Introduction to New Zealand Vietnam Veterans Deceased Listings
Since 1972, a significant number of personnel have passed away following their military service for the New Zealand Defence Force in South Vietnam during years from 1964 to 1972.
An official nominal roll was never maintained of personnel who served for New Zealand Defence Force during the Vietnam war. It was by chance a military officer intercepted pay books on their way to destruction. From those books the officer created an unofficial nominal roll listing those who served and with which sub-unit. Some names on the list are repeated within various sub-units where an individual served more than one tour of duty.
It is claimed by some New Zealand Government officials that over 3800 personnel served. Such claim is not validated by records, nor exclusive of those who served two or more tours of duty.
A count of all names from the unofficial roll determined that 3256 New Zealand military personnel actually served, given those with two or more tours of duty. The count does not include miscellaneous personnel who were merely visitors rather than being posted on active service to a unit in South Vietnam. Vietnam veterans have themselves been vaidating the roll since its wide distribution.
The purpose of this site is to list deceased New Zealand Defence Force personnel following their service in South Vietnam in order that a pattern of causation can be determined, such as deaths from cancers. An important factor for analysis purposes is that sub-unit listing are not inclusive of all deceased, those listed are only the knowns to the webmaster. There is likely to be another percentage not known for each of the sub-units.
Of significance in the early 1980's an apparent causation of death was from abnormal health diseases and disorders, especially from cancer types that were uncommon, such as soft tissue sarcoma
. At that time the stastical records indicated the USA population norm for that cancer as being 4:1000,00. Forty years later, in 2010, the United Kingdom had a population of 62.77 million people, of whom 3300 were reported with soft tissue sarcoma.
Another factor highlighting the issues evident among Vietnam veterans was a disparity of the abnormal health diseases and disorders within that group and those who had served only in Malaysia and Borneo and not Vietnam. The types of abnormal health diseasea and disorders were not being reported or recorded as predominant for the latter group, this remains the case in 2016.
The listings are on the basis of:
- Service number
- Last name
- Reported cause of death [Causation]
- Year of death
- Other reported medical conditions
The list does include those killed in action during tour of duty in South Vietnam.
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Deceased New Zealand Vietnam veteran details
The relevance of information in this site is that no other such records have been collated. It is denied by researchers contracted to the New Zealand Government that New Zealand forces were exposed to defoliant herbicides whilst in South Vietnam.
It is a historical fact that the majority of New Zealand military personnel served as sub-units integrated into the 1st
Australian Task Force based at Nui Dat in Phouc Tuy Province. This is validated in various unit books produced at the end of a tour, such as that of 4th
Royal Australion Regiment/NZ [ANZAC] Battalion. The Australian Government accepts their troops were exposed to defoliant herbicides, such as Agent Orange.
In 1985, Victor Johnson, being a New Zealand Vietnam veteran, plotted all USAF defoliant spray missions flights paths over Phuoc Tuy province onto a topographical map of that region. The flight path co-ordinates were obtained from the official Ranch Hand HERBS tapes. The physical number of New Zealanders serving in South Vietnam was also determined using the Flinkenburg nominal role.
Furthermore, Johnson also identified from successive battalion operational records those New Zealand sub units that were most likely to have been exposed to defoliants such as Agent Orange whilst in Phuoc Tuy province. He wrote up the outcomes titled as 'New Zealand Military Forces Likely to Have Been Exposed to Chemicals in South Vietnam'
The above document with an International Serial Book Number [ISBN] was deposited in 1985 with the New Zealand National Library
. Because of controversy surrounding the Agent Orange subject, Johnson conducted briefing sessions during the mid-1980's on his findings. These were scheduled events at New Zealand veteran reunions for organisations that included Korea and South East Asia Forces Association, and the Ex-Vietnam Services Association in Rotorua.
The above and following information that has been so readily available since 1985 was neither sourced, used, or referenced in studies contracted by the New Zealand Government. Other douments written by Johnson for purposes of submissions, recommendations, and reference include:
Contact Researcher Victor Johnson. Hamilton, New Zealand
- Parliamentary Select Committee submission in 1990
- A recommendation to New Zealand Vietnam Veterans Association in 1994.
- Submission to the New Zealand parliamentary health select committee in November 2003
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