Australian Order of Battle for Vietnam 1962-1972

Copyright 1996 Brian Ross. Non-commercial distribution for educational purposes permitted if document is unaltered. Any commercial use, or storage in any commercial BBS is strictly prohibited without written consent.

Internal hyperlinks refer to unit citations on the VVAA web site


Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Brisbane

2 Tours: 20 Mar 69 -13 Oct 69, Mar 71-15 Oct 71

Together with other Australian destroyers, HMAS Brisbane provided Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS) along the South Vietnamese coast. Her second deployment was the last combat tour of a RAN destroyer.

HMAS Perth

3 Tours:  2 Sep 67 - 10 Apr 68, 14 Sep 68 - 20 Apr 69, 14 Sep 70 - 8 Apr 71

On 18 Oct 67, during her first deployment, Perth was hit by an artillery shell which penetrated one deck. In her six-month deployment HMAS Perth came under fire four times and was the only Australian ship hit by enemy fire.

HMAS Hobart

3 Tours:  7 Mar 67 - 27 Sep 67, 22 Mar 68 -11 Oct 68, 6 Mar 70 -17 Oct 70

Between 1967 and 1971, Australian destroyers were attached to the United States Seventh fleet for six-month tours of duty. HMAS Hobart was the first Australian destroyer deployed. During her second deployment to Vietnam, Hobart was accidentally attacked by US aircraft. The ship was damaged and two Australians were killed. During her second deployment Hobart was under fire on three occasions. The deployment was mainly involved in NGFS in support of a joint Australian/ARVN sweep between the Long Hai hills and the coastline.

HMAS Vendetta

15 Sep 69 -11 Apr 70

HMAS Vendetta was the only Australian-built warship to serve in Vietnam and was the first Australian Daring Class destroyer to see active service. During her one deployment, Vendetta steamed 39,558 miles and fired more than 13,000 shells.

Clearance Diving Team 3

6 Feb 67 - 11 Apr 71

In early 1967 a team of one officer and five sailors known as Clearance Diving Team 3 formed for service in Vietnam. The team was assigned to Vung Tau Harbour defence between Feb 67 and Aug 70, and was then stationed at Da Nang until Apr 71 when the unit was withdrawn from Vietnam. Eight contingents saw service in Vietnam.

RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam

16 Oct 67 - 14 Jun 71

On 16 Oct 67 eight RAN helicopter pilots and support staff joined the US Army 135th Assault Helicopter Company in Vietnam. The RAN contingents served with the Americans till 1971. The RAN pilots flew their last mission on 8 Jun 71 and the experiment of a mixed Australian Navy and American Army helicopter unit had been successful.

RAN Detachment 9 Squadron RAAF

Jun 66 - May 69

The RAN Detachment of 9 Squadron RAAF comprised eight Fleet Air Arm pilots operating in direct support of the 1st Australian Task Force. Australian Force Logistic Support All three Australian services provided logistic support to Australian forces in Vietnam.

HMAS Sydney

May 65 -11 Mar 72

The troop transport HMAS Sydney was the first RAN ship to have operational service in Vietnam. She completed 22 voyages in 7 years.

Also serving with HMAS Sydney were:

Detachment of 725 Squadron  (8 April - 19 June 1967) and
Detachment of 817 Squadron (1 December 1967 - 16 February 1968,  26March 1968  -  26 April 1968, 18 May 1968 - 16 June 1968 and circa 28 October 1968 - 6 December 1968)2

HMAS Jeparit

9 Jun 66 -15 Mar 72

Formerly the Australian National Line cargo ship - MV Jeparit. She completed 43 voyages to Vietnam carrying military supplies and civil aid cargoes. She was commissioned into the RAN on  11 Dec 69 and paid off on 15 Mar 72.

HMAS Boonaroo

May 66

Formerly the Australian National Line cargo ship - MV Boonaroo, was commissioned into the RAN 1 Mar 67 and paid off 8 May l967. She completed 2 voyages to Vietnam.

RAN Medical Officers

Thirteen RAN RANR and RANVR served in Vietnam. Some served on the Australian destroyers and others with the 1st Australian Field Hospital and with the US Army and Naval Hospitals.

RAN Chaplains

Fleet Chaplains attended to the spiritual needs of RAN, and allied servicemen in Vietnam.

