The Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans honours and commemorates approximately 61,000 people who served in Australia's defence forces during the period 23 May 1962 to 29 April 1975 either in Vietnam or in the waters adjacent to Vietnam.
The Nominal Roll is an index of information that provides a 'snapshot' of individual service gathered from service records.
You can search for an individual's Vietnam War service details, print a commemorative certificate, provide feedback, and print a permission letter to use a service badge for commemorative purposes.
French forces returned to Indo-China after the end of World War II to reassert colonial rule. The First Indo-China War began in late 1945. In 1950, Ho Chi Minh declared a Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). Australia, following the lead of the US and Great Britain, recognised the French-sponsored government of South Vietnam. As the French withdrew in the early 1950s, American support of South Vietnam increased. During the early 1960s, pressure from the USA for Australian support of South Vietnam increased.
24 May: The Australian Government announces the dispatch of thirty military advisors to South Vietnam.
31 July: Colonel Francis 'Ted' Serong, commander of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), arrives at Saigon.
3 August: The main body of the AATTV arrives at Saigon.
9 May: The first Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) operational mission begins with a Dakota from the Transport Flight of No. 2 Squadron flying in food and medical supplies for refugees.
1 June: The first Australian military death in the war occurs when Sergeant William Hacking of the AATTV is accidentally killed.
8 June: The Australian Government announces expansion of the AATTV, with advisors able to serve in combatant units.
6 July: The first Australian combat death occurs when Warrant Officer Kevin Conway of the AATTV is killed in action at Nam Dong.
8 August: The first RAAF unit is deployed-RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam arrives at Tan Son Nhut with Caribou aircraft. 10 November: The National Service (Conscription) Act is passed to reintroduce national service.
10 March: The first ballot for National Service is drawn.
29 April: The Australian Government announces commitment of an infantry battalion.
3 June: Leading troops of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), land in South Vietnam for deployment to Bien Hoa. This also marks the first use of Qantas charter flights to move troops into (and out of) South Vietnam-they become known as 'skippy flights'.
8 June: The transport ship (converted aircraft carrier) HMAS Sydney, with destroyer escort HMAS Parramatta and HMAS Duchess, arrives at Vung Tau on the first naval logistical support operation.
30 June: The first National Service intake begins recruit training.
17 August: The Australian Government approves an increase of the force in Bien Hoa to a battalion group, with 1RAR to be supported by artillery, additional armoured personnel carriers, engineers, army aviation and further logistical support.
13 November: The first Victoria Cross of the war is awarded to Warrant Officer Kevin 'Dasher' Wheatley of the AATTV, killed in action.
8 March: The Australian Government announces the deployment of a task force of nearly 4500 troops, including two infantry battalions, Special Air Service (SAS) troops and support units, to be deployed in Phuoc Tuy.
May-June: 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) is established at Nui Dat and 1st Australian Logistic Support Group (1ALSG) is established at Vung Tau, Phuoc Tuy.
24 May: The First National Service death on active service and the first death recorded in 1ATF occurs when Private Errol Noack of 5RAR dies of wounds.
30 June: Prime Minister Harold Holt, visiting Washington DC, pledges that Australia would go 'all the way' in support of American policy in Vietnam
18 August: The Battle of Long Tan is fought as 'D' Company, 6RAR, runs into a much larger enemy force and eighteen Australians (including one of the relief force) are killed. The anniversary has become Vietnam Veterans' Day.
22 December: The Australian Government announces further increases in the military contribution to defence of South Vietnam.
6 February 1967: The first Royal Australian Navy (RAN) unit is deployed 'in country' when the Clearance Diving Team 3 arrives in Vietnam.
15 March: The first Australian warship deployed for service on the gun line, HMAS Hobart, joins the US Seventh Fleet at Subic Bay, The Philippines.
5 May: The first Australian servicewomen sent to Vietnam-four nurses of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps-arrive on posting to the 8th Field Ambulance.
26 May: The first 'Anzac battalion' arrives, with V Company of the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Regiment, attached to 2RAR, forming 2RAR/NZ.
