Legacy Needs You


Founded in 1923, Legacy is a uniquely Australian charity. There are 49 Legacy Clubs throughout Australia caring for approximately 65,000 widow(er)s of veterans who have died during or as a result of their operational/war service. Legacy is dedicated to enhancing the lives and opportunities of our families through innovative and practical programs aimed at:
* the protection of individuals’ and families’ basic needs;
* advocating for their entitlements, rights and benefits;
* assisting families through bereavement; and
* helping people thrive, despite their adversity and loss.

The service to Legacy dependants is epitomised by the Legacy Badge (above). The torch represents in its undying flame, the service and sacrifice handed to us by our fallen comrades. The wreath of laurel, with points inverted, represents our remembrance of the valour and sacrifice of those who gave their life for their country.

On the Sunshine Coast, there are 1139 Legacy dependents comprising widows, families and disabled dependents. Even if we were to be blessed with no further loss of our military personnel in the future, Legacy still has a commitment of service to families stretching into the middle of the present century. It also has a role to pursue entitlements for dependants whose veteran partners die as a result of war or Defence service.

Chances are you’ve heard of Legacy, but you may not have heard of Legatees. Legatees are the backbone of Legacy, and deliver the vast majority of our services. A Legatee is a volunteer who makes the personal commitment to assist the widows, partners and families of deceased and incapacitated Servicemen and women cared for by Legacy. In the past ex-Service personnel were sought for recruitment as Legatees. Now, those in the community who share the Legacy values and respect the work of Legacy are welcome to join.

Legacy is currently recruiting volunteers who may have an interest in supporting its activities. The type and frequency of engagements undertaken by a Legatee is very much dictated by your availability. You will be the sole determinant of the level of commitment you wish to make. The scope of your volunteering can be as broad or narrow as you wish, and you can expect to be engaged in any or all of the following:
Personal contact with and support of, a number of our elderly widows in your local area, in conjunction with our Community Service staff;
* Visiting our dependants in nursing homes or hospital;
* Planning and organising our Legacy activities and events,
* Promoting Legacy through participation in selected events conducted by others; and
* Fund-raising for Legacy.

If this is you:
A commitment to the ethos of Legacy;
A personal history of integrity and ethical standards;
Life experience and common sense;
Keen interest in working with people;
Good communication and friendly helpful manner; and
* Understanding safe work practices;

Then please call the Sunshine Coast Legacy Office on (07) 5443 9841 and your enquiries will be promptly answered. If you reside outside of the Sunshine Coast, go to www.legacy.com.au for more information on how you can make a difference to Legacy.

Photograph Captions 1st and 2nd Tour Books

The books written to cover the Battalion activities, and operations have been deficient photo captions and as time rolls along, memories fade and names of those photographed are likely to be lost.  This is our attempt to put the names to the faces.  It is not all of the names and if someone can further assist by identifying persons in these photos, then please advise us so that we can publish them and capture them in perpetuity.

Photo Captions First Tour

Photo Captions Second Tour

The Casualty List

The Casualty List

Killed, Wounded, Injured in Vietnam 1963 to 1973

A great number of us know about the “Butcher’s List”: the 500-plus Australians and New Zealanders who were killed and died through various means during Australia’s involvement in Vietnam during the period 1963 to 1973.

Very few of us know about those who were wounded, hurt and disabled during this period. The list that follows is an insight to the real human cost that Australia and Australians paid during our involvement in the Vietnam conflict.


The research into the information required to put together this list has taken the author over 30 years of on-and-off study: reading unit histories, speaking with Veterans, listening to their stories, their tales, their humour, their hurts; and then corroborating the facts. The nature of this list means that it is constantly being edited, is nowhere near complete and some errors appear: for this, the buck stops with the author, no-one else. To correct errors and omissions the author welcomes the addition of further information which can be sent by email at [email protected]

This list is as close to the truth about what happened to many of the Veterans who served in Vietnam as anyone can get. In the author’s mind, the truth must be told, at whatever cost. Some of the casualties listed will cut close to the heart, the mind, and the psyche, and will hurt some, if not all of us. Some may be appalled, some may be horrified. Sometimes the truth is like this.

“What’s On” Calendar

Calendar 2018

25 April ANZAC Day Australia-wide
24/25 July Samichon Day
Commemorating the Battle of the HOOK, 24/25 July 1953
Local arrangements
27 July Korea Veterans’ Day – Anniversary of the Armistice in Korea
15 August 2RAR and 4RAR link to form 2/4RAR
18 August Vietnam Veteran’s Day.   Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan  Australia-wide
16 October 2RAR Birthday.  Townsville
Last weekend October 2RAR Association AGM, Commemorative Service and Reunion Tweed Heads
23 November The Royal Australian Regiment Birthday Australia-wide


Why Veterans Reunite
“I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite.  Not to tell stories or look at old pictures.  Not to laugh or weep.  Comrades gather because they long to be with the men who once acted at their best; men who suffered and sacrificed together, who were stripped of their humanity.  I did not pick these men.  They were delivered by fate and the military.  But I know them in a way I know no other men.
I have never given anyone such trust.  They were willing to guard something more precious than my life.  They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me.  It was part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another.  As long as I have memory, I will think of them all, every day.  I am sure that when I leave this world, my last thought will be of my family and my comrades…Such good men.”
By an unnamed Soldier

Badge 2RAR

“Where old mates reunite”
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
National Reunion
Brisbane QLD – 17 to 21 May 2017

This is a National 5-Year Reunion for everyone who served in 2RAR or 2/4RAR. The last National Reunion was held in Townsville in July 2012. You do not need to be an Association member to come to the reunion. Rally your mates and make this a memorable reuniting of past comrades-in-arms. Spouses/partners/families are most welcome however it is essental that all attendees are registered.
Our New Zealand mates will be warmly welcomed. Come over to Brisbane and let’s stand shoulder to shoulder again in the spirit of comradeship.
Encourage your mates to come along even though they may not have been to a reunion before. It will be a chance to let go and enjoy the company of the 2RAR Family.
Brisbane is at its best in May – Come and enjoy the warm welcome, the warm weather and perfect days.

