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Private David Fisher begins journey home.



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THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

www.defence.gov.au

Thursday, 9 October 2008 142/2008

PRIVATE DAVID FISHER BEGINS JOURNEY HOME

The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, today joined members of Private David Fisher’s family and former comrades in a solemn ramp ceremony at Noi Bai airfield, Hanoi.

“Today, our fourth and last missing Australian Army soldier from the Vietnam War will return home. After 39 years, Private Fisher’s family and mates are finally able to bring him home to rest in peace.

“A C-130 Hercules will transport Private Fisher to RAAF Base Richmond where he will be ceremonially received by current and former members of the Special Air Service Regiment,” Mr Snowdon said.

A reception ceremony will be held tomorrow at RAAF Richmond and will be attended by Private Fisher’s family and veterans of the Vietnam War. Official dignitaries who travelled with the family to Hanoi, including the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, and Special Operations Commander Major General Timothy McOwan will also attend.

Mr Snowdon thanked those who have worked tirelessly to bring Private Fisher home.

“We are able to bring Private Fisher home thanks to the dedication and commitment of the Australian investigation team - the Army historians, a Defence forensic anthropologist and archaeologist.

“We are also very appreciative of the Vietnamese Government for their cooperation and assistance in facilitating the search and recovery of our missing diggers,” Mr Snowdon said.

Private Fisher’s return completes the recovery of all Australian Army personnel who were lost on operations and not recovered during the Vietnam War. Lance Corporal Richard Parker and Private Peter Gillson were repatriated to Australia in June 2007 and Lance Corporal John Gillespie in December 2007.

Two Royal Australian Air Force personnel, Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.

Media Note: Minister Snowdon’s speech will be available at: http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/snowdon/index.htm

Vision from the departure ceremony will be fed to the Press Gallery networks at Parliament House.

High resolution still images will be available for download at: www.defence.gov.au/media/download/

Media contacts: Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon) 02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689 Defence Media Liaison 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664