Remains return announced 06/2007
Name: Peter Raymond Gillson
Rank/Branch: E1
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record: Australia
Date of Loss: 08 November 1965
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: YT164234
Status (in 1973): Killed in Action/Body not Recoverd
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 0188
Other Personnel in Incident: Richard H.J. Parker (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 from one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated
by the P.O.W. NETWORK, with information from Australia's Tony Blake, Vietnam
Veteran 70-71, 7RAR. Updated 2007
NOTE: Australians use the abbreviation PTE for Private, for someone with "no
rank". PVT/PFC is a U.S. designation.
SYNOPSIS: In 1984, the Australian government sent delegates to Vietnam to
find fresh evidence on missing Australians. It was abandoned when the party
failed to learn anything about the men's fate. Australian foreign affairs
minister, Bill Hayden, recommended the cases be closed, that the Vietnamese
government had cooperated fully with the search and the subject of the
missing men, and it should no longer be an issue between the two countries.
Yet reports continue to be received in the U.S. from refugees and
intelligence sources convincing many authorities that hundreds of servicemen
are still being held captive. The veterans of Australia, like those of
Canada and the U.S. refuse to accept their governments' dismissal of the
At least five Australians are missing who were not directly associated with
U.S. forces. Two of them are Pte. Peter R. Gillson and Pte. Richard H.J.
Parker, lost on November 8, 1965. Parker and Gillson are the first two
Australians listed Missing in Action.
Gillson and Parker were with a unit which came in close contact with the
enemy during fierce fighting for the Battle of the Hump twenty-one
kilometers northeast of Bien Hoa. The company came under heavy fire and
Parker was last seen lying on the ground during the ambush. Although he was
heard to groan, he did not answer calls.
Gillson, according to some sources, was injured about 9 kilometers northeast
of Parker's location, but according to U.S. records, Gillson and Parker were
lost at the same location. The unit was forced to withdraw. Gillson was
thought to be dead, but Parker's condition was not really known.
Australian comrades were furious when U.S. orders prevented them from
returning to the site to locate Gillson and Parker. Both men were listed
presumed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.
While Gillson and Parker's military unit is not known, it is nearly certain
that their unit was working with the 173rd Airborne Brigade at Bien Hoa, and
they were possibly part of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
(RAR) which arrived in Vietnam in May 1965.
Gillson and Parker do not appear on most U.S. lists since they were not U.S.
citizens. However, as thousands of U.S. veterans would confirm, the
"Aussies" were welcome additions to any mission. Their bravery was well
known, and they were well-liked. 47,000 Australians were sent to Vietnam
between 1961 and 1971; 504 were killed and 2,500 were wounded. None were
captured -- or were they?
The Australians sent their young men to help in a war that was not their
own. It is fitting that Americans should include their missing in their
quest for freedom for those still prisoner, missing or unaccounted for in
Southeast Asia.
Gillson, P R
Number:  37857
Rank:  Private [Pte]
Unit:  1 RAR (RA INF)
Service:  Army
Conflict:  Vietnam, 1962-1972
Date of Death:  08/11/1965
Place of Death:  South Vietnam
Cause of Death:  Killed In Action
Memorial Panel:  3
Cemetery or Memorial Details:
Next Of Kin:  Wife - Mrs L K Gillson
Source:  AWM153 Roll of Honour cards, Vietnam
This is a transcript from AM. The program is broadcast around Australia at
08:00 on ABC Local Radio.
You can also listen to the story in REAL AUDIO and WINDOWS MEDIA and MP3

Vietnam battle victims finally brought home 
AM - Monday, 4 June , 2007  08:28:00
Reporter: Gillian Bradford
TONY EASTLEY: When Lance Corporal Richard "Tiny" Parker and Private Peter
Gillson died during a fierce battle with the Vietcong in 1965 it was just
too dangerous at the time to recover their bodies.
But finally, 42 years after they were killed in battle, the bodies of the
two fallen Vietnam veterans will soon be on their way home......
Australian Vietnam War dead return home 40 years on
Tue Jun 5, 2:35 AM ET
The bodies of two Australian soldiers killed in the Vietnam War arrived home
Tuesday, more than 40 years after they were listed as missing in action
fighting the Viet Cong.....
Four remain missing from Vietnam war
By Max Blenkin
As the bodies of two Australian soldiers killed in Vietnam in 1969 begin a
belated repatriation, four others remain missing from the conflict which
ended three decades ago.