Reunion Program
Wednesday 17th May 2017
All Day           Sub-unit/group reunions.  Not organised by Association.  Own arrangements

Thursday 18th May 2017
Registration and Welcome Function
8.00am to 5.00pm   Registration/Check in
4.30pm to 7.00pm   Welcome Function – The Courier Mail Piazza, South Bank, Brisbane

Friday 19th May 2017
Commemorative Service and Lunch
From 8.00am         Buses commence pick-up on various routes
10.00am       Commemorative Service, Contemplation Building, National Memorial Walk, Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera
11.15am        Individual Tour of National Memorial Walk
12.30pm       Lunch service commences
1.30pm         Static display of Infantry equipment, weapons and vehicles
3.00pm        Embus for return to pick-up points
Evening        Free

Saturday 20th May 2017
Reunion Dinner
Day       Free
6.00pm         Assemble for Reunion Dinner, Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre, Grey Street Entrance, South Bank, Brisbane
12.00am       Dinner concludes

Sunday 21st May 2017
Dismissal Parade
12.00noon       Ladies lunch at Pony Dining, Eagle St, Brisbane (great dining and great views over Brisbane River)
12.00noon       Men’s Lunch, Rum Bar, Breakfast Creek Hotel (one of Brisbane’s iconic hotels)

Registration opened on 28 September 2016
* Register online at http://2rar-association.net.au/2017-national-reunion/ click on the ticket, choose the option “early bird” in the drop down menu, order the number of tickets you require, click “book ticket” then proceed to checkout. Your payment options are listed so select one, pay and your done.
* Register by “Registration Form”. Download a form Registration Form, fill it in, post it to the special PO Box listed on the form, then enclose a cheque or pay by direct deposit (details are shown on the form).
* There will also be a Registration form in the next three issues of RINGO in October, December and April

The cost of attending the reunion is:
• Early bird registration EXTENDED (up to 30th November 2016) – $180 per person
Regular registration (from 1st December 2016 to 31st March 2017) – $200 per person
• Late registration (from 1st May) – $225 per person
Entry to all activities and functions of the Reunion is covered by your registration.If you have any questions/queries, please call +61 7 3342 4272 for assistance.

Registration process is NOT completed until fees have been received and cleared
Reunion Hotline – (07) 3342 4272

Event Management
The Committee has contracted Jan Berryman Events to manage the processes of the reunion. Jan works very closely with the Committee on all aspects of the reunion but in particular, venue identification and engagement, registration, promotion and marketing and check-in.

Reunion Committee
Gordon Hurford
T: 07 5443 5583
M: 0407 926 270
E: [email protected]

Leo Van De Kamp
T: 07 5444 0889
M: 0414 864 654
E: [email protected]

Arthur Macdonald
T: (07) 3901 4266
M: 0410 058 257
E: [email protected]

“Where old mates reunite”

See you in Brisbane … “Beautiful one day and perfect the next”


Buderim Tavern Logo ICE EDIT              valehotelKirwan Pub Logo
The Management Committee is pleased to announce that the Buderim Tavern on the Sunshine Coast, and The Vale Hotel and The Kirwan Tavern in Townsville, have agreed to sponsor our Association, which commences immediately. We would like this sponsorship to be the start of a long and lasting relationship between the Association and the hotels mentioned.

As part of this agreement all members of our Association in these areas have received a sponsorship card. When you present this card at any of the three mentioned Tavern bars or bistro facilities the Association will earn a 10% rebate on the total spend of your visit… all day, any day.

When you order a drink, a meal or book a function at any of these taverns, mention you have 2RAR Association card and present it at the time of the purchase. The tavern will record your sale. The 10% rebate cannot be made retrospective so make sure you mention it before you pay.

If you do not have the card available at the time, simply advise them of the 2RAR Association account number, which is 007

If you have any questions regarding the cards or other Tavern related matters or wish to book a function please contact the sponsoring Taverns.

We look forward to your support in this venture. You will be helping us achieve the funds we need to help our members now and into the future. It is our hope that at some time in the near future this sponsorship scheme can be developed across Australia for all members to enjoy.

Veteran’s Retreats Australia-Wide

 Here are a few of the veteran retreats around Australia- Enjoy the hospitality and the camaraderie:

Standown Park (Tin Can Bay)
Queensland91 Radtke Road, Kia Ora (halfway between Gympie and Tin Can Bay). Power, water, pets, open fire, showers, toilets, disable facilities, coin laundry, secure off the highway, restful surrounds. No cabins/onsite vans. Discount for veterans.
Contact owners Rod (ex 9RAR) and Pam Elkington (07) 5486 5144 or 0417 718 127.  Website www.standown.com.au

Cockscomb Veterans Camp (Central Queensland)Cockscombe Retreat (1)
Set in the hills on the southern side of Mt Wheeler. Road access by two-wheel drive vehicles and only 30 minutes from Rockhampton.  Cockscomb provides a quiet place away from the city, away from all mod cons, a quiet relaxing place to go when you want to get away and get back to some basic living and quality time.  When staying overnight, you will require your sleeping bag, camp stretcher, swag or hammock if you intend to sleep outside and a torch, matches, food and a rubbish bag, mosquito repellent and your medication. There is no electricity, although there is a limited 12V battery source from solar for lighting and a generator. There is 3G digital mobile phone access in some areas on the site.   While water is a available, it is limited. Bulk storage in three 15,900 litre poly tanks and various smaller poly tanks.
Caretaker: Phone 04 7559 1027

Pandanus Park (Far North Queensland)
Follow the three red stripes from Mareeba, no facilities, take all and remove your rubbish. This is an isolated retreat in Cape York.  Check out the website….. www.pandanuspark.com.au and you will learn all about it.  It is the most peaceful of places, and they have a very moving Service at dawn on Long Tan Day.

Sapphire Gemfields (Central West)

Located behind the post office at the RSL. Power, toilets, showers, water, and barbecue are available. The Club bar is open Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. $5.00 per night
Contact Peter Johnson (ex 6RAR) 0439 797 175

Alaric Homestead Veterans Retreat at Quilpie (Far South West Queensland)
The Homestead is fully furnished and managed by a Veteran Duty Officer. Very low nominal fee charged per day. Caravans and camper trailers can be parked at a low daily fee. Booking essential for the Homestead (not necessary for caravans/campers).
Contact the Duty Officer (07) 4656 4740
Alaric Brochure

Rocky Creek War Memorial Park (North Queensland)
This camp spot is located at Tolga. The Atherton Shire Council maintains it. There is a 72-hour limit and a gold coin donation. There are toilets, barbecue, and non- potable water. It is a memorial site to all soldiers, who trained on the tablelands before being sent overseas. There is a caretaker on site.

