Choppers: Helicopters and the Vietnam War

Conference to be opened by Professor Peter Edwards, AM, PhD, FAIIA

The distinguished historian Professor Peter Edwards will open the military history conference Choppers: Helicopters and the Vietnam War, which will be held on 20 April at the National Vietnam Veterans Museum on Phillip Island on Saturday 20 April.

Military History and Heritage Victoria (MHHV) President, Marcus Fielding, said “We are delighted to have Professor Edwards accept our invitation to open the ‘Choppers’ conference. Not only is he a distinguished historian in his own right, but was the Official Historian of Australia’s involvement in Southeast Asian conflicts 1948-75 (Malaya, Borneo and Vietnam). As such he will be able to place the subject of this conference exactly within both the broader and specific context of the Vietnam era.”

Choppers: Helicopters and the Vietnam War will examine the role of helicopters in the Vietnam War (1962-1975), from the strategic level to the level of the men who flew them, maintained them and flew in them.  Speakers included RAN pilots flying with US helicopter combat companies, Army, RAAF and RNZAF logisticians and strategists examining how the helicopter affected the way war was fought, and infantrymen who flew in them on the sharp end of patrol and combat insertions and extractions.  The final speaker will describe the post-war recovery of two Australian MIAs, both missing after helicopter actions.

National Vietnam Veteran Museum President Gary Parker said, “This is the first on what we expect will become an annual military history and heritage conference at the Museum as we begin an exciting rejuvenation of NVVM this year and beyond.  With Marcus, I look forward to welcoming you to our Museum and to the ‘Choppers’ Conference.  Delegates might like to consider making a weekend at Phillip Island, for we not only have a great Museum dinner for the Saturday night, but also an NVVM Activities Day on Sunday 21st.”

Marcus Fielding added, “To hear Professor Edwards and the stellar speaker line-up, which will be of great interest to anyone interested in learning more about the Vietnam conflict and the role of helicopters in Australia’s longest war, please register on  Seats are limited and over half have been taken already.”

For more information please contact the Conference Convenor at 0408 342 795 or at

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