3 Cavalry Regiment, serial number ARN 134270, stands with its rear door down in a defended feature in Bien Hoa province. A Mortar Locating Radar type AN/KPQ-1, from a Divisional Locating Battery, is visible to the right. Several helicopters are parked...

P02975.019

P02975.020

In this defended position in Bien Hoa province, items of military equipment pictured include: two Hughes OH-6A Cayuse, light observation helicopters (upper left) and a Mortar Locating Radar type AN/KPQ-1, from a Divisional Locating Battery (centre). The mound, covered by a hootchie (canvas...

P02975.020

P02975.021

An aerial view of the country ten miles west of the Bien Hoa air base near National Route One. Pictured during the dry season, the extensive dust columns indicate that a large military force is on the move - possibly a unit from 4 Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (4RAR) being transported...

P02975.021

P02975.022

A Command Post (CP) for military operations in Vietnam. A M113A1 armoured personnel carrier (APC) of 3 Cavalry Regiment, serial number ARN 134470 (left), named 'Sue', forms part of the mobile defence at this sandbagged emplacement. Canvas awnings (hootchies) conceal the position also providing...

P02975.022

P02975.023

Two members of 9 Squadron RAAF relax outside the standby tent at a temporary base camp in the field during a break in operations. They are: 0221384 Flying Officer (FO) Peter William Davies (left) and 315699 Leading Aircraftman (LAC) Lindsay William Fankhauser (right). FO Davies was later awarded...

P02975.023

P02975.024

An aerial view of the abandoned Fire Support Base (FSB) Lion in the Australian area of operations (AO) at Thua Tich, 22 km north east of Nui Dat. Set in a relatively cleared open area, the defensive position of this base had clear lines of fire. Individual artillery pieces were sited to cover...

P02975.024

P02975.025

An Australian soldier in the field (centre) freshens up with an overhead bucket shower during a break from operations at Fire Support Base (FSB) Sally. Two other unidentified soldiers erect a US made M-29 81 mm mortar (left). Rolled up lengths of wire near them indicate that they are probably...

P02975.025

P02975.026

A burn off of dry foliage near dirt roads in a jungle clearing produces two large columns of rising grey smoke in the vicinity of Fire Support Base (FSB) Wattle. This activity possibly took place on the Firestone fire trail, an enemy infiltration and communication route in the province. So named...

P02975.026

P02975.027

Located west of National Route Two, Fire Support Base (FSB) Wattle was set in the Courtenay Rubber Planation, 25 km north north west of Nui Dat. A burn off to clear foliage is under way as grey smoke rises from the ground. This setting is a typical 'infantry pad' for helicopter support. ...

P02975.027

P02975.028

Located west of National Route Two, Fire Support Base (FSB) Wattle was set in the Courtenay Rubber Planation, 25 km north north west of Nui Dat. A helicopter landing pad (foreground) is marked out in this jungle clearing. A Boeing Vertol CH-47 Chinook helicopter (centre) has landed behind...

P02975.028

P02975.029

Located west of National Route Two, Fire Support Base (FSB) Wattle was set in the Courtenay Rubber Planation, 25 km north north west of Nui Dat. A helicopter landing pad (lower right) is marked out in this jungle clearing. A Boeing Vertol CH-47 Chinook helicopter (centre) hovers above earthworks,...

P02975.029

P02975.030

Located 15 km north east of Nui Dat, Fire Support Base (FSB) Wilton was defended by 161 Battery Royal New Zealand Artillery for a period in 1969. Considered to be one of the most heavily armed artillery bases operating in support of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF), its weapons included 105 mm...

P02975.030

P02975.031

A Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter gunship of 9 Squadron RAAF, serial number A2-773, being rearmed for another mission. The two unidentified armament fitters, normally stationed there throughout the day, are loading strips of 7.62 mm ammunition for the two M-134 (GAU-2B/A) miniguns on either...

P02975.031

P02975.032

A Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter gunship of 9 Squadron RAAF, possibly serial number A2-773, is being rearmed for another mission. An unidentified armament fitter is loading 2.75 inch rockets (7 on either side) as an officer observes. A 7.62 mm M-134 (GAU-2B/A) minigun is also visible. This...

P02975.032

P02975.033

A Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter gunship of 9 Squadron RAAF in flight near the Nui Dinh hills, a heavily contested battle field for the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) during its Vietnam deployment. Several clearings have been cut into the jungle and the remnants of trees are visible on the...

