Anthony William HAMMETT AM, MID

HAMMETT, Anthony William

Service Number: 335116
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR)
Born: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 9 June 1936
Home Town: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Schooling: Melbourne High School
Occupation: Soldier
Died: Accidental (air crash), Wondai, Queensland, Australia, 26 July 1990, aged 54 years
Cemetery: Norwood Park Crematorium, Mitchell, A.C.T.
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Vietnam War Service

18 Mar 1968: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Major, 335116, 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), FSB Coral / Balmoral - Vietnam

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Commanding Officer - 6RAR Enoggera Barracks, Brisbane. Commandant - Infantry Centre, Singleton NSW (early 1980's). 

"Canberra jet pilot killed. Five die as secret business venture ends in tragedy

Anthony William Hammett, the Canberra owner-pilot of the executive jet which crashed near Kingaroy, north-west of Brisbane, on Thursday night was a former army brigadier and helicopter pilot who served in Vietnam. A family spokesman said yesterday Mr Hammett had been a member of the Australian Army staff in Canberra until his retirement five years ago. 

Mr Hammett and four other men, property developer James Brady, 50, of St Marys, corporate solicitor David Charles Ferrier, 46, of Turramurra, accountant Peter Weir, 53, of Blacktown, and Australian Technical Association consultant Kenneth Gerard Newton, 59, of Gympie. The lone survivor, James John Della Vadona of Narellan, NSW, is in the Royal Brisbane Hospital. Police said Dr Della-Vadona, 41, a Sydney veterinarian, was in a stable condition with burns to 20 per cent of his body. The six men were on board the Beech 90 Kingair jet when it went down shortly after takeoff about 11 pm Thursday night. The aircraft was on a flight from Cairns to Camden, near Sydney, when it crashed about a kilometre from the northern end of Wondai airstrip. Air-safety investigators were sifting through the debris yesterday to try to establish the cause of the crash.

Mr Hammett, of Griffith, was awarded the Order of Australia for his role as the commanding officer of the sixth battalion which helped in Darwin after Cyclone Tracy. He was widely known to Canberra's flying community as a consultant for the Civil Aviation Authority. In 1960 he represented Australia in the pentathlon at the Rome Olympic Games and was a founder of pentathlon competitions in Canberra. He is survived by his wife, Lyn, and their two teenage children, James and Melissa. Meanwhile, a man who helped the sole survivor of the crash has refused to be labelled a hero. Grazier Rayham Francis, 66, from Murgon, near where the accident took place, had been a passenger in the plane but alighted at Wondai where the plane refuelled before the accident. The plane crashed just after taking off again, about a kilometre from the northern end of the strip. Mr Francis was first to the scene of the crash and found the sole survivor, Mr Del la-Vadona, lying beside the inferno. "I'm no hero. I didn't pull him out," Mr Francis said last night. "He was thrown clear of the plane, I don't know how. His trousers were on fire and he was trying to take them off so I helped him. "I don't want anything to make me look like a hero — I did just what any other person would have done."

Mr Francis was still upset about the crash last night, and his voice shook as he told of the five who died. Four of the five were executives investigating a multi-agricultural proposal in northern Queensland. Mr Francis has served as a United Graziers' Association councillor for 13 years. He said the group was to launch a proposal for a multi-agricultural complex near Cairns. "That's all I can say about it," he said..." - from the Canberra Times 28 Jul 1990 (