Army

Australian Force Vietnam (AFV)

  • Headquarters Australian Army Force Vietnam
  • Headquarters Army Assistance Group Vietnam
  • Australian Embassy Guard Platoon
  • Defence and Employment Platoon
  • Field Operations Research Section
  • Headquarters Australian Force Vietnam Cash Office
  • Australian Civil Affairs Unit
  • Postal Unit
  • AFV Provost Detachment

The function of Headquarters was the administrative command of all Australian forces in Vietnam. Initially, it was headquarters for Army units. From May l966, as the other services assumed an operational role in Vietnam, it included both Navy and RAAF components. The total strength was approximately 250.

1 Australian Task Force (1ATF)

  • Headquarters 1 Australian Task Force
  • Detachment 1 Division Cash Office
  • Detachment Australian Force Vietnam Cash Office
  • Provost Section 1 Provost Company (AFV Provost)
  • Australian Force Vietnam Provost Unit
  • 1 Australian Reinforcement Unit (1 ARU)
  • Defence and Employment Platoon (Hawke Force)
  • 104 Signals Squadron

HQ 1 ATF commanded the Task Force. The Task Force included infantry battalions, an artillery regiment, an armoured squadron, a cavalry squadron, and other supporting arms and services. Approximately 200 staff at Headquarters planned and controlled operations. HQ 1 ATF was located at Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy Province between Apr 66 and Dec 71.

Australian Logistic Support Company1

This unit was a part of the 1 RAR Group that deployed to Vietnam on 25 May 1965 and it was redesignated as 1 ALSG on 6 April 1966 .  See next entry for information about 1 ALSG.

1 Australian Logistic Support Group (1 ALSG)

  • Australian Logistic Support Company Headquarters
  • 1 Australian Logistic Support Group
  • 2 Detachment Australian Force Vietnam
  • Cash Office
  • Detachment 1 Division Postal Unit
  • Detachment 1 Comm Z Postal Unit
  • Detachment 5 ASCO Unit
  • Headquarters 2 Australian Force Canteen Unit (AFCU)
  • Detachment 2 AFCU
  • 1 Platoon 2 AFCU
  • 67 Ground Liaison (GL) Section
  • 1 Australian Rest and Convalescence Centre
  • AFV Amenities and Welfare Unit
  • 1 Psychological Operations Unit
  • AFV Provost HQ
  • 110 Signals Squadron

The role of 1 ALSG was to command logistic support units. HQ also commanded seven detachments of logistic support elements with a total strength of 149. Upon the establishment of the 1st Australian Task Force at Nui Dat on 1 Apr 66, 1 ALSG was raised at Vung Tau. HQ 1 ALSG commanded 19 units and sub-units, with a total strength of 1015. Units under command of HQ 1 ALSG provided logistic support to all Australian forces in SVN, including the RAAF and RAN.

Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV)

1962-1972

On 24 May 62 the Minister for Defence, Mr. Townley, announced that up to 30 military advisers were to be sent to Vietnam.  This announcement preceded the formation of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, which arrived in Saigon on 3 Aug 62.  For the next 10 years members were rotated through the team for a 12-month tour of duty.  The team was withdrawn from Vietnam and disbanded on 19 Dec 72.   As the war progressed team members were gradually spread throughout South Vietnam and into the Mekong Delta.  In 70 the team began to concentrate in Phuoc Tuy Province to the east of Saigon, and by 72 the entire team was located there.

The Primary role of the team was to provide training to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) but by 1964 emphasis had shifted to advising South Vietnamese field units, para military forces and Special Forces.  In some cases team members commanded units rather than advised.   In 1970 the team reverted to its original role of training.

The AATTV became the most highly decorated Australian unit ever, its decorations including four VCs , two DSOs, three OBEs, six MBEs, six MCs, 20 DCMs, 49 MIDs as well as numerous other Australian and foreign decorations.  The unit was awarded the United States Meritorious Unit Citation and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. AATTV members participated in almost all major battles involving the ARVN in 1 Corps from 1964 to 1970.  Of the 990 who served with AATTV, 33 died on active service in South Vietnam and 122 were wounded in action. Ten members of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment served with the team.

Royal Australian Armoured Corps

  • 1 APC Troop                                    Jun 65 - May 66
  • 1 APC Squadron                              May 66 - Jan 67
  • A Squadron 3 Cavalry Regiment        Jan 67 - May 69
                                                          Jan 71- Mar 72
  • B Squadron 3 Cavalry Regiment        May 69 - Jan 71
  • A Squadron 1 Armoured Regiment    Dec 69 - Dec 70
  • B Squadron 1 Armoured Regiment    Feb 69 - Dec 69
  • C Squadron 1 Armoured Regiment    Feb 68 - Feb 69 and Dec 70
  • Det 1 Forward Delivery Troop

