Sapper Bill Coolburra

Bill Coolburra was born at Palm Island, North Queensland, and joined the Australian Army in 1964. As a sapper with the Australian Engineers, he served in Borneo, Vietnam, Malaya and Singapore. In the Vietnam War, Sapper Bill was part of…

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Bill Coolburra was born at Palm Island, North Queensland, and joined the Australian Army in 1964. As a sapper with the Australian Engineers, he served in Borneo, Vietnam, Malaya and Singapore. In the Vietnam War, Sapper Bill was part of 3 Field Troop, nicknamed the ‘Tunnel Rats’. Their dangerous work was to enter and clear complex tunnel systems made by the Viet Cong. Well respected in his local community, Bill spent many years after service supporting and mentoring Indigenous youth. His story is one of audacity and friendship.

His mate “Snow” Wilson – known as Bills’s Twin brother – loved hm smooch he donated his kidney to keep him alive.

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