Meyers

Surname: Meyers
Christian Names: Graeme Kenneth
Country: Australia
State or Province: WA
City or Town: Perth
Service: RAN
Case Notes:

Graeme Kenneth MEYERS, date of birth 03/08/1951 of Albany R96070, served in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and did one trip to Vung Tau, South Vietnam on the troop ship HMAS Sydney.

He appears on this site as he has misled a reporter from the West Australian Newspaper and the leader of the opposition, the Hon Tony Abbott MP by asking for an apology.

Graeme Meyers enlisted in the RAN as a Junior Sailor on 5 April, 1967 and was posted to HMAS Sydney from 26 April 1968 to 3 November, 1968.

Graeme Meyers spoke to the reporter Joseph Catanzaro of the West Australian Newspaper about his service in the RAN and being sent to Vietnam on the troopship HMAS Sydney which was published in that newspaper on 20 July, 2011.

In the first paragraph Meyers claims he was only 16 years old when he was sent to war to Vung Tau Harbour. This is incorrect; he was 16 years and 10 months old when he did his trip to Vung Tau leaving the port of Brisbane on 21 May 1968 and returning to Brisbane on 13 June 1968 as a Junior Recruit 1st Class

HMAS Sydney was at anchor in Vung Tau from 0647 hours to 1305 hours on 1 June 1968, a total of 6 hours and 58 minutes.  Myers goes on to state “the trauma of being thrust into a combat zone at such a tender age led to mental health problems that still plague him today.”

Vung Tau was the Australian Logistics Base with a large airfield used by the RAAF, US Air Force and Army. It was also the Rest and Recreation Centre where soldiers actually located at the Australian Task Force Base at Nui Dat, in a real combat zone used to take a total of five days leave. Soldiers would wear civilian clothes and not carry any weapons. There was also a good beach where soldiers could enjoy a swim in the ocean and a beer.

It is common knowledge in the military that logistics and supply units are always placed in a safe area well to the rear of a combat zone.

This makes it hard to consider Vung Tau as a combat zone. To the soldiers who did go on operations in the jungles of South Vietnam, Vung Tau was a holiday resort.

Meyers states “He is still haunted by the sights and sounds of war and the Chinook helicopters roaring overhead, patrol boats circling his ship and the foreboding glimpse of jungle looming over the edge of the landing barge.”

In all the trips to Vung Tau I never saw or heard any sounds of war. Maybe I had too much to drink and missed it all. As part of security measures patrol boats would be circling the ship to keep any other craft away from the Sydney and  probably also looking for Viet Cong using hollowed out bamboo sticks trying to swim out to the ship to sink it.

The Chinook helicopters would be ferrying supplies and heavy equipment from HMAS Sydney to the logistics’ base and dropping them off at varying points some 7 kilometres distance. As for the foreboding jungle, there wasn’t any. The nearest jungle would have been at least 20 kilometres away.

Kenneth Meyers apparently handed his medals in to a Labor State MP to hand to the leader of the opposition, the Hon Tony Abbot MP and was seeking an apology from Mr Abbott as it was the Liberal Party that was in power in 1968.

Mr Meyers also said was the “secret shame of the Australian Defence Force-their use of child soldiers during the Vietnam War.”

Sydney Meyers you have got that wrong too, soldiers had to be 19 years old to be sent into an actual operational area. You were at the time a Junior sailor 1st Class after under going training at three shore bases before doing a stint on the HMAS Sydney which besides being used as a troop ship for conveying troops to and from Vietnam was also a training ship for Junior Sailors.

We believe it is Graeme Meyers that should be apologizing to everyone for his deception to the reporter and Mr Abbott about his service and trip to Vung Tau.

It is sad to read such rubbish like this from an ex-serviceman who never went into the jungles of Vietnam and did the hard yards in actual combat, some of whom never returned.

HMAS Sydney was just a troop ship conveying troops and supplies from Australia to Vung Tau and taking the infantry battalion being relived back to Australia.

Graeme Meyers for your loose manner of handling the truth, we find it an insult to all Vietnam Veterans and to the relatives of those that lost their loved ones in the jungles of South Vietnam. You will now grace our web site.

 

This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the Vietnam Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from private citizens are supported by statements of fact and statutory declarations.

Located in: Stolen Valour
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