For the U.S., a frustrating history of recovering human remains in North Korea

At their historic summit last month, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un committed to recovering more American remains, including the “immediate repatriation of those already identified.” Their statement raised hopes that as many as 200 sets believed to be ready for transfer could be collected in coming days and possibly more in the near future.

But the up-and-down nature of past efforts suggests the process could be fraught with pitfalls, including a mixed record of cooperation from the North Koreans. Any successful repatriation also will face the laborious identification process that has dragged on for years with the remains already in U.S. possession.

READ MORE from this Washington Post article

Australian MIA

The Australian Government’s unrecovered Korean War casualities – The Koreran War Project is closely associated with the United States’ Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency(DPAA) and the South Korean Ministry of National Defence Agency for Missing in Action Recovery and Identification (MAKRI).

The Korean War Missing in Action Working Group was established in December 2015 through the advocacy of Ian Saunders the son of the missing Pte :John Saunders supported by the veterans’ associations (Korean Veterans Association, RAR Association, Air Force Associations, the Naval Association of Australia) and the MIA families. It is active in seeking progress towards the identification of remains still unidentified and held by the DPAA,. You can follow their minuted progress here.

Enquiries are welcome, you can contact the Korean War Project team via telephone 1800 019 090 or email [email protected] .

Vale: Colonel Stan Maizey

We have been advised by his daughter Judith that our warrior comrade Colonel “Stan the Man” Maizey died peacefully at home on Monday 18th June 2018

 

His operational service included:

Korea (Lt) 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment  13 November 1953 to 31 March 1954

Malaysia (Maj/Coy Comd) 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment 1960-61

Vietnam (Maj/Bn 2ic) 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment  12/05/1966 to 12/12/1966

Headquarters, 1st Australian Task Force 13/12/1966 to 07/07/1967

His funeral will be at 11.00 AM next Monday 25 June at Mount Cotton Crematorium, 1774 – 1794 Mount Cotton Road, Carbrook, Qld.

 

Rest in Peace noble warrior your duty has been done.

Hope for Families of Troops Lost in Korea

Australian families whose loved ones never returned from Korean War could be a step closer to recovering the remains of those missing in action following the US-North Korea summit.

A four-point plan US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un signed in Singapore on Tuesday included a pledge to recover the remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action in the 1950-53 conflict.

Veterans Affairs Minister Darren Chester said he was heartened the issue was raised during the historic talks.

“I think it gives some hope,” he told the National Press Club on Wednesday.

There are 43 Australians missing in action from the Korean War.

imagesIan Saunders, whose father Private John Phillip Saunders was one of the missing Australians, is happy families might soon see some progress.

“We have an excellent opportunity for the Australian government and Department of Defence to consolidate a matter that has never been addressed in 65 years,” he said.

Australia and the US military at the end of the month are expected to sign a deal to exchange relevant information and records relating to the 43 lost Australian servicemen.

Mr Saunders has uncovered evidence from the Australian and US military records from 1950-1955 revealing the locations of 1700 unidentified remains.

While some of the remains could be in North Korea, others are likely to be located above and below ground on Hawaiian soil and at the United Nations Military Cemetery Busan, South Korea.

Lisa Martin, Australian Associated Press
June 13, 2018

ADSO Comment

Advocates for increased active Australian Government action by the late Jim Bourke, Admiral Ian Crawford and Ian Saunders supported by the Royal Australian Regiment Association, The Naval Association of Australia, and the Air Force Association, The Korean Veterans Association  and others led to the establishment of the Korean War Missing in Action Working Group in December 2015. You can follow its progress here

It sought greater active involvement and co-operation with The United States’ Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency(DPAA) and the South Korean Ministry of National Defence Agency for Missing in Action Recovery and Identification (MAKRI) organisations.

Ian Saunders effectively represents the MIA families.

images 19

 

QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOUR – The Late Brigadier Neil Harvey Weekes AM MC OAM

He was awarded a posthumous OAM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours today for his service to veterans and their families.

Extracts from the nomination include:

After his retirement from the Army Brigadier Neil Weekes AM MC continued his duty of care responsibility to his troops by becoming actively involved with the well-being of the wider Australian Defence Community (ADC –current and past servicemen and servicewomen and their families) and the protection of their service entitlements.

“Retirement” in Townsville saw him championing the causes of the military community especially its veterans, at the Regional, Queensland State and National levels. He stridently fought injustices through the DVA processes and where necessary through the local media to ensure that all veterans received respect and their service entitlements. 

Neil’s contribution to the veterans’ community was recognised at the highest level by Prime Minister Rudd when he appointed Neil as a notable person to represent veterans on the inaugural Prime Minister’s Advisory Council (PMAC) 2008-2013.

After his move to South East Queensland, Neil continued his veterans’ activities by becoming the President of The Royal Australian Regiment Association Queensland where his dedication and dogged determination continued unabated.

He is the epitome of the RAR’s motto Duty First and his contribution to the Australian Defence Community is outstanding.

