History of the
1. 6RAR was raised under Lieutenant
Colonel C.M. Townsend in Brisbane at Alamein Barracks, Enoggera on 6
June 1965. Initially the Battalion consisted of a nucleus command
structure of Officers and NCO, two rifle companies and some specialists
provided by 2RAR.
2. The Battalion was brought up to
full strength when a large draft of soldiers from the first National
Service intake arrived in September 1965.
Vietnam 1966 - 1967
3. Following an intensive period of
training for war, the Battalion flew by Qantas 707's from Amberley for
South Vietnam in May 1966. The Battalion arrived in time to celebrate
its first birthday at Vung Tau before moving forward to join 5RAR at Nui
Dat in Phuoc Tuy Province and entering service as part of 1ATF.
4. During the period June to August
1966, 6RAR conducted two major operations. Operation ENOGGERA was the
search and clearance of the previously unsettled village of Long Phuoc,
and Operation HOBART was a five-day search and destroy mission. The two
operations accounted for 36 enemy casualties and the destruction of
several camp installations and caches.
5. Operation HOBART also saw the
Battalion come in contact with the enemy provincial Mobile Battalion
D445 which was subsequently met and defeated at Long Tan.
to hear 'Attack'
hear 'Retreat' as played by buglers of D445
during the battle.
Vung Tau, Vietnam. 1966-08-26.
Private Jimmy Richmond, 11 Platoon, the 6th Battalion, The Royal
Australian Regiment (6RAR), wounded in the chest, spent the night at
his section post after the Battle of Long Tan. Responding well after
his ordeal he receives treatment in hospital from US Army Nurse
6. A mortar and recoilless rifle
attack on the Task Force area opened operation SMITHFIELD on the night
of 16/17 August 1966. B Company was initially dispatched to clear the
area to the east of the Task Force base. D Company took over from B
Company on 18 August 1966. D Company made contact with the enemy force
of regimental size and were soon under attack from three sides. The
battle was fought into the night under a blanket of mist and heavy
monsoonal rain, but D Company held its ground with heroism and grim
determination. The remainder of the Battalion deployed to aid the
beleaguered Company. With the help of armoured personnel carriers of 3
Troop, 1st APC Squadron they hit the flank of a battalion size force
which was forming up to assault the rear of D Company, inflicted many
casualties and forced the enemy from the battlefield. A Presidential
Unit Citation was awarded to D Company by then President of the United
States, Lyndon B. Johnson. 18 August is now commemorated each year as
Long Tan Day, in memory of the eighteen soldiers who gave their lives in
Long Tan Cross
LONG TAN VIET NAM
<< as was
7. Between August 1966 and its
departure to Australia in June 1967, 6RAR took part in seventeen more
Battalion operations and supported a number of 5RAR operations. These
operations along with the routine patrolling around the Task Force area
gradually wrested control of the province from the Viet Cong.
8. Twenty-three members of the
Battalion received gallantry awards for the tour and 37 members gave
Townsville 1967 - 1969
9. The Battalion celebrated its second
birthday at sea aboard HMAS SYDNEY during the return voyage to
Australia. On arrival in Townsville the Battalion occupied Long Tan
Lines at Lavarack Barracks and on 8 January 1968 Lieutenant Colonel
D.M.Butler assumed command of the Battalion.
10. On 10 May 1968 His Excellency, the
Governor General of Australia, The Right Honourable Lord Casey, GCMG,
CH, DSO, MC, K St J, presented 6RAR with the Queens and Regimental
11. The Presidential Unit Citation
awarded to D Company for the battle of Long Tan was presented to the
Officer Commanding D Company, by the Prime Minister of Australia, The
Right Honourable J.G.Gorton, MP, at Long Tan Lines, Lavarack Barracks on
18 August 1968.
12. The Battalion then commenced
another period of intensive training for war.
Vietnam 1969 - 1970
13. 6RAR embarked on HMAS Sydney for
it's second tour of duty in South Vietnam from Townsville in May 1969,
to relieve 4RAR. Once in Vietnam the Battalion was renamed 6RAR/NZ
(ANZAC) Battalion on 19 May 1969. This reflected the inclusion of a New
Zealand component of two rifle companies, two sections of mortars and
two assault pioneer sections.
