"THE PRICE OF LIBERTY IS ETERNAL VIGILANCE"

Sunday, August 17, 2014

2014 Long Tan Commemoration

Join The Returned & Services League of Australia, Washington DC Sub-Branch At the Battle of Long Tan Commemoration Ceremony On Sunday August 17, 2014 at 11:00 A.M. Near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial* Constitution Avenue and Henry Bacon Dr. NW Washington, DC The simple, solemn, ceremony is being kept deliberately short, at about 15 minutes, to allow attendees more time to pay their respects at the Wall afterwards. *East of the Wall between 21st and 20th streets. There is neither reserved parking nor any seating. Parking on the Mall is often difficult, but visitors may find spots on Constitution Ave. or Ohio Drive. Limited handicapped parking is available at the Korean War Memorial (Daniel French Drive), WWII Memorial, and Roosevelt Memorial. The Washington Post has the following information: By Metro: From Foggy Bottom (Blue/Orange Lines), walk south on 23rd Street to Lincoln Memorial [0.9 miles], turn left on near side of Reflecting Pool. By car: The memorial is adjacent to the Reflecting Pool near the Lincoln Memorial.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Invitation to August 14, 2014 Meeting


Time - Noon to 2:00 pm.
Where – Amenities Room,
Embassy of Australia,
1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW.,
Washington, DC 20036
Charge - $15.00, including buffet lunch and sodas.
Alcoholic beverages -  $2.00 each.
Attire: Business casual
RSVP by noon on Wednesday August 13, to David Ward at 202-352-8550 or via  e-mail to dmward1973 at gmail dot com.
NOTE: Valid photo ID required.
Parking: While there is no parking at the Embassy, paid off street parking is available behind and under the Airline Pilots Association- 17th and Massachusetts, and at 15th and Mass (1240 15th street).
On street two hour metered parking is also available.
Guest speaker:  Alan Rems, author of South Pacific Cauldron 

Born in Jersey City on April 30, 1937, Alan Rems grew up during World War II, developing a strong life-long interest through study in all aspects of the war. Twelve years into retirement from his work as a CPA, Alan put his knowledge and passion to use when he learned about the mysterious death of a leading Marine general in the South Pacific in 1943. Solving that mystery through research in the Marine Corps archives, Alan, in his first writing effort, presented his discoveries in Naval History magazine. Selected 2008 Author of the Year by the U.S. Naval Institute for that article, he has since then contributed seven articles and two book reviews to Naval History.
From the research for his first article, Alan developed special interest in the war in the South Pacific. He became aware of the short shrift given in nearly all American histories to the critical contribution by Australian forces and to the heavy fighting that continued in that war zone after the front moved westward toward Japan. Often, he came upon complaints by those who served there that so little was known about their wartime contributions.
Alan saw the basic problem as stemming from the tendency of historians to concentrate on specific segments of the South Pacific war rather than dealing with the theater as a whole. As the need for a comprehensive, one-volume narrative history of World War II in the South Pacific became apparent, he welcomed the opportunity to take on that challenge. His objective was to write a definitive narrative history that could be equally appreciated by military specialists and buffs, veterans and their families, and serious general readers.
The resultant work, titled South Pacific Cauldron, published May 2014 by the Naval Institute Press, has been called authoritative, yet written in a highly readable narrative style. In endorsing the book, leading historian Stephen R. Taaffe, author of Marshall and his Generals, called it “a first rate account” and recommended it for “military history buffs.” Also, noted naval historian Paul Stillwell has called the book a “well-researched history of a major theater of World War II.”
With publication of his first book at age 77, Alan’s late in life writing success is inspiring, a reminder that in life it’s not over till it’s over. Alan lives in Centreville, Virginia with his wife Janet, a retired newspaper managing editor and freelance journalist.

South Pacific Cauldron can be ordered through The United States Naval Institute Press
  http://www.usni.org/store/books/history/south-pacific-cauldron 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Invitation to June 12, 2014 meeting

         
               
Time - Noon to 2:00 pm.

