David Gibson was a volunteer National Serviceman who served in Vietnam as a gun number with A Field Battery, 12th Field Regiment in 1971. Raised in a military family, his father was a 30-year plus career officer in the RAAF having served as aircrew in WW2 in New Guinea and in the South-West Pacific Area, and as an Air Traffic Controller in Japan and Korea during the Korean War.
His family lived on airforce bases most of his early life and while living on the RAAF base in Darwin, he joined the CMF, 121 LAA Bty, along with his twin brother Peter to get a taste of military life. He and his brother Peter were the only gunners they knew to have a Squadron Leader as a Batman! They trained as gunners on 40 mm Bofors guns and as signallers. The brothers then did an advanced gunnery course (LAA) for promotion to Bdr at the School of Artillery in 1968, where they met WO2 Arthur Bretherton again. He had been in Darwin for a period of time earlier conducting a 40-mm Bofors advanced gun course. He prided himself on being able to tell Peter and David apart (their grandmother couldn't do that). After a day or so they realised he could identify them by their different coloured watch bands. They decided to change them over and confuse him. David recalled, ?He was on to us very quickly and tore strips off us, we never did that again ?'
The brothers were promoted to Bdr just before they left Darwin and the CMF to return to Melbourne with their family. Although they had missed out on National Service, they wanted to do it to determine their suitability to careers in the Army, so they volunteered for two years as National Servicemen. The 2RTB, 123 Training Battery at Holsworthy saw them posted to 12 Field Regiment: David as a Gun Number, Peter a signaller. Training at Townsville, both lads went to Vietnam and then home in September 1971. Discharged on 30 September, David went back into ?civvie street' and struggled for eighteen months in a Government Department until an advertisement in the local Melbourne paper in 1973 changed his life forever.