Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight VietnamPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders / Peter Williams

The monument commemorates members of the Royal Australian Navy (R.A.N.) Helicopter Flight Vietnam and men of the U.S. Army 135th Helicopter Company. 

On 14 July 1967, the Minister for Defence, Mr Allen Fairhall announced that eight R.A.N. helicopter pilots and supporting staff would join a United States (US) Army helicopter unit in South Vietnam to provide support for allied forces, including the 1st Australian Task Force in Phuoc Tuy province. The new flight, designated the Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight Vietnam (RANHFV), was to be integrated with the US Army 135th Assault Helicopter Company (AHC) flying Iroquois helicopters in both the utility and gun-ship configurations.

The first contingent arrived in Vietnam on 16 October 1967 and was quickly integrated with the 330 personnel of the 135th AHC. The RAN members took their place in the 135th according to rank and seniority with Ralph as second-incommand as well as officer-in-charge of the RANHFV. As a result of this unique relationship between the R.A.N. and the US Army, the unit was officially designated ‘EMU’, for Experimental Military Unit. This was fitting, given that the EMU is a native Australian bird, yet amusing at the same time because of the Emu’s inability to fly.

The Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight Vietnam was the most highly decorated Royal Australian Navy unit and it was awarded the Unit Citation for Gallantry on the 1st of June 2018 which was presented by the Governor-General of Australia at the Australian War Memorial on the 18th of August 2018.

Australia's military involvement in the Vietnam War began with the arrival of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) in South Vietnam during July and August 1962.  Australia's participation in the war was formally declared at an end when the Governor-General issued a proclamation on 11 January 1973.

However, the end-date of Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War has officially been amended to 29 April 1975 to reflect Australia’s further involvement in the war during the fall of Saigon in 1975.  The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Australian War Memorial, in Canberra now recognise this new date.


Address:Meroo Street, Walsh Memorial Park , Bomaderry, 2541
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.854667
Long: 150.609169
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:14-July-1967
Approx. Event End Date:1971


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 27th April, 2002
Front Inscription

Plaque :
This Monument Is Dedicated The Men Of The (sic)
            Royal Australian Navy
         United States Army
         Who Served In The
135th Assault Helicopter Company Of The U.S. Army

       In Recognition Of Their
Dedication, Valour And Sacrifice
During The Conflict In The Republic Of Vietnam 
            1967 To 1971

Plaque :

The Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight - Vietnam, A Detachment Of 723 Squadron, HMAS Albatross, Based At Nowra, NSW, Was Fully Integrated With The 135th Assault Helicopter Company Of The United States Army From 1967 To 1971.

The 135th A.H.C., Operating Troop Carrying And Ground Attack Helicopters In Support Of Australian, US And South Vietnam Armed Forces, Was Part Of The War Against Insurgency In The Republic Of South Vietnam.

This Unique Combat Unit, Dubbed The Experimental Military Unit, Or EMUs Confirmed Its Motto, `Get The Bloody Job Done` With Exemplary Achievements, Which Were Not Without Loss And Sacrifice.

Lest We Forget

This Monument Was Unveiled By 
Chief Of Defence Force, Admiral C. A. Barrie AC RAN
27 April 2002


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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