14. The first Battalion operation was
one of the most productive of the tour. Operation LAVARACK started on 30
May 1969 with the establishment of a fire-support and patrol base to the
North of Nui Dat. Each company then commenced reconnaissance in force of
separate operational areas. By the time the operations ended on 1 July
1969 there had been 85 contacts which cost the enemy 102 dead and at
least 22 wounded. The Battalion casualties were three dead and 29
|15. The third anniversary of the
Battle of Long Tan was commemorated by a memorial service on the
original battle ground during which a large cross was erected. >>>
16. During the tour, 15 Battalion
operations were conducted. Reflecting the increasing control that the
Australians exerted over the province, 6RAR/NZ (ANZAC) was called on
several times to assist in civil community projects and in the training
of local government forces. Positive signs of the disintegration of the
enemy's command and supply system were identified and by the end of the
tour the enemy were forced to operate in small groups only and struggle
for their very existence.
17. As an indication of the success of
the tour the enemy suffered 260 dead, 64 confirmed wounded and 54
captured as a result of Battalion operations. The Battalion also
captured 480 assorted weapons and 13 tonnes of rice. The Battalion
losses were 24 killed and 148 wounded. Twenty eight members received
gallantry awards for the second tour.
Townsville 1970 - 1971
18. Between April and May 1970, 6RAR
returned once more to Townsville occupying Samichon Lines.
19. On 1 June 1970 Lieutenant Colonel
D.A.Drabsch assumed command of the Battalion.
20. The Battalion then began training
for its forthcoming tour of duty in Singapore. The Battalion Colours
were trooped on 18 August 1970 to mark the fourth anniversary of the
Battle of Long Tan and on 4 June 1971, 6RAR was granted the Freedom of
the City of Townsville.
21. By the end of August 1971, 6RAR
established itself in Selarang Barracks, Singapore. 6RAR joined the 1st
Battalion, The Royal New Zealand Regiment and 1st Battalion, The Royal
Highland Fusiliers (replaced by the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders in
1973) in the 28 ANZUK Brigade based at Kanga Barracks, Sembawang
22. Lieutenant Colonel J.B. Healy
assumed command of the Battalion in December 1972.
23. Until its departure the Battalion
was involved in a number of tri-national exercises up to Brigade level.
All of these exercises were conducted in Johore State.
24. With the change in government it
was decided to withdraw the Battalion group from Singapore at the end of
1973. The Battalion returned to Enoggera Barracks, Brisbane between December
1973 and January 1974.
Enoggera 1974 - Present
25. Upon the return to Brisbane, 6RAR
was almost immediately committed to aiding the Brisbane community during
and after the Australia Day Floods.
26. After returning to Brisbane 6RAR
resumed training for conventional warfare.
27. Lieutenant Colonel A.W.Hammett
assumed command of the Battalion on 29 March 1974.
28. The Battalion continued to train
at company and battalion level until March 1975 when it moved to Darwin
to assist in the clean-up after cyclone 'Tracy'.
29. Lieutenant Colonel P.A.Strokes
assumed command of the Battalion on 30 July 1976.
30. Lieutenant Colonel M.J.Harris, MC
assumed command of the Battalion on 23 January 1978.
31. Lieutenant Colonel A.I.Mattay
assumed command of the Battalion on 12 December 1979.
32. Early in 1980, 6TF was directed to
form a parachute group based on an infantry rifle company. This role was
given to D Company 6RAR. By February 1981 the Battalion had it reached
its target of 180 parachutists and the first full-scale deployment was
undertaken near Ross in Tasmania, in Exercise DISTANT BRIDGE.
33. Lieutenant Colonel P.J.Langford
assumed command of the Battalion in January 1982.
34. In 1982 6RAR provided significant
support to the Commonwealth Games held in Brisbane. Driver support,
ceremonial activities, range butt parties and general administrative
support were some of the major tasks allocated to the Battalion. 6RAR
also provided the Flag Party for the Closing Ceremony of the Games.
35. At the end of the Long Tan
celebrations, Mrs George Chinn officially opened the Battalion Museum.
The Museum is named after Warrant Officer Class One George Chinn DCM,
the first RSM of 6RAR.
36. The significant contribution by
6RAR in the development of parachute doctrine for the training and
operations in the Australian Army came to an end in late 1983. The final
D Company jump was conducted at Mount Walker on 8 November 1983, with
the parachute role now passing to 3RAR.
37. Lieutenant Colonel A.S.D'Hage MC,
assumed command of the Battalion in December 1983.