19 June: The first RAAF death occurs when Leading Aircraftman Gaetano La Grasta of Base Support Flight, Vung Tau, is murdered.
18 October: The Australian Government announces a further commitment of forces, including a third infantry battalion and an armoured squadron.
29 January: North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launch the Tet Offensive, with major attacks across South Vietnam.
1 February: Australian troops clear Baria of enemy forces.
12 February: The Australian Government indicates no further increase in forces to Vietnam.
22 February: The first RAN death occurs when Lieutenant-Commander Patrick John Vickers of RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam dies on a combat flight.
13 May: The Battle of Coral/Balmoral begins with a heavy enemy attack against Fire Support Base Coral; after a second attack on 15 May, Australian casualties are fifteen killed and fifty-six wounded.
26-28 May: Australians defend Fire Support Base Balmoral against attacks.
6 June: The fourth and final Victoria Cross of the war is awarded to Warrant Officer Keith Payne, AATTV.
6 June: Australian troops clear Binh Ba of a strong enemy force.
16 December: With US forces gradually being withdrawn, the Australian Government advises that Australian forces will also be withdrawn.
22 April: The Australian Government announces that automatic replacement of battalions at the end of their tour will cease.
12 November: 8RAR returns to Australia at the end of its tour-it is the first battalion not replaced, with reduction of 1ATF underway.
30 March: The Australian Government announces further cuts to Australian forces in South Vietnam, including the withdrawal of Canberra bombers.
18 August: The Australian Government announces the withdrawal of the bulk of Australian forces.
21 September: The last Australians are killed in action-Privates Brian Charles Beilken, James Duff, Keith Michael Kingston-Powles, Ralph James Niblett and Roderick James SPRIGG, all of 4RAR.
27 October: The last Australian serviceman to die within Vietnam, Staff Sergeant John Hall of the 12th Field Regiment, is murdered. Some personnel wounded in Vietnam were to die in Australia after this date.
3 November: The only Australian servicewoman to lose her life during the war, Temporary Captain Barbara Frances Black of the 1st Field Hospital, dies in Fitzroy, Victoria.
7 November: The last Australian infantry battalion in Vietnam, 4RAR, departs Nui Dat for home.
5 March: The last units of 1ALSG depart Vung Tau. Australia's commitment to South Vietnam is now limited to about 150 troops of the AATTV and Australian Army Assistance Group Vietnam (AAAGV).
15 July: The final death of an Australian named on the nation's Roll of Honour for the Vietnam War occurs when Private Arthur John Gibson of 7RAR dies at Liverpool Hospital, NSW.
5 December: Conscription ends.
18 December: The withdrawal of the AATTV and AAAGV marks the end of Australia's military commitment to South Vietnam. Some troops remain to guard the Australian Embassy.
27 January: a ceasefire between North and South Vietnam comes into effect after US President Nixon announces that an agreement has been reached for 'peace with honour'.
March: The last US forces depart Vietnam.
30 June: The last Australian troop based in South Vietnam, the Saigon Embassy Guard Platoon, is withdrawn.
4 January: After violations of the ceasefire by both sides, South Vietnam declares that the war has restarted. Without American support, South Vietnamese forces struggle to contain an enemy offensive.
March: North Vietnamese forces advance on Saigon and Khmer Rouge forces seize control of neighbouring Cambodia.
29 March: RAAF Hercules and Dakota aircraft are dispatched to assist humanitarian efforts in South Vietnam and Cambodia. They deliver Red Cross and United Nations supplies and evacuate embassy officials and their families and also some refugees, including war orphans evacuated from Saigon to Bangkok in Operation Baby Lift.
25 April: Australian military involvement in the war ends with the last RAAF flights out of Saigon.
30 April: North Vietnamese forces capture Saigon, effectively ending the Vietnam War.
The Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans honours and commemorates approximately 61,000 people who served in Australia's defence forces during the period 23 May 1962 to 29 April 1975.
The Nominal Roll is an index of information that provides a 'snapshot' of individual service gathered from service records.
You can search for an individual's Vietnam War service details, print a commemorative certificate, provide us with feedback if you wish, and find information about using a service badge for commemorative purposes.
