21 August 2023

GALLERY: Three generations travel to Cooktown to commemorate Vietnam Veteran’s Day

| Sarah Martin
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Three generations of the Young family travelled to Cooktown for the 50th anniversary of Vietnam Veteran's Day.

Three generations of the Young family travelled to Cooktown for the 50th anniversary of Vietnam Veteran’s Day.

FOR Vietnam veteran Jock Young, Friday’s anniversary service was especially poignant as he was flown into Cooktown by his son, RAAF Flight Lieutenant John Young, and accompanied by grandson Hamish, a cadet sergeant.

Jock Young flew in more than 1000 missions out of Vung Tao in Vietnam in 1965 and 1966 as an RAAF airframe and fitter, before returning in 1969 and 1970 as a load master.

Fl Lt Young followed his father into the RAAF and rose to the rank of Group Captain, and is now on special assignment to the 35th Squadron with a temporary reduction in rank to flight lieutenant to allow him to fly the C-27 Spartan aircraft.

Fl Lt Young said the flight and his first visit to Cooktown for the service was very important to his family.

“To have all three of us on the same aeroplane at the same time, with me as captain, was pretty special,” he said.

“It’s my first time in Cooktown and I love it, and it’s the first time we’ve all flown together.”

Year 11 student Hamish Young is following the family tradition, currently serving as a cadet sergeant, and has already completed his first solo glide.

“I am very proud to be following my grandfather and father into the air force,” Hamish said from Cooktown.

“I’m starting my application for Defence at the end of this month and plan to go straight into the Air Force to be a pilot when I leave school.

“I’m very proud to be here today, especially with my father and grandfather.”

The trio joined a crowd at Cooktown for the service in Anzac Park on Friday, which marked 50 years since Australia withdrew from the Vietnam War.

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