December 1, 2016 – Australian-trained military tracker dogs who served their country during the Vietnam War have been recognised and honoured by a new bronze sculpture at Edmondson Park, in south west Sydney.
The life-size sculpture of a former tracker dog named Caesar, by Sydney artist Ochre Lawson, was been unveiled near the Edmondson Park railway station, close to the planned town centre.
Caesar was not permitted to return home due to quarantine laws, and along with other tracker dogs, was re-homed with families at the British and Australian embassies in Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City.
In 1967, the Australian Army provided two units of Tracker Dogs in its role during the Vietnam War the dogs were trained by the Tracking Wing, of the School of Infantry, at Ingleburn army base.
“Tracker dogs were used during the Vietnam War to follow a scent and find enemy bunkers or unexploded mine bombs,” New South Wales state planning minister Rob Stokes said.
“They were valuable members of the defence force and saved many lives. So valuable, that many now consider them to be war heroes.”
Mr Stokes recognised the involvement of Private Peter Haran, one of Caesar’s handlers. Private Haran and Caesar were posted to southern Vietnam with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment [2RAR] between 1967 and 1968.
“These dogs are fondly remembered by those soldiers who served with them, both for their hard work and their loyalty on the front line,” Rob said.