Where –Amenities Room,
Embassy of Australia,
1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW.,
Washington, DC 20036

Guest speaker: Maryland based Australian artist Jason Swain.

Topic:  Jason is painting pictures of Australia’s fallen soldiers to give to the families of the fallen.  Australia lost 40 Diggers in the Afghan war and this is Jason’s way of paying tribute to these warriors and also give each family a personal gift to say thank you for their sacrifice.* Jason will display his latest portrait at the meeting.

Charge - $15.00, including buffet lunch and sodas. Alcoholic beverages- $2.00 each.                                                                                    
Attire: Business casual
                                       
RSVP by  noon on Wednesday June 11, to David Ward at 202-352-8550 or via e-mail to dmward1973 at gmail dot com

NOTE: Valid photo ID required
Parking: While there is no parking at the Embassy, paid off street parking is available behind and under the Airline Pilots Association- 17th and Mass, and at 15th and Mass (1240 15th street). On street two hour metered parking is also available.

*If you would like to assist Jason with the cost of materials and shipping, please go to  http://www.gofundme.com/84b7q4

Bakers Creek Air Crash Commemoration Ceremony

71st ANNIVERSARY CEREMONY SALUTES WW II PLANE CRASH VICTIMS



Selfridge Gate to Arlington National Cemetery
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall
June 13, 2014
9:00 am
 COL Fern O. Sumpter, Garrison Commander, and
CSM Lavender will place a wreath at the
Bakers Creek Air Crash monument, followed by Taps.
Join family relatives and friends of the 40 American servicemen killed in World War II’s worse aviation disaster in the Southwest Pacific.  We will be honored by the presence of Air Commodore Gary Martin, Air Attaché from the Embassy of Australia, Bill Lloyd, President of 317th Veterans Group, and Col Benson, Mackay RSL Historian from Australia.

A reception, sponsored by Definition Media Ltd (UK), will follow the ceremony.
Allow extra time for the security checks when arriving at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall

The event marks the 71st Anniversary Commemoration of a tragic wartime accident where 40 members of the U.S. Army Air Corps perished at Bakers Creek, near Mackay, Australia, in 1943.
Officially forgotten for 57 years, family members are seeking closure for remember loved ones.

Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, has directed the Ft. Myer Garrison to conduct appropriate annual ceremonies on the anniversary date of the crash.
The event will bring together from across the United States, family relatives of the casualties, retired military leaders and WW II veterans of the U.S. Army Air Corps.

Casualty families are from 23 states across the United States, six are from Pennsylvania.  The servicemen were being returned from R&R leave in Australia to the jungle battle fields in New Guinea during the decisive Papua Campaign of 1943. The airplane crashed shortly after takeoff. The memorial marker is carved from Queensland pink granite donated by citizens of Queensland and the government of Australia.

Although the accident was the deadliest plane crash in the Southwest Pacific theatre during the war – and remains Australia’s worst air disaster – it was unreported in the United States because of wartime censorship restrictions on disclosing American troop movements.
Retired professor Robert S. Cutler of George Washington University, whose late father supervised the loading of the passengers on that fateful flight, wrote in his book, Mackay’s Flying Fortress (CQU Press) that the incident originally was deemed a “military secret” to prevent wartime disclosure.

“In recent years, however,” Cutler said, “thanks to the tireless work of people in Australia and in the United States, the full magnitude of the disaster was uncovered and now there is a wide national recognition of this historic event.”
The members of the Association believe these fallen servicemen deserve to be remembered at this time. “Our group of military veterans and casualty families will have its final measure of closure,” says Cutler, “as we honor the families of these forgotten heroes of World War II – for the loved ones   they either loved and lost, or never had the chance to know...” 

Last month, two developments associated with documenting the “Bakers Creek Air Crash Story” happened:

        1.  Definition Media Ltd, a British television company, completed filming in the US and in Australia for its forthcoming television documentary about the largely-unknown Flying Fortress crash at Bakers Creek in Australia. The program is expected to air in Australia, UK, and US, this autumn.

