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Colin David Whyte

Portrait, Colin David Whyte (H783157) taken when he was first posted to South Vietnam. - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Colin David Whyte (H783157) taken when he was first posted to South Vietnam. - This image …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Colin David AWMM
  • Surname
    Whyte AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • Colin David Whyte AWMM
    • Doc Whyte AWMM
    • Panjang Whyte AWMM
    • Gentle Green Giant Whyte AWMM
  • Service number
    • Vietnam 783157 AWMM
    • Vietnam H783157 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    12 May 1932 AWMM RaetihiCentral Plateau AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    • Pre 29 June 1954 AWMM 4 Holdswoth Avenue, Mt Roskill, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • Pre 17 October 1957 AWMM 8 Kahu Street, Burnham Camp, Palmerston North, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • Mrs E.H. Whyte (mother) AWMM
    • Mrs Patricia Jean Whyte (wife) AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    1948-1960 AWMM
    The Malayan Emergency AWMM
    The Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) After the defeat of the Japanese in WWII, a new problem emerged for Malaya. In 1948 Chinese guerrilla fighters (who had been armed and air supplied by the British during the war) emerged from the jungle and under Chin Peng, began their terror campaign to take over the country by force. Thus an intense jungle war began, fought by the British, British Commonwealth and Malay forces against the Malayan Communist Party. The Australian Government of the day, along with many others in the Western bloc, was apprehensive about the spread of international communism. Initially there was not much coordination between security forces until Lt.-Gen.Sir Harold Briggs was appointed as Director of Operations in 1949. His war executive committees (including Sir Henry Gurney) coordinated emergency operations, and created 500 new villages for Malayan citizens who lived in remote areas beyond government protection. These citizens had lived in constant fear that the Communists would appear and force them to supply food and money. Travelling was dangerous as a Communist ambush could lurk behind any roadside bush. So, by depriving the insurgents of their crucial sources of supplies and information, the Communists began to attack the new settlements. But the security forces were now fighting on their own ground, and proved to be too strong for the Communists. These forces were able to concentrate on jungle operations, thereby destroying the Communists and their camps. This was the longest continuous military commitment in Australia's history. It was to be the only war the West had won against Communism. The Emergency lasted for twelve years, ending in 1960. Australia suffered 15 killed and 27 wounded in action. From AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    • Vietnam 783157 AWMM
    • Vietnam H783157 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    A' Basic RF Recruits Waiouru (twice)|Compulsory Military Training (C.M.T.) AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    • Post WW2 29 June 1954 AWMM
      Age 22 AWMM
      Storeman/Civilian AWMM
    • Post WW2 17 October 1957 AWMM
      Age 25 AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    • Height, Unknown Period AWMM
      6 feet 4 inches AWMM
    • Weight, Unknown Period AWMM
      16 Stone AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, Malaya AWMM
      Infected arm (from tattooing by Ibans from Sarawak Rangers) - evacuated to B.M.H., Kinrara, then to B.M.H. Talping, then to Rest Centre, Cameron Highlands. AWMM

Last known rank

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  • Last rank
    • Post WW2 29 June 1954 AWMM
      Family Commitments AWMM
      Private AWMM
      Unknown AWMM
    • Staff Sergeant - was a Ssgt in Vietnam-! Public - Roscoe - Researcher - 14 January 2020 -

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Parents met while training to become Salvation Army Officers. Mr Whyte had two brothers & three sisters. Father played trombone, conducted & taught music.

    Served in Malayan Emergency and Vietnam

    "In Malaya I used to visit an Aboriginal village to do Medical Work twice daily. One morning I arrived to find village empty and I ran about a mile from Ali's Ladang on the Perak River to our camp to raise alarm and the whole 28th Commonwealth Brigade tracked with dogs and set up ambushes, but they were never able to find Ali's group (about 100) except for one dead baby and one old man who couldn't keep up. The Abos hung their dogs so that our dogs couldn't follow their scent. The tribe was never heard of again."

    On arriving in Vietnam and as he "was about to be married in two months time, his friend Dick Grigg stood in for him on the posting, going to SVN in his place. David was later killed there."

    War Disability Pensioner

    Cenotaph record initially prepared with the serviceman in 1999

    Vietnam War Oral History Project interviewee. Interview and transcript held at the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History Centre in Wellington, New Zealand. Reference: OHInt-0959-44. Colin served in 2 NZ Regt 1959-1961 in Taiping and was the Medical NCO for 161 Bty 1968. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    28 October 2017 AWMM
    Age 85 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Hall, C. (2014). No front line : inside stories of New Zealand's Vietnam War. Auckland, New Zealand : Penguin Books. AWMM
      Auckland War Memorial Museum displays some photographs and souvenirs in the 'Scars on the Heart' exhibition. AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM


Command item
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14 January 2020RoscoeAotearoaResearcher
02 March 2018EvaAucklandChild
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