38. Lieutenant Colonel L.J.Studley
assumed command of the Battalion in December 1985.
39. Lieutenant Colonel D.J.Mead
assumed command of the Battalion in January 1988. On 15 September 1988,
the Battalion was presented with the new Queen's and Regimental Colours
by His Excellency, The Governor of Queensland, Sir Walter Campbell QC.
The old Queen's and Regimental Colours were laid up at St John's
Cathedral, Brisbane, on 13 November 1988.
40. In January 1989 6RAR became the
first unit in the Australian Army to be issued with the new service
rifle, the F88 Austeyr. In March 1989, the Battalion deployed to
California, USA, to exercise with the American 7th Light Division. This
was the first time since the Army's withdrawal from Singapore that a
complete Battalion had deployed outside of Australia. 6RAR were
appointed ambassadors for the City of Brisbane in Monterey, California.
41. In August 19889, 6RAR deployed to
Wyndham in the East Kimberlies to participate in Exercise Kangaroo 89,
where the Battalion's main role was to protect vital assets in and
around Wyndham and protect the main approaches to the south.
42. Lieutenant Colonel A.J.Molan
assumed command of the Battalion in January 1990.
43. In April 1990, 6RAR became the
first unit in the Australian Army to be issued with the Section Light
Support Weapon, the F89 Minimi.
44. In April 1990, 6RAR was once again
reacted to provide flood relief assistance after heavy rains in Central
Queensland. A company sized group deployed to the towns of Charleville
and Cunnamulla providing manpower, stores and ration support to the
45. Lieutenant Colonel M.Evans assumed
command of the Battalion in January 1992.
46. In February 1992 the Battalion was
re-roled as a Motorised Battalion. In the same year, following the
introduction of the Ready Reserve (RRes) Scheme, the Battalion was
converted to RRes Motorised Battalion. This involved the re-raising of C
Company to cater for the first intake of RRes soldiers in mid 1992. It
was the first time C Company had operated as a rifle company since the
Battalion was formed.
47. An RRes Motorised Battalion the
unit was structured with three part time rifle companies (A, B & C)
and one full time RRes rifle company (D). BHQ, Spt and Admin Companies
also had RRes elements.
48. Lieutenant Colonel G.R.Baker
assumed command of the Battalion in December 1993 and was replaced in December
1995 by Lieutenant Colonel S.J.Dunn.
49. On the 9th of February 1997, the
RRes Scheme was concluded by the Government and the Battalion was
selected to trail the new "A21 Motorised Battalion' organization under the Restructuring of the Army (RTA). On the 1 July 1997 the unit
adopted the A21 Motorised Battalion structure which sees traditional
supporting arms (Armour, Artillery, Engineers, Signals and Intelligence)
embedded within, and under command of the unit.
50. As an integrated A21 Motorised
Battalion, the unit was structured with one part time and one full time
Motorised Rifle Company (A & D respectively). Fire Support Company
included Indirect Fire Platoon of 4 x 155mm howitzers and 120mm mortars
replicated by 2 x 105mm field guns, Direct Fire Platoon of 4 x LAV 25s
and Weapon Locating/AMS Section. Reconnaissance and Surveillance Company
included Reconnaissance Platoon, Surveillance Platoon, Combat Engineer Platoon
& Sniper Section, and Combat Service Support Company did all the old
Admin Coy tasks.
51. On the 13 December 1997 Lieutenant
Colonel J.F. Edwards assumed command of the Battalion.
52. In December 1999 Lieutenant
Colonel M.J.Moon assumed command of the Battalion.
53. In 2000 the Battalion disbanded
the Motorised Battalion structure and commenced training for active
service in East Timor as a regular Infantry Battalion. The Battalion was
brought up to full strength with Regular and Reserve soldiers and later
deployed to East Timor as the 6RAR Group. At the end of the Battalion's
six month tour of duty in East Timor the Battalion returned to Long Tan
Lines, Gallipoli Barracks Enoggera.
||Vietnam. 1966-10. Evaluating a captured
communist Chicom assault rifle during a test fire in Phuoc Tuy
Province is Private Jeff Peters of Yagoona, Brisbane, Qld. On his
right in the background is test supervisor, Company Sergeant Major
(CSM) Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Jack Kirby of Windsor, Brisbane,
Qld. The rifle was among weapons captured by D Company, the 6th
Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), during the battle
of Long Tan.