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THE NATIONAL SERVICE - AUSTRALIAN DRAFT

Nick 1733706.gif (15816 bytes)
1967

I was Drafted for National Service on the 3rd October 1967 and did my basic training at Singletons 3rd Training Battalion and 7th Platoon (3TB 7Plt)  Basic training was a ten week session which included learning to march, using the FN 7.62 Self Loading Rifle (SLR), range shooting, starting to get physically fit, and learning how to work as a team under command. 

Later I was posted to Eastern Hills Marconi School of Wireless in Sydney.  Here we learnt morse code, operational procedures and basic operation of Army Signals equipment.   

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139 Signal Sqn.
  At Enoggera Brisbane
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Singleton 3TB October 1967

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Nick Quigley on passing out parade day Singleton 1967





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Nick Quigley and Bess Robinson Sydney 1968.jpg (44839 bytes)  
Nick Quigley with Grandmother Bess Robinson Sydney 1967
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 Nick Quigley at Singleton 3rd Training Battalion 1967

I was posted to Balcombe, South Victoria, to the School of Signals where we continued to learn about antennas, propagation, and radio equipment.  On passing out, I was posted to 139 Sig. Sqn. at Brisbane.  Picture below taken at Balcombe on passing out night, Jeff and Jenine Cayzer.  Jeff still lives in the Brisbane area and is a good friend of Geoff Mullins Channel 10 TV, neither went to Vietnam.

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Jeff & Jenine Cayzer - Balcombe 1968
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BR ? Varley, Dan Jamie, ? Doig, Geoff Mullins
FR ? Harris, Nick Quigley, Bob Tapscot, Stev Swain


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After going to Rockhampton for exercise Coral Sands and being based at Pink Lily we were eventually sent to Canungra Jungle Training School.  A hard 21 days of running, pushups, battle training, bear pits, barb wire and the jump off the tower into the river.  I was on the 95/68 Course in August of 1968.  Cold, freezing, the only way to keep warm was to run...

 
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 95/68 JTC Left to right ?,?,?,Nick Quigley
cunungra 9568 Normie Rowe.jpg (30048 bytes)  
Normie Rowe
center of photo at Canungra JTC
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 Canungra 95/68 Course names unknown
Huey Inspection.jpg (16438 bytes)
 Huey inspection Enoggera Brisbane

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Not a pleasant place to go at any time, let along in the middle of winter.  With frost on the grass, we donned our black runners, shorts and army singlets and were out running, doing our PT, over the cargo nets, swimming in the river and later to be sent to Vietnam, where I can't remember ever wearing a jumper.

From Canungra to 1 Sig Regt., in Sydney for holding before departure to Vietnam.   We left Sydney aboard a commercial QANTAS 707 flight QF177 flying direct Sydney - Darwin, Darwin - Singapore and on to Saigon. And finally by Caribou from Saigon to Nui Dat.

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Venning Smith Quigley Thomson.jpg (21845 bytes) 
Back - Ian Venning, John Smith, Nick Quigley
Front - Alan Thomson - Sydney 18 Nov 68
Brian Bultditude Nick Quigley Jock Howeth.jpg (25382 bytes)
Brian Bultitude, Nick Quigley, Jock Howeth - Nui Dat
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 FSB Kerry 104 Sigs Gun Pit
16 Sept 1969 104 Sigs.gif (240438 bytes)  
BR Trevor Walton (Deceased 31 Dec 1999), Jim O'Leary, John Perry, Jock Howeth
FR Nick Quigley, Alan Smith, Ian Venning, Rob MacGregor, Brian Bultitude - Nui Dat 16 Sept 1969

We were posted to 104 Sig Sqn in Vietnam from 18th Nov 1968 to 17 Sept 1969.

