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August 2014

Our first newsletter for this year marks the 50th anniversary of New Zealand’s first service deployment to Vietnam in June 1964, the New Zealand Army Detachment (NEWZAD). We also mark the publication of Claire Hall’s book No Front Line: Inside stories of New Zealand’s Vietnam War. And we present a range of new website content to take you beyond the book, and highlight some of the remarkable memories of the veterans’ and families it features.

  • NEWZAD's 50-year anniversary

  • NEWZAD engineers in Vietnam, circa 1964

    In June 1964, a 25-strong army engineer detachment (NEWZAD) followed New Zealand’s civilian surgical team into Vietnam to work on reconstruction projects. Hailed as a non-combatant unit, the engineers’ served in Vietnam for a little over a year, prior to the arrival of NZ's first combat unit – 161 Battery RNZA.

    Read why sapper Gerard Grieve contested the 'non-combatant' label applied to the NEWZAD team.

  • No Front Line: Inside stories of NZ's Vietnam War

  • No Front Line: Inside stories of New Zealand's Vietnam War

    Claire Hall’s book No Front Line: Inside stories of New Zealand’s Vietnam War has been published by Penguin NZ.

  • 'Hello to anyone back in the world'

  • Taped letter from Vietnam - David Morris

    Listen to an excerpt of a taped letter that civilian surgical team member Dr David Morris sent home to his family from Qui Nhon during his second trip to Vietnam in 1974. Morris contrasts the verdant lushness of Qui Nhon on his first visit in 1972 to the desolate, war and defoliant-ravaged town that he returned to two years later. Read and listen to more about the medical effort in Vietnam here.

  • 'On operations...on orders...or out for adventure'

  • Brian Wilson (V Company) checks a Vietnamese civilian's identity card

    Based on interviews and artefacts gathered for the Vietnam War oral history & digital archiving project, No Front Line explores personal experiences of the Vietnam War from the perspective of New Zealand servicemen and women who were there, in their own words. Veterans share their wartime experiences on the ground and in the air.

Sisters at War

Sisters at war

Women were involved in New Zealand’s military and civilian war effort in Vietnam, and their stories feature in No Front Line. They were there as nurses, doctors, aid workers, journalists and entertainers.

Margaret Jupp recalls the uniforms worn by Anzac nurses of the 1st Australian Field Hospital

Read the story of Kate Webb, New Zealand-born war correspondent

Chris Stock (W3) video series

Chris Stock series

The web team has been working with Whiskey 3 Company veteran Chris Stock to produce a video series based on his extensive photo collection. In these short, narrated clips, Chris recalls Nui Dat, Operation Townsville, Fire Support Base Le Loi and a spell in the 1st Australian Field Hospital.

More from Manatū Taonga – The Ministry for Culture and Heritage

NZ History online 28th Māori Battalion