WO1 Reg Bandy, MBE

WO1 Bandy was born in Subiaco, Perth Western Australia on 14 July, 1922 and joined the Army in 1940.  He trained with 11,000 other men in 1941 and was subsequently posted to an Armoured Reconnaissance Unit on the Australian mainland.  In 1943 all units were converted to Infantry to oppose the Japanese in New Guinea and WO Bandy was posted to a US Army Landing Unit in Finschaffen, New Guinea.  By 1943 he was posted to an Australian Landing Craft Unit and served up and down the New Guinea coast servicing other Army units for the remainder of the war.

After World War 2 ended he was posted to Moratai with the 67th Battalion which then became the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. The Battalion trained for British and Commonwealth Occupation Forces (BCOF) duties in Japan where subsequently WO Bandy patrolled and helped clean up Hiroshima after the Atom bomb.

Early 1950 rumours of war in Korea initiated training for another war and by February of that year WO Bandy was at war again with 3RAR who had joined the UN Force attached to the British 27th Brigade along side the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and the Middlesex Regiment.

In 3RAR’s first 6 months in Korea they fought 7 battles, lost 100 KIA and 50 wounded.  WO Bandy was acting an platoon commander at the Battle of Kapyong and in his own words described it as “Not a nice place to be”.

In 1951 his tour of duty finished, he went back to Japan and then later, in December, to Australia where he was posted to 6 Recruit Training Company training reinforcements for Korea.

From 1953 to 1959 WO Bandy trained National Servicemen and CMF Officers and NCOs and then in 1960 was posted to Battle Wing Canungra as an instructor. In 1963 he was  posted to South Vietnam with the Australian Army Training Team where he worked with the South Vietnamese Rangers.  He is one of the very few Australians who were awarded the General Service Medal with Vietnam Clasp, the predecessor to the Australian Vietnam Medal

On RTA WO Bandy served as a Senior Instructor at the Infantry Centre and was then  promoted and posted as RSM, 11th Battalion, CMF in Western Australia.  In 1968 he was posted as RSM of 7RAR and took the Battalion back to South Vietnam in 1970 for both his and the Battalion’s second tour.

On RTA WO Bandy was posted as RSM Infantry Centre and then from 1972 to 1975 was RSM of Australia House, London.  On RTA he was posted as RSM Western Command and his last task as an RSM was to train the Royal Guard of Honour for the departure of HRH  Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip from Perth Airport.

WO Bandy retired from the Army in July, 1977 having completed 37 years service.  He saw active service in three wars over multiple tours and beside the MBE was also awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and Conspicuous Service and Good Conduct Medal.  He was also awarded five foreign awards and three citations giving him a grand total of 25 medals, citations and awards.

 

6 thoughts on “WO1 Reg Bandy, MBE

  1. I work with Reg’s daughter in law, and hear that he’s not very well. I just wanted to find out about Reg and hope that this message gets to him somehow and wish him all the best. Reg Bandy is apparently a very highly respected person by his family and those who know him.

  2. Hello All
    I’m Reg Bandy’s Daughter, Reg is doing well at the moment, however his legs and back are not in the best shape.  But whose back and legs are going to be brilliant after carring a pack through 3 theatres of war.

    He still gives History lessons at a couple of local private schools.  He gives them something to think about whilst providing information on the politics, social life and custom of the time.  You won’t hear “I heard the bullet coming” from Reg but you will have an understanding why events happened in the order they did.
    I will pass on your best wishes to him.
    See you all again at the next reunion – here’s hoping. Bronwyn

  3. After returning fron SVN in 1968 with 7RAR, I was an instructor at Holsworthy prior to transfer to the School of Army Intelligence at Woodside S.A. The day before I was due to depart I was walking past the RAP not far behind the imposing figure of WO1 Reg Bandy, who was returning to the BattaIion orderly room, typical of an RSM, he noticed with some irritation a large gaggle of unruly Army wives and some children who were standing partly on the roadway awaiting medical processing as a  preamable to departure overseas with 1 RAR. Having a devilish sense of humour, Reg cryed out in his best prade ground voice, ‘alright ladies strip to the waist’ he marched past the gathering laughing as he went. As I was some distance behind WO1 Bandy, I noticed quite a few of the women tugging at their apparel in hurried reponse to the command. Reg was a fine soldier and had a wonderful sense of humour.  May God bless him    

  4. Dear Bronwyn,
    It is david Kibbey and we have met on numerous occasions at reunions etc. How are you and more to the point how is RSM Bandy? I have the greatest respect for him and hope he is comfortable and back on his feet again soon. Please tell him I think of him often and wish him and you well.
     
    Warm regards,
     
    David Kibbey

  5. Please pass me regards to RSM Reg Bandy. I rember well the experiene and support he provided in so many ways. A great person to have servied with.

    kind regards
    Colin Rowley  

  6. Reg, I would like you to know that a small group of us (John Whipp 7RAR 1st tour and AATTV and Daryl Burns 2/4 RAR) were at Kapyong on the 24th for the annual service. It was a great opportunity for all of us to see the ground on which the battle was fought. Also attending the service was WO Gordon Bowser, whom I knew as a young soldier back in 1968. He attended Kapyong and the ANZAC Day service in Seoul with his son Tim. WO Bowser asked me to pass on to you his best wishes. It really made my day to meet up with WO Bowser after  more than 40 years. We talked about Jackie Park MM, whom I had known as a teenager. The ANZAC Day service in Seoul was a large turnout with Canadians and Brits over for the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.  We had breakfast with Joel H. Beaman who had been at Kapyong with PPLI and of course he had been awarded the US presidential citation. On the Saturday after ANZAC Day we attended my son’s wedding to a local girl. The wedding was held at a house in Gapyeong (the modern spelling). With best wishes. Richard E. KENNY

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