The Nominal Roll includes approximately 13,600 members of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), 41,700 members of the Australian Army, and 4,900 members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) who served in the Vietnam War operational area.
The Roll also includes RAAF personnel who served in Ubon, Thailand, between 25 June 1965 and 31 August 1968. The Roll was expanded to include this service in response to changes in the criteria for the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal (VLSM) in 2013.
This website also contains the names of more than 1,600 Australian civilians. These civilians were members of groups that were either included in Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986 or were eligible for campaign or operational medals.
Australians who enlisted with other Commonwealth or Allied Forces are not included in this Nominal Roll. Respective overseas countries hold the service records for those Australians.
The Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans was first released in paperback in April 1996. This was followed by the publication of an updated version in 1997, which was also made available on computer disc. The internet version was launched in 2006.
The current version of the Nominal Roll was gathered from Service records and archival material held by the Department of Defence or other institutions such as the National Archives of Australia or the Australian War Memorial. Additional information concerning those who died during the conflict was obtained from the Office of Australian War Graves and the Australian War Memorial.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the Nominal Roll is as accurate as possible. If you believe the information displayed on the website is incorrect please contact the Nominal Rolls team.
The following Service-specific documentation was used to source the information:
No, typically one or more of these documents would be used to provide as much information as possible. However, in the absence of these preferred forms, other official documents held by the Department of Defence or other institutions (such as the National Archives of Australia or the Australian War Memorial) may be used to gather supporting information. For Navy this material included Next-of-Kin Lists, Reports of Proceedings, Ships' Logs, Navy Lists and Navy Orders. For Air Force it included Unit History Sheets, Personnel Occurrence Reports and Air Force Lists.
There is no single source of data, such as the Service record, for civilians. Therefore only the name and type of participation is displayed. The data was collected from a number of sources including: Australian Maritime Safety Authority for merchant seamen; Department of the Army; Department of Administrative Affairs for medical teams; Department of Foreign Affairs; Philanthropic Organisations whose members served in Vietnam; Qantas; and The Soldiers Career Management Agency for war correspondents and entertainers.
The Nominal Rolls team. at the Department of Veterans' Affairs updates the Roll whenever new information becomes available. If you are aware of an error or omission, please let us know. All information is verified against Department of Defence documentation before the Roll is updated.
Up until 1954, North and South Vietnam had both been part of French Indo-China. The area was occupied by the Japanese during World War II, then French forces returned to reassert colonial rule. The First Indo-China War, an uprising against the French, started in late 1945. When it ended in 1954, an agreement was made to split Indo-China into North and South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The division between North Vietnam (Democratic Republic of Vietnam) and South Vietnam (Republic of Vietnam) was intended to be temporary, with free elections scheduled for July 1956. Reunification was not achieved until, after nearly two decades of war, it was forcibly imposed with the military victory of Communist North Vietnam in April 1975.
The breaking up of Indo-China occurred as the Cold War between the Communist Bloc and the West escalated. Having prevented a Communist takeover of South Korea during the Korean War, the United States (US) was determined to also support South Vietnam. As the French withdrew from the region in the mid 1950s, US support for South Vietnam was stepped up. Direct aid began in 1955, and in 1956 a US Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) was formed to train South Vietnamese forces.
This was an important development, as in 1959 the North Vietnamese sanctioned, and then subsequently supported, a Communist insurgency to destabilise the government and eventually mount a revolution in South Vietnam. The US, Australia and several other countries declared their support for South Vietnam and, in the face of mounting guerrilla successes, soon found themselves under pressure to increase their support by providing direct military assistance to the South Vietnamese.
After several overtures, in December 1961 the Republic of Vietnam requested Australian military assistance. After consulting with the Defence Committee and the Americans, Prime Minister Menzies agreed to commit a small number of Australian troops. On 24 May 1962 the Government announced the dispatch of military advisers to assist in the training of South Vietnamese forces. On 31 July the first members of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) arrived in Saigon.
