Extract from interview with Claire Hall, 11 September 2010
Reproduced with permission of Graeme Goldsmith
I was probably a bit, yeah, a bit irresponsible I suppose. But, I'd sort of made a commitment to the Air Force, as a career, and that was the way it was going to be. And therefore, I sort of volunteered. I didn't tell Jane [Goldsmith], I might add, which was probably not very good. But, I didn't see it, again for myself, as being a risky thing to do. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. But I didn't see it in that light in those days. It was just something that I thought I needed to do for my professional career or something.
I mean you can go through your life practicing, but to actually get out there and doing it was really what I joined up for anyway. And I don't mean that this was all, you know Rambo type stuff but I just thought it was part of what you needed to do to understand what the business was all about.
So you were keen to put your skills into action?
Yeah. And I think the others were too. Everyone was a volunteer.
What would of happened if you'd said no, Graeme?
They probably would have said, ‘oh that's alright, Mr Goldsmith', or Flight Lieutenant Goldsmith, ‘yeah that's okay'. And they would have got somebody else who was in the line, and, then they would have noted that, probably, for the future career.
But it wasn't a case of me saying no, because I have to say that I did write a letter. The only letter I ever wrote in my whole service career wanting something. Oh no, I wrote one later and that was a, that was a different circumstance. But, you know, some people write letters – they want this, they want that and want to.... I wrote two in my service career. One was to, to go to Vietnam, to be considered. If I hadn't written that, they might of picked somebody else anyway, just who knows?
Vietnam War Oral History Project, Manatu Taonga Ministry for Culture & Heritage