FISHER, DAVID JOHN ELKINGTON
REMAINS ID ANNOUNCED 09/11/2008
Dave Fisher's ceremony at NOI BAI Airport Vietnam.
Name: David John Elkington Fisher
Rank/Branch: E1/SAS #2787344
Unit: J Troop, Special Air Service
Date of Birth: (23 at time of loss)
Home City of Record: Australia
Date of Loss: 27 September 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: YS633957 (Nui May Toa's, NE of Phuoc Tuy Province)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.
NETWORK with information from Australia's Bob Coker. 2009
SYNOPSIS: In 1984, the Australian government sent delegates to Vietnam to
find fresh evidence on missing Australians. It was abandoned when the party
failed to learn anything about the men's fate. Australian foreign affairs
minister, Bill Hayden, recommended the cases be closed, that the Vietnamese
government had cooperated fully with the search and the subject of the
missing men, and it should no longer be an issue between the two countries.
Yet reports continue to be received in the U.S. from refugees and
intelligence sources convincing many authorities that hundreds of servicemen
are still being held captive. The veterans of Australia, like those of
Canada and the U.S. refuse to accept their governments' dismissal of the
At least five Australians are missing who were not directly associated with
U.S. forces. One of the five is Pvt. David J.E. Fisher, lost on September
Fisher was a member of J troop in the Australian Special Air Service, a
service unit similar to the U.S. Army Special Forces. On September 27, 1969,
J troop engaged and killed five Viet Cong. As the patrol withdrew they
encountered about 30 of the enemy, and requested an emergency extraction.
The rescue helicopter dropped ropes through the trees to lift the troops to
safety. Fisher and the rest of the unit were lifted out on the ropes, but
Fisher lost his grip and fell from an altitude of about 30 meters.
Search teams tried to locate Fisher but were unsuccessful. They were
uncertain if he could have survived, but felt the dense jungle foliage might
have cushioned his fall. There were also a number of water-filled craters in
the area and had Fisher been injured and fallen into one of them, he
probably would not have survived. Fisher was classified Missing in Action.
David J.E. Fisher's name does not appear on most U.S. lists since he was not
a U.S. citizen. However, as thousands of U.S. veterans would confirm, the
"Aussies" were welcome additions to any mission. Their bravery was well
known, and they were well-liked. 47,000 Australians were sent to Vietnam
between 1961 and 1971; 504 were killed and 2,500 were wounded. None were
captured -- or were they?
The Australians sent their young men to help in a war that was not their
own. It is fitting that Americans should include their missing in their
quest for freedom for those still prisoner, missing or unaccounted for in
Fisher, D J E
Rank: Private [Pte]
Unit: 3 SAS Sqn SASR (RA INF)
Conflict: Vietnam, 1962-1972
Date of Death: 27/09/1969
Place of Death: South Vietnam
Cause of Death: Missing presumed dead (battle casualty)
Memorial Panel: 5
Cemetery or Memorial Details:
Next Of Kin: Father - Mr W A Fisher
Source: AWM153 Roll of Honour cards, Vietnam
Missing soldier 'may be in Hawaii'
March 26, 2008 03:49pm
One rumour being investigated is that he might have been taken alive by
Minister for Defence Media Mail List
THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel
Thursday, 11 September 2008
PRIVATE DAVID FISHER TO RETURN HOME
The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren
Snowdon MP, today announced that remains recovered in the Cam My
District of Vietnam in late August have been officially identified as
Private David Fisher.
Private David Fisher of the Special Air Services Regiment (SASR) fell
from a rope beneath a Royal Australian Air Force helicopter during a
“hot extraction” of his patrol on 27 September 1969.
It is now known that Private Fisher died as a result of the fall and
was hastily buried by enemy soldiers who discovered his body.
“I am very pleased that the remains of this brave soldier have now
been accounted for and his family, mates and country can finally
welcome him home to rest in peace.
“Thankfully, Private Fisher’s identification tags were not removed
and this has been extremely useful during the recovery process.
“Finding Private Fisher after nearly 40 years brings us near to the
end of another chapter in the history of the Australia’s involvement
in the Vietnam War,” Mr Snowdon said.
Planning is now underway to repatriate Private Fisher’s remains home
Private Fisher is the fourth and last Australian Soldier to be located
and his return will complete the recovery of all Australian Army
personnel who were lost on operations and not recovered during the
Vietnam War. Lance Corporal Parker and Private Gillson were
repatriated to Australian in June 2007 and Lance Corporal Gillespie in
Two Royal Australian Air Force personnel, Flying Officer Michael
Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver remain unaccounted for from
the Vietnam War.
The family of Private Fisher request that media respect their privacy
during this difficult time.
Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon): 02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689
Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664
Dodd | August 18, 2009
Cowdroy and her family never expected to get the chance to
properly farewell her brother, SAS Trooper David Fisher, who went
missing in action during the Vietnam War in 1969.