YouTube

During the Vietnam War, Australian soldiers encountered thousands of hidden underground enemy bunkers. Murray Blake recounts the dangerous work of clearing them.

The song I Was Only Nineteen captured the experience of Australia’s Vietnam veterans and helped communicate to Australian society what many veterans themselves had been unable to share.

Stuart Smith was a young child when his father, Bernard Lyle Smith, was killed in action in Vietnam, but it was some years before the sense of loss began to sink in. For Janice, now raising two sons on her own, the connection to her husband Bernie remained strong.

John served with the Special Air Service in Vietnam. He was dismayed by the hostile reception many Vietnam War veterans received on their return home. He later became the senior investigator for Operations Aussies Home aimed at locating Australia’s six men who were listed as Missing in Action.

Audio

Les Williams

Listen to Les Williams dicussing supplies. [No: S00959, Murdoch Sound Archive, AWM]

Rationing Commission radio broadcast

A radio broadcast presented by the Rationing Commission to the workers of Australia

Rationing Commission question and answer session

A question and answer session about rationing and coupons? This radio broadcast excerpt from the Rationing Commission answers a question about sugar rationing.

Mister Doughboy

Mister Doughboy by Jack Davey

MR DOUGHBOY

There is a man called Uncle Sam
Who’s always stuck to his guns.
He heard a shout to help us out
And sent us one of his sons.

Mister Doughboy, Mister Doughboy
Gee, what a guy, you sure look pie to me.

When everything looked black
For the Union Jack
The Stars and Stripes came over
And they helped to put it back.

Mister Doughboy, don’t you know boy
That all of us have cottoned on to you.
It’s a wonderful combination
All for one and one for all
The Eagle, the Lion and the Kangaroo!

You are the kind that’s great to find
A fighting son of a gun
We like the way you said OK
And came along on the run.

Mister Doughboy, Mister Doughboy
Hear the applause and it’s all yours, siree
For years your loyal sons
Made us arms in tons
And now you’ve come in person
With your tanks and planes and guns.

Mister Doughboy, off we go boy
We’ve taken it, but we can give it too.
Tommies, Diggers and now the Doughboys
All for one and one for all
The Eagle, the Lion and the Kangaroo!

Mister Doughboy, Mister Doughboy
Gee, what a guy, you sure look pie to me.

When everything looked black
For the Union Jack
The Stars and Stripes came over
And they helped to put it back.

Mister Doughboy, don’t you know boy
That all of us have cottoned on to you.
It’s a wonderful combination
All for one and one for all
The Eagle, the Lion and the Kangaroo!

Publications

Australia's war heritage

Memories and Memorabilia

As each year passes, there are fewer and fewer Australians who personally experienced war, with all its horror and loss, but also with its sense of camaraderie and achievement. With them will go their memories and understanding of the way conflict has affected our families and local communities. Out of these experiences came an array of memorabilia in the form of diaries, letters, medals, photographs, artworks, film, and an assortment of other ephemera. Each of these items is a commemorative reminder to following generations of this sacrifice.

  • Memories and memorabilia booklet
    PDF icon pdf (4.18 MB)

Century of Service series

Decision—Stories of Leadership in the Services

We all make decisions every day – they shape the lives we lead. In times of war, decision-making can take on a greatersignificance. Many Australians over the past century of service have demonstrated leadership with the decisions they have made.

A Bitter Fate—Australians In Malaya & Singapore

In December 1941 Japanese forces landed at Malaya and began a rapid advance southwards towards Singapore. Australians were among the Allied forces fighting to halt the advance. On 15 February 1942 the city fell to the Japanese, and more than 130,000 British and Allied troops were taken prisoner of war, including some 15,000 Australians. More than 1100 other Australians were either confirmed dead or listed as missing in action, and hundreds of others remained unaccounted for.

Century of Service series

Resource—Stories of innovation in wartime