        2.  Boolarong Press in Brisbane recently published an updated edition of the book, Australia’s Worst Aviation Disaster, marking the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the tragic WW II crash.

http://www.oocities.org/valiant1968/MissEMF/BCK-Memorial-pix/BCK-Memorial-pictures.htm 

Bakers Creek Memorial, Queensland Australia

Monday, May 5, 2014

Invitation to May 8, 2014 meeting


Invitation to May 8, 2014 meeting

Time - Noon to 2:00 pm.

Where:

Embassy of Australia,

1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW.,

Washington, DC 20036

Guest speaker:    Dr. Erik Villard,

US Army Center for Military History


Topic:  The Battles of Australian Fire Support Bases Coral-Balmoral:

May – June 1968, In what was Bin Hoa Province, South Vietnam.


Charge - $15.00, including buffet lunch and sodas.

Alcoholic beverages- $2.00 each.

Attire: Business casual

RSVP by noon on Wednesday May 7, 2014,

To David Ward at 202-352-8550 or via e-mail to dmward1973 at gmail dot com

NOTE: Valid photo ID required

Parking: While there is no parking at the Embassy, paid off street parking is available behind and under the Airline Pilots Association- 17th and Mass,

And, at 15th and Mass (1240 15th street).

On street two hour metered parking is also available.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Invitation to March 13, 2014 meeting

We are honored that The Hon Kim Beazley, AC Ambassador of Australia to the United States, has accepted an invitation to be the guest speaker at the March 13 meeting.  The meeting will fill up quickly so please do not  hold your RSVP until March 12th because you may miss out. 

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday March 13th.
       
Time - Noon to 2:00 pm.

Where –Amenities Room,
Embassy of Australia,
1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW.,
Washington, DC 20036

Guest speaker:  The Hon Kim Beazley, AC Ambassador of Australia to the United States of America.
Charge - $15.00, including buffet lunch and sodas. Alcoholic beverages- $2.00 each.                                                                                     
Attire: Business casual                                       
RSVP ASAP but by NLT than noon on Wednesday March 12, to David Ward at 202-352-8550 or via e-mail to dmward1973 at gmail (dot) com
NOTE: Valid photo ID required
Parking: While there is no parking at the Embassy, paid off street parking is available behind and under the Airline Pilots Association- 17th and Mass, and at 15th and Mass (1240 15th street). On street two hour metered parking is also available.

The Hon Kim Beazley, AC Ambassador to United States of America

Biography
Mr. Beazley was elected to the Federal Parliament in 1980 and represented the electorates of Swan (1980-96) and Brand (1996-2007).
Mr. Beazley was a Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments (1983- 96) holding, at various times, the portfolios of Defence, Finance, Transport and Communications, Employment Education and Training, Aviation, and Special Minister of State. He was Deputy Prime Minister (1995-96) and Leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition (1996-01 and 2005-06). Mr. Beazley served on parliamentary committees, including the Joint Intelligence Committee and the Joint Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.
After his retirement from politics in 2007, Mr. Beazley was appointed Winthrop Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Western Australia. In July 2008 he was appointed Chancellor of the Australian National University, a position he held until December 2009. Mr. Beazley took up his appointment as Ambassador to the United States of America in February 2010.
In 2009, Mr. Beazley was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for service to the Parliament of Australia through contributions to the development of government policies in relation to defence and international relations, and as an advocate for Indigenous people, and to the community.
Mr. Beazley was born in Perth. He completed a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts at the University of Western Australia. He was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship for Western Australia in 1973 and completed a Master of Philosophy at Oxford University. He is married and has three daughters.

March 2014 Newsletter







Lest we Forget

Returned & Services League of Australia, Washington Sub-Branch,
1601 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036

202-352-8550
dmward1973 at gmail dot com


2014 Membership dues of $30.00 are payable at the meeting. Alternatively, make your check payable to R&SL, and send it to Dave Ward, 2308 November Lane, Reston, VA,
For your calendar: Monthly meetings - April 10, May 8, June 12, July 10, August 14, September 11, October 9, November 13, and December 11.
Additional dates: March 30 – SSC Brunch,  April 25 - Anzac Day, June 14 - Bakers Creek Air Crash Commemoration, June 21 SSC-AAA BBQ, August 18 - Long Tan Day (Australia’s Vietnam Veterans Day), and November 11 -Remembrance Day.


