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58610 Major Leslie John Herbert Power (Sydney 9 Oct 1937 – Perth 1 Nov 2016)

John Power was a highly regarded individual in the Corp and equally so in his civilian life.  Those who have known or worked with John have best characterised him as "A bloody good bloke!".  He was a passionate Advocate for veterans where he helped hundreds veterans obtain the support they were entitled to until his passing in November 2016.

Below are some of John's notable achievements:

Graduated 1956 9th Class Army Apprentice (Vehicle Mechanic)

More information can be found here http://austarmyapprentice.org/intake-lists/9th-intake/

30 April 1969 – 30 April 1970 OC 1st Field Squadron Workshops RAEME (Vietnam)

John was Mentioned-in-Dispatches (https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/45106/page/5810)  on 2 April 1970 for his service in Vietnam, where among other exploits he was pivotal in the rapid development of an innovative solution to clearing mine fields. (https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1543543/)

16-17 July 1969 APC Mine Buster Development 

"Major John Power MID who as Capt OC 1Fd Sqn Wksp RAEME Nui Dat was given credit for his part in the development of the loose tyre outrigger fitted on HM Flit the M113A1 that became the eradication solution to the dreaded barrier minefield that was responsible for around 40% of Aust Army casualties around Phouc Tuy when the enemy reset our mines to their advantage." (Norm Wells)

Here is a four minute video (https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/F04358/) of John (admittedly a bit younger than his photo above) and members of 1st Field Squadron developing the APC Mine Buster in 1969, which later proved itself as a quick and safe method of clearing enemy minefields.

The device, a large roller made up of tyres offset behind and to the right of an armoured personnel carrier was bolted onto the APC. Water is poured into the tyres to give extra weight and they are fitted onto an axle made of 4-inch water pipe. The tyres, with the treads covered by tinplate, have free movement up and down to seek out mines set in dips and hollows in the ground. The device triggers a mine's primary charge which causes it to jump into the air. When the mine is three to four feet in the air it explodes, but by this time the device has rolled on.

1970’s Officer Commanding Perth Workshops

John was the OC Wksps around 1977 but I have no specific dates or anecdotes for this period.

2007 Co-author and Co-editor

Greg Lockhart, 2007, The Minefield: An Australian tragedy in Vietnam, Allen & Unwin, pages 187 – 200

John was a co-editor of the book. The APC Mine Buster and John’s role in its development are detailed in paged 187 – 200. More information can be found at https://www.scribd.com/doc/106725322/The-Minefield-An-Australian-Tragedy-in-Vietnam-Malestrom

2008-2016 Volunteer Veteran’s Advocate

John was a passionate advocate for veterans, he was a guest speaker at the 2015 RAEME WA AGM and Veterans Health Week event at Synergy Park (http://wa.raeme.org.au/index.php/118-2015-agm-and-veterens-health-week). For those who attended it was fantastic to hear from John about the support available to our RAEME family and comforting to know we have people that really do care and can help out.

John helped hundreds of veterans, through an immense contribution to the RSL as a volunteer advocate and as a member of the RSL over 32 years. State President Peter Aspinall said of John’s contribution “He was highly valued as a welfare officer and advocate for more than eight years, regularly representing veterans at the Veterans’ Review Board and making many visits to needy veterans outside of office hours and at weekends. John was the type of volunteer who sought no return but gave his all to support his colleagues." (http://rslwahq.org.au/News/John-Power-RIP.aspx)

John Power (9 Oct 1937 – 1 Nov 2016)

John Power (9 Oct 1937 – 1 Nov 2016)

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