Zac’s Place (Townsville)
Located on 715 Ross River Road, Kirwan, Townsville, run by VVAA Qld Branch. There is accommodation for up to 11 people with all facilities. Tariff is $25.00 for accommodation, breakfast and light lunch.
Contact manager Mrs Margaret Standfast Ph. (07) 4773 6980 or A/H (07) 4723 7022

Homestead Caravan Park (Central West)
Located along the Landsborough Highway at Barcaldine. Every day in the late afternoon during winter your hosts Ben and Thanh prepare the campfire with damper and billy tea proved prepared the old bush way. Entertainment nightly. They always have something special on for Vietnam Veterans Day 18th August. Cabins available.
For Reservations ph. Ben or Thanh on (07) 4651 1308

Camp Gregory location on the Gregory River means veterans can spend plenty of time fishing and crabbing.

Camp Gregory Veterans Retreat (Wide Bay Region)
The retreat is located on a 16-hectare property owned by Mr Roger Dwyer (168 Darville Rd WOODGATE QLD, 4660) allows for veterans to bring their own caravans and tents.  The retreat also offers accommodation facilities in the form of dongas, a camp kitchen, bathrooms, and other shared facilities.  You can visit the website at http://campgregoryveterans.com/

Contact (Day time phone calls only please):
Kit (Brian) Camp Caretaker – 0499 728 800. It is preferred you contact Kit (Brian) on his mobile for Camp Visits.
Roger Dwyer – (07) 4129 4030
Simo – (07) 4126 2405
Email: [email protected]

Raymond Deed Retreat (South West NSW near Mildura)
This retreat is located at Dareton. There is power, water, and pets OK for $10.00 per night.
Phone the caretakers Col and Robyn Dunkley (03) 5027 4983

Murraguldrie Veterans Retreat
This retreat is run by VVAA South West NSW Sub Branch and is located on the edge of the Murraguldrie State Forest about a forty minute drive from Wagga Wagga, approximately seven kilometres from the Hume Highway, and turn off point to Tumbarumba on the Tumbarumba Road.
The retreat is a “Bush retreat” which has a shelter shed with some kitchen facilities, toilet/shower block and newly completed caravan parking area with separate area which can be used by camper trailers and tents. There is no power available but there is provision to plug in a generator for lights in the shelter shed and toilet areas. As the only water available is tank water, could you please arrive with full water tanks if possible, we also have hot water “Donkey” for showers.
This retreat is now open all year round as we are subject to fire bans there is ‘NO LIGHTING OF SOLID FUEL FIRES ON TOTAL FIRE BAN DAYS’ there is a BBQ in the shelter shed but you will need gas bottle (POL connector)
Please note the gate is locked.
Visitor Contact: Gordon Irvin 0428 381 292 or Bob May 0417 490 127, Retreat Manager Les White 0428 226 097.
GPS Co-ordinates. S35.50270° E147.42462°
Murraguldie Flyer


Victoria_logoCockatoo Rise
Cockatoo Rise Retreat is situated 5.75 klms from Bairnsdale in the Gippsland lakes region. The retreat has powered caravan sites with water, all supplied, camping sites at ” Diggers ” barby , toilet and water  plus shelter.  A 9 hole golf course is available for those who want to have some fun . The golf course is available to travelling Vets and partners with all RSL members . A donation to help with running costs is appreciated . The Gippsland lakes has magnificent fishing with the sea and rivers also near by Bairnsdale has a very good shopping centre with all facilities. Telephone bookings Greg 0409418332.  Dogs allowed by discussion with Greg.  Website http://cockatooriseretreat.com.au

SA Logo

Bubblagowrie Vietnam Veterans Village
Located between Stansbury and Giles Point Yorktown. Three Veteran Museums – $5.00 admission. Cabins $40.00 per night, vans $8.00 per night. There is power, water, restaurant, and vets memorial plot. Contact owner Chris Soar (ex vet of Malaya) (08) 8853 4379 or 0419 853 294

Camp Andrew Russell
This camp is in South Australia and is located 35km South East of Loxton along the Murray Bridge Road, turn left (or right if coming from Adelaide) onto the Lameroo Road, taking the right fork along the road. The entrance is marked with a cream tractor tyre, just past a road sign. You will need a key for access and thus need to contact John Hough mobile 0409 098 093
Contacts for Camp Andrew Russell: Phil Scroop 0418835516, Tony Moody 0417824872 and John Hough 0409 098 093

Tasmania Logo

Tasmania Veterans Retreat (Interlaken Retreat)
Offers house accommodation in the remote Central Highlands area, 20 minutes from Bothwell. $30.00 per double + $5.00 per extra person. For Bookings Robin O’Connor (03 6224 0881)



Camp Western Australia LogoHart
Camp Hart is a combination of private and crown land vested with the Shire of Kulin. It is situated 3.5 hours south east of Perth, and 14kms east of Kulin. Camp Hart is a memorial park located next to Lake Jilakin and in the shadow of Jilakin Rock. It offers shade, ablution block, sheltered barbecue and bush kitchen.

Donations are welcome. Open to all ADF Veterans. All inquiries are to be made to Roger Lingard (08) 9527 8000 or 0419 944 627.

Paddy’s Flat, Meekatharra
Resort style facility with unit accommodation including a community kitchen, laundry, large swimming pool and BBQ area.
For booking information call Chris Atkins Caretaker and veteran on (08) 9980 1220

Bruce Rock
Situated 254 Km from Perth in the wheat belt. Vets always welcome but each year in November they conduct a Vietnam Veterans activity. Most stay at the Bruce Rock Caravan Park Ph. (08) 9061 1070

Meentheena Veterans Retreat
Situated in the heart of the Pilbara in Western Australia, Meentheena has so many things to offer for those who have an appreciation for wide open spaces, rugged and colourful landscapes, pristine billabongs, beautiful flora and fauna, stunning sunsets and the kind of silence that can only be found in the outback.
For further information regarding your visit to Meentheena or any other inquiries you may have, please send us an email or contact the following people:
Office Phone: 0429 054 446, Email: [email protected] Postal Address: VRWA Inc. PO Box 15, Mandurah, 6210


Roper Retreat
Same as for Pandanus Park; take only photos, leave no footprints. Located 31 km along the Northern Territory Highway, turn north at Elsey Station sign, 3 km along you pass the Manager’s House and just 5km you reach the Roper. PH Tony 0401 100 514 or Jimbob 0419 414 209

Coral House
Located 107 Bagot Rd, Ludmilla run by VVAA NT.
Shared kitchen facilities, laundry and bathroom, linen, TV in common room three shared bedrooms providing seven beds.
Contact manager Jack Hamilton on Ph. 8948 0050.

