Michael Patrick John HERBERT

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HERBERT, Michael Patrick John

Service Number: O44310
Enlisted: 25 February 1970
Last Rank: Flying Officer
Last Unit: No. 2 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Freeling, South Australia, 6 September 1946
Home Town: Glenelg, Holdfast Bay, South Australia
Schooling: Sacred Heart College, Somerton Park, South Australia
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Killed in Action, Vietnam - Laos Border, 3 November 1970, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Derrick Gardens - Row 62 - No 1636B
Memorials: Adelaide 4 WM Precinct SE Asia*, Adelaide 5 Vietnam Memorial*, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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Vietnam War Service

25 Feb 1970: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN O44310, No. 2 Squadron (RAAF)
25 Feb 1970: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN O44310, No. 2 Squadron (RAAF)
Date unknown: Involvement Flying Officer, SN O44310

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Biography contributed by John Edwards

"...O44310 Flying Officer Michael Herbert,RAAF. FO Herbert and his navigator, O119223 Pilot Officer (PO) Robert Charles Carver, were the crew of of a Canberra aircraft, number A84-231, of 2 Squadron RAAF, which was lost on operations over Vietnam on 3 November 1970. Both men were posted as missing in action and were later presumed dead. FO Herbert is buried in Centennial Park Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia." - SOURCE (www.awm.gov.au)

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Biography

Michael Herbert was from Glenelg, South Australia and attended Sacred Heart College. He achieved his civil private pilot’s licence before joining the RAAF in 1964. He was posted to No 2 Squadron as a Canberra bomber pilot and arrived in Vietnam in February 1970.

His 199th mission was a night bombing and the aircraft disappeared from radar contact shortly after successfully completing the bomb run. Flying Officer Michael Herbert and his Navigator, Pilot Officer Robert Carver were declared missing and presumed killed near the Laotian border on 3 November 1970.

They were the last of six Australian servicemen still declared missing in action (MIA) from the Vietnam War.

Their aircraft, RAAF Canberra Bomber A84-231, callsign Magpie 91, was finally discovered on 10 April 2009, nearly 39 years after it went missing, resulting from extensive research work by the organisation ‘Operation Aussies Home’ and the RAAF. Following the discovery a contingent was sent to Vietnam to search for and repatriate the remains of the crew. In August 2009 the men’s remains were repatriated to Australia.

Flying Officer Michael Herbert was laid to rest after a full military funeral held at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Wakefield Street, Adelaide on Monday, 7 September 2009.

Michael and his family were residents at Glenelg North where he undertook his early schooling and his memory has been honoured by the naming of a bridge over the Glenelg Patawalonga Inlet, as ‘The Michael Herbert Bridge’. A wing at the RSL Care SA Villas at Angle Park is also named in his honour.

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