WONZ 171 – Peter Waller – Vietnam FAC

Guests: Peter Waller

Host: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 7th of April 2017

Released: 7th of January 2018

Duration: 48 minutes 31 seconds

Peter Waller was an officer in the Royal New Zealand Air Force. He learned to fly in the mid-1960’s on the North American Harvard, before progressing to the Vampire jet fighters of No. 75 Squadron RNZAF. He filled the role of Flight Commander on the Vampire squadron before moving on to the English Electric Canberra, and then eventually the Skyhawk as it entered service.

In 1972 Pete was chosen to serve a tour of duty in Vietnam in the role of Forward Air Controller. He was attached to a USAF unit and flew the unusual push-pull twin boom Cessna O-2 in combat. He would mark targets for the Phantoms and other aircraft to strike with bombs or rockets. Pete gives a fascinating insight into the life of a Kiwi strike pilot and FAC pilot during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

The music heard in the opening is Pop Nugget by Dave Depper.

Video Version:

Photos: All photos come from Pete Waller’s collection

Pete Waller with a de Havilland Vampire of No. 75 Squadron RNZAF


2 comments to WONZ 171 – Peter Waller – Vietnam FAC

  • Just watched the video, he was a top bloke back on Vampires at 75 during early 70’s & obviously still is. I was lucky enough to sit in the right hand seat with Pete in the left seat of a T11 on more than 1 occasion. They were flts that I will never ever forget. He really impressed this ex 75 Sqd Armourer.

  • Patrick Callaghan

    Absolutely in shock about Peter’s relating of the reactions from different quarters on his return to NZ from Vietnam.
    His own (and family) experience as revealed is a very sad commentary in its self ……and in my opinion not deserved.
    As an ex member of no 14 Squadron RNZAF in the Canberra days (and beyond) I also remember Pete Waller.
    My shock is given strength when hearing about his fellow Vietnam FAC and friend being treated so badly at the RSA here in Gisborne. I too was a friend of the person (now deceased) that was spoken about in the interview. In the times our paths crossed after he had left the Air Force, he never once mentioned this incident.
    My time here on the Gisborne RSA Committee may never have happened if I had been aware of this.
    I know its all “water under the bridge” now for most, but I spare a thought for all ex Vietnam Vets and the ignominious way they were received on their return.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>