Darwin Retreat
About 1.5 hours’ drive from Darwin is a place called Pioneer Beach, western side of Cox Peninsula. The actual site used by the Vets is back from the beach about 5km in from the turn off that continues to Mandorah




The Management Committee is pleased to announce that the Buderim Tavern on the Sunshine Coast, and The Vale Hotel and The Kirwan Tavern in Townsville, have agreed to sponsor our Association, which commences immediately. We would like this sponsorship to be the start of a long and lasting relationship between the Association and the hotels mentioned.

As part of this agreement all members of our Association in these areas have received a sponsorship card.   When you present this card at any of the three mentioned Tavern bars or bistro facilities the Association will earn a 10% rebate on the total spend of your visit… all day, any day.

When you order a drink, a meal or book a function at any of these taverns, mention you have 2RAR Association card and present it at the time of the purchase. The tavern will record your sale. The 10% rebate cannot be made retrospective so make sure you mention it before you pay.

If you do not have the card available at the time, simply advise them of the 2RAR Association account number, which is 007

If you have any questions regarding the cards or other Tavern related matters or wish to book a function please contact the sponsoring Taverns.

We look forward to your support in this venture.  You will be helping us achieve the funds we need to help our members now and into the future. It is our hope that at some time in the near future this sponsorship scheme can be developed across Australia for all members to enjoy.

Buderim Tavern Logo ICE EDIT     valehotel      Kirwan Pub Logo

Honorary Members


Campbell Newman

Campbell Newman

Mr Campbell Newman.  Campbell Newman is the son of Major Kevin ‘Pip’ Newman who was the Battalion’s Operations Officer during the Battalion’s first tour of Vietnam 1967/68. Campbell was the former Premier of Queensland.



Mrs Tiffany Young

Mrs Tiffany Young

Mrs Tiffany Young.  Tiffany Young, wife of Tom Young (decd), who through her tenacity, loyalty to Tom and the Association, tireless support and enduring determination, ensured the success of the Adelaide Reunion in April 2014.




Mrs Audrey Scatchard. Audrey Scatchard is the wife of Bernie Scatchard (dec’d), who was a Life Member of the Association.

Mrs Barbara Handley

Mrs Barbara Handley


Mrs Barbara Handley. Barbara Handley is the wife of Alf Handley (dec’d).  Alf was President 2RAR Association, President The Royal Australian Regiment Association, Foundation member of The National Memorial Walk and Dad’s Army.   He was a Life Member of 2RAR Association.



LTCMDR Ray Godfrey, RAN, Retd

LTCMDR Ray Godfrey, RAN, Retd

Lieutenant Commander Raymond J Godfrey, RAN (Retd)
.  LTCDR Godfrey is a former RAN aviator and served as a section leader 1st Lift Platoon, 135 Assault Helicopter Company (AHC) (Emus), US Army 1967-68.  His platoon airlifted 2RAR into and extracted from operations in that period.  He was also closely associated with the detachment of 9 machine gunners from B Coy, 2RAR who were attached to 135 AHC (Emus) in early 1968 as door gunners on the UH1H helicopter.  He has worked tirelessly to secure recognition, mainly by the award of the US Air Medal for the 9 machine gunners of B Coy.


Mrs Nola Church

Mrs Nola Church


Mrs Nola Church.  Nola Church is the widow of Colonel John Church, DSO (dec’d).  John was the Patron of the Association for a number of years.  John also commanded 2RAR on the second tour of South Vietnam 1970/71 and as a result was appointed Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO).


Mrs Joan Rolfe.  Mrs Joan Rolfe is the widow of our late Brigadier Bill Rolfe, AO.  Bill was an Honorary Legal Adviser to the Association for a number of years.  Bill was a platoon commander in A company on the Battalion’s second tour of Vietnam.  He was WIA and was repatriated to Australia.  In his rehabilitation, Bill studied law and advanced through the Defence Force to become Brigadier and hold the most senior legal position in the ADF.

The Battalion Report for 2015

Commanding Officer, 2RAR Lieutenant Colonel M.B. Bassingthwaighte, DSM

Commanding Officer, 2RAR
Lieutenant Colonel M.B. Bassingthwaighte, DSM

The Battalion commenced 2015 continuing its consolidation of foundation warfighting skills and the progression of the Amphibious Ready Element Landing Force (ARE LF) capability. The main effort for 2015 was to meet the required standards for certification as the ARE LF.

Both A, B and Support Coys started the year with a MILSKILLS diagnostic exercise.

 This served to govern the focus areas for individual Coys in the following ten week live fire and field training program designed to progressing from individual skills up to company level missions.

Support Coy platoons have been extremely busy solidifying their specific subject matter expertise, culminating this initial training period with the successful conduct of Ex BUSU LANDING at Townsend Island, SWBTA. The training opportunity provided by this exercise was excellent and the full mission amphibious profiles to complete the activity were extremely valuable.

Deploying as an entire sub unit was somewhat novel however proved effective in achieving the required live fire and METL certifications prior to the upcoming SEA Series of exercises.

Admin Coy notably provided support to all these activities in the usual fashion whilst still managing to undertake their own training including a short field deployment of the remaining maintenance assets. From April onwards the Battalion stepped into a series of SEA exercises in order to prepare for certification as the Army’s Amphibious Ready Group. This commenced with Ex SEA SABRE on board HMAS CHOULES and saw the 0B HQ element afloat, whilst 0A conducted its function from Lavarack Barracks.

