Two Australian flags led Saturday’s parade of Vietnam veterans to honour Goldfields soldiers, Kevin Coles and Desmond Penn, who were both killed in the 10-year war.
About 40 ex-servicemen paraded as part of the Vietnam Veterans’ Day service at Centennial Park, marking the 50th anniversary of Australia’s involvement in the controversial campaign.
Parade marshal Sergeant Henry Hatch, of 11/28 Battalion RWAR, marched the veterans to the memorial in step with the Eastern Goldfields Highland Pipe Band.
The nephew of 1RAR soldier Private Penn – killed by friendly fire on January 10, 1966 – was one of the flag bearers after young Sam travelled from Northam.
Pte Coles’ widow Pat also made the journey from Rockingham for the service and laid a wreath on her late husband’s grave at Kalgoorlie Cemetery afterwards.
Pte Coles, of 3RAR, was just 21 when he stepped on a landmine while on patrol.