Victoria Cross for Australia to Digger who made the ultimate sacrifice

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson warmly welcomed the Australian Government’s decision to posthumously award the Victoria Cross for Australia to the late Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird MG.

“Corporal Baird was a true Australian hero, his actions on 22 June 2013, while serving in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, were truly remarkable. He displayed the highest level of gallantry, making the ultimate sacrifice to protect his comrades,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“The actions of Corporal Baird will be forever instilled in Australia’s military history. The Victoria Cross was awarded in recognition of his most conspicuous acts of valour, extreme devotion to duty and ultimate self-sacrifice.”

Corporal Baird will join a small group of gallant Australians who have been bestowed Australia’s highest military honour. The Victoria Cross for Australia has recently been awarded to Corporal Mark Donaldson, VC, Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, VC, MG and Corporal Daniel Keighran, VC for their actions in Afghanistan.

“This is a lasting symbol of the Australian Government’s gratitude for Corporal Baird’s brave actions and I hope that his family will accept this great honour on his behalf,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“I know that Corporal Baird’s family are proud of their son’s efforts and that his service has been recognised with this award.”

“Today we also think of Corporal Baird’s mates, the men and women who live today to tell the story of Corporal Baird’s life, his service for his nation and who were privileged to know him.  Today will be a day tinged with both sadness and pride for a mate who made the ultimate sacrifice heroically defending his mates from danger.”

Corporal Baird’s parents will be invested with the award by Her Excellency the
Governor-General of Australia at Government House, Canberra on 18 February 2014. 

 http://www.rsl.org.au/News/ArtMID/4697/ArticleID/2866/HIGHEST-HONOUR-TO-DIGGER-WHO-MADE-THE-ULTIMATE-SACRIFICE

NEW $1 COIN SHARES THE SPIRIT OF THE CENTENARY OF ANZAC

The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, The Hon. Steven Ciobo MP, today unveiled a new $1 circulating 2014 coin featuring the Centenary of Anzac logo and produced by the Royal Australian Mint.

The special commemorative 2014 $1 circulating coin features the official logo of the Anzac Centenary, including the image of an Australian soldier, head bowed and rifle reversed in solemn reflection and the words ‘100 Years of Anzac – The Spirit Lives’. The coin is rimmed with a motif reflecting the sun’s rays as captured on the Australian Army’s Rising Sun badge.

Senator Ronaldson said the Anzac Centenary would be one of the most important commemorations in Australia’s history and it was fitting that the Royal Australian Mint had created this coin.

“The Centenary of Anzac will be one of the most defining moments in our nations’ story and the creation of a coin is a permanent way to reflect on and remember this commemorative period,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“I am delighted that the Mint has chosen to feature the Centenary of Anzac logo on the 2014 circulating coin.”

Mr Ciobo said introducing this coin into circulation would mean that for many years to come these coins would pass through the hands of thousands of Australians.

“Every time someone looks at this coin it will remind them of the service and sacrifice of our past and present Australian Defence Force members. In particular, of those who died in the First World War,” Mr Ciobo said.

Students from St Andrew’s Primary School in Werribee attended the launch and were presented with coins. 

Royal Australian Mint CEO, Ross MacDiarmid, said the Mint had a proud tradition of commemorating Australian military history with the production of a coin and the 2014 $1 ‘100 Years of Anzac – The Spirit Lives’ circulating coin would add to that.

“The Anzac Spirit has long been invoked as part of the essence of what it is to be Australian. The Anzac Centenary reminds us all that it is a living spirit and this coin captures aspects of that spirit in a permanent form,” Mr MacDiarmid said.

For more information about or an image of the 2014 $1 Century of Service circulating coin please visit www.ramint.gov.au.

http://www.rsl.org.au/News/ArtMID/4697/ArticleID/2865/NEW-1-COIN-SHARES-THE-SPIRIT-OF-THE-CENTENARY-OF-ANZAC-