The AATTV was at first restricted to training troops of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). The only other Australian military involvement at this stage was a single transport aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) that was sent in with food and medical supplies for refugees. On 1 June 1963, the first Australian death in the war was recorded when Sergeant William Hacking of the AATTV was accidentally killed. The AATTV continued in its role of training South Vietnamese troops, and in June 1964 the Australian Government announced that the unit would be expanded and that henceforth, advisors could serve in combatant units. The first Australian combat death was recorded not long afterwards, with Warrant Officer Kevin Conway of the AATTV being killed in action at Nam Dong on 6 July 1964. A further commitment occurred the following month, when the RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam was deployed with Caribou aircraft.
With pressure coming from the Americans as well as the South Vietnamese for an increased military commitment, the Australian Government made a key decision to boost the strength of its military forces. This would provide for an increased commitment in Vietnam and also meet other national and regional defence needs. On 10 November 1964, the National Service (Conscription) Act was passed to reintroduce national service. Whilst this decision was not specifically related to the Vietnam War, the war was a large factor-men conscripted for a period of two years were liable to be sent to Vietnam as well as other locations. The first ballot for National Service was drawn in March 1965, with the first intake beginning recruit training that June.
In early 1965, the Australian Government agreed to dispatch an infantry battalion to South Vietnam. The leading troops of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), landed on 3 June in a chartered Qantas aircraft. This was the first use of Qantas charters to move troops into (and out of) South Vietnam, and 'skippy flights', as they came to be known, would continue at regular intervals almost until the end of Australia's commitment to the war. Another significant event occurred on 8 June, when the transport ship (converted aircraft carrier) HMAS Sydney, with destroyer escort HMAS Parramatta and HMAS Duchess, arrived at Vung Tau on the first of what became regular naval logistical support operations.
1RAR, the only infantry battalion deployed to Vietnam that was comprised wholly of regular troops, was deployed in Bien Hoa with the US 173rd Airborne Brigade. It was soon built up to a battalion group with artillery, armoured personnel carriers, army aviation and logistical support units. The battalion group saw some heavy fighting, suffering twenty-three men killed during its one-year tour of duty. Meanwhile, members of the AATTV continued serving with South Vietnamese forces, and on 13 November 1965 Warrant Officer Kevin 'Dasher' Wheatley of the AATTV was killed in action. His was the first of four Victoria Crosses awarded to Australians, all members of the AATTV, in this war.
In March 1966, the Australian Government announced the deployment of a larger force. Its 4 500 troops would include two infantry battalions, Special Air Service (SAS) troops and supporting units. The 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) was to be deployed in Phuoc Tuy Province, south-east of Saigon. This area was allocated to the Australians after negotiations with the South Vietnamese and Americans-Phuoc Tuy was away from the Cambodian border and areas in the north where fighting was expected to be heavier, and it was on the coast, which would enable the Australians to control their own logistical support with deliveries by sea as well as air.
Between April and June 1966, 1ATF was established at Nui Dat, in the centre of Phuoc Tuy. During operations to secure the area, the Task Force suffered its first battle death on 24 May, when Private Errol Noack of 5RAR died of wounds-he was also the first National Serviceman to lose his life on active service. At the same time as the operational base was established, the 1st Australian Logistic Support Group established the logistical base on the coast at Vung Tau.
Within two months, the first big battle was fought, when 'D' Company, 6RAR, ran into a large enemy force moving against Nui Dat. In heavy fighting at Xa Long Tan, 'D' Company held out for several hours until a relief force reached them. The Australians lost eighteen men killed-seventeen from 'D' Company and one from the relief force-and twenty-four wounded, while inflicting at least 245 dead on the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong force. This battle asserted Australian dominance on Phuoc Tuy.
The Australians' presence in the province was not seriously challenged again, but control of Phuoc Tuy required constant and determined operations by 1ATF both inside the Province and also sometimes in areas of neighbouring Provinces, especially in 1968 during the enemy's Tet and other offensives. While big battles such as Long Tan and later Coral/Balmoral in May 1968 or Binh Ba in June 1969 made the headlines, for the most part troops of 1ATF conducted extensive patrols or cordon-and-search operations, and clashes were of a smaller scale than in other wars-as was to be expected in counter-insurgency warfare.
