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soc.history.war.vietnam FAQ: Australian Order of Battle


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Archive-Name: vietnam/australia/order-of-battle
Last-modified: 1996/08/22
Posting-Frequency: monthly (1st)

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Frequently Asked Questions: soc.history.war.vietnam

The FAQ on "The Australian Order of Battle for Vietnam War"
was written by Brian Ross

--------------------------------

     The following is a nearly complete (as far as I've been
to make it) Order of Battle for all major and most minor Australian
Defence Force units which served in Vietnam.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

      Australian Forces which Served in South Vietnam 1962-1972

----------------------------------------------------------------------

                           ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY

HMAS Brisbane - 2 Tours
20th March 1969 -13th Oct. 1969
March 1971-15th Oct. 1971

As 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 an RAN destroyer.

HMAS Perth - 3 Tours
2nd September 1967 - 10th April 1968
14th September 1968 - 20th April 1969
14th September 1970 - 8th April 1971

On 18th October 1967, 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
7th March 1967 - 27th September l967
22nd March 1968 -11th October 1968
6th March 1970 -17th October 1970

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
15th September 1969 -11th April 1970

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
6th February 1967 11th April 1971

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 February 1967
and August
1970, and was then stationed at Da Nang until April 1971
when the unit
was withdrawn from Vietnam. Eight contingents saw service in
Vietnam.

RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam
16th October 1967 - 14th June 1971

On 16th October 1967 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 June 1971 and the experiment of
a mixed
Australian Navy and American Army helicopter unit had been
successful.

RAN Detachment 9 Squadron RAAF
June 1966 - May 1969

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 1965 -11th March 1972

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

HMAS Jeparit.
9th June 1966 -15th March 1972

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 the 11th
December
l969 and paid off on 15th March 1972.

HMAS Boonaroo.
May 1966

Formerly the Australian National Line cargo ship - MV
Boonaroo, was
commissioned into the RAN 1st March 1967 and paid off 8th
May l 967.
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

The function of Headquarters was the administrative command
of all
Australian forces in Vietnam. Initially, it was headquarters
for Army
units. From May l 966, 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 (1 ATF)

Headquarters 1 Australian Task Force
Detachment 1 Division Cash Office
Detachment Australian Force Vietnam Cash Office
Provost Section 1 Provost Company
Australian Force Vietnam Provost Unit
I Australian Reinforcement Unit
Defence and Employment Platoon (Hawke Force)

HQ 1 ATF commanded the Task Force. The Task Force included
infantry
battalions, an artillery regiment, an armoured squadron, a
cavally
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 April 1966
and
December 1971.

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

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 April 1966, 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 1962 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 August 1962. 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 December
1972.

As the war progressed team members were gradually spread
throughout
South Vietnam and into the Mekong Delta. In 1970 the team
began to
concentrate in Phuoc Tuy Province to the east of Saigon, and
by 1972
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,
30 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 June 1965 - May 1966
1 APC Squadron May 1966 - January 1967
A Squadron 3 Cavalry Regiment January 1967 - May 1969
B Squadron 3 Cavalry Regiment May 1969 - January 1971
A Squadron 1 Armoured Regiment December 1969 - December 1970
B Squadron 1 Armoured Regiment February 1969 - December 1969
C Squadron 1 Armoured Regiment February 1968 - February 1969
and
     December 1970
Det 1 Forward Delivery Troop

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN ARTILLERY

105 Field Battery (1965-66)
1 Field Regiment
101 Field Battery (1966-67 and 1969-70)
103 Field Battery (1966-67)
105 Field Battery (1969-70)
4 Field Regiment
106 Field Battery (1967-68 and 1970-71)
107 Field Battery (1970-71)
108 field Battery (1967-68)
12 Field Regiment
A Field Battery (1971)
102 Field Battery (1968-69)
104 Field Battery (1968-69 and 1971)
131 Divisional Locating Battery (1966-1971)

