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Repatriation of remains of Australia's last two missing Australian Defence members found in Vietnam.



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THE HON. GREG COMBET MP Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science

www.defence.gov.au

REPATRIATION OF REMAINS OF AUSTRALIA’S LAST TWO MISSING AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE MEMBERS FOUND IN VIETNAM

Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, today announced that Australia’s last missing Australian Defence Members from the Vietnam War will be repatriated to Australia.

The remains of Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver will be escorted home by his family and former members of 2 Squadron.

“Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support, the Hon. Dr Mike Kelly MP will join members of Flying Officer Herbert and Pilot Officer Carver’s family for their journey to Hanoi,” said Mr Combet.

They will be accompanied by Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin and some of Flying Officer Herbert and Pilot Officer Carver’s former 2 Squadron comrades.

“The official party will depart Canberra later this week, travelling to Hanoi where Flying Officer Herbert and Pilot Officer Carver’s remains will be formally handed over and a departure ceremony will be conducted on 30 August.”

“Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver will finally return to their families after 39 years with members of their families making the journey to Vietnam to bring them home,” Mr Combet said.

“Family members and representatives will lay wreaths and Flying Officer Herbert and Pilot Officer Carver’s former 2SQN comrades will provide a guard of honour and then escort them home.”

“Flying Officer Herbert and Pilot Officer Carver of 2SQN were lost when their aircraft went missing on 3 November 1970 following a bombing mission. The wreckage was located in thick jungle in an extremely rugged, remote and sparsely populated area of Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, near the Laotian border.”

A repatriation ceremony will be held at RAAF Base Richmond, NSW on Monday 31 August commencing at 10.30 am. Members of the public and the veteran community are welcome to attend. Those attending are advised that access to the base will be permitted from 8.30 am from the external Base car park.

Media Note:

The repatriation ceremony at RAAF Base Richmond will be open to external media. Details regarding the release of imagery and vision from this ceremony will be provided closer to the event.

Still images of Flying Officer Herbert and Pilot Officer Carver, a Canberra bomber and of the archaeological dig in Quang Nam Province are available at www.defence.gov.au/media/download/

Media contacts Rod Hilton (Mr Combet) 02 6277 7620 or 0458 276 619 Defence Media Liaison 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 045/2009