The brunt of operations and casualties was borne by the nine infantry battalions that served on rotation in South Vietnam, two or three at a time-1RAR through to 7RAR serving two tours each, and 8RAR and 9RAR, formed later, serving one tour each. Some supporting units also served one-year rotations, while other units were deployed to Vietnam for several years, with the personnel rotated through on deployments of up to one year.
The RAAF contributed three flying units-No. 2 Squadron with Canberra bombers, which bombed enemy supply lines and also conducted close air support; No. 9 Squadron with Iroquois helicopters that were used as gunships and for battle area transports and medical evacuations; and No. 35 Squadron, the enlarged and retitled Transport Flight Vietnam, with Caribou aircraft, which flew transport sorties all over South Vietnam. In addition, several ground units essential for logistical support and for construction and maintenance of airfields, such as No. 5 Airfield Construction Squadron, were deployed. A small number of Australian pilots were also attached to US squadrons, usually as forward air controllers.
Throughout the course of the main Australian deployment, Hercules aircraft from Nos 36 and 37 Squadrons based at Richmond, New South Wales, made regular supply flights into South Vietnam and, with staff of No. 4 RAAF Hospital at Butterworth, Malaysia, also conducted medical evacuation flights of wounded and sick personnel. At the same time, Qantas aircraft chartered by the military delivered many troops at the start of their tours and brought home many whose tours had finished.
Across the border in Thailand, between 1965 and 1968, No. 79 Squadron and its support units were providing base protection on behalf of the USAF, supporting the air campaign over North Vietnam. This involved maintaining the highest sustainable armed air defence alert of Alert State Five from dawn to dusk seven days a week.
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) mounted a considerable logistical support operation through the main Australian deployment. The transport ship HMAS Sydney and the leased merchant ships HMAS Jeparit and HMAS Boonaroo, with their destroyer escorts, conducted more than twenty logistical support missions, delivering units, equipment and supplies from Australia to South Vietnam. Some Australian Army personnel served in Sydney on liaison duties, as the ship mainly carried army personnel and materiel to and from the war zone, while a small number of merchant seamen served alongside naval personnel in Jeparit and Boonaroo. The 'Vung Tau ferry', as Sydney became known, also returned with units that had completed their tours and later evacuated equipment as the Australian commitment was wound down.
Starting with HMAS Hobart during 1967, several destroyers were attached to the US Seventh Fleet for operations on the gun line off the Vietnamese coast. The warships patrolled coastal waters and took part in naval bombardments. On shore, the first unit deployed was Clearance Diving Team 3, which examined vessels for mines and conducted de-mining operations in harbours and rivers and on land. The RAN Helicopter Flight was also deployed, attached to the US Army's 135th Assault Helicopter Company, flying Iroquois helicopters on gunship, battle-area transport and medical evacuation flights.
Australian civilians also served in the operational area, following patterns set in previous wars. Members of philanthropic organisations, such as the Australian Red Cross, Salvation Army and the YMCA, served with military units in several roles including supporting medical and nursing staffs in the care of hospital patients, distributing 'comforts' to dispersed units, and offering religious guidance and moral support. Other civilians served in the logistical support role, including merchant seamen on the supply ships HMAS Jeparit and Boonaroo, and Qantas flight crews on military-chartered 'skippy flights' that carried personnel into and out of South Vietnam. There were also performers and technicians flown in to entertain the troops, Department of Defence and other public servants, contractors, and the like. Serving elsewhere in South Vietnam were civilian medical teams raised under the auspices of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO). Raised by hospitals around Australia, they delivered medical services and aid to the Vietnamese people.
After the enemy's Tet Offensive in 1968, support for the war diminished. Anti-war movements had begun in the USA and Australia, and protests intensified. By 1970, the USA and its partners were reducing their military commitments to South Vietnam. In early 1971 Prime Minister McMahon announced that Australian forces would be withdrawn. This was achieved over the following year. The last members of the AATTV and Australian Army Assistance Group Vietnam were pulled out in December 1972. Only a small number of Australian troops then remained in South Vietnam.
