Cathy Wayne was the stage name of Australian entertainer Catherine Anne Warnes (7 December 1949 – 20 July 1969) who was killed during the Vietnam War by United States Marine Sergeant James Wayne Killen.Wayne had just finished a song for US Marines at a Non-commissioned officer's club near Da Nang in South Vietnam. Killen was convicted of the unpremeditated murder of Wayne; at his court-martial it was alleged that he was aiming for his commanding officer, Major Roger E. Simmons.Wayne had intended to use money earned from her performances in Vietnam to revive her recording career; and to marry her fiancé, Clive Cavanagh, who was the drummer for her performance troupe, Sweethearts on Parade. Wayne was the first Australian woman killed during the Vietnam War.
In mid-1969, Sweethearts on Parade, an Australian pop group / performing troupe, was established by Sydney promoter Les Maisler to tour Vietnam. Sweethearts on Parade consisted of Wayne on lead vocals, Clive Cavanagh on drums, Jacqui Edwards as a Go-Go dancer, Rick Hoare on guitar, Jeff Howison as MC / singer / comedian, Jimmy Taylor on organ / bass guitar and Natalia Woloch as a Go–Go dancer. Wayne, as lead singer of Sweethearts on Parade, returned to South Vietnam on an unsanctioned tour. Wayne's parents and Col Joye attempted to dissuade her from this second tour,but Wayne insisted and intended to use money earned from her performances in Vietnam to restart her recording career. Wayne wanted to marry her fiancé, Cavanagh, who was the drummer in Sweethearts on Parade.The group arrived in Vietnam on 26 June 1969, Wayne stayed in Saigon between shows for Australian and US troops.
At his court-martial, Killen was charged with premeditated murder and was alleged to have been aiming for his commanding officer, Major Roger E. Simmons.Killen was convicted of the unpremeditated murder of Wayne; he was stripped of all service privileges, dishonourably discharged and sentenced to 20 years hard labour. Killen denied all murder claims but admitted to drinking heavily on the night. After the autopsy in Saigon, Wayne's body was returned to Sydney and cremated according to Anglican rites.
Cathy Wayne was born as Catherine Anne Warnes on 7 December 1949 in Arncliffe, New South Wales, Australia. Wayne was the child of George Warnes and Nancy Starnes, née Buck. She went to Athelstane Public School where she began singing and dancing classes. Wayne later attended Arncliffe Girls' High School, and, before the age of 12, had performed in school concerts and local community stage shows. She took up a dancing spot on Sydney television, TCN-9, programme Opportunity Knocks. She also appeared on an Australian TV special, A Night with Leslie, starring US entertainer Leslie Uggams. At the age of 16, after winning a talent contest, Wayne was offered a regular role on television variety show, Bandstand, alongside veteran Rock 'N' Roll performers Col Joye and Little Pattie.Wayne signed with Joye's agency ATA and was managed by his sister Carole Jacobsen.
Although under legal drinking age, Wayne performed in licensed clubs around Sydney, she also recorded advertising jingles and uncharted singles. Concert tours along the east coast of Australia, headlined by Joye, led to her first tour of South Vietnam at the age of 17, in early 1967.This tour was sanctioned by the Australian Forces Advisory Committee on Entertainment. Wayne was presented as a modette version of fellow Bandstand regular Little Pattie. Upon return to Australia, Wayne continued her appearances on Bandstand and touring with Joye.