The Army’s last regular force Vietnam veteran retires, thank you Sir for your service

Portrait of Major Gordon Benfell who is retiring after serving 52 years with the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). He is alson the NZDF’s last serving Vietnam Veteran.

The Army’s sole remaining Regular Force Vietnam War veteran, Major Gordon Benfell, is retiring after 52 years of service.

Major Benfell joined just before he turned 15, originally to be a radio technician, but then decided to do something weapons-related.

He spent three years as a Regular Force cadet, graduating as a Lance Corporal. At 18 he was a weapons instructor at the Training Wing of the nearby First Battalion Depot, then started training for deployment to Vietnam.   Read more »

Another explanation why Trump hasn’t called…but he will…really…he will…soon…I promise

This is just getting embarrassing.

Prime Minister Bill English says he does not have first date nerves in advance of his own first phone call with US President Donald Trump, despite the bruising experience of Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull.

Speaking at Waitangi, English said he is looking forward to speaking to Trump despite Turnbull’s experience.

“Well, yes I am actually. We are yet to see just when that will happen but there is no reason to believe that won’t be a civil and maybe direct conversation,” English said.

Trump had reportedly ending his call with Turnbull early, described it as the “worst call” he had had and shouted about Turnbull’s insistence he abide by a US agreement to take refugees from Australia’s centres in Nauru and Manus Island.

English said he was not nervous about his own call.

Read more »

So, it’s a travesty stopping refugees under Trump? Have the Democrats forgotten their actions after Vietnam?

Everyone on the left-wing is up in arms about denying refugees from Syria and other wog nations access to the US.

Democrats in particular are especially upset and while John Campbell might wet his panties that some Democrat Attorneys-General are p[osturing over the executive orders perhaps they should cast their minds back to their actions after the Vietnam War.

One old tusker is still around forgetting his own actions back in the day.

While there was recent rebellion against President Trump’s refugee, executive order, there were many liberals in 1975 associated with big-name Democrats against any Vietnam refugees wanting out of South Vietnam as it was absorbed by communists—there were millions! These left wingers were not even open to orphans coming to America.

California Governor Jerry Brown led the anti-refugee outfit that included well-known liberals such as Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY) and former-presidential “peace candidate” George McGovernRead more »

Battle of Long Tan Day – 50th Anniversary

On this day in 1966, 50 years ago:

The Battle of Long Tan was fought between the Australian Army and Viet Cong forces in a rubber plantation near the village of Long Tần, about 27 kilometres (17 mi) north east of Vung Tau, South Vietnam. The action occurred when D Company of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), part of the 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF), encountered the Viet Cong (VC) 275 Regiment and elements of the D445 Local Forces Battalion. D Company was supported by other Australian units, as well as New Zealand and United States artillery.

skippy1During the battle the company from 6RAR, despite being heavily outnumbered, fought off a large enemy assault of regimental strength. 18 Australians were killed and 24 wounded, while at least 245 Viet Cong were killed. It was a decisive Australian victory and is often cited as an example of the importance of combining and coordinating infantry, artillery, armour and military aviation. The battle had considerable tactical implications as well, being significant in allowing the Australians to gain dominance over Phước Tuy province, and although there were a number of other large-scale encounters in later years, 1ATF was not fundamentally challenged again.

The battle has since achieved similar symbolic significance for the Australian military in the Vietnam War as battles such as the Gallipoli Campaign have for the First World War, the Kokoda Track Campaign for the Second World War and the Battle of Kapyong for the Korean War.

One of those men who fought in the Battle of Long Tan that day was my father in law. He was firstly in the field as an Op and then brought back to man the guns that day as they fought to save the Aussie soldiers.

The Kiwi guns were instru­men­tal in sav­ing 3 pla­toons of D Com­pany of the  6thBat­tal­ion, Royal Aus­tralian Reg­i­ment (6RAR) and enabling the thrash­ing of a Reg­i­ment of Viet Cong.

