7 Pl C Coy
Blue was another
member of 5RAR who did
Rookie-Corps-Battalion training together
with a very special group of mates. Blue
wasn't really military material. His
physical build and skin complexion were
against him. However Blue was determined as
the rest of us. He did his jobs to the best
of his ability, keeping to himself and not
being one to voice his opinions- maybe
grumbling to himself on the odd occasion.
Blue in general was not a happy person –
smiles were very rare. Alcohol changed his
disposition, sometimes for the better,
sometimes for the worse.
Five Section 8
Platoon – Rifleman, was his first job in
5RAR. The section 2IC, L/CPL Barry Morgan
(didn’t he make a career of the military)
saw very early that Blue wasn't really
suitable as a bush soldier. He nominated
Blue to do a Q (Quarter Master's) course and
this eventually put Blue into the Q Store
with SSGT "Mouse" McLeod. Blue was good at
his job however if you were his mate, didn't
give him a hard time, you got what you asked
for. If not, well, it took longer
sometimes much longer to get what you were
after. After resupply many sand bags went
back to Nui-Dat
some tied with bows. Blue knew these bags
contained 'goodies' i.e. cakes of soap etc
merchandise to barter for favours with when
on R&C (Rest & Convalescence) in Vung Tau.
These items Blue kept aside for his mates.
Blue liked his job in the Q Store. I believe
he worked quite hard preparing, organising,
loading and unloading the supplies that made
our existence in the scrub a little better.
As Blue was continually around trucks and
choppers he was always in strife for having
a dirty weapon. He once made a request for a
pistol, but this request was knocked back as
only the officers had access to pistols.
After this, Blue
on many occasions mostly when the company
was out on operations, started a habit of
wearing a holster with the trigger mechanism
M60 in it. It looked the part but he
ceased this habit after one of the battalion
vehicles going to Baria with laundry, was
fired upon. Blue was regularly involved with
left the Q Store job and went back to 8
Platoon as a rifleman for the rest of his
tour. He was severely troubled by skin
problems during his military service and for
the rest of his life. He was unable to gain
medical assistance for this
problem/condition. He became very bitter
with the military. He spoke very little of
He married Shirley and they had a daughter,
Donna. Both loved and supported and did
their best to understand "Blue". He made a
successful career with the railways, V-lines
at Albury, becoming a senior head conductor.
Blue and I were good mates from day one of
rookie training. Our friendship continued
post military service.
Sadly Blue took
his own life in 1992.