LEST WE FORGET

 

NEIL Weeks was never known to walk away from a fight, whether on Vietnam’s battlefields or battling bureaucracies over veterans’ benefits.
He lost the toughest battle of his life in Brisbane on   6th March 2017 when an aggressive brain tumour claimed one of Australia’s toughest soldiers of the contemporary era at the age of 71.
Neil Weekes was born in Mackay on September 21, 1945. He was educated in Sarina and at St Brendan’s College in Yeppoon before entering Teachers Training College at Kelvin Grove in Brisbane.
He was called up for national service on February 1, 1967.
At Kapooka he was selected for officer training and after graduating from the Officer Training Unit Scheyville on July 7, he was posted to 3 Platoon, A Company, 1 RAR.
He deployed to Vietnam with the battalion in March 1968, leading his platoon in the Battle of Coral on May 15-16, with his gallantry recognised by the awarding of the Military Cross.
He returned to Australia to be discharged at the end of his national service in December 1968 but was soon back in the army and 1RAR, serving with the battalion in Singapore and Malaysia during 1969-1971.
He also served in Papua New Guinea with 2 RPIR at Wewak, and attended the Malaysian Armed Forces Staff College at Kuala Lumpur.
He was a consummate infantryman, leader and instructor, holding many demanding staff, regimental and training postings, including at the Royal Military College, Duntroon.
From July 1985 to December 1987 he commanded NORFORCE, a regional surveillance unit with subunits based throughout the Northern Territory and the Kimberley area of Western Australia. He was appointed a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his leadership.
He returned to Townsville in December 1990 on promotion to colonel to command the district support unit, beginning 22 years in the city.
He retired from the regular Army in 1993 after 26 years service, but would remain in the Army Reserve for a further five years, being promoted to brigadier and commanding 11 Brigade, Ares at Jezzine Barracks.
His civil employment was with James Cook University, where he was executive officer to the Vice-Chancellor until he retired in October 2003.

Anzac Day Service at Fort Benning USA

ANZAC Day ceremony in Fort Benning USA at the only memorial in the US that lists the names of Australian KIA. Listed are the names of 1 RAR Group members killed while serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade (SEP) in Vietnam in 1965-66.

READ MORE  and watch the video

Brigadier J.J Shelton DSO MC (Retd) – Funeral Arrangements

Advice has been received from AHQ, which is handling Army’s part of Brig Shelton’s funeral service, that it will act as a central point of contact for anyone wishing to send written tributes to the family.

The details of the contact are:

SO1 Pers Ops, AHQ, LTCOL Mal Stewart, email: [email protected]

For those of you who have already sent tributes to me, or wish to do so, I will also pass them to the family.

Duty First

John Robbins
Secretary
RAR Association (ACT Branch)
P: (02) 62901948
M: 0414 483 729
E: [email protected]

 

Appointment RAR’s Regimental Colonel – Brigadier Jason Blain DSC CSC

In 2018, Brigadier Blain had the great honour of assuming regimental appointments as the Head of Corps of the Royal Australian Infantry and Regimental Colonel of the Royal Australian Regiment. He is also a director on the board of the Royal Australian Regiment Foundation and has a strong interest in the wellbeing and resilience of serving members and veterans.

He was born in Mossman, North Queensland, and completed his schooling in Ingham. After attaining a Bachelor of Arts he attended the Royal Military College Duntroon, graduating into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps in 1991.

During his career, Brigadier Blain has served in a wide range of regimental and staff appointments including three years as a career adviser in the Directorate of Officer Career Management–Army, for which he was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross .

As an Infantry officer he has commanded at all levels within the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) and was privileged to be the Commanding Officer of the 6th Battalion from 2008 to 2009.

Brigadier Blain’s operational experience includes company command in East Timor, and service in Afghanistan.  During 2007 he served as an operations officer in the Headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul. From January to June 2010 he commanded Mentoring Task Force One (MTF-1) in Uruzgan Province. In recognition of sustained outstanding service by the men and women of MTF-1 during an intensive operational tour the task force was awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation. From July to October 2010 he served as the inaugural Deputy Commander of Combined Team Uruzgan. For his 2010 service in Afghanistan Brigadier Blain was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

 

 

 

 

Following on from his operational experience and on promotion to Colonel in 2011, he was tasked with establishing ‘Diggerworks’ within the Defence Materiel Organisation. The role of Diggerworks was to design, test and deliver improved and integrated combat equipment for our deployed men and women.

In 2013 he was seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as the Senior Adviser for Defence Policy and Operations. He was posted to Army Headquarters in 2014 as the Director of Military Commitments where he was responsible for Army’s support to operations and preparedness requirements.

In 2015 Brigadier Blain attended the Defence and Strategic Studies Course in Canberra and on promotion to Brigadier in 2016, he was appointed as the inaugural Director General of the Force Options and Plans Branch in Defence’s new Force Design Division. In this role he is responsible for identifying capability and joint force structure requirements and designing the future force through the conduct of evidence-based analysis and assessment.

