Military repatriation chance to welcome home Australians

download (1)Media Release Minister for Veterans’ Affairs 29 May 2016

Australia will welcome home 33 Australian service personnel and dependents, including 22 Vietnam War veterans, on Thursday, 2 June in one of the largest, single military repatriations in this country’s history.

The returning Australians, 21 Vietnam veterans, three servicemen and eight dependents, had been interred at Terendak Military Cemetery in Malaysia, with the single other casualty of the Vietnam War still interred overseas returning from the Kranji Military Cemetery in Singapore.

A military repatriation ceremony and private memorial service will be held at RAAF Richmond in Sydney on June 2, after two Royal Australian Air Force Aircraft C-17 Globemaster aircraft bearing the Australians land at about 10:30am. 

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said bringing the Australians home was an important moment for the families and for the country.

“The return of these Australians will bring closure to their families who have grieved for lost loved ones,” Mr Tehan said.

“They will be welcomed home with a respectful and dignified return to this country.

“For every Australian this will be an opportunity to acknowledge the sacrifice of all those who have died in service to their country.

“Representatives of our Vietnam Veteran community will attend and for some of them this will be a particularly moving occasion as they served with the returning servicemen.”

Mr Tehan said the Australian Government last year made an offer of repatriation to 36 families of Australians buried and Terendak and Kranji.

“Several families made the decision not to bring their loved ones home, and I am sure Australians will respect that decision and appreciate it was not made lightly,” he said.

At the conclusion of the private memorial service for the families, 33 hearses bearing the returning Australians will depart RAAF Base Richmond in a funeral procession at about 12.15pm and travel to the centre of Parramatta, arriving about 1pm.

The funeral procession will proceed via a green light corridor and under escort of the NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, with assistance from the Transport Management Centre.

Mr Tehan encouraged members of the public wanting to pay their respects to line the route of the procession.

It will travel from RAAF Richmond to Parramatta CBD via Church Street – George Street – Smith Street – Station Street – Parkes Street, where the public will be welcome to view the procession and pay their respects. Motorists using these roads at that time may experience some delays.

Reinterment services will then take place in every State and Territory, except Tasmania, over the following few weeks, in accordance with the families’ wishes.



  1. Michelle Matthews says

    My dad, Corporal B Adamczyk served with one of those being repatriated. My dad was also killed in Vietnam aged 22, I was only one year old. We were lucky to have him brought home at the time. It has been hard losing my dad before I got to know him and the thought of him not being buried in Australian soil would have made it so much harder. It’s been a long time coming. May their souls now be at peace. Lest We Forget

    • Edward Kemp says

      A lovely comment Michelle, I understand how you feel in sorts, albeit from an almost reverse situation. My dad, a WW2 veteran died suddenly just 18 months before I was conscripted and was sent to Vietnam, he never knew that I went to a war zone and, although I’m now 70 years old, I still really needed him now that. But for you to have lost your dad there and to have never known him is unthinkable.
      I know your dad’s spirit has grown stronger within you from your very 1st day and, I sense by your post that his spirit has forged and moulded you into a into a wonderful human being. This home coming of our boys is an intensely emotional event on many different levels and hopefully may put the Vietnam War to bed for good.
      Bless every Australian soldier, wherever they be.

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