Tony (Anthony) Roe, Commandant (retired), joined the Defence Forces in 1958, training as an Air Corps apprentice in Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel. Comdt Roe was serving in Baldonnel when films such as the ‘Blue Max’ and ‘Zepplin’ were being filmed there. He was commissioned as an officer after undergoing a Potential Officers Course and served overseas with the 45th and 55th Infantry Battalions in the Lebanon. He was serving as Chief Technical Stores Officer for the Transport Corps in Clancy Barracks, Dublin, at the time of his retirement in 1986. Comdt Roe was interviewed for the Military Archives Oral History Project on 8th September 2016 and on 3rd February 2017.

In this clip Commandant Anthony (Tony) Roe tells a short story about an American crew who were staying temporarily at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel (to convey Irish troops to the Congo in the early 1960s). He explains how the Americans faked a carburettor problem with the Globemaster plane they were flying in order to get another night out in Dublin where they had met some young ladies in the city. Tony also recalls dressing up as American airmen for photographs, using the uniforms of the men.

In this clip Commandant Anthony (Tony) Roe discusses his apprentice class in 1958. Tony lists some of the instructors who were over the Apprentice Class including Tom Desmond, Johnny Lakes and Con Callinan. There were thirty in his class including Clive Geraghty (the actor). He explains that after his graduation, he was posted to the engine room and outlines some of the work involved in this role. He speaks about some of the planes that were introduced to the Air Corps in his early days.

In this clip Commandant Anthony (Tony) Roe discusses in detail a crash over Wicklow Bay in which Air Corps pilot Jim Liddy was killed along with four others, during filming for the film Zepplin in August 1970. Tony was present when the crash occurred and heard the series of communications prior to the crash. He recalls his own memories of the crash when an SE5A (British biplane fighter aircraft) landed very close to where they were standing. He states that Liam Mulligan had flown the plane in to let them know there had been an accident. Tony explains that an SE5A (flown by Liddy) had crashed into the helicopter and everyone was killed including the director Burch Williams. Tony states that the wife of the director Burch Williams was with them listening to the transmissions when the crash occurred. Tony names some of the pilots involved in flying for the movies.

In this piece of audio Commandant Anthony (Tony) Roe tells a story about Brigadier General Pat Cranfield and recalls flying in a plane with (then Captain) Cranfield which later turned out to have been very unsafe. Cranfield had been using the plane for manoeuvres for the film Blue Max (1965). Tony explains the mechanical problems with the plane and underlines how lucky they were to not have crashed.

In this piece of audio Commandant Anthony (Tony) Roe offers a brief memory of the return of the Niemba Ambush casualties in November 1960 and recalls Eamon de Valera coming to the camp to see the bodies. He notes how de Valera was almost blind at this point and recalls him walking into a wall when leaving the ceremony. The Niemba Ambush occurred on 8 November 1960 when an Irish Army platoon was ambushed in the Congo by Baluba tribesmen. Nine Irish soldiers were killed in the ambush which was the first time the Irish Army was involved in a battle on foreign soil. The army were in the Congo on a peacekeeping mission, as part of the United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC). The nine Irish soldiers who died at Niemba were as follows: Lt. Kevin Gleeson of Carlow, Sgt. Hugh Gaynor of Leixlip, Cpl. Peter Kelly of Templeogue, Cpl. Liam Dougan of Cabra, Pt. Matthew Farrell of Jamestown, Dublin, Tpr. Thomas Fennell of Donnycarney, Tpr. Anthony Browne of Rialto, Pte. Michael McGuinn of Carlow, and Pte. Gerard Killeen of Rathmines. Some 25 Baluba tribesmen were also killed.

In this piece of audio Commandant Anthony (Tony) Roe speaks about his first overseas tour to the Lebanon with the 45th Infantry Battalion in 1979. He also discusses briefly the impact of the overseas tour on his family and reflects on the challenges of communicating with home from the Lebanon in 1979.

In this clip of audio Commandant Anthony (Tony) Roe reflects on the importance of the insights of Irish personnel into the Lebanon experience and the importance of capturing this memory. He also reflects on his own role and that of the Irish Defence Forces as peacekeepers and how it has shaped him as a person as well as his outlook on life.

In this piece of audio Commandant Anthony (Tony) Roe tells a story about Captain Liam McNamee (Son of Hugh McNamee, who retired in 1977) who was involved in an incident at a check point in the Lebanon. McNamee was involved in a fist fight with a Lebanese man but Comdt Roe was not able to clarify which side the Lebanese man was involved with. Liam McNamee (later Col. McNamee) wrote 'A Helping Hand', An Cosantóir Review, October 1995, p. 21.

In this clip Commandant Anthony (Tony) Roe speaks about the condition of Beirut airport when they arrived there in 1979 (with the 45th Infantry Battalion). Tony remembers a section of Nigerian soldiers who were living in the corner of a hanger at Beirut airport. He explains that they were left behind because the plane they were to leave on was full and they were not prepared to leave behind provisions.

In this piece of audio Commandant Anthony (Tony) Roe speaks about the South Lebanon Army and recalls meeting some of them near 'The Cuckoo's Nest'. Refers to the importance of cultural habits when dealing with other cultures and recalls shaking hands with the left hand. Recalls his broader memories of the South Lebanese Army. Major Saad Haddad was the founder and head of the South Lebanon Army, who collaborated with Israel against Lebanese government forces and Hezbollah.

In this piece of audio Commandant Anthony (Tony) Roe recalls his tour to the Lebanon in 1979 with the 45th Infantry Battalion describes Naqoura in Lebanon and its importance to the tour, given its proximity to Israel. He also refers to the spiritual resonance of the route which went through Tyre, Sidon and Galilee given the connection with Jesus Christ and the Bible.