 
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   104 Sig Radio Troop Lines
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104 Sigs gun pit at Nui Dat
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 104 Sigs Booza
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104 Sigs Booza
Members of 104 Sig Sqn, didn't sit about the base at Nui Dat, they were generally attached to other units and served with them and wherever they went.  Back to Top

My first posting was to 1 Fld Sqn Engineers RAE.  The detachment Sig was required to operated the "Elevate" Switch along with the Task Force radio net and the local Engineers radio network.  We were also deployed with the Engineers on various operations in the province.

FSB Duster was the temporary home for the Big Red 1 US Marines and the detachment there was to operate the liaison radio network between the US Marines, our own Task Force and the operation headquarters of the ARVN.  When the Big Red 1 moved out the FSB was dismantled

 
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   FSB Duster
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  Big Red 1 Mess line at FSB Duster
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Eating the spoils of a mess
raid at FSB Duster
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Nick Quigley at FSB Duster

During the TET Offensive I was posted to the US Advisers and the 2/52 ARVN at Trang Bom.  We operated out of a rubber plantation, gathering information on enemy troop movement.  The information was coded and sent to both FSB Kerry and to the operators at Bearcat for assessment.  

While with the Advisers we toured Down Town Ap Duon Nga and Bau Ca.  Small Vietnamese villages, but strongholds for the VC.   Our job was to entertain the kids while the advisers talked with the village adults.  
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Ap Duon Ngo Trevor Hart with hat.jpg (20791 bytes)  
Trevor Hart (hat) entertaining the kids
Ap Duon Nga.jpg (104820 bytes)  
The Village of Ap Duon Nga
BauCa.jpg (118500 bytes)  
Village of Bau Ca
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John Carr at Bau Ca

During an Australian operation in the Delta, I was posted to VC Hill in Vung Tau on the Retrans.  Living on top of the Hill behind the US Communication Base we operated a PRC 125 set as a repeater.  

ReTrans 104 Sigs VC Hill Vung Tau.jpg (7096 bytes)  
VC Hill Vung Tau - 104 Sig Sqn Retrans
US Army Comms Base VC Hill Vung Tau.jpg (19640 bytes) 
US Communications Base on VC Hill Vung Tau

Powered by 32Volt gensets, the retrans was the life line between the troops in the field and the Task Force back in Nui Dat.  Back to Top

The longest posting was to D TOC at Bearcat.  The home of the Royal Thai Army Volunteer Forces, known as the Panthers.    Bearcat was also the home base for the EMU unit (Experimental Military Unit) and endless numbers of helicopters, the 720th Military Police and the 173rd Airborne.

 
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DTOC Bearcat and on the right, drums of Agent White ?
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 The Bruce Meakins and Nick Quigley Bar at Bearcat
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 Bruce Meakins At Bearcat
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 Helicopter repair base at Bearcat
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 Bruce Meakins and Nick Quigley 23 Jan 2000
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Vietnamese sand baggers at Bearcat
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EMU Drive in Bearcat and ?? and Johny OKeefe 25 Aug 1969
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 Spooky firing into a target at Bearcat
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Bearcat DTOC Security Pass
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FSB Kerry
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 FSB Kerry
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Bearcat base below
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FSB Mohawk
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FSB Elizabeth
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FSB Julia
Bruce Meakins at Bearcat.jpg (14188 bytes)   
Bruce Meakins at Bearcat with 720th US Military Police
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Captured RPG7s and RPG3, Bearcat
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720th US Military Police at Bearcat SSG Hogan with cap
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Vietnamese Band visiting Bearcat with 720th Military Police guard
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Bearcat Birm
Bearcat 720th Military Police Nick Quigley right.jpg (31631 bytes)   
720th US Military Police - Jim Morgans (white tee shirt) and Bill Antilla (no shirt) with Vietnamese bag fillers Nick Quigley on the far right with a beer

I became an Australian Citizen on the 25th July 1990 and I have lived on and off in Rockhampton since 1966.
On the 13th August 1999 I left work on health reasons and I'm now a TPI pensioner.

Nick Quigley  1733706  Ex 104 Sig. Sqn. Royal Australian Signals
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