RSM 2RAR WO1 T. Morris

WO1 T. Morris

In May the Battalion assisted HMAS CANBERRA in the conduct of the ships work up period in order for her to be certified and then rolled rapidly into EX TALISMAN SABRE. This saw the Battalion as a whole conduct Amphibious operations. This was a great opportunity with the Battalion integrating with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. In addition, it was first the time we had operated from separate platforms (USS Bonhomme Richard and HMAS CHOULES).

The culminating exercise for the year was in September/October on EX SEA RAIDER. This was the certification exercise for the ARE and resulted in a Coy sized element being deemed ready for any operations.

The final major Battalion activity for the year was the RAR birthday parade held on Monday 23 November. This was on the 70th birthday of the RAR and for only the second time in history three Battalions of the RAR (1, 2 and 3) were on parade together.

It also saw the presentation and dedication/consecration of new colours to both 2 and 3RAR.

“Second to None”

LTCOL Michael Bassingthwaighte, DSM
Commanding Officer
WO1 Trent Morris
Regimental Sergeant Major

Warriors who have recently Marched Out

Australian Military Funeral

We have been advised of the passing of the following:

15217 Donald William (Curly) Essenhigh, 2RAR
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
Malaya (Pte)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment

2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
Vietnam (Cpl)
19 May 1967 to 11 Oct 1967

1st Australian Rest and Convalescence Centre
11 Oct 1967 to 28 Dec 1967

Australian Force Vietnam Amenities and Welfare Unit
29 Dec 1967 to 14 May 1968

DOB: 06 April 1930
POB: Glebe, NSW

Age: 87+ years.

I have just been advised of the sad news of the passing of Donald William “Curly” Essenhigh who passed away on 31st January 2018 Warwick Hospital, late of Currumbin and formerly of Coffs Harbour. “Curly” had been in a Nursing Home in Warwick.
“Curly’s” funeral was held on Wednesday 7 February at Coffs Harbour in the Chapel of the Coffs Harbour Crematorium , Coramba Road Karangi, NSW.
Loving father of Gail and much loved grandfather of Robyn, Luke, and Sarah & Gregg. Loved great grandfather of Taylor, Zachary, Joshua and Mitchell.

Rest in Peace Donald

Curly was a member of 2RAR and he served in both tours of Malaya.   I last saw him when I was posted to Canungra in the early 1970s.
Dennis (Johnno) Johnston

22861 Staff Sergeant Ronald Gildersleeve BEM, 2RAR, 1RAR, 2RAR, 6RAR
Korea (Pte)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
26 June 1953 to 31 March 1954
1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
1 April 1954 to 26 June 1954

Malaya (Cpl)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment

Vietnam (SSgt)
6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
22/05/1966 to 09/06/1967

DOB: 12 October 1928
POB: Greta, NSW
Age: 91 years.
Sad news on the passing of Ron Gildersleeve at 10.00am 2 February at Grafton, NSW. Funeral details will be advised when known.
Ron had been very ill for a long time at Yamba, NSW. Ron’s wife suffers with dementia.
Ron was a Life Member of the 2RAR Association.
Thanks Fred Clark
Rest in Peace Ron

Ron also served in Merchant Navy during WW2 and did a second tour of Malaya with 2 RAR, and he had son in the RAN who had a accident which confined him to a wheelchair, so Ron taught him to play lawn bowls, so they played in many bowls clubs which Ron received the Sports Medal.
Regards Dasher

It is my best intent to attend Ron’s “Passing out” parade on Wednesday 7th Feb , but as I only came out of hospital myself Sunday 4th my health will govern if I can travel or not.  As reported to the Association  last year I spent many weeks looking after Ron (and his son) when they both were in St Vincents Lismore for some time.
A god man, a good soldier.  May God grant him eternal rest.
Rev Graeme Davis, OAM, CSM

38923 Private Anthony (Tony) Paul Monin, 2RAR
Vietnam (Pte)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
19 May 1967 to 11 Mar 1968
Aslt Pnr Pl

DOB: 04 Feb 1948
POB: Melbourne, Vic
DOD: 18 January 2018
Age: 69 Years

Tony passed away Peacefully on Thursday 18th January 2018.
Dearly Loved Husband of Pam. Loved Father, Father-in-Law and Grandfather of Bradley, Suzie, John, Kaylee and Rylan.
Privately cremated as per Tony’s wishes.  A Celebration will be held at the Wynnum-Manly Workers Club on Tuesday 30th January 2018 commencing at 1:30pm.
Rest in Peace Tony


Jerry Taylor OC D Coy 4RAR

311542 Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Hepworth (Jerry) Taylor AM, MC, 2RAR, 4RAR
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
07 May 1967 – 13 Jun 1968
B Company and Support Company

4th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
01 May 1971 – 09 Mar 1972
OC Delta Company, 4RAR at the Battle of Nui Le.

POB: Chester, Cheshire England
Age: 77+ years.

Greg Shannon writes that he received a notice from Warren Dowell on Saturday that LtCol Jerry Taylor AM, MC unfortunately died early on Saturday 18 November 2017.  This is indeed very sad news as Jerry, was the highly respected OC of Delta Company, 4 RAR at the Battle of Nui Le in South Vietnam during September 1971.   According to Warren, who has spoken to Anna Jerry’s wife, Jerry had a total organ shutdown. 
At Jerry’s request there will be no service of any kind and the family will not be attending.
Cards and letters of condolence may be sent to;
Mrs Anna Taylor
127 McNeilly Rd 
Drowin Vic 3818

Jerry did not want to be farewelled as a soldier but he will be remembered as a soldier.  
Allan Price
4RAR Association

Capt Jerry Taylor was the 21C of B Coy 2RAR in the early part of our tour 1967-68. He was a never to be forgotten officer, a great gentleman and officer!! He went to support unfortunately. We all missed him.   One of the few…..one of the best.  RIP 
Bill Parry


17620 Corporal Barry George Ritchie, 2RAR
Vietnam (Cpl)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
19 May 1967 to 13 Jun 1968
Support Company (MFC)

DOB: 22 April 1936
POB: Brisbane, Qld

Age: 81+ years.
I write to inform you and the association’s members of Barry’s passing on Thursday 19 October in St Andrew’s Private Hospital Ipswich.
Deidre Ritchie

Time: 10 AM
Date: Thursday 26 October
Loc: Centenary Memorial Gardens
353 Wacol Station Rd, Sumner

Medals to be worn as entitled by request of the President

Afterwards with refreshments at the Kerwick Hotel, cnr Kerwick St and Brisbane Rd, Redbank- opposite Redbank Railway Station.

