Story 14 - Logan Hill, Vung Tau

 

By Edward "Blue" Hawkins, 110 Signal Squadron (SVN 1967-68)
and Robert "Bob" Hutchison, 145 and 110 Signal Squadron (SVN 1967)

Logan Hill Flag Pole and Memorial
Logan Hill Flag Pole and Memorial Rock with inserts of the Memorial and Sig Barry Logan

Introduction

Signalman Barry Logan was KIA on Operation Portsea when the US Army APC he was travelling in stuck a mine (IED) and exploded in Xuyen Loc Province, south west of Saigon on the 28th March 1967.  At the time Barry was a member of 145 Signal Squadron  (145 Sig Sqn) detachment working at the 1st Australian Logistic Support Group (1ALSG) in Vung Tau.

In early 1967, the Australian Army forces in South Vietnam were expanding, which included 1ALSG and the 145 Sig Sqn detachment was moving to newly prepared buildings on a sand hill  before handing over to 110 Sig Sqn, which replaced 145 Sig Sqn in May 1967.

The hill quickly become know as 'Logan Hill' in Barry's honour and formal approval for the name was requested from HQ 1ALSG.

Bob Hutchison Remembers (SSM, 145 and 110 Sig Sqn, SVN 1967)

About this time, several members of the Medium Radio (Back Beach) Det (552 Sig Tp) whose tour of duty, in their own opinion, had left a lot to be desired.  They had, for quite some time, been trying to get a piece of the action up North.   Finally Capt Turner gave the OK for three members to work as Radio Operators with American Liason Officers working out of Nui Dat.  Two of these members were Cpl Wally Kerr and Sig Barry (Lofty) Logan.   During their period away from Vung Tau and only days before his return to Australia Sig Barry Logan was killed in action.  Barry was to have been in the leading APC but had made friends with this American who was on the rear APC.  So he changed places with Wally Kerr.   It was explained to me that the three APC’s were following one another when the third APC was blown up as the result of a booby trapped 500lb bomb.  It took several months to have our area declared “Logans Hill” and this was published in 1ALSG ROs Part 1 approx Jun 1967.

Before deploying to South Vietnam, from Camp McLeod at Watsonia I had a soft drink bottle collection going from which I held a good sum of money.   With the death of Lofty Logan I thought that this money could go towards a plaque and so I got Sgt Ron Gourlie QMS (Saigon) to see if he could manage to have a brass plaque made and the cost.  The price was right and so I ordered the making of the plaque and sent the money to Saigon.  I now had the plaque and must now find a suitable piece of stone on which to affix the plaque.    After driving miles and miles in and around Vung Tau I saw the piece of granite lying by the side of the road near the water point and somehow managed to get it into the Land Rover.

Plaque honouring Barry Logan KIA

I then got approval for RAEME to make us a flagpole.  The Line Detachment under Sgt Jack Marshall came to the forefront and fixed the plaque to the stone, erected the flagpole and even fenced the area and coached grass to grow in the sand.

 Blue Hawkins Remembers (110 Sig Sqn, SVN 1967/68)

Not sure on the date in last half of 1967 that Logan Hill was formally dedicated by 110 Sig Sqn.  The photo below was taken of the Vung Tau detachment after the formal naming of Logan Hill in Barry Logan's honour.

110 Sig Sqn

Back Row L to R

 216589 CPL Bob Jeffrey, 243345 SIG Cliff Strahan, 1200296 CPL Darryl Kirkpatrick, 2782962 CPL Pete Shelley, 18401 CPL Grant Peters, 2785185 SIG Rod Barlow, 61486 CPL Peter Willcox, 3788753 SIG Neil Smith, 216378 SIG Graeme Higgins, 216303 LCPL Kelly Wiggins, 44115 LCPL Jim Ball, 54631 SGT Eric Smith, 23769 SGT Ron Gourlie, 1200907 SIG Edward (Blue) Hawkins, 28344 WO2 Peter (Tweety) Crane, 3788185 SIG Peter Dunstall, 3788445 SIG Barry Snell, and 17070 CAPT Janis (Joe) Viksne  (OC, Det 110 Sig Sqn, Vung Tau).

Second Back Row L to R

52863 SSGT Luke Cherry, 43846 CPL Neil Chaplin, 2785928 LCPL Steve Moore, 3788019 LCPL Graham Burbidge, 3411866 LCPL Phil Ryan,  Bob Platt, 2216430 LCPL Ian Rowling, 2783645 SIG Ken Gear, 212731 SGT Charles Gordon , 42319 SGT Gordon (Jock) Allan, 2783626 SIG Brian Ferguson, 55034 SIG George Tapp, 3788834 SIG Tom Lewis, 2412536 SIG William (Jock) Bolton, 342758 SGT Ramon Wilshier, 215715 SIG Wayne Brown, 5714791 LCPL Terry Walsh,  3788016 LCPL Robert (Boonga) Smith, 1200946 SIG Ian (Ocker) Greaves, 3788583 SIG Bill Wyndham and 31183 SGT Greg Fitzgerald (AACC Cook).

Second Row L to R

 2783168 SIG Lewis (Lou) Bridges, 2783615 SIG Rod Eastment, 38533 CPL Warren (Bugs) Kennedy, 55198 SIG Tom (Blue) Finnegan, 14986 SGT Ron (Rosie) Thorne, 38414 CPL Dave (Blue) Anderson, 216760 CPL Peter Duff, 214916 SGT Alan McKenzie, 38916 SGT Michael (Mick) Lindsay, 3788493 CPL Peter Smith, 3788209 CPL Alan Burman, 38271 CPL Michael (Mike) Mitchell (AACC Cook), 55225 LCPL Kevin (Chook) Fowler and 37663 SIG Ralph Wailes.

Front Row L to R 

38719 LCPL Reg May, 1200710 LCPL Bernard Dean, 2412192 LCPL Arthur Hutchens, 4410860 LCPL Michael (Mick) Reilly, 4718162 CPL Dean (Rock) Hudson, 17971 CPL Eric Stevenson, 54060 WO2 Peter Frost, 37141 SGT Alan Ritchie, 21719 SGT John Power and 18615 LT Lawrence (Laurie) Dawson. 


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