P02975.033

P02975.034

A Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter gunship of 9 Squadron RAAF. It is parked on steel reinforcing plates laid on an uneven surface. A 7.62 mm M-21 minigun fitted with an ammunition belt is also visible. The unit crest adorns the right door-side. This RAAF squadron had its origins as a naval...

P02975.034

P02975.035

A Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter gunship of 9 Squadron RAAF. It is parked on steel reinforcing plates laid on an uneven surface. The full configuration of firepower can be seen through the different systems mounted on the aircraft. The available armament includes a seven pod launcher (either...

P02975.035

P02975.036

A Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter, possibly a US gunship, parked on steel reinforcing plates laid on an uneven surface. This image was taken by a member of 9 Squadron RAAF. An unidentified airman, probably a US maintenance crew member, takes a rest in the available shade under the nose of the...

P02975.036

P02975.037

235066 Major (Maj) David Chinn, Operations Officer, 1 Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), from 5 October 1968 to 13 February 1969, stands in front of a sand-bagged Command Post (CP) during a visit to Fire Support Base (FSB) Lynx 35 km north east of Nui Dat. Other 'hootchies',...

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P02975.039

RAAF cantonment officers' mess. Under supervision, a work party of female Vietnamese labourers erect a sand-bagged wall around the accommodation building to protect it from enemy mortar and rocket attacks. Construction and maintenance of these defences largely fell to RAAF Airfield Defence Guards...

P02975.039

P02975.040

An aerial view of Ap Suoi Nghe township taken from an aircraft of 9 Squadron RAAF. A similarly named Fire Support Base (FSB) was located in the vicinity, some five km north of Nui Dat, on the southern edge of the Binh Ba rubber plantation.

P02975.040

P02975.041

This fortified position, possibly a similarly named Fire Support Base (FSB), was located in the surrounds of a nearby South Vietnamese township. From the positioning of several mobile radar units at the corners of the site, it is probably the home of a divisional locating battery with its own...

P02975.041

P02975.042

An unidentified base which was involved in the defence of the provincial capital Baria. This Tarpaulin Covered Vehicle (TCV), a 106 mm Recoilless Rifle (RCL), mounted on a short wheelbase landrover, was designed primarily for use against armoured targets. This vehicle partly supports a canvas...

P02975.042

P02975.043

Taken at an adjoining air field at Blackhorse, a wheeled fire extinguisher is visible in the distance. It possibly indicates the location of a 'fuel farm' (not pictured) for POL - a military abbreviation of 'Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants' - supplied to support flying operations. Situated in an...

P02975.043

P02975.044

In this aerial view, different features of a Vietnamese township and the adjoining farm land are contrasted as a dirt road intersects through both. The edge of the town is visible at the top whereas a patchwork of cultivated fields is visible below. Off centre, two roads almost perpendicular...

P02975.044

P02975.045

This airfield (left) was in proximity to the Headquarters of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) at the Nui Dat base area (far right). The Kangaroo Pad is also visible (centre right). Both airfields abut the wooded feature Nui Dat, or 'SAS Hill' (centre). This significant operational complex...

P02975.045

P02975.046

Villa Anna, built in the traditional French mansion style, originally housed RAAF officers from their arrival in 1964 until 1968. The port of Vung Tau, on the Cap Saint Jacques Peninsula, located 62 km south east of Saigon, was then the fifth largest city in South Vietnam. This location was...

P02975.046

P02975.047

A thick cloud of black smoke rises from the ground to obscure this right side view of the port and its facilities. A Viet Cong squad on nearby Long Son Island had fired six 122 mm rockets at the US army and allied forces airbase. One rocket hit the POL (Petrol, Oil and Lubricants) tank farm...

P02975.047

P02975.048

A 9 Squadron RAAF helicopter (not in view) makes an approach to its base. In this panoramic sweep, the development and infrastructure of this significant base area is immediately apparent. Chosen for its access to logistical and port facilities, the airfield complex can be seen in the background...

P02975.048

P02975.049

A 9 Squadron RAAF helicopter (not pictured) takes in a panoramic view of this bustling port city as it prepares to land at its home base (centre). Matching the escalation of the war, the military infrastructure of this important base area has been fully developed to support ongoing operations in...

