July 18, 2024

Col E.H.Smith, DSO

 Colonel Eric H. Smith  graduated from a two year course at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in December 1944, aged nineteen.

He joined the 2/3rd Australian Infantry Battalion (2nd AIF) in July 1945 and was a platoon commander at Wewak. Later that year he was posted to the 4th Australian Infantry Battalion (AIF) for a short time before being posted to the 67th Australian Infantry Battalion, the predecessor of 3RAR, as one of its original members. He served in Korea with 1RAR, become the senior instructor at the Officer Cadet School, Portsea, in 1953 and was selected to attend the Army Staff College at Camberly, UK, in 1956.

He served as a major in 1RAR and 2 RAR in Malaya and in Australia in the Citizens Military Forces and in training staff positions before being tasked to raise and command 7RAR. He was the only commanding Officer of an Austalian infantry battalion in Vietnam who had had commissioned active service in World War II.

Colonel Smith was awarded Mentioned in Dispatches (MID) for his service with 1 RAR in Korea and was awarded a Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for his service in Vietnam as Commanding Officer of 7RAR.

Extract from: Conscripts and Regulars by Michael O’Brien

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