Click to escape. Subject to Crown copyright
Category: Conflicts/Vietnam

Click to go up one level

The Australian Order of Battle in the Vietnam War

by Brian Ross (with some additions)

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

for New Zealand Units (1969 only)


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defence between February 1967 and August 1970, and was then stationed at Da Nang until April 1971 when the unit was withdrawn from Vietnam.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.

"The Vung Tau Ferry"

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.

Sydney was a former air craft carrier that had served in the Korean War.

She was converted to a troop carrier and ran an almost ferry like service between Australia and Vung Tau for the 7 years of her commitment to the Viet Nam conflict.

 

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 1967. 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 1966, 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 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 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, paramilitary 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 RAR/NZ 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)

106 Field Workshop Stores Section (took over from 1 Independent Armoured Sqn Workshop Stores Section) added 27/3/2003 by John Strachan, Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd)

1 Ordnance Field Park (located in Nui Dat adjacent the RAASC transport area). added 27/3/2003 by John Strachan, Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd)

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 Headquarters 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 1 Division ST Workshop
5 Company RAASC Workshop
101 Field Workshop (Type A)
102 Field Workshop (Type B)

105 Field Battery Light Aid Detachment Section. (added by a viewer).

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 Flight 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.

 

Frequently Asked Questions: soc.history.war.vietnam

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

 

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


New Zealand Units in SVN as at June 1969

Unit

Location

Authorized Strength

Mission

Headquarters, New Zealand Force, Vietnam  

 Saigon, Gia Dinh    18    Comd and admin support
161st Battery, RNZIR    Nui Dat, Phuoc Tuy    131    Combat
RNZIR component; various appointments with 1st Australian Task Force    Nui Dat, Phuoc Tuy    18    Combat
V Company, RNZIR    Nui Dat, Phuoc Tuy    150    Combat
W Company, RNZIR    Nui Dat, Phuoc Tuy    150    Combat
Administrative Cell    Nui Dat, Phuoc Tuy    9    Admin support
No. 4 Troop, NZ SAS    Nui Dat, Phuoc Tuy    26    Combat
Logistical support element    Nui Dat, Vung Tau, Phuoc Tuy    27    Logistical support
1 NZ Svcs Med Team  Dong Son, Binh Dinh    16    Asst to GVN

 

Statistics : Over 35 million page visitors since  11 Nov 2002  

 

Email  

 Search   Help     Guestbook   Get Updates   Last Post    The Ode      FAQ     Digger Forum

Click for news

Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces