Several days ago, Stan Middleton left a comment on the Vietnam Swans Blog writing that footy had played an active role for the Aussies during the War. Stan’s amazing comment is reproduced below:
I served in Vung Tau in 1967-68. A full scale Aussies Rules Competition between Australian units was conducted (twice a year). The Competition commenced in either 1966 or 1967 and I believe went through to 1971.
I was with the Ordnance Unit (2 Comp Ord Depot/2AOD). We were Premiers in both seasons in 1968; also in one season in 1969 when Wayne Closter (former Geelong Star) was Captain. In the losing Grand Final team that day, 17 Construction Squadron, former Aboriginal VFL Umpire Glenn James played.
In either 1970 or 1971, former Essendon & Williamstown player, Bill Thompson, played for our unit.
Our 1968 group has a reunion every two years based around our Aussie Rules Footy team. We have many footy photos on our unit website which I do all the photos. I also have a lot of our old Unit newsletters on our games which I haven’t placed on the site yet.
We initially played all our games where the Greyhound Racing Track is now in Vung Tau (The Lord Mayors Oval then and venue for the Vietnam Swans inaugural ANZAC Friendship match). We played 14 a side because of the ground being a soccer ground. Later a lot of games were played elsewhere on a larger oval.
The Competition was a 7 team one when I was there. 2AOD(us), 17 Construction Sqn, 5 Coy RAASC, 8 Field Ambulance, RAAF, 102 Field Workshops and 110 Signals.
Will be interested to hear your comments.
See the 2nd Advanced Ordinance Depot 1968-72′s website . To see photos of their footy matches back then, click . For other photos of the war time era in Vung Tau, click .
All photos courtesy of the ‘s website.