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN ENGINEERS

Det 198 Works Section (9 January - 1 March 1967)
198 Works Section (2 March 1967 - 23 December 1972)
Det 11 Movement Control Group (1 April 1966 - 12 March 1972)
3 Field Troop (14 September 1965 - 31 March 1966)
1 Field Squadron (1 April 1966 - 18 November 1971)
21 Engineer Support Troop (1 April 1966 - 9 December 1971)
Det 55 Advanced Engineer Stores Squadron (1 April 1966 - 16
February
     1968)
Det 55 Engineer Workshop & Park Squadron (17 February 1968 -
12 March
     1972)
55 Engineer Workshop & Park Squadron
17 Construction Squadron (1 April 1966 - 12 February 1972)
Det 11 Movement Control Group (1 April 1966 - 12 March 1972)
30 Terminal Squadron (9 January 1967 - 12 March 1972)
Det 1 Division Postal Unit (1 April 1966 - 8 November 1967)
Det 1 Communication Zone Postal Unit (19 October 1966 - 23
February
     1972)
1 Small Ship Troop (Clive Steele) (26 June - 23 November
1966, 3
     December 1966 - 9 January 1967, 17 January - 16 March
1967, 29
     January 1968 - 27 April 1969, 21 July 1969 - 2 March
1970, 11
     July - 3 September 1970 and 2 March - 12 March 1971)
I Small Ship Troop (Harry Chauvel) (23 October 1967 - 21
March 1968
     and 2 May - 6 June 1970) 
3 Small Ship Troop (Veron Sturdee) (11 April - 25 June 1966
and 23
     January - 14 December 1967)
4 Small Ship Troop (Brudenell White) (22 September- 24
October
     1970)Det 32 Small Ship Squadron (John Monash) (5 May -
14 May
     1966,3 December 1967 - 31 January 1968, 17 February -
31 March
     1968, 16 December- 26 December 1968, 20 February - 4
March 1969,
     25 October - 7 December 1969 and 27 July - 14 August
1971)
Det 32 Small Ship Squadron (Clive Steele) (23 February - 20
March
     1971)
Det 32 Small Ship Squadron (Harry Chauvel) (11 November - 15
December
     1970)

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN SURVEY CORPS

Det 1 Topographical Survey Troop A (1966-1971)
Section 1 Topographical Survey Troop (1966-1971)

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN SIGNAL CORPS

HQ 145 Signal Squadron
709 Signal Troop (25 May 1965 - 20 November 1967)
527 Signal Troop (14 September 1965 - 5 July 1967, absorbed
into 145
     Signal Squadron)
547 Signal Troop (1 April 1966 - 23 December 1971)
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 April 1966 - 5 July 1067)

104 Signal Squadron (TF) (2 March 1967 - 15 December 1971,
replaced
     103 Signal Squadron)
110 Signal Squadron (2 March 1967 - 12 March 1972, replaced
145 Signal
     Squadron)
Det 152 Signal Squadron (SAS) (31 August 1966 - 15 October
1971)
AAAGV Signal Detachment (12 March - December 1972)

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY

First Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR)
2 Tours 25 May 1965 - 14 July 1966, 19 January 1968 - 28
January 1969

Second Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (2 RAR) (2 RARINZ
Anzac
Battalion)
2 Tours 20 March 1967 - 18 June 1968, 28 April 1970 - 4 June
1971

Third Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) (Old
Faithful)
2 Tours 12 December 1967 - 5 December 1968, 12 February 1971
- 19
October 1971

Fourth Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (4 RAR) (Anzac)
2 Tours 20 January 1968 - 30 May 1969, 1 May 1970 - 12 March
1972

Fifth Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (5 RAR)
2 Tours 1 April 1966 - 4 July 1967, 28 January 1969 - 5
March 1970

Sixth Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR)
2 Tours 1 April 1966 - 5 July 1967, 7 May 1969 - 28 May 1970
(this
tour was as 6 RAR/ NZ-Anzac Battalion)

Seventh Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (7 RAR)
2 Tours April 1967 - April 1968, February 1970 - March 1971

Eighth Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (8 RAR)
November 1969 - November 1970

Ninth Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (9 RAR)
5 November 1968 - 5 December 1969

SPECIAL AIR SERVICE REGIMENT

April 1966 - October 1971
One Squadron Special Air Service
1967- 1968
1970- 1971
Two Squadron Special Air Service
1968- 1969
1971
Three Squadron Special Air Service
1966- 1967
1969- 1970

