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  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 Len Avery .

Passing Parade

44101 Malcolm Roy SMITH, DFC - 05 April 2021
43415 Frank Alois GEPP - TBA
342872 Herbert Rex WILLIS - 14 February 2021
55535 Michael Patrick BROPHY - 03 February 2021
A1770 Lloyd Eric LARNEY - 24 October 2020
2791333 Robert Norman PASCOE - 26 September 2020
610368 Norman Alexander BRUNDLE - 25 August 2020
61241 Reginald Charles BISHOP - 21 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 Forget ***
'In Memoriam'




Notice to 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 Len Avery.



 Author – Peter Nolan

History of 161 Reconnaissance Flight in Vietnam 1965-72

 As 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.

The 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.

Behind 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.

The 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.

Book ISBN: 1 74114 635 6.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book through the 161 Recce Assoc please contact Len Avery.



Author - Tony Lourensen

Tony '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.


He joined Army Aviation at RAAF Base Amberley in 1966 after transferring from 3 RAR at Woodside.


Shorty 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: or by a direct link via Email at:


Shorty 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.  


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