Sgt Richard Beven Inwood

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First name(s)
Richard Beven
Service number


The Vietnam List is an updated version of New Zealand's original Vietnam nominal roll – the Flinkenberg List – compiled by Captain Con Flinkenberg in 1972. Name, rank and unit information are from New Zealand military pay records. Read more about the Vietnam List.


New Zealand felt obliged to get involved in the war between North and South Vietnam because of our partnership in ANZUS.

However in numerous areas, troops on the ground, although generally well trained, were often under resoucred and only the NZ ability to "fix it with a piece of fencing wire" made life tolerable and often safer. My personal experience was thus...

I was on a course at the School of Military Engineering instructing some basic recruits on the parade ground when I was summoned by the RSM who adviosed me that I was to get to the hospital ASAP and get my "jabs" all updated. No explaination, just go! While being subjected to those stabs and jabs the medical orderly let it slip I was off to Vietnam the next day! Great! Doing what I didn't know (all TOP SECRET), wife just 4 weeks off having our 2nd baby, and I'd never seen a M16 before let alone fired one! Anyway after a crash course at the Range in Papakura 4 RNZE persons were transported to SVN on still a TOP SECRET mission.

Once we arrived we were informed that we were the advance party of an Engineer detatachment tthat was to construct a training facility for SVN officers at a place called Chi Lang in the Mekong delta. Now the politics kicked in! A small budget was allocated to the project and all materials were to be souced from USA bases in SVN – but were being paid for by NZ. Although some ground work had been done under cover in NZ no thought had gone into the different descriptions of materials (NZ-USA) and especially different units of measure such as SWG to square inches for wire or Imperial inches to Metric in timber and so on. For about 2 weeks several of us spent hours at Long Bihn Ordance base extracting Federal Stock Numbers for the materials we needed and then trying to organise supply.

Having covered some of the ground work we were then advised we were to go to Chi Lang and await initial delivery of the first supplies. How did we get 1000km from Saigon to Chi Lang? Politics again no vehicle available – no money for that! We managed to catch various rides on aircraft going our way.

To be continued... Our accomodation in Chi Lang was an actual pig pen!!