Brooke

Date of Entry: 01/01/20xx
Surname: Brooke
Christian Names: Terrence John
Country: Australia
State or Province: Queensland
City or Town: Brisbane
Service: RAN
Case Notes:

This sailor is a genuine veteran.    

Then why is he here on CPMH you ask??      

The sad reason Terry Brooke features on the pages of Australia's Military Imposters is that he is not satisfied with the service he gave during his career in the Royal Australian Navy and has resorted to concocting fairy tales amongst the veteran community that he had supported so well.    

Terry has been the president of the Vietnam Veterans Association, North Brisbane for 10 years and during that time provided outstanding service to the veteran community within that organisation.

   In recent years this service began to deteriorate.

Stories of being a 17 year old sailor on HMAS Hobart when it was strafed by a US aircraft off the coast of Vietnam have surfaced.   Checks of the ships  nominal roll do not show Terry as having served on that ship. Why doesn't he appear on the roll?  Well his story is that because he was 17 (underage for service in an operational area) his name had to be kept off the roll to save embarrassment to the Australian government.

One 17 year old sailor that was on the ship at the time of the strafing (name withheld to avoid pain to the family) was unfortunately killed by the US aircraft and this, according to Terry caused too much embarrassment for the Australian government, so his name was "removed" from the ships company.  

Terry wears the Vietnam Medal as can be seen in the accompanying photographs.  This medal is issued to "Gun Line sailors" who indeed served on operational duties.  All other naval personnel who were not on the Gun Line received the Logistic Medal, but wait there's more, Terry also wears this medal as well; contrary to Military regulations. You are entitled to one or the other, in this case Terry Brook is entitled only to the Logistic Medal as he never served as a Gun Line sailor.

His service "up top" was on HMAS Sydney, the navy's troop carrier (fondly nick-named the Vung Tau Ferry) that did many trips  from 27 May 1965 until 22 November 1971.

During this time the HMAS Sydney sat off Vung Tau, in South Vietnam while unloading/loading troops and stores. Her main mission was to deliver troops and supplies to the Australian ground forces and return troops back to Australia at the completion of their tour of duty. At no time did the HMAS Sydney come under enemy fire.   

This then makes a mockery of the story printed in the Northern Times, a Brisbane Northern Suburbs local newspaper.   The article on the next page was printed on Vietnam Veterans [Long Tan Day] 18 August 2000, when a very stressed and "battle weary" Terry Brooke stated that he could no longer march on Veterans Day as the memories are "too painful"  and "he wants to forget about it all".   

Quite a strange statement from a man who has been photographed by the newspaper in front of his wall that is adorned with Naval plaques and memorabilia.   

The other surprising statement is "of seeing his best mate decapitated by gunfire". This story is not supported by other members of the HMAS Sydney crew , in fact, those interviewed during the course of this investigation said they would be surprised if there was any sailor during the 10 years of the Vietnam conflict that died in this manner.   

This matter will be further investigated by the CPMH team. There will be more on this story.

This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the Vietnam Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from private citizens are supported by statements of fact and statutory declarations.

 

Located in: Stolen Valour
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