From the preamble
There have been a number of books written over the years detailing Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam war. The most recent: VIETNAM – The Complete Story of the Australian War, Bruce Davies, Allen & Unwin, 2012 was published just before Remembrance Day 2012. I was rather taken aback when I sought the “Complete Story” provided about RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam (RTFV), of which I was a member during 1965. It is evident, if the paucity of information is any guide, that in Davies’, or his editor’s, opinion the RTFV operation contributed little or nothing to Australia’s war. On the other hand, Davies’ general introduction detailing the history of Vietnam and its wars is excellent, and would have been essential reading prior to deployment had it been available to us in 1964. I therefore came to the conclusion that it was time for an RTFV perspective and decided to detail some recollections of our operations. As it happens, my old colleague Don Pollock took the same view.
About the author
Dave “Grusome” Grierson served as a pilot in the RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam from April to December 1965, flying Caribou aircraft. Later, flying Dakotas, he also spent time in Vietnam during 1973, whilst serving with Transport Support Flight Butterworth.
In his own words: ‘I was a relatively junior pilot in 1965 (Pilot Officer, promoted Flying Officer during the tour), and, as we all did, experienced some exciting and interesting times. Indeed, most of us recognised that the exposure to operations was not only crucial to our development as pilots, but also character forming provided we were honest enough to see our own weaknesses.’