Johnstone History Museum
Johnstone History Society • Scotland

Johnstone Man Killed In Vietnam War 1968
As many who lived through the 60's and 70's the Vietnam War was regarded as an American conflict widely broadcast in the media of the time. Britain of course was not involved but Australia was.

I can across this article in the Johnstone Advertiser, dated 16 August 1968 which stated that a Johnstonian was killed in Vietnam fighting.

A local boy who served with the Australian Forces, William McGoldrick, 33 Ettrick Terrace, Johnstone, was killed in action. He had emigrated to Australia 6 years previously (about 1962) and joined the Australian Army.

The Canberra Times, dated Wednesday, 7th, August 1968 commented -

Army Headquarters in Canberra announced yesterday the names of 2 soldiers killed and 8 wounded in Bien Hoa province, South Vietnam.

One of the killed Private William McGoldrick, 26, married, of Seven Hills, New South Wales, a member of the 1st Australian Reinforcement Unit, was shot accidentally.

Army HQ said an investigation of the shooting was being carried out. Australian records reveal that Private William McGoldrick, age 26, born 22nd March 1942, in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, service number 217762, had served only 15 days in Vietnam when he was killed on 5th August 1968.

Another record gives more information, stating that 217762 Private William (known as Jack) McGoldrick , 1st Australian Reinforcement Unit, Vietnam, age 24, born Johnstone, Scotland, died accidentally when an Australian soldier mistook him for the enemy just before 4am on 5th August 1968 in Phoc Tuy.

The List of Australian Vietnam Casualties 1963 - 1972, lists 217762 Pte William McGoldrick, 1st Australian Reinforcement Unit, as accidentally killed , 5th August 1968 and buried in Rockwood Military Cemetery, Sydney, New South Wales.

Any death in war is tragic, but this one is doubly so especially when killed accidentally by your own side.