Despite the hopes of the League of Nations after WW1 and the United Nations after WW2, lasting peace has not been achieved after these terrible calamitous events. Initially Australians formed part of the BCOF – British Commonwealth Occupation Forces in Japan after WW2
And Australian men and women have been deployed overseas by our Federal Government in the years since WW2 – including many local people. In the decades after WW2 there was concern about the spread of Communism and the Domino Theory. Thus we saw Conscription reintroduced several times and our military personnel deployed to various Asian Countries.
- Malaya : information suggests that we did not lose anyone in Malaya
- Korea : information suggests that we did not lose anyone in Korea
- Vietnam : it is unknown how many Illawarra people served in Vietnam however it undoubtedly numbers in the hundreds – and five Illawarra young men lost their lives there.
The deployment of Conscripted National Servicemen, albeit voluntary, to Vietnam proved to be increasingly controversial, and has been argued to be one of the key factors in the ALP under Gough Whitlam winning the 1972 Federal Elections. That also saw a change in Australia’s military direction – rather than a more aggressive forward facing to a focus on defence of the Australian Continent.
Also in the Asia Pacific we have seen local service personnel deployed to
- Papua New Guinea
- East Timor
The Middle East – deployment continues