Royal Australian Artillery

  • 105 Field Battery                            65-66
  • 1 Field Regiment
    • 101 Field Battery                66-67 and 69-70
    • 103 Field Battery                66-67 
    • 105 Field Battery                69-70
  • 4 Field Regiment
    • 106 Field Battery                67-68 and 70-71
    • 107 Field Battery                70-71
    • 108 Field Battery                67-68
  • 12 Field Regiment
  • A Field Battery                                    71
  • 102 Field Battery                                68-69
  • 104 Field Battery                                68-69 and 71
  • 131 Divisional Locating Battery      66-71

Royal Australian Engineers

  • Det 198 Works Section     9 Jan - 1 Mar 67
  • 198 Works Section     2 Mar 67 - 23 Dec 72
  • Det 11 Movement Control Group     1 Apr 66 - 12 Mar 72
  • 3 Field Troop     14 Sep 65 - 31 Mar 66
  • 1 Field Squadron     1 Apr 66 - 18 Nov 71
  • 21 Engineer Support Troop     1 Apr 66 - 9 Dec 71
  • Det 55 Advanced Engineer Stores Squadron     1 Apr 66 - 16 Feb 68
  • Det 55 Engineer Workshop & Park Squadron     17 Feb 68 - 12 Mar 72
  • 55 Engineer Workshop & Park Squadron
  • 17 Construction Squadron    1 Apr 66 - 12 Feb 72
  • Det 11 Movement Control Group     1 Apr 66 - 12 Mar 72
  • 30 Terminal Squadron     9 Jan 67 - 12 Mar 72
  • Det 1 Division Postal Unit     1 Apr 66 - 8 Nov 67
  • Det 1 Communication Zone Postal Unit     19 Oct 66 - 23 Feb 72
  • 1 Small Ship Troop (Clive Steele)    26 Jun 66 - 23 Nov 66, 3 Dec 66 - 9 Jan 67, 17 Jan 67- 16 Mar 67, 29 Jan 68 - 27 Apr 69, 21 Jul 69 - 2 Mar 70, 11 Jul - 3 Sep 70 and     2 Mar - 12 Mar 71
  • 1 Small Ship Troop (Harry Chauvel)     23 Oct 67 - 21 Mar 68 and 2 May 70 - 6 Jun 70
  • 3 Small Ship Troop (Vernon Sturdee) nbsp;   11 Apr 66 - 25 Jun 66 and 23 Jan 67 - 14 Dec 67
  • 4 Small Ship Troop (Brudenell White)     22 Sep 70 - 24 Oct 70
  • Det 32 Small Ship Squadron (John Monash)     5 May 66 - 14 May 66, 3 Dec 67 - 31 Jan 68, 17 Feb 68 - 31 Mar 68, 16 Dec 68 - 26 Dec 68, 20 Feb 69 - 4 Mar 69, 25 Oct 69 - 7 Dec 69 and 27 Jul 71 - 14 Aug 71
  • Det 32 Small Ship Squadron (Clive Steele)     23 Feb 71 - 20 Mar 71
  • Det 32 Small Ship Squadron (Harry Chauvel)     11 Nov - 15 Dec 70

Royal Australian Survey Corps

  • Det 1 Topographical Survey Troop A      66-71
  • Section 1 Topographical Survey Troop      66-71

Royal Australian Signal Corps

  • HQ 145 Signal Squadron 709 Signal Troop     25 May 65 - 20 Nov 67
  • 527 Signal Troop     14 Sep 65 - 5 Jul 67, absorbed into 145 Signal Squadron
  • 547 Signal Troop     1 Apr 66 - 23 Dec 71 
  • 581 Signal Troop 
  • 552 Signal Troop
  • 506 Signal Troop 
  • 520 Signal Troop
  • HQ 110 Signal Squadron
  • HQ Signal Squadron
  • 704 Signal Troop
  • 557 Signal Troop
  • 561 Signal Troop
  • 532 Signal Troop
  • 503 Signal Troop
  • 103 Signal Squadron     1 Apr 66 - 5 Jul 67
  • 104 Signal Squadron (TF)     2 Mar 67 - 15 Dec 71, replaced 103 Signal Squadron
  • 110 Signal Squadron     2 Mar 67 - 12 Mar 72, replaced 145 Signal Squadron
  • Det 152 Signal Squadron (SAS)     31 Aug 66 - 15 Oct 71
  • AAAGV Signal Detachment     12 Mar - Dec 72

