Official statistics, which we now know to be incorrect, show only one Irish-born killed in Vietnam – John Driver, from Ringsend in Dublin. John was something of a unique individual. First in line to inherit the family business, John left poverty-stricken Dublin to find adventure and make his fortune. The adventure he found, like so many before him, in the British Army. Although he saw action in the Far East, after attaining the rank of sergeant he moved on, joining up with Rhodesian forces, where his two Irish Wolfhounds caused something of a stir, and enhanced his growing reputation.
But the exotic sights of Africa failed to satisfy him, and in the early 60s he arrived in America where he enlisted again. He soon saw action in Vietnam before being sent for Officer Training, getting married, and returning again to Vietnam where, on April 17th 1969 he was killed in action – a month away from his 33rd birthday. He left behind a young bride and a young son he’d barely seen.