Greg Hope: National Svc in 32 Small Ship Sqn
Posted on: Mon 17 Jan 2022
Guest Interviewer Andrew Sniedze interviews Greg Hope about his Vietnam era service in the Corps of Royal Australian Engineers.
When the National Service draft ensnared young Tasmanian Trainee Accountant Greg Hope, it also set him on course to be aboard Landing Ship Vernon Sturdee on 11.04.1966 heading out of Sydney Harbour, bound for service in Vietnam.
Main image: AWM Army Vessel (AV) 1355 Vernon Sturdee reverses off the landing in Saigon at dawn, transporting heavy equipment to the Australians at Vung Tau. Note that the bow doors are open and the ramp is still being raised. AV Vernon Sturdee was the first Landing Ship Medium (LSM) of 32nd Small Ship Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) to serve in South Vietnam. She sailed from Sydney to Vietnam via the Philippines on 11 April 1966, carrying equipment and troops of 17th Construction Squadron RAE and escorting the Army Ship John Monash which was similarly loaded. AV Vernon Sturdee returned to Australia via Singapore, Manus Island and Rabaul at the end of June 1966, and was the only LSM to sail to Vietnam and back with the same crew. (Donor J. Bonnett)