Home' Army News : February 16th 2012 Contents 1300 727 855
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Army February 16, 2012
Capt Cameron Jamieson
AN ARMY photographer has been
farewelled at a funeral in Canberra but
his imagery legacy lives on as a sym-
bol of Australia's involvement in the
Mike Coleridge was the man behind
the lens on August 26, 1967, when sol-
diers of 5 Pl, B Coy, 7RAR, prepared to
board arriving Iroquois helicopters at the
end of Operation Ulmarra. His photo-
graph has become an icon of the Vietnam
War and is featured on the Vietnam
National Memorial on Anzac Parade in
Born in 1933 in Slovenia, Mr
Coleridge and his mother escaped to
Austria when German troops occupied
his hometown. At age 16 he made his
way to Australia and in 1957 joined the
Army as a gunner, serving in Malaysia
During his tour of duty he privately
made films for the British Army using
his own cameras and on his return to
Australia in 1963 he secured a transfer
to the Royal Australian Army Education
Corps as a public relations photographer.
Sgt Coleridge arrived in Saigon in late
1966 and spent most of his time at the
new 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF)
base at Nui Dat. There were no facilities
at the 1ATF base for a photographer, so
he constructed a makeshift darkroom to
develop his own film.
Dedicated to his craft, Sgt Coleridge
paid for his own colour film and its
subsequent processing when the Army
would only provide black and white
film. Today the Australian War Memorial
holds some 558 still photographs and 54
films attributed to Sgt Coleridge during
his time in Vietnam.
Mr Coleridge left the Army in 1967
and worked in a range of jobs, includ-
ing as a guide at the Australian War
Mr Coleridge died in hospital in the
early hours of January 10. He is survived
by his son David, daughter Rhonda and
Mike Coleridge dies aged 78
Icon of an era: Mike Colerige (inset), best known for this image of Australian soldiers preparing to board
helicopters after an operation in Vietnam, died in hospital on January 10.
Photo provided by the Australian War Memorial EKN/67/0130/VN
SOLDIERS of 5CER and the people
of Penrith have farewelled local World
War II veteran John Muir, who died on
January 18, aged 93.
Mr Muir was born April 7, 1918, and
joined the 5th Field Company, Royal
Australian Engineers, in 1936.
He continued serving as a member of
the Citizens Military Forces and in 1942
transferred to the 2nd AIF.
After arriving in PNG in 1943, Mr
Muir rose to the rank of staff sergeant in
charge of transport before serving on the
island of Bougainville.
Mr Muir continued his wartime ser-
vice until he was demobilised in 1946.
After his active service, Mr Muir
joined the RSL and National Service
Association and became involved in
mentoring soldiers at 5CER in Penrith.
Fond memories of
He researched and wrote a 5CER unit
history that he presented to each new
RSM and CO posted to the unit.
Marching on: Honourary 5CER
member John Muir died last month.
Photo by David Marshall -- Penrith Press
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