5RAR Tiger Logo Nui Dat

CO 5RAR with one of the platoon's mascot Bunny-San the Rabbit

'Bunny San'

    Sometime late in 1969, C Coy 5RAR was active in South Vietnam. Nobody is saying how things may have transpired, but our Company Medic, Cpl Kevin (Doc) Mulligan returned to our Nui Dat Base with a rather large lump in his shirt. Upon further examination, the lump turned out to be a white rabbit. Animals were taboo, so arrangements were made to induct the now named “Bunny San” into C Company’s base. Bunny San was kept in various “safe houses”, depending where officers and sergeants were located, and all men were sworn to secrecy regarding it’s existence. This continued for a month or two, with the diggers “finding” appropriate food for our new mascot.
    On Christmas Day 1969, with C Coy back from operations for 3 days, we were advised that our Company Commander David Wilkins’ request to host the CO and RSM for Christmas Dinner had been accepted. Bunny San could no longer be hidden, due to the risk that a digger who was overly-enjoying his Christmas fare, might say something. Kevin took the high ground initiative, and suddenly produced the rabbit. What a hit! Nobody could quote exactly which regulation prohibited a white rabbit being kept in the Lines whilst on Active Service, and since it was by then in the arms of Lt Col Colin Khan, it was safe!
Nobody is sure of the fate of Bunny San, but we can advise that it not only survived Christmas 1969, but also lived into the 1970’s, at which time we returned to Australia.
    (L to R). Cpl Don Harrod, Pte Brian Thomas, Pte John Marine, Capt Dave Wilkins, (sitting) Cpl Kevin Mulligan, Lt Col Colin Khan, (holding rabbit), Cpl Bunny Hyde (scratching his nose), and Barry Thompson KIA (holding rabbit food).