Australian troops on landing craft HMAS Sydney upon their return home to Australia, 1972
Australia’s involvement in Vietnam began in the summer of 1962 when the country sent 30 military advisors. In August 1964 the Royal Australian Air Force sent transports to the port town of Vung Tau. By 1965 the Australian government responded to a U.S. request for military involvement from allied nations. In June of that year, the Australian government sent the First Battalion of the Royal Regiment to serve next to U.S. troops in Bien Hoa province. In all Australia sent nine battalions to Vietnam,with 59,000 Australians serving there. Australia withdrew from the war in 1971.
Further Investigation and Research: Australians in the Vietnam War
- Participation in the Vietnam War was the longest in Australia’s history. Research Australia’s involvement in other wars and compare each of these to reasons for their involvement, number of Australians who took part in the war, the cost in lives, and economic expense of the wars.
- Create a timeline of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
- Investigate Australia’s National Service Scheme which operated from November 1964 to December 1972. Report on how it worked and its primary purpose.
- The Vietnam War was an unpopular war in Australia. Research the country’s feelings about the war, the average citizen’s support of it, and the social discord that materialized after Australian troops were committed to the war.
- Investigate the Battle of Long Tan and report on its significance.
- The Australian Army’s involvement in Vietnam is often seen as being much greater than its navy’s role. Research involvement of the Royal Australian Navy during the war. In particular, report on the RAN’s work providing clearance divers and logistical support to medical teams, plus the role of the HMAS Sydney as the Vung Tau Ferry.
- Research the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial. Report on the memorial’s structure and symbolism.