In June of 1981 ninety nine exhausted Vietnamese refugees, including 29 children, were winched to safety onboard the HMAS Melbourne on a dark stormy night in heavy seas 200 nautical miles south-east of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
On World Refugee Day (20 June 2021) forty of the rescued Vietnamese refugees attended a commemorative reunion at the HARS Aviation Museum in Albion Park NSW. A highlight of this event was the unveiling of Darrell White’s dramatic painting, depicting the moment the drifting boat was sighted with HMAS Melbourne and Torrens on the horizon.
The painting measuring 80 x 120cm is the largest Darrell has produced to date. Painted in acrylics, but with the extensive research and precise detail involved, the work took three months to create. The painting can be seen on permanent display at the Museum.
Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS)
54 Airport Road, Shellharbour Airport
Albion Park Rail NSW 2527