The last Australian troops left South Vietnam for home on Monday (18 December). They arrived?
The last Australian troops left South Vietnam for home on Monday (18 December). They arrived in Australia the next day, in good time for Christmas.
The contingent of sixty men were all that remained of a ten-year Australian military presence in Vietnam. The bulk of the troops left a year ago, leaving only 140 advisory and headquarters staff. These training staff were withdrawn by the new Australian government headed by Mr. Gough Whitlam.
Since Mr. Whitlam's Australian Labour Party came into power at the and of last month, many changes have been made to Australia's policy. The troops have been withdrawn, national service ended and draft-resisters released from prison. Earlier this month moves were made to implement the new government's decision to open diplomatic relations with The People's Republic of China.
SYNOPSIS: A Hercules transport aircraft flew into Saigon on Monday from Australia.
It had arrived to take away the last of the effects and men of the Australian army in Vietnam. The troops were all that remained of the ten-year-old Australian military presence in country.
Most of the Australian troops left South Vietnam a year ago, but one hundred and forty training and advisory staff remained in Saigon as a token force. Soon after assuming power at the end of the month, Mr. Gough Whitlam's Australian Labour Party took steps to withdraw even this small staff unit. This planeload of sixty men completes the withdrawal.