September, 29 2012 08:12:07

Aussie veteran seeks war artist


Drawn-out conflict: Three among 38 sketches of Vietnamese soldiers found by Australian veteran Derrill De Heer. — File Photos

HA NOI (VNS)— An Australian veteran, Derrill De Heer, has been in Viet Nam to look for the author of 38 sketches of Vietnamese soldiers that were found after a battle in Ba Ria-Vung Tau during the war.

The sketches were kept by a group of Australian veterans who are involved in the Viet Nam Missing in Action project, which has been conducted by the University of New South Wales and the Australian Defence Force Academy for six years.

Derrill De Heer, who works as a volunteer for the project, brought the sketches to Viet Nam with the hope of finding the author to return them to him, if he is still alive. If he is not, De Heer wants the sketches to go to his closest family.

According to painter Nguyen Thi Hien, the 38 pencil sketches, which described the daily activities of the soldiers, could be drawn by an art student, judging on the artistic skill shown. She said two of her classmates at the Ha Noi Fine Arts University joined the army and fought in the southern battle field and one laid down his live there.

"If the sketches are made public, I think we can find the author," she said.

In April, De Heer, who served in southern Viet Nam in 1970, delivered to the Information Network on Martyrs (MARIN) in Ha Noi a file related to suspected burial sites of Vietnamese fallen soldiers.

The veteran also handed over a list of 500 fallen Vietnamese soldiers with their names and date of death on the battle field of southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

In March, De Heer presented to the mother of martyr Phan Van Nhon in Dong Nai Province her son's belongings.

After the event, the Australian side launched a large-scale campaign to seek and return the belongings of Vietnamese fallen soldiers. — VNS

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