June 23, 2024

South Vietnam

(Click on highlighted names to read their official citations)

The Distinguished Service Order (DSO)


Instituted in 1886 originally for military officers only for ‘distinguished services under fire or under conditions equivalent to service in actual combat with the enemy’. In 1994 the award was opened to all ranks for ‘command and leadership’.

Recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal DSO after their name.


The ribbon is of crimson with dark blue edges.


From 1901 to 1972, when the last Australian to receive the DSO was announced, 1,018 of this award have been made to Australians over the major conflicts, along with 70 first Bars and a single second Bar.


Lieutenant Colonel E.Smith, CO 1st tour and Lieutenant Colonel R.A.Grey CO 2nd tour were both awarded the Distinguished Service Order.



The Military Cross


Instituted in December 1914 and originally intended for lower ranking Army officers (Captain or less) and Warrant Officers for ‘distinguished and meritorious services’. The award carries the post-nominal initials MC.


In 1916 the award was extended to similar ranks of the Navy and Air Force but only for World War 1. Subsequently in 1931 the Cross was extended to lower ranked Air Force Officers for actions on the ground.


In 1920 the reason for the award was changed to be for ‘distinguished services in action’.


In 1953 the ceiling rank for availability was extended to Majors and to all ranks in 1993 with the discontinuation of the other ranks counter part the Military Medal.


The ribbon is of three equal stripes of white, rich purple and white.


Australians figure prominently among recipients, particularly from World War 1, with 2,403 awards, 170 first Bars and 4 second Bars. In total between 1901 and 1972, Australians were awarded 2,930 Military Crosses, with 188 first Bars and 4 second Bars.


Major E.J. O’Donnell, Second Lieutenant G. Lindsay,  Second Lieutenant G.H. Ross and Lieutenant G. Wenhlowskyj were awarded the Military Cross for distinguished services in action.

The Distinguished Conduct Medal


The DCM was created in 1854, discontinued in 1993 and awarded to non-commissioned officers and other ranks of the Army for ‘distinguished conduct in action in the field’. From 1942 members of the Navy and the Air Force were eligible for service on the ground.



The ribbon is of crimson with a dark blue central stripe about one-third of the width of the ribbon.



The last award to an Australian was made in 1972 arising from the Vietnam War.



Since the Boer War, the Medal has been awarded to 2071 members of the Army and 3 members of the Air Force. Thirty first Bars have been awarded, all to members of the Army. The majority of the Bars came from incidents in the First World War.



Sergeant R.D. Allen and Sergeant A.D. Sutherland were awarded the Distinguished Medal for bravery in Vietnam



The Military Medal


Created in 1916 for other ranks in the Army to correspond with the Military Cross instituted two years earlier, but eventually back dated in availability to 1914. Awarded to other ranks for ‘acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire’.


In 1916, the Medal was extended to other ranks of the Navy serving in France, but only for actions in World War 1. In 1931, the availability of the Medal was extended to other ranks of the Air Force for gallant conduct on the ground.


Discontinued in 1993 when the Military Cross was made available to all ranks.


The ribbon is principally of dark blue with three white and two crimson vertical stripes in the cental third.


Australians have won a very large number of Medals in the campaigns to 1972 when the last award to an Australian was made. 11,038 Medals were award to Army personnel and 14 to Air Force members. 478 first Bars were awarded, 15 second Bars and a unique third Bar to a stretcher bearer with the 55th Infantry Battalion AIF in World War 1, Private E A Corey, meaning he had won the Medal four times.


Private K.R. DownwardCorporal G.L. GriffithsStaff Sergeant C. RowleySergeant R. Savage and Corporal H.C Spradbrow were awarded the Military Medal for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire



Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)


King George V founded the Order to fill gaps in the British honours system: The Most Honourable Order of the Bath honoured only senior military officers and civil servants, The Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George honoured diplomats and the Royal Victorian Order honoured those who had personally served the Royal Family. In particular, King George V wished to honour the many thousands of people who served in numerous non-combatant capaccities during the First World War.


Originally, the Order included only one division; soon after its foundation, in 1918, it was formally divided into Military and Civil Divisions. The Order has been used to honour not only British citizens, but also citizens of other Commonwealth nations. During the Second World War, the Order of the British Empire was also awarded to senior military officers of allied nations, such as General George S. Patton



Warrant Officer Class One R.A.Bandy, Major D.A Drabsch, Major N.R.Smethurst and Warrant Officer Class One A.P.Thompson were made members of the award for their exemplorary service in Vietnam



Mentioned in Dispatches



During a campaign, a commander in the field wrote back to his higher authority informing them what was happening – who had attacked who, how many casualties had been received, what was the effect of his latest manoeuvre etc. He also mentioned officers and soldiers who had carried out a gallant action or who rendered distinguished service.


To be so mentioned was to have been “Mentioned in Despatches



The despatches were usually printed in the London Gazette, but up to the Great War, being mentioned in a despatch did not result in the officer or soldier receiving any visible mark (for example a medal) to show that he had been mentioned. It was only after the Great War had finished that it was decided to issue a small bronze oak leaf [top left] to any officer or soldier who had been mentioned in a despatch.


