ALLAN Nolan from South Nowra was in the last convoy of the Australian Army’s 86 Transport Battalion, which left Vietnam on February 28, 1972.
Mr Nolan, who was based in Vung Tau for 15 months, remembers being in that final convoy as if it were yesterday.
“I can see it very clearly. I’ve got a photo of me sitting on the roof of a truck,” he said.
“We all had mixed feelings when we were leaving. Some felt relief, others happiness and some sadness.”
As a member of 86 Transport Battalion, he supplied the Australian military base at Nui Dat and support bases with everything from water rations and fuel to ammunition.
”We had to go into some pretty risky situations and we were targeted by the enemy at times,” he said.
“There were some interesting moments.
“One bloke was wounded before my time there but we were lucky nothing bad really happened.
“It wasn’t all guts and glory. We had guys who taught English in local schools at night.
“The National Servicemen had a very civilian life and they were very involved in helping the Vietnamese,” he said.
Mr Nolan said this Sunday he would be thinking of his mates who didn’t make it home.
He is the co-ordinator of the South Coast Veterans drop-in centre at Legacy House in Nowra. The centre is open to all veterans every Friday from 9am to noon.