P02975.049

P02975.050

This aerial view of the military complex, looking north west, pictures in close relief the full extent of developed infrastructure at the height of the war. A landing strip cuts diagonally across the centre upwards from left to right. Swampy mangrove areas abut the base and a serpentine river is...

P02975.050

P02975.051

The crew of a 9 Squadron RAAF helicopter (not pictured) find a rare moment of beauty during the Vietnam War. In these coastal waters of the South China Sea, a funnel opening in a cumulus cloud feature allows a shaft of sunlight to create a spotlight illuminating the water off Cap Saint Jacques...

P02975.051

P02975.052

The sinuosities of the Mekong Delta form with the littoral zone of the South China Sea south of Vung Tau. Long Son Island, a contested Viet Cong stronghold, is pictured at right.

P02975.052

P02975.053

An airport scene at Saigon, possibly the main international airfield Tan Son Nhut, which also based a subtantial military presence of aircraft from many allied services. A collection of rotary winged aircraft can be see in the distance. They include a Hiller helicopter (left), several Bell...

P02975.053

P02975.054

Hotel-3 Heliport, approximately one km south south east of Tan Son Nhut air base. This overhead view of the major air base and its related military infrastructure captures the full dimension of air power and logistical support available to allied forces in Saigon at the height of the Vietnam War. ...

P02975.054

P02975.055

A Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter of 9 Squadron RAAF in flight over the city. The capital of South Vietnam, Saigon had expanded during the war, its population and development being boosted by foreign troops and refugees from the fighting. This scene was probably taken near Tan Son Nhut air field...

P02975.055

P02975.056

Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopters of 9 Squadron, RAAF, line up for refuelling at the Kangaroo Pad, the main helicopter landing zone (LZ) within the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF). Adjoining Luscombe air field, this main air base was located 28 km north east of Vung Tau. Fuel lines edge the strip...

P02975.056

P02975.058

0314174 Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) Brian Leslie John Dirou, works on a Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter gunship of No 9 Squadron, RAAF. Sqn Ldr Dirou was the project officer during the development phase of the 'Bushranger' (gunship) models, he is shown here arming one of the squadron's aircraft with...

P02975.058

P02975.059

A Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter gunship of 9 Squadron RAAF firing rockets into the jungle during a training run. These gunships were identified by the callsign 'Bushranger. (Black and white version of the same image is held at P01957.004)

P02975.059

P02975.060

The crash of a United States Army helicopter gunship (centre) outside the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) base precipitated the first use of a Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter gunship (not in view) of 9 Squadron RAAF five days before they officially became operational in their new offensive role. ...

P02975.060

P02975.061

A maelstrom of fire emits from a Bell Iroquois UH-1H helicopter gunship of 9 Squadron RAAF. This scene dramatically captures the flash from the firing of a M-134 (GAU-2B/A) minigun, a six-barelled weapon capable of firing 4800 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition per minute, with devasting effect up to...

P02975.061

P02975.062

A burning fuel tank in the bulk storage area adjacent to the Vung Tau military airfield at about 9.30 am, some thirty minutes after an enemy attack. 300 000 gallons of fuel were lost in the blaze caused by three Viet Cong 122 mm rockets which hit the fuel dump. Helicopters on the airfield and a...

P02975.062

P02975.063

The 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) base in Phuoc Tuy Province as viewed from the south. 1ATF established the base in May 1966 and handed it over to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam in November 1971 as 1ATF withdrew from South Vietnam. The base was some eight km north east of the provincial...

P02975.063

P02975.064

The 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) base in Phuoc Tuy Province as viewed from the south. 1ATF established the base in May 1966 and handed it over to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam in November 1971 as 1ATF withdrew from South Vietnam. The base was some eight km north east of the provincial...

P02975.064

P02975.065

A sunset view of the mouth of the Song Co May (river) at the South China Sea, looking east, with the Long Hai hills dominating the skyline. Tidal flows serve the many tributaries of this estuary distributing rich alluvial soils in their wake in this the 'rice bowl' of Vietnam. This scene was...

P02975.065

P02975.066

A sunset view of the mouth of the Song Co May (river) at the South China Sea, looking east, with the Long Hai hills dominating the skyline. Tidal flows serve the many tributaries of this estuary distributing rich alluvial soils in their wake in this the 'rice bowl' of Vietnam. This scene was...

P02975.066