This emblem was usually worn on one of the medal ribbons that he had been awarded.



The following members of 7RAR were mentioned in Dispatches for distinguished service in the field

Private D.F. Bathersby,

Sergeant T.S. Bourke,

Staff Sergeant G.W. Brown,

Captain B.J. Caligari,

Major G.K. Chapman,

Sergeant D. Edmonds,

Second Lieutenant J.A. Fitzsimon,

Major A.B. Garland,

Sergeant H.A. King,

Pte K.B. Lang,

Corporal J.W.W. Lawson,

Major A.I.J.M. Mattay,

Major D. Mealey,

Second Lieutenant K. Metcalf,

Lance Corporal R. Parker,

Lance Corporal R.F. Richards,

Warrant Officer Class One J.P.A. Sheddick,

Major C.F. Thomson, and

Corporal G.D. Tredrea

Commander Australian Force Vietnam Commendations
Sergeant T.M. Bourke
Lance Corporal R.H. Burton–Bradley
Sergeant F. Curphey
Lance Corporal B.J. Gissell
Private P.W. Hemsworth
Sergeant F.G. Henderson
Private H.J. Holden
Private J.P. Howard
Private P. Kielly
Corporal J.W.W. Lawson
Corporal A.W. Mackenzie
Sergeant F.V. MacLean
Corporal R.D. McNeilly
Sergeant G. Manson
Corporal K.M. Page
Corporal G. Roussell
Sergeant J.L. Saxby
Private R.K. Schofield
Corporal D.L. Willis
Corporal G.J. Window
Second Lieutenant P.J. Winter

Army Commendation Medal for Service
Corporal D.R. Aylett


United States Decorations


The US Air Medal for Valour



The Air Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the armed forces of the United States,  (or her allies) shall have distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. Awards may be made to recognize single acts of merit or heroism or for meritorious service. Award of the Air Medal is primarily intended to recognize those personnel who are on current crew member or non-crew member flying status which requires them to participate in aerial flight on a regular and frequent basis in the performance of their primary duties.



The US Air Medal For Valour was awarded to Warrant Officer Class One JPA Sheddick


The Bronze Star

The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the military of the United States after 6 December 1941, distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.



Captain BJ Caligari was awarded the US Bronze Star for Meritorious Service

Republic of Vietnam awards

Cross of Gallantry with Palm
Lieutenant Colonel R.A. Grey
Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star
Major C.F. Thomson
Major G.P. Warland
Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star
Captain B.J. Caligari
Lieutenant C. Johnson
Second Lieutenant G. Lindsay
Second Lieutenant K. Metcalf
Staff Sergeant C. Rowley
Sergeant R. Savage
Second Lieutenant
G.R. Wenhlowskyj
Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star
Sergeant T.S. Bourke
Lance Corporal R.H. Burton–Bradley
Sergeant F.G. Henderson
Lance Corporal H.J. Holden
Private P. Kielly
Corporal J.E. McCabe
Sergeant R.D. McNeilly
Corporal K.M. Weightman
Armed Forces Honor Medal
Warrant Officer Class One R.A. Bandy
Major F.K. Cole
Captain C.J.R. Nord
Major N.R. Smethurst
Training Service Medal
Captain B.J. Caligari

9 thoughts on “South Vietnam

  1. I’m trying to contact Richard Bailey, who joined up with me 1959, and he served with the 7th 1967 and 1970. I am trying to organise a reunion with the blokes we went through Kapooka with 45 years later. Can you help.


  2. Hello 7RAR, I am enquiring, I’m pretty sure my dad was apart of your regiment, his name is Bruce James Richards, if someone who might know could please get in contact with me that would be great,
    Kind regards
    Natasha Morrison

    1. Hi Natasha
      It has been some years since you posted here, looking for information about your Dad. I served in a different company with 7 RAR in Vietnam, but I’m almost certain that I trained with him before we were both posted to 7 RAR. Whatever, I can help you to understand where we we serving over there and and the daily activities we were involved in, regardless of what company a man was serving in. You are very welcome to contact me via my email at ctjreid@hotmail.com or via my Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/ian.reid.3990/

  3. Hi 7rar
    My father served with 7 rar in Vietnam 1967-1968 K.R. Joselin (Kevin)
    I am desperate for any information on him or photos.
    Thanks and respect to you all.

  4. I am looking for Major George Lawson who served with me at Advisory Team 14, Phuc Quoc, Vietnam, 1970-71. He was later with the Red Cross in Queensland.

  5. Hello memebers of 7RAR,
    My late grandfather was part of 7RAR in South Vietnam his name was Douglas George Cowen service no. 3787532, I was wondering if anyone may have known him or could help me with finding more information on him.

  6. Hello 7Rar, my Dad, Malcolm Young, was serving in 1967, and I would like to here from any one about his time in Sth Vietam, he is in Hospital and not well.Service Number 61401

  7. Hello 7RAR, my Father served in Sth Vietnam service no 61401 Name ,Malcolm Young , I would like to hear from anyone who knows him or any photo of him would be really appreciated he is in Hospital and not well. Thank you for your time

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