AUSTRALIAN ARMY AVIATION CORPS

161 Reconnaissance Flight 14th September 1965 - 8 March 1972
161 (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight

AUSTRALIAN INTELLIGENCE CORPS

Detachment 1 Division Intelligence Unit 15 May 1966 - 2
October 1971
1 Psychological Operations Unit

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN ARMY SERVICE CORPS (RAASC)

Bien Hoa
RAASC Detachment 1965

Vung Tau
HQ 1 Company RAASC (1966-67)
1 Transport Platoon RAASC (April 1966 - July 1967)
87 Transport Platoon RAASC (April 1966 - July 1967)
Detachment 276 AD Company (April 1966 - May 1967)
Detachment 1 Division Postal Unit (April 1966 - November
1967)
HQ S Company RAASC (March 1967 - March 1972)
2 Transport Platoon (April 1967 - November 1970)
85 Transport Platoon (Tipper) (March 1967 - September 1971)
86 Transport Platoon (January 1967 - March 1972)

Saigon
Detachment 1 Comm Z Postal Unit (October 1966 - February
1972)

Nui Dat
HQ 26 Company RAASC (November 1969 - June 1971)
85 Transport Platoon (March 1967 - September 1971)
Elm 176 AD Company (June 1967 - November 1971)
Elm 1 Comm Z Postal Unit (1967 - June 196B)

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN ARMY MEDICAL CORPS (RAAMC)

1 Australian Field Hospital (13 November 1967 - 14 December
1971)
2 Field Ambulance (1 April 1966 - 5 July 1967)
8 Field Ambulance (2 March 1967 - 12 March 1972)
Detachment 1 Field Medical/Dental Unit (20 November 1967 -
25 November
     1971)
Detachment 1 Field Medical/Dental Equipment Detachment (20
November
     1967 - 25 November 1971)
Detachment 1 Field Hygiene Company (5 December 1967 - 12
March 1972)

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN ARMY DENTAL CORPS

33 Dental Unit May 1966 - March 1972

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN ARMY NURSING CORPS

5 May 1967 - 25 Nov. 1971

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 April 1966 - 15
November 1967)
- 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 January 1967)
2 Advanced Ordnance Depot (includes subunits listed above,
16 November
     1967 - 12 March 1972)
1 Independent Armoured Sqn Workshop stores Section
(redesignated, 29
     January - 2 February 1968)
101 Field Workshop Stores Section (1 April 1966 - 5 July
1067)
102 Field Workshop Stores Section (2 March 1967 - 12 March
1972)

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERS
(1965-1971)

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 (LAD)
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)

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 8th
August
1964 - 1st June 1966
Base Support night May 1966 - April 1968
Number 1 Operational Support Unit February 1968 - February
1972
Number 2 Squadron Airfield Construction Squadron (Detachment
B)) 1964
     - 1972
Royal Australian Air Force Element 161 Recce Flight 14th
September
     1965 - 8th March 1972

No. 35 Squadron 1st June 1966 - February 1972

The first RAAF operational unit to see service in Vietnam,
the RAAF
transport flight, arrived in August 1964 with six Caribou
aircraft.
The unit was redesignated as No. 35 Squadron on 1 June 1966.
The
Squadron left Vietnam in February 1972.

No.9 Squadron April 1966 - November 1971

No.9 Squadron, equipped with Iroquois helicopters was
allotted to the
1st Australian Task Force.

No. 2 Squadron April 1967 - June 1971

The third and last RAAF operational squadron to serve in
Vietnam was
No.2 Squadron. It returned to Australia in June 1971,13
years after
having left Australia from Darwin en route to Butterworth,
Malaysia.

RAAF Members also served with the United States Air Force
1964 - 1972
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 FLlGHT)

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.

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.

EVERYMANS WELFARE ORGANISATION

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

(Source: Kirkland, F.,  Sometimes Forgotten, Plaza
Historical Service,
Sydney, 1990)

--Brian
Ross---------------------------------------------------
"There can be no more melancholy, nor in the last result, no
more
degrading spectacle on earth than the spectacle of
oppression, or of
wrong in whatever form, inflicted by the deliberate act of a
nation
upon another nation..Gladstone

=================================================================
Copyright (c) 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.

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