This page will be used to post matters of interest to all members of 161
Recce Association, including past and present members of 161 Recce Sqn.
If you have any matters of interest for the notice board please contact
342872 Herbert Rex WILLIS - 14 February 2021
2791333 Robert Norman PASCOE - 26 September 2020
A1770 Lloyd Eric LARNEY - 24 October 2020
610368 Norman Alexander BRUNDLE - 25 August 2020
243309 Francis Harding BENFIELD, OAM - 15 August 2020
217039 Robert Wallace THOMSON - 02 August 2020
44974 Neville James BUTTERWORTH - 04 May 2020
2782334 Donald James DENNIS (TRICK) - 22 April 2020
1411034 William Joseph BOSTOCK - TBA
39302 Colin PUGH - 17 January 2020
*** Lest We
everyone who served in, or are the NOK of those who
served in, 161 (Indep) Recce Flt in Vietnam. We are attempting to
locate former unit members on the AWOL
list and the NOK of those members on the 'In Memoriam' page.
If you are on email and
not in regular contact with Len, or if you know the whereabouts of
anyone on the list, please make contact with
POSSUMS AND BIRD DOGS
– Peter Nolan
of 161 Reconnaissance Flight in Vietnam 1965-72
the first Australian Army Aviation unit to be deployed on active
service, 161 Reconnaissance Flight faced huge challenges. The Flight’s
personnel overcame the odds of unfamiliar operations and logistics
difficulties to become a key element of the Australian task force.
American Bird Dog aircraft were borrowed to boost operational
capabilities. Other challenges were met with similarly unorthodox
practices, but only the faint-hearted questioned their effectiveness.
Possum call sign used by 161
was heard from 1965 to 1972 in Vietnam’s crowded skies.
During their year of duty pilots flew up to 1200 hours on a range
of intelligence-gathering and direct support missions. Their commitment
to the Australian ground forces was absolute. Much of their work was at
treetop level, and the cry of ‘Possum down’ was often heard as enemy
fire took its toll on pilots and aircraft.
the flying lies a tale of dedicated maintenance and general support
based on innovation, improvisation and opportunistic acquisition. New
faces and aeroplanes replaced the old, but purpose and pride never
wavered. There is a rich vein of humour throughout this fine story of
men at war. It will appeal to all veterans and those who have an
interest in military and general aviation.
history of 161, entitled Possums and Bird Dogs, was
released for sale by publishers Allen & Unwin on 04 August 2006.
Look for it in your favourite bookshop or it is available through the
161 Recce Assoc.
ISBN: 1 74114 635 6.
you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book through the 161
Recce Assoc please contact
CHI MINH, JOHNSY AND I
'Shorty' Lourensen has published a book, titled 'Ho Chi Minh, Johnsy and
I', about his time in Vietnam with 161 (Indep) Recce Flt from June 1967
until May 1968. Shorty
was a Corporal Clerk in the Orderly Room during his time in country.
joined Army Aviation at RAAF Base Amberley in 1966 after transferring
from 3 RAR at Woodside.
currently has a limited number of the books available for sale and you
can purchase a copy of the book through Shorty's web site at:
a direct link via Email at:
has advised that he will be doing a reprint of his book so if you miss
out this time please order a copy from the reprint.