50 years on, Bill's returning to Vietnam and the spot that changed his life

INVITATION: Members of the OZY Youth Choir will accompany Bill Wilcox on his return to Vietnam in July.
INVITATION: Members of the OZY Youth Choir will accompany Bill Wilcox on his return to Vietnam in July.

WELL-KNOWN identity and president of Oberon RSL Sub Branch, Bill Wilcox, will travel to Vietnam in July to mark a very personal anniversary from his time in the Vietnam War.

Mr Wilcox was doing his job during Operation Mundingburra with the Third Platoon, A Company, Sixth Battalion when tragedy struck on July 21, 1969.

Their platoon commander Lieutenant Peter Hines stepped on a mine and Mr Wilcox was thrown to the ground by the force of the explosion and lay bleeding with 60 wounds to the left side of his body.

To this day, he carries shrapnel in his back and thigh.

To remember the 50-year anniversary, Mr Wilcox will return to the site in Vietnam.

"I've got the pleasure to announce that members of the OZY Youth Choir [the former RSL Youth Choir] will accompany me on the trip," he said.

"I went to Canberra early in the year and met a few members and they are great. They are aged between 13 and 20.

"I am inviting anyone in the Oberon community, who is interested, to join the choir and come with us to Vietnam. We are expecting to leave around July 20.

"I'm hoping to get some funding to help with expenses."

Mr Wilcox said local musician Chloe Swannell has expressed her interest in coming along and Jocelyn Armstrong is spreading the word to others.

"Members of the OZY Youth Choir will be performing at the Oberon RSL Sub Branch Military Museum on Sunday, May 19 at noon," he said.

OZY Youth Choir president Rhondda Vanzella said they bring music and history together to inspire and develop young leaders.

"We are more than a choir, we are a leadership development program," she said.

She said the choir honours the fallen and remembers the sacrifice made by Australian soldiers of the past and present.

Mr Wilcox said members of the community are encouraged to come and meet members of the choir, find out more about the choir and get more information on the one-week tour to Vietnam in July.