I am so sorry to hear of his passing.  Please accept our deepest sympathy and our thoughts are with you.  Any support that we can give to you, please contact me again.  He passed away one week before the AGM and reunion where we normally catch up each year.

Listen to MFC Corporal Barry George Ritchie as a member 2nd Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment/New Zealand (ANZAC), South Vietnam 1967-1968, interviewed by Captain Murray Taylor.

Further information about Barry will be appreciated.
Rest in Peace Barry

38658 Private Gordon Stanley Jessup
Vietnam (Pte)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
19 May 1967 to 13 Jun 1968
DOB: 14 Jul 1935
POB: Thornbury, Vic
Age: 82+ years.

Sad news on the passing of Gordon Jessup. Gordon’s funeral was held, 12th October 2017, at the Salvation Army Church, Cnr Nixon & Orr Street, Shepparton Vic.

Messages of condolence can be sent to his widow:
Norma Jessup,
8 Phillip St.,
Shepparton Vic 3630.
I will be attending the funeral on behalf of the Association. Also, as a long time friend of Gordon, who I have kept in contact with over the years.
Private Gordon Jessup joined the Battalion Band, I think, late in 1966. And went to Vietnam with the Battalion and served the full tour.
Jim Cooper
2RARA Rep, Vic
Rest in Peace Gordon


2785126 Private Gregory Joseph Sattler, 2RAR (WIA)
Vietnam (Pte/WIA)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
14 Aug 1967 to 13 Jun 1968
DOB: 26 Apr 1945
Age: 72+ years.

Sad news, our mate Greg Sattler passed away this morning 12 July 2017. Greg was very ill at the end.

Rest in Peace Gregory.
Bob Devers

28860 LCPL Walter Farquhar Fortune, 2RAR
AKA: William Frederick Fortune
Korea (LCpl)
1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
01 Apr 1952 to 01 Sep 1952
1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
08 Oct 1952 to 24 Mar 1953
1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
31 Mar 1954 to 16 Jan 1955

Malaya (LCpl)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment

DOB: 28 Aug 1931?
POB: Julia Creek, QLD

Sad news on the passing of Wally Fortune on 2 July 2017 at Maranoa, Alstonville NSW.  Wally’s funeral was held at West Ballina on Friday 7 July 2017. A private cremation was held after the service.

I have been attending to Wally and wife Violet at St Vincents Lismore for some months.  They have just retired to the Baptist Care Alstonville.  Wally and myself both served in C Coy 2RAR at one time.  We had the pleasure of exchanging  many names and events like Ex Sky High in 1963.

Sadly he has marched out into the hands of his heavenly Father
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord
May he rest in peace
Rev Graeme R Davis OAM CSM
Chaplain ~ 2 RAR Association
5 July 2017
6708445 Private Paul Blair Young, 2RAR
Vietnam (Pte)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
19 May 1967 to 03 Sep 1967
11 Pl (Pl Sig)
D Company

Age: 71+ years.
Born on 28 December 1945; passed away on 2 July 2017
Sad news with the passing of Paul Young on Sunday 2 July 2017 in Launceston Hospital after suffering a hear attack on the St Helens Golf Course.


Paul Young was my radio operator in Vietnam.  Paul was an outstanding soldier, a good mate, a great bloke and a decent human being.  Paul had a great sense of humour and was liked by everyone.  He was WIA on 28th August 1967 and was MEDEVAC home on 3rd September.  Rest in Peace Paul.
Gordon Hurford


Monsignor Eugene Harley, OAM

240213 Lieutenant Colonel The Reverend Monsignor Eugene Joseph Harley, OAM (RAACD)
Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
Vietnam (Lt Col)
12/07/1963 to 20/07/1963
Headquarters, Australian Force Vietnam (Army Component)
13/01/1967 to 10/07/1967

Age: 87+ years.  Sad news of the passing of Monsignor Eugene Harley who died peacefully in bed on ANZAC Day.

Principal Chaplain (Catholic) Eugene Joseph Harley (Retd) served as Chaplain Class 4 and Chaplain Class 3 Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department, Malaysia 1961 (2RAR), Borneo 1965 (3RAR) and South Vietnam 1967. 
Monsignor Eugene Harley served 27 years in the Australian Defence Force, including 7 years with 2RAR. He served in Malaya, Borneo, and Vietnam. In the latter period of his service Monsignor Harley was appointed Principal Catholic Chaplain of the Army. 
Eugene has been involved with the 2RAR Association since its early days and “has always been considered to be our Padre.” 
At the 2014 AGM a Motion to Appoint Monsignor Eugene Joseph Harley as 2RAR Association Padre was passed. 
Then, not to be outdone, we noted with a great deal of pride that he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Australia Day 2015 Honours List.

Homeward Bound
I saw the shooting star burning so bright
Falling, falling, fading and soon from sight
So distant and yet so near
In its wake, a soldier’s journey so very clear
Duty, sharing, caring, courage and sometimes fear
No longer a mortal in life’s short race
A contented spirit bound for home somewhere in distant space
This fiery trail I saw tonight marks a warrior’s farewell
Leaving behind another legacy of proud deeds to tell
A poem by George Mansford


215180 Peter John McDonald, 2RAR
Vietnam (Cpl)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
08 May 1967 – 14 May 1968

2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
17 May 1970 – 01 Jun 1971
Mortar Pl, Spt Coy
Age: 74 years, passed away on Sunday 2 April.

