Title: The ANZAC Battalion – A Record of the Tour of 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, 1st Battalion, the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (The Anzac Battalion) in South Vietnam, 1967 – 68
Author: Newman, Kevin Eugene
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication Date: 1995
Cover: Hard Cover with no Dust Jacket – 175 pages
Comments: The detailed history of the Second Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) in Vietnam 1967 – 1968. Now a scarce and highly desirable Vietnam War unit history title.
In 1945 Australia sent three units to Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF). Originally known as the 65th, 66th and 67th Infantry Battalions, they were raised from Australian divisions stationed in New Guinea and Borneo at the end of the Second World War. On 23 November 1948, the battalions were renamed the First, Second and Third Battalions, The Australian Regiment, respectively. The prefix “Royal” was granted by King George VI on 31 March 1949.
The 2RAR advance party arrived in Vietnam in April 1967. Some members of the battalion would only serve six months in Vietnam, as they had already completed 18 months of overseas service in Malaysia and Borneo. The battalion was brought to full strength with new recruits and National Service Scheme conscripts from Australia; it took over from 6RAR in May. It was stationed at Nui Dat, Phuoc Tuy province, as part of the First Australian Task Force (1ATF).
V Company from the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR), was attached to 2RAR as a fifth rifle company. V Company was relieved by W Company in December 1967.
2RAR, as part of 1ATF, was deployed to the Bien Hoa-Long Khanh border for Operation Coburg (24 January – 1 March 1968). Coburg aimed to protect allied bases during the 1968 Tet Offensive. It was the first time 1ATF had been deployed outside Phuoc Tuy. 2RAR was involved in the operation until 14 February. The New Zealand W Company remained with 3RAR until the end of the operation, rejoining 2RAR in March.
2RAR continued to carry out operations in Phuoc Tuy province. In February 1968 those members who had completed their two years’ overseas service withdrew to Australia. The battalion was brought up to full strength by amalgamating with V2 and W1 companies (RNZIR) on 1 March. The battalion was formally given the title “2RAR/NZ”. It was the first official integration of Australian and New Zealand forces into an infantry battalion under the same name.
On 25 April, the battalion was deployed to the Bien Hoa-Long Khanh border for Operation Toan Thang (21 April – 7 June). 2RAR returned to Nui Dat on 5 May to prepare for its return to Australia. On 1 June it was relieved by 4RAR. It arrived in Australia on 13 June.
Includes Nominal Roll