Each gun fired over 1200 rounds that day and night in sup­port of the Aussies. The bat­tle was fought in a rub­ber tree plan­ta­tion near the vil­lage of Long Tan, about 40 km north-east of Vung Tau, South Viet­nam on August 18–19, 1966. The bat­tle was fought all after­noon and most of the night in pour­ing mon­soon rain. The guns ran so hot that wet blan­kets were draped over them in an attempt to keep the bar­rels cool.

MorrieStanelyS1966In 2010 another veteran of this battle, Major Morrie Stanley, sadly passed away. Our news media at the time barely covered it but the Aussie media did. They know what these guys did to save their boys and they well remember it.

Today is the day I remember their service.

Above is the online documentary about the Battle of Long Tan . It is superb and well worth spending the time watching.


The Long Tan Cross

Lest we forget.

Does John Key need replacing?

John Key and Milan Štěch

John Key and Milan Štěch

John Key wants to change the flag because it gets mistaken for others, so it is only logical that John would now want to change the country’s Prime Minister for the very same reason.

He may be a regular on the front page of women’s magazines and well-accustomed to selfie hunters in his home country but Prime Minister John Key has a way to go with his name recognition in Vietnam.

Key was in Vietnam earlier this week leading a business delegation to the growing Asian power.

He got the attention of local media, with a photograph appearing in a newspaper of his meeting with President Trương Tấn Sang.

Unfortunately for Key, he was apparently mistaken for a Czech politician. The caption read “President Trương Tấn Sang receives President of the Senate of the Czech Republic Milan Stetch.”   Read more »

Phil Goff caught on the flip flop again

Phil Goff wants to be Mayor of Auckland. He hasn’t said as much but is furiously raising his profile and getting himself in the news.

He is lucky he has his column in the Sunday Star-Times every second week and this week he chose to suddenly show concern for veterans’ families seeking repatriation of remains, in particular from Terendak in Malaysia.

Goff it seems has come to think it is necessary and whilst veterans’ families will be grateful for his support it was Phil Goff who was Minister of Defence in 2007 when this was last looked at and rejected.

As recently as May this year Phil Goff was also opposed to the suggestion of changing the policy and attacked Judith Collins for it.

She points this out in response to his latest column.

Phil, it is great to now have your support on this important issue, which I raised in my column back in May. Back then you accused me of political point-scoring, so I am very pleased to see your attitude has shifted and you’re now giving this issue the respect it deserves.   Read more »

Justice Minister Amy Adams opens $51 million Concrete Cancer building


Sometimes, despite all the warnings given, the Government ploughs ahead seemingly with blinkers on.
Whaleoil has ran an extensive investigation into the Concrete Cancer Cover-Up story potentially affecting dozens, if not hundreds of construction projects.
As a quick recap, cement importing company Drymix imported an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes of high alkali cement from Vietnam and flogged it off onto the New Zealand market.
So-called ‘independent’ investigations into concerns raised on this blog by The Cement and Concrete Association of NZ (CCANZ),  resulted in a highly technical report telling people to move on, nothing to see here. More on that later.

Read more »

8 days to opening of Concrete Cancer building


With Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith refusing to instruct officials to take a core-sample of the $46 million Manukau District Court building, who ever is the minister that opens it will have their name forever attached to a concrete cancer building.   Read more »

The hypocrisy of Phil Goff

phil goff the hypocrite

Phil Goff daring to show his face at Vietnam War commemorations

Yesterday marked the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan. My father-in-law served in that battle.

In Wellington a ceremony was held to mark 50 years since our involvement in Vietnam.

Around 100 people packed into the Pukeahu War Memorial Park in Wellington today to mark 50 years since New Zealand began its involvement in the Vietnam War.

The war became the longest New Zealand served in, entering in 1965 and exiting in December 1972.  

Read more »

Concrete Cancer Cover-up: 12 days until Govt opens dodgy building


This blog has exposed the dodgy hear-no-evil-see-no-evil practices within the $400 million concrete industry with multiple posts about the concrete cancer issue affecting numerous buildings

The industry association, the Cement and Concrete Association (CCANZ), has said “it’s been a hell-of-a-time for the concrete industry in the press” as it “rubbishes allegations that elevated alkali levels in cement and concrete are putting the structural integrity of some [read Manukau District Court Building] buildings in jeopardy”.   Read more »