Brigadier Blain holds a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Management and is a graduate of the Australian Command and Staff Course (2003), the Australian Institute of Company Directors (2012), the Indian Army Higher Defence Orientation Course (2014), and the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies (2015).

He is married to Susan and they have a daughter attending university and a son in high school. He enjoys military history, cricket, rugby league, and working on his fishing skills.

The RAR Association welcomes Brigadier Blain to his appointments and wishes him continued success. 
DUTY FIRST

National Volunteers Week

From RARA National to all volunteers thank you for your commitment to caring for others in so many ways. To our own RAR Family of volunteers we greatly appreciate your support to our tribe.
Duty First

Volunteering Australia is delighted to announce its new theme and logo for National Volunteer Week (NVW) in 2018. The theme for 2018 is: Give a little. Change a lot.

 

This theme represents the millions of volunteers who make a significant impact in their communities and on society by giving a little of their time. National Volunteer week will be held from 21-27 May 2018.

 

Resources are available for download here. Please check the website for more details over the coming months. We look forward to celebrating Australia’s 6 million volunteers who generously give their time to various causes.

Funeral Notice – Brigadier Jeffrey James (Jim) Shelton DSO MC Retd 29 June 1926 – 13 May 2018

Passed away peacefully.
Much loved husband of Lyn (dec) and Caroline.
Treasured father of Wendy.

Profound thanks to those who cared for him

A funeral service will be held at the ANZAC Memorial Chapel of St. Paul, RMC Duntroon, Robert Campbell Road, Campbell ACT, on Monday 4 June 2018, commencing at 11:30 am.
A private cremation will follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Legacy please.

Grantley Perry & Sons Funeral Directors
(02) 62414101
Published in The Canberra Times on May 19, 2018

Vale Brigadier Jeffrey James “JJ” Shelton DSO MC – 29 June 1926–13 May 2018

James Shelton was born in Melbourne on the 29th of June 1926. He attended Scotch College in Melbourne, and then Bendigo High School, before going on to study engineering at Melbourne University.

Shelton entered Duntroon as a cadet in February 1944. After graduating in December 1946, he was sent to Japan to serve with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan joining the 66th Battalion. He returned to Australia two years later, having been promoted to acting captain.

He next served as adjutant to a Citizens’ Military Force battalion in Adelaide, which is where he heard about the start of the Korean War.

Shelton was sent to the reinforcement holding unit in Japan in 1951 and joined the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR) as a reinforcement officer after the battle of Kapyong.

He commanded A Company during the battle of Maryang San, for which he was awarded a Military Cross for his personal bravery and leadership.

After returning to Australia in 1952, Shelton was sent to England for a two year posting with the British Army. Here he attended numerous infantry courses and was attached to a British Battalion based at Luneberg in Germany, as part of the British Army of the Rhine.

On his return to Australia, Shelton served at the School of Infantry at Singleton before being posted as adjutant to Duntroon, where he was reunited with his friend and former commanding officer, Colonel (later General Sir) Frank Hassett.

Two years later, Shelton was posted to the Defence Force Staff College at Quetta in India. It was a posting he thoroughly enjoyed.

His next posting was to Army Headquarters in Melbourne. During this posting Army HQ transitioned to Canberra. Shelton returned to 3RAR as a company commander, before being promoted to lieutenant colonel.

Another two year posting to England followed, this time as an exchange instructor at the British Army Staff College, then located at Camberley. During this period Shelton met luminaries such as Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.

On his return to Australia at the start of 1967, Shelton was posted as commanding officer of 3RAR, then based at Woodside, South Australia. He was delighted to command the battalion with which he had already seen so much service and felt it to be the pinnacle of his service career. 3RAR deployed to Vietnam at the end of the year, and was soon on operations in Phuoc Tuy Province.

Shelton and his men took part in numerous operations in Vietnam, most notably the battles of Coral and Balmoral in May of 1968, in which the battalion experienced the most sustained combat experienced by Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War. Shelton was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership during the long month of near-constant fighting.

After returning to Australia, Shelton returned to Army HQ and was promoted to colonel. After further postings to Citizen Military Forces, regular army units, and headquarters, he was promoted to brigadier. In 1972 he was given command of the 3rd Task Force (as it was then known) in Townsville. In 1974 Shelton returned to Army Headquarters in Canberra and took up several more staff appointments.

Following his retirement from the army in 1980, he was made honorary colonel of the Australian Army Band Corps, a position he held for 14 years. Shelton also completed a degree in history and geography at the Australian National University, Canberra.

Sunday 13 May 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the first battle of Coral. While watching the ceremony from his hospital bed, Jim Shelton, who had been unwell for some time, closed his eyes and passed away peacefully. He was 92 years old.

Shelton will be remembered by those who knew him and those who served with him as a true gentleman and a soldier’s soldier. Vale Brigadier Jim Shelton.