Cathy Wayne – Shot – 22-Caliber Bullet
Cathy Wayne an Australian singer had been killed in 1969,by a single .22-caliber bullet when she was onstage in a military base in Vietnam. She was only 19 years old when she died. She had breathed her last in the arms of her boyfriend who played the drums for the band she sang – Sweethearts on Parade.
Catherine Anne Warnes, an entertainer was born on December 7, 1949 at Arncliffe, Sydney and was the second child of three children of George Alfred Warnes, an English-born motor mechanic and his wife Nancy Starnes, from Sydney Cathy had attended Athelstane Public and Arncliffe Girls’ High School and had great interest in performing arts.
When she was in the primary level she had participated in singing and dancing lessons. Towards the age of 12 she began performing on stage in the local community as well as school concerts. She had been spotted by a talent scout and offered a permanent spot, dancing on television station TCN-9’s programme `Opportunity Knocks’ and at 16, she had won the second prize for singing in the talent quest of Starflight. The competition had been directed by another well-known Channel 9 show `Bandstand’ where she became a steady performer.
F.A.C.E – An Opportunity to Perform
Cathy Wayne started performing in clubs in spite of being under legal age of performing in these premises; she recorded advertising jingles for radio as well as television. Thereafter she joined the `pop’ singer Col Joye on many concert tours across Australia. She used the stage name `Cathy Wayne’. She had travelled with the other entertainers to the Republic of Vietnam – South Vietnam, towards the first half of 1967 on a wartime concert tour that had been sponsored by the Australian Forces Advisory Committee on Entertainment. Since Cathy Wayne was not 18 years it had been essential for the organizer of the tour, Bruce Webber to obtain approval of her parents to take part in the concert. She had leapt at the opportunity to go to South Vietnam. At that time members of F.A.C.E concert parties were not given any payment for their services though were given daily living allowances together with security guarantee.
Lead Singer – Sweethearts on Parade’
Towards mid-1969, Warnes had returned to South Vietnam as the lead singer in `Sweethearts on Parade’ an Australian pop group wherein the tour had been arranged privately by Ingrid Hart, a performer as well as a promoter and was not under the supports of the Australian government That year, on 20 July, at Da Nang, Warnes had been on stage in a club for non-commissioned officers of the United States Marine Corps when she was shot from outside the club which has passed through the insect-screen of an open window.
The bullet had hit her in the chest killing her instantly. Her body had been sent back to Australia and was cremated with Anglican rites. James Wayne Killen, a US Marine had been found guilty of killing her while trying to shoot someone else. He was found innocent after a retrial and released. Don Morrisson, another musician was of the belief that he was aware who had shot her but due to lack of evidence was unable to reveal the name of the person. Wayne’s killer till date remains unknown and anonymous.