Zip is known about this lighter from Khe Sanh

TO the North Vietnamese Army, the village of Khe Sanh was the gateway to the south.

The now infamous seige in 1968 was the largest battle in the 30-year-long war and what broke the will of the American government to continue fighting a war they no longer believed they could win.

Though Australian involvement in the 77-day seige was minimal, the battle has been forever immortalised in this country in the lyrics of Cold Chisels 1978 song.

It was 45 years after the battle at Khe Sanh that Robyn Milbus found a zippo lighter belonging to someone who had been there just a couple of years earlier.

Mrs Milbus and her husband Darryl were travelling to Cooktown from their home at Coomera when they stopped at Calliope River to camp for the night.

"Darryl did a bit of fishing and I went for a walk and found the zippo lighter in the sand," she said.

"I thought it would be nice to reunite it with the owner, but of course in the ensuing years I forgot all about it."

Mr Milbus passed away the following year it was when she was going through his belongings that she found the zippo lighter again.

Zippo lighters are distinctly American so it may have belonged to an American ex-serviceman travelling in Australia, or it may have been given to an Australian while in Vietnam.

It is marked with the words "Vietnam, Khe Sanh 65-66".

For now, it's origin is a mystery.

Last year, Mrs Milbus was at the Gympie Muster and was reminded again of the lighter when she was talking to a member of the RSL.

"I told him I'd love to find the owner, but then I put it aside and forgot about it again," she said.

"I don't smoke, so it's no good to me."

If anyone has any ideas about who may own the lighter, call The Observer on 4970 3044.



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