A ceasefire was announced on 27 January 1973. This enabled American and allied forces to complete their withdrawals. The last remaining Australian troops, the Saigon Embassy Guard, were pulled out on 30 June 1973.
With American and allied, including Australian, forces withdrawn from the war, an uneasy truce existed between North and South Vietnam. On 4 January 1974, after violations of the ceasefire by both sides, South Vietnam declared that the war was restarted. Without American military support, South Vietnamese forces struggled to contain an enemy offensive. By March 1975, North Vietnamese forces were advancing on Saigon. Meanwhile, Khmer Rouge forces seized control of neighbouring Cambodia.
During March and April 1975, RAAF Hercules and Dakota aircraft were dispatched to assist humanitarian efforts in South Vietnam, with one flight also into Cambodia. They delivered Red Cross and United Nations supplies and evacuated embassy officials and their families, foreign nationals and some refugees, namely war orphans evacuated from Saigon to Bangkok in Operation Baby Lift. Australia's military involvement in the war ended on 25 April 1975 with the last Hercules flights into and out of Saigon.
On 30 April 1975, North Vietnamese forces captured Saigon. This effectively ended the Vietnam War, which had raged across the country, and into Cambodia and Laos, for nearly two decades-if the First Indo-China War is included, the area had been torn by conflict for almost thirty years.
HMA Ships Vampire and Quickmatch visited Saigon during the period 25 January 1962 to 29 January 1962. The Department of Veterans' Affairs would like to display here the names of the ships' crews during this visit. Unfortunately, despite extensive research, the ships' lists covering this timeframe cannot be located.
If you were a member of either ship at this time please contact the Nominal Rolls team, with your Service number and full name, at email@example.com or telephone 1300 780 133 (local call charge).
The primary purpose in publishing this Nominal Roll is to recognise the Service of those members of Australia's armed force who served in Vietnam.
The Roll was first released in book form in 1996. After that release, it was decided to include, in future versions, particular groups of Australian civilians. In deciding which groups to include, consideration was given to those that were either included in the Veterans Entitlement Act 1986 or eligible for campaign medals.
To retain recognition of their contribution, this website includes the names of members of these groups listed by organisation in alphabetical order. They are not included in the searchable listing.
Of all those sent to Vietnam eleven members of the Australian Army carried out their allotted tasks without a word of complaint, which was all the more commendable considering they could not return home when their tour of duty ended. These veterans were, of course, the tracker dogs used by the Australian Task Force.
The dogs were the core of Combat Tracker Teams that were used from 1967 until the last combat troops departed in1971. Normally two dogs were assigned to each of the Australian Battalions of the Task Force at Nui Dat. Each dog would complete around a three year tour before they were 'retired'. On occasions, as when 2RAR was replaced by 4RAR, which arrived with Milo and Trajan, there were three dogs in the battalion.
Generally, a Tracker Team consisted of the two dogs and their handlers, two visual trackers and two cover men (a machine-gunner and a signaller). However, each Battalion had their own way of doing things and so you will find, for example, in 6RAR during their second tour from June 1969 to May 1970 there were 3 teams in use.
The dogs were trained at the Infantry Centre, at Ingleburn in NSW, and came from a variety of sources, including the local pound. They were outstandingly successful in carrying out their tracking task and, although not trained to detect mines, the dogs were intelligent and sometimes able to do so.
The Australian Army policy was that the dogs would not be brought home at the end of their service. One reason, perhaps not adequately explained at the time, related to an Army veterinary report which noted that large numbers of American tracker dogs in Vietnam had died from a tropical disease, thought (but not confirmed) to be transmitted by ticks. The report recommended that no tracker dogs be allowed back into Australia "even under strict quarantine".
Homes were found with European or Australian families resident in Saigon for 10 of the 11 dogs. One dog, Cassius, died of heat exhaustion after a training run.
In order of arrival in Vietnam, the dogs were
If you have further information concerning the service details of these dogs, please contact the Nominal Rolls Team