We valued the friendship of John and Eilleen for almost fifty years. There is tremendous sadness at the loss of another friend.
Kiwi and Margaret


36793 Warrant Officer Class 2 Raymond Heffernan, 2RAR, 6RAR, 6RAR/NZ (ANZAC), 4RAR/NZ (ANZAC), 2/4RAR
2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (ANZAC Bn)
4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (ANZAC Bn) (SSGT)
Age: 80+ years, passed away peacefully in the Townsville General Hospital on 8 April.
He is survived by his wife Jenny and an adult familyNotes:

Ray is an old and bold and saw service with 2RAR in Malaya in 1963, two Vietnam tours (one a short tour) with 6RAR and 6 RAR/NZ(ANZAC) and a further tour with 4RAR/NZ (ANZAC) in 1971.  Post Vietnam Ray served with 2/4RAR (1973-74) and DINF and a number of other non-corps postings.
Ray’s funeral will be held in Townsville at a time to be advised.
Allan Braby
Rest in Peace Raymond

George Catsacos

16575 George Themicles Catsacos BEM, 2RAR, 2/4RAR
Vietnam (Sgt)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
19 May 1967 – 02 Apr 1968
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
29 Apr 1970 – 01 May 1971
2nd/4th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment

British Empire Medal (1982)
Age: 87+ years, Passed away peacefully on Monday 13th March, 2017
Beloved Husband of Margaret. Much Loved Father and Father- in-law of Donna and Martin, Jane and David. Adored Grandfather of Renee, Danielle, David, Steven, Jacquileen, and their partners. Great Grandfather of their respective Families.
GEORGE will be sadly missed by his Sisters, Nephews, Nieces and their Families and his many Friends.

Sad news from Colin ‘Dicko’ Dixon on Sunday that George Catsacos had been ill. Unfortunately I didn’t get up to see him and was advised later on Monday morning that he had passed away at 3am Monday.

So sad that George has passed away, he was bloody good to many of us in 2nd and 2nd/4th Battalions and all the other units he was in.
He was a top CQ in my memory and unlike some others he did issue the equipment out.
George was very active with Dutchy Hemerik in the RAR Association for many years in Townsville and has always been a stalwart of the Regiment. RIP George Catsacos, our memories of you live on.
Thanks also to Phil Smailes and Tom Floyd for letting me know.
Merv Dicton
Rest in Peace George.

I remember George very well with fond memories. We used to play cards in the Q Store with the sides dropped of a night time when back in B Coy lines on the first tour. He loved a game of cards. Cheers William Ross
P.S. We used a small lamp to play.


SGT Kerry Smith

33614 Sergeant Kerry Albert Smith, 2RAR
Korea (Sgt)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
17/03/1953 to 06/04/ 1954
A Veteran of the HOOK
Age: 83+ years.

Kerry was a wonderful veteran of the Korean War. He was the Bandmaster in 2RAR in Puckapunyal and Korea. He did a lot of Welfare work around the Bundaberg area.  In 1996, Kerry asked me to gather as many K Veterans from Brisbane and hire a bus and have ANZAC Day in Childers; this we did. We attended four dawn services, lunch and dinner, to say it was a great success.
I wanted Kerry to be President of the 2RAR Association very early but he declined because he lived too far away.   Kerry suffered lung cancer for many years.
In February 2009, Kerry advised me that he was going to hold on as long as he could and “I DO have a 2RAR Reunion to attend in October!! 8 years on. Recorded in RINGO.

Lest we Forget.
Dasher Dean, OAM


6708425 Private Graham Allan Clare, 2RAR
Vietnam (Pte)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
08 May 1967 to 14 Nov 1967
8 Pl C Coy
Age: 71+ years

Sad news of the passing of Graham Clare at Launceston, Tasmania on 8 August after a long illness.
Our Soldier fought a brave battle, remembered always for that cheeky smile and big heart.

Published in The Examiner on Aug. 10, 2016
Thanks Don Frew
Further information about Graham will be appreciated
Rest in Peace Graham


WO2 David Owens

25644, 213511 Warrant Officer Class Two David Llewellyn Owen, 2RAR
David enlisted as OWEN on 6 February 1952. Discharge 29 August 1975.
Korea (Pte)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (ICB)
17 Mar 1953 to 17 Jun 1953
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
21 Aug 1953 to 06 Apr 1954

Japan (Pte)
17 Jun to 20 Aug 1953
Age: 87+ years

It is with sadness that I inform you of the passing of our father who was a very proud veteran. David Llewellyn Owens served in Korea in 53-54. David passed peacefully after battling cancer for a number of years on 28th November 2016 aged 87 years.  David enjoyed reading RINGO. There may be some veterans who will have known David if you would kindly acknowledge through RINGO.
Karen Owens (Daughter)
Rest in Peace David.

Arthur Francis (1)215581 Warrant Officer Class 1 Arthur Murphy Francis, CSC, OAM, 2, 3, 4, 8/9RAR
Vietnam (Cpl)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
Vietnam (SGT)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A)

Sadly I have to tell those of you who have not already heard that Frangar passed away early this morning. A great man and a very good friend to us all – gone.
Jane and I were with Arthur, Pam and their family on Friday night and he was fine considering the tough times he has been going through over recent years.
Several of Arthur’s very close friends and his family are with Pam and are helping her at the moment. It may be best to delay calling her for a day or two until things settle down a little.
I will be back in touch as soon as I have more information.
This is a very, very sad day for us all.Arthur Francis Civies
Eric Pearson

RIP Arthur.  You were a standout soldier in all the ranks and roles you fulfilled in the Army.  You were an exceptional leader, a mentor, and a fair-dinkum decent bloke.
Gordon Hurford

This is deeply saddening news. Not only was Arthur a soldier of the highest order, he was a true gentlemen. His patience, mentoring, and decency in all dealing was “Second to None”.   He has left a legacy to the ADF which is not measurable.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this tragic time.
Trent Morris

Sadly, for those that may not already be aware, Arthur Francis passed away over the weekend in Singleton. Arthur was the 4th RSM Army (Dec 93 – Dec 96).   Arthur was an active Honorary Member of the School of Infantry Sergeants Mess and heavily involved in Legacy. He had just celebrated his 70th birthday last Thursday with family and friends. Arthur slipped away peacefully by his wife Pam’s side Saturday night.
A Military funeral will be held at Singleton early next week (Tuesday 16th).
Arthur was a true gentleman and a great soldier. He will be missed.
Dave Galloway
Victoria Barracks
Paddington, NSW 2021

Thanks Gordon, the news of the passing of Arthur came as a shock to us both.
Very sad news.
Rick & Rhonda Hollingdrake

1200730 Chaplain Lester (Les) Thompson, HQ 1ATF
Vietnam (Chap)
Headquarters, 1st Australian Task Force
11/06/1966 to 11/12/1966
Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department
Padre Les Thompson passed away late on Tue 26 July in Brisbane, aged 87+.

If my memory is any good, he was well regarded as a soldier before becoming a minister. I knew him as a Chaplain at Duntroon. Rest in Peace Padre
Peter Howe

I remember Padre Les Thompson well. He was C of E and served us in 6RAR for the first six months of our tour (1966-67) during our heady introduction to Vietnam, with Long Tan and other serious battles with the Viet Cong previous to that, and others to come.  In an earlier life Les Thompson had served as a digger in 67th Australian Infantry Battalion (later 3RAR) in Japan in 1946-47.
Les was at my company command post during the early stages of the Battle of Long Tan and together with me and my company headquarters staff listened in on several command net radios to the unfolding saga.   Later that year during Operation Vaucluse in the Nui Dinh Mountains, on 10 September 1966, Les was with the Battalion in the field during heavy contact with the enemy and helped with administering to a very seriously wounded soldier of my company before he was lifted out in an heroic effort by a US Army Dustoff helicopter.
Les was an excellent Chaplain who understood and related well to the diggers, and indeed all ranks, and was a pleasant and amiable companion to all of us in that awful place that was Nui Dat. I am sorry to hear of his death and my condolences go to his family and friends.
Brian McFarlane

I remember Les with great fondness. He was my full time chaplain in Enoggera when I was in command of 6RAR from 1975 to 1978. We were very good family friends and he and his wife Beryl often baby-sat our children when we were away. He had two boys at home at that time Mark (deceased) and Paul. His daughter Dianne had married a young Engineer officer who had been a staff cadet when Les was the C of E chaplain at RMC. I imagine that Beryl his wife had pre deceased him as she was seriously ailing when I last spoke to Les which must have been ten years ago and they had both moved into care; I think Les was wheel chair bound by then.
Les was irrepressibly good-humoured and had a wonderful mischievous streak. He was very popular with the diggers and had served with 6 in Singapore as well as earlier in SVN. He and my first 2IC George Mansford were a treat to have around the HQ at any time. Amongst his very best friends in the Chaplains Dept were RC Chaplains Gerry Cudmore (deceased) and Eugene Harley (Hon Padre 2RAR) and it is recorded that they often got up to mischief together. Les was the resident Anglican chaplain on Norfolk Island for some years in the eighties when Gerry and Eugene visited for a holiday and there were some very amusing stories told. 
I have lost contact with any of the family for many years now but if the 2RAR Association has contact with any of his family I would be grateful if Evelyn’s and my condolences could be passed on. I don’t even know where Di and her family settled nor do I have any info on Paul’s whereabouts. I will endeavour to let Eugene Harley know although his grapevine is likely to be more efficient than mine. 
Peter Stokes

29060 Warrant-Officer Class 2 Thomas Derek Nicol, 2RAR, HQ 1ATF
Korea (Pte)
17 March 1953 to 11 November 1953
2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
Veteran of The HOOK

Vietnam (WO2)
HQ 1ATF: Australian Force Vietnam Cash Office
29/07/1969 to 18/06/1970
Royal Australian Army Service Corps
POB: Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Tom Nicol passed away on 20/07/16 at Narrabeen NSW aged 83+.

Tom served in Korea and was a veteran of the Battle of the HOOK.
Tom was a parachute mate of John Church CO 2RAR 1970-71.
Bob Wallace



3400638 Private Frederick Desmond Drake, 1RAR, 2RAR
Korea (Pte)
1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
20 September 1952 to 21 March 1953

2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
22 March 1953 to 25 June 1953

Days in Service: 279
Passed away 17 May 2016, aged 83+ years.

The Funeral Service to Celebrate the Life of Mr Frederick (Frank) Drake was held at Bunurong Memorial Park, Dandenong South on Monday May 23, 2016. This was followed by a Burial Service within the grounds.
Rest in Peace Frank.
























Regimental Ode
“Rest ye, oh warrior,
You’ll battle no more,
No longer to live
The horrors of war.
Your duty was done,
With honour and pride’
Farewell! Oh brother,
Until we march by your side.”

Your duty done, may you now Rest in Peace
Slouch hat on coffin

Remembering ‘The Hook’ – The Battle of the Samichon River

Australian soldiers, of 2RAR, stand above their front line trenches at the Hook feature.

Australian soldiers, of 2RAR, stand above their front line trenches at the Hook feature.

The Battle of the Samichon River – the Hook :: 24–26 July 1953

“The memories of bad times in the line were beginning to fade, and everyone was getting impatient for action. ‘When are we going in the line again?’ At last the order came though, ‘We’re going on an important feature further along in the Western Front.’ We were to relieve the Poms on ‘The Hook’.” – Private Harry Kammerman, 2 RAR

The Hook was a vulnerable but heavily defended section of the UN frontline, that protected other UN positions in the Samichon Valley.  Here, Australian soldiers took part in their last engagement of the war; the armistice declared only one day later.  Positioned at The Hook were the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2 RAR) and the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR), as the forward troops of the 1st Commonwealth Division. Other vital positions to the left of the Australians were held by the 7th Regiment of the US Marines.

On 24 July, Chinese forces launched their final attack of the war. Probing 2 RAR’s position with small infantry parties after dark, the Chinese later subjected it to extended to a heavy night bombardment, followed by waves of assaulting infantry. The alternating bombardment and infantry assault continued through the night, but the Chinese were unable to penetrate the Australian positions.

Throughout 25 July, the Australian troops were shelled, and endured heavy mortar and artillery fire that night. The American position, to the left of the Australians on The Hook, was now under an infantry attack. With fire support from the Australian positions, the Americans managed to hold off the Chinese infantry, but continued to receive heavy bombardment. By the early hours of the next day, the Chinese had given up their attack.

Five Australian soldiers were killed; 24 were wounded. The next day, the armistice was signed at Panmunjom. The action at The Hook was one of the major engagements of the stalemate period – and having just fought a hard action for three days, it was difficult for Australian troops to believe that the war was finally over.

Lieutenant P.O.G. Forbes was awarded the Military Cross and Sergeant B.C. Cooper, Corporal T.W. Maguire, Corporal K.H. Crockford, Private G.E. Kent and Private J.M. McAuliffe were awarded the Military Medal. Lieutenant C.A.C. Wilson, Corporal K.J. Cooper and Corporal K.G. Condon were Mentioned in Despatches and Warrant Officer Second Class L.E. Moore was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

Operation Coburg – 1 Sect 4 Pl B Coy 1968

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