Royal Australian Infantry

  • First Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR)
    2 Tours:  25 May 65 - 14 Jul 66, 19 Jan 68 - 28 Jan 69
  • Second Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (2 RAR)
    (2 RAR/NZ Anzac Battalion)
     2 Tours:  20 Mar 67 - 18 Jun 68, 28 Apr 70 - 4 Jun 71
  • Third Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) (Old Faithful)
     2 Tours:  12 Dec 67 - 5 Dec 68, 12 Feb 71 - 19 Oct 71
  • Fourth Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (4 RAR) (4RAR/NZ Anzac Battalion)
     2 Tours:  20 Jan 68 - 30 May 69, 1 May 71 - 12 Mar 72
  • Fifth Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (5 RAR)
    2 Tours:  1 Apr 66 - 4 Jul 67, 28 Jan 69 - 5 Mar 70
  • Sixth Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR)
    2 Tours:  1 Apr 66 - 5 Jul 67, 7 May 69 - 28 May 70
    (second  tour was as 6 RAR/ NZ-Anzac Battalion)
  • Seventh Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (7 RAR)
    2 Tours Apr 67 - Apr 68, Feb 70 - Mar 71
  • Eighth Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (8 RAR     Nov 69 - Nov 70
  • Ninth Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (9 RAR)     5 Nov 68 - 5 Dec 69
  • Special Air Service Regiment   Apr 66 - Oct 71
    • One Squadron Special Air Service     67- 68, 70- 71
    • Two Squadron Special Air Service     68- 69, 71
    • Three Squadron Special Air Service      66- 67, 69- 70

Australian Army Aviation Corps

  • 161 Reconnaissance Flight     14 Sep 65 - 8 Mar 72
  • 161 (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight

Australian Intelligence Corps

  • Detachment 1 Division Intelligence Unit     15 May 66 - 2 Oct 71
  • 1 Psychological Operations Unit

Royal Australian Army Service Corps (RASC)

Bien Hoa

  • RAASC Detachment     65

Vung Tau

  • HQ 1 Company RAASC     66-67
  • 1 Transport Platoon RAASC     Apr 66 - Jul 67
  • 87 Transport Platoon RAASC     Apr 66 - Jul 67
  • Detachment 276 AD Company     Apr 66 - May 67
  • Detachment 1 Division Postal Unit     Apr 66 - Nov 67
  • HQ 5 Company RAASC     Mar 67 - Mar 72
  • 2 Transport Platoon     Apr 67 - Nov 70 
  • 85 Transport Platoon (Tipper)     Mar 67 - Sep 71
  • 86 Transport Platoon     Jan 67 - Mar 72
  • Saigon Detachment 1 Comm Z Postal Unit     Oct 66 - Feb 72
    Det 8 Petroleum Platoon RAASC Aug 1966 - 1968
     

Nui Dat

  • HQ 26 Company RAASC     Nov 69 - Jun 71
  • 85 Transport Platoon     Mar 67 - Sep 71 
  • Elm 176 AD Company     Jun 67 - Nov 71
  • Elm 1 Comm Z Postal Unit     67 - Jun 1968
    Det 8 Petroleum Platoon RAASC Aug 1966 - Withdrawal 1971

Royal Australian Army Medical Corps (RAAMC)

  • 1 Australian Field Hospital     13 Nov 67 - 14 Dec 71
  • 2 Field Ambulance     1 Apr 66 - 5 Jul 67
  • 8 Field Ambulance     2 Mar 67 - 12 Mar 72
  • Detachment 1 Field Medical/Dental Unit    20 Nov 67 - 25 Nov 71
  • Detachment 1 Field Medical/Dental Equipment Detachment     20 Nov 67 - 25 Nov 71
  • Detachment 1 Field Hygiene Company     5 Dec 67 - 12 Mar 72

Royal Australian Army Dental Corps

33 Dental Unit May 66 - Mar 72

Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps

5 May 67 - 25 Nov 71

43 members of the RAANC served in Vietnam with 1st Australian Field Hospital and 8th Field Ambulance

Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps

HQ 2 Company Ordnance Depot (Type A)1
    1 Apr 66 - 15 Nov 67 - redesignated 2 AOD includes the following subunits:

  • 13 Ordnance Supply Control Platoon
  • 16 Ordnance Vehicle Platoon
  • 14 Ordnance Stores Platoon
  • 18 Ordnance Depot Laundry and Bath Section
  • 15 Ordnance Ammunition Platoon
  • 19 Ordnance Supply Control Platoon
  • 20 Ordnance Stores Platoon    9 Jan 67
  • 2 Advanced Ordnance Depot
    (includes subunits listed above, 16 Nov 67 - 12 Mar 72)
  • 1 Independent Armoured Sqn Workshop Stores Section   (redesignated) 29 Jan - 2 Feb 68
  • 101 Field Workshop Stores Section 1     Apr 66 - 5 Jul 67
  • 102 Field Workshop Stores Section    2 Mar 67 - 12 Mar 72
  • 106 Field Workshops Stores Section

Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers 65-71

  • Detachment 131 Div Loc Bty Workshop
  • 1 Field Squadron Workshop
  • 106 Field Workshop (Type A)
  • 1 TF Headquarter Light Aid Detachment (LAD) Detachment
  • 1 APC Squadron Light Aid Detachment Detachment
  • A Squadron 3 Cavalry Regiment Light Aid Detachment
  • B Squadron 3 Cavalry Regiment Light Aid Detachment
  • A Squadron 1 Armoured Regiment Light Aid Detachment
  • C Squadron 1 Armoured Regiment Light Aid Detachment
  • 1 Field Regiment Light Aid Detachment
  • 4 Field Regiment Light Aid Detachment
  • 12 Field Regiment Light Aid Detachment
  • I Independent Armoured Squadron Workshop
  • 1 Armoured Squadron Workshop
  • 17 Construction Squadron Workshop Detachment
  • l Division ST Workshop
  • 5 Company RAASC Workshop
  • 101 Field Workshop (Type A)
  • 102 Field Workshop (Type B)

Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department;

The Chaplains were attached to many units, they were stationed at 1ALSG approx 74 Chaplains served.

Citizens Military Forces Observers.

Army Public Relations Service

Royal Australian Air Force

  • Headquarters Royal Australian Air Force Element

  • Australian Force Vietnam Headquarters

  • Royal Australian Air Force Contingent Vung Tau
  • Royal Australian Air Force Caribou Transport Flight     8 Aug 64 - 1st Jun 66
  • Base Support Flight     May 66 - Apr 68
  • Number 1 Operational Support Unit Feb     68 - Feb 72
  • Number 2 Squadron  
  • Airfield Construction Squadron (Detachment B)     64 - 72
  • Royal Australian Air Force Element 161 Recce Flight     14 Sep 65 - 8 Mar 72
  • No. 35 Squadron     1 Jun 66 - Feb 72

The first RAAF operational unit to see service in Vietnam, the RAAF transport flight, arrived in Aug 64 with six Caribou aircraft.  The unit was redesignated as No. 35 Squadron on 1 Jun 66. The Squadron left Vietnam in Feb 72. No.9 Squadron Apr 66 - Nov 71 No.9 Squadron, equipped with Iroquois helicopters was allotted to the 1st Australian Task Force. No. 2 Squadron Apr 67 - Jun 71 The third and last RAAF operational squadron to serve in Vietnam was No.2 Squadron. It returned to Australia in Jun 71, 13 years after having left Australia from Darwin en route to Butterworth, Malaysia.   RAAF Members also served with the United States Air Force 64 - 72.   RAAF fighter pilots were given the opportunity of serving in Vietnam as Forward Air Controllers.  In addition to duty as FACs, six fighter pilots also saw service in American phantom squadrons in Vietnam.

RAAF Nursing Service MEDEVAC Flight)

RAAF nurses tended the wounded on the medical evacuation aircraft which transported them from Vietnam to Australia usually via Malaysia.

RAAF Chaplains

RAAF Chaplains attended to the spiritual needs of RAAF personnel as well as Australian and US troops.

Civilian and Philanthropic

Red Cross

The Australian Red Cross contributed a welfare worker who was based at Vung Tau.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army maintained the Red Shield Hut.

War Correspondents

The Australian War Correspondents provided news and feature stories for distribution to media in Australia.

Official War Artists, Historians and Photographers

As with other wars, official representatives were sent to Vietnam to collect data, information and impressions of Australia's military involvement.

Civilian Medical Teams

Civilian Medical Teams from major Australian hospitals were sent to Vietnam as part of a civilian aid program.

Australian Entertainment Groups

Australian entertainers volunteered for service in Vietnam with specific entertainment groups which were formed and financed separately.

QANTAS Aircrew: there are approx 500 QANTAS Staff and aircrew who flew the troops over and home when their tours were over, the QANTAS personnel were awarded in 1994 the Vietnam Logistic Support Medal, In 2000 they were awarded the AASM 45/75 clasp Vietnam the Boeing 707 did approx 300 flights in and out of Tan son Nhut between 1964-1972.

Everyman's Welfare Organisation

Everyman's is a philanthropic organisation which supports the Australian Defence Force. They provided moral support to soldiers in the field from Recruit Training onwards.


Reproduced by kind permission of Brian Ross.

 

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