Out of Sight, Out of Mind, the Royal Australian Navy in Vietnam Second Edition
258 pp, 285 x 210 mm, 68 photos, maps and line drawings
9780648446682, $34.95, Paperback
Available: end January 2020
In this second edition, John Carroll has updated the text where required, included some hitherto unknown reports to chapter three, and has added a further chapter with some very candid responses from several of his former shipmates, commanding officers of the ships involved, and army personnel who travelled in Sydney, both to and from Vietnam. I found that this chapter added greatly to the theme of vulnerability to attack in Vung Tau, and the realisation that the ships were in an active combat zone.
Vice Admiral Ian W Knox, AC, RAN (Rtd), Vice Chief of Defence Force 1987-89.
This book is an authentic, accurate, and timely reminder of the role of the Royal Australian Navy in Vietnam. It is well written and gives a particular focus to the heavy lifting performed by HMAS Sydney, at times exposed to potential enemy action. For those who travelled in HMAS Sydney, as I did in 1969 from Vung Tau to Sydney, it was clear to behold the key role of this important ship at that time. It remains the sad saga that the portrayal of the Vietnam War has always downplayed the role of the Navy, which is why this book is so important. Tim A Fischer AC, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, 1996-99.
John Carroll’s work fills a gap in the history of the RAN and recognises the service of some 20,000 sailors who served in Sydney, her escorts, and the two merchant ships manned by RAN personnel, Jeparit and Boonaroo, during the Vietnam War. Little was known of the RAN’s sea transport and logistical support role. This book tells that story which though not glamorous, was vital to Australia’s commitment in Vietnam. This book also tells the story of how the crews of these ships were ignored by government after the cessation of hostilities, and the struggle for recognition of service. This is a thoroughly researched book, worthy of being in the collection of any-one interested in Australia’s maritime history.
Gary Oakley, Fellow of the Australian War Memorial.
At the age of 15, John Carroll was apprenticed to the Department of Navy as a Shipwright. In 1962 he volunteered for service in the RANR, transferring to full-
time service in the RAN in 1966. He served as a Naval Shipwright in HMAS Sydney, 1967, posted by helicopter to HMAS Yarra 1967-68, returning to HMAS Sydney 1972. Both ships were deployed on Operational Service in Vietnamese waters during these periods. He is a graduate of Hawthorn Institute of Education (Mel-bourne University) and Monash University. Both editions of this book are based upon his third doctoral dissertation (2013).