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APPRECIATION FROM AN AUSTRALIAN HISTORY BUFF

Submitted by: Elliot Bishop (Australian Vietnam Vet)

Dear Saigon Kids,

How delighted I was to discover this web site.

I am an Australian Vietnam veteran (Phuoc Tuy Province, 1968-69) with a particular interest in the post-World War II history of French Indochina. Despite my own involvement in the “shooting war”, my main interest is in the war’s antecedents and the events leading up to it.

As a schoolboy I followed events in Vietnam long before most Australians had heard of Vietnam. Events such as the Buddhist uprising and immolations, the Diem coup and succession of military juntas following, the failed Ap Bac battle, the Brinks Hotel and floating restaurant bombings, and the attacks on Pleiku and the Bien Hoa airbase sparked my imagination and ultimately led to my enlistment in the Australian Army.

Unlike you, my witness to these events was distant and abstract. I believed in the American effort and continue to hold deep respect for all US servicemen and their families who served. The war’s failed outcome is no reflection on you and your parents, but lies squarely in the complexities of Vietnam’s history and the folly, duplicity and betrayal of and by America’s political leaders.

I particularly enjoyed reading your ACS yearbooks, seeing your old photos and learning how you adapted to your strange new environment. That you were able to create a productive school community in the midst of chaos is a credit to you, your teachers and administrators. In many ways I’m sure you look back on these as your best and most memorable days. Well done!

Elliot Bishop

Admin Note: Welcome Elliot! Glad you found us and enjoy the site. Please feel free to join in the conversations sharing your memories, experiences and historical knowledge of Saigon and Viet Nam.

Bob

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