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azyeoman

Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand Vietnam Groups

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_05_2014/post-7116-0-10090700-1399494537.jpg3 RIR, RAAF, RNIR and Canadian ICSC

Unfortunately the New Zealander, a Maori, died while serving in Malaya.

The file on the man in the 3 RIR is about 40 pages long and includes a nice photo of him training Vietnamese troops.

Edited by azyeoman

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That is an awesome grouping. I have not seen too many British/Commonwealth groupings for the Vietnam War. What was the extent of their involvment?

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The medal was awarded for serving in Vietnam from 1964 - 1973. Australians and New Zealanders were awarded the Vietnam Medal and the South Vietnam Campaign Medal. BOTH of them were named. There were only 3,312 New Zealanders who were awareded the medals making theirs quite scarce to rare on the market. The Aussie medals were impressed in large capitals while the New Zealand medals were in small capitals. KIA, SAS or 6 RAR for the Battle of Long Tan are super desirable and are expensive. WIAs are rare and expensive too. There were only 2,800 RAN, so medals to them are unusual. There is a "new" Vietnam Logistics & Support Medal with a slightly different ribbon that has been awarded and there are about 20K eligible for it. For the Vietnam Medal though, there were around 18K who served there. It's fairly easy to find them to corps, harder for RAAF and or any of the RIRs it's much harder. There is a lot of info on line and it's easy to confirm whether or not the medal is genuine. There are a lot of replacements but they're named differently; they're pantographed and I would wait to get one that is impressed unless you have good providence with the group; i.e., from the vet. : ) The Australians and New Zealanders have much to be proud of regarding their service and they saw a lot of action. I also know some guys who were stationed with them and they used to have great parties. I understand the Aussies brought the beer and the Yanks brought the beef. There are some other photos and info elsewhere on this site that are well worth looking at.

Edited by azyeoman

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The medals above are left to right as below...

  • Australian Infantry
  • Queens Vietnam 154459 R. C. A. Ellis
  • Vietnamese Service Cross 154459 R.C.A. Ellis
With ribbon bar, combat, collar and cap badges, and Australian Military Forces shoulder sleeve insignia.

Also with entire official military service file with one photo.

Mounted as worn.

  • Australian Air Force
  • Queens Vietnam A45107 Brown R.G.
  • Defence Force Service Medal A45107 Brown R.G.
  • RAAF LSGC QEII A45107 Brown R.G.
  • Vietnamese Service Cross A45107 Brown R.G.
With cap badge, AMF tie tac and Air Force Association badge.

New Zealand Infantry

  • Queens Vietnam 40331 LCpl. B. Wahanui RNZIR
  • Vietnamese Service Cross 40331 B. Wahanui
  • MISSING GSM 1962 Malay Peninsula and Borneo.
With cap badge and cloth shoulder titles Edited by azyeoman

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Obverse Brown group; All are officially named and the RAAF LSGC is very nicely officially engraved on the rim

Edited by azyeoman

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Reverse of Brown group

Brown was in 35 Sqd. of the RAAF also known as "Wallaby Airlines". The Sqd. flew DHC-4 Caribou aircraft, which were the first mass-produced short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft of its size. The Sqd. was the first into the theater in 1964 and the last out in 1972.

Edited by azyeoman

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Reverse of the New Zealand pair and info on the recipient.

Barry 'Brownie' Wahanui. (Brownie is a common nick name for Maoris). His medals were named to him as a L/Cpl but the regimental records show him as a Cpl, so he was probably promoted to that rank just before he died on 19th April 1969 in Malaya. A NZ genealogy site states he is buried in Kawhia Cemetery on the west coast of the North Island, SW of Hamilton. Maoris go to extraordinary lengths to be buried on their ancestral land. So that cemetery is on Barry's tribal land which would have been in his tribe's ownership for hundreds of years.
NZDF have advised that he served in Singapore, Malaysia and Borneo 1963 - 1966 and in Vietnam 1967 - 1969. On this basis basis his full medal entitlement is:-
Operational Service Medal, CSM 1962 with clasps Borneo and Malay Peninsula, Vietnam Medal*, GSM (Warlike) with clasp Vietnam, Defense Service Medal with clasp Regular, Pingat Jasa Malaysia and Vietnamese Campaign Medal with 1960 date bar*.
* medals shown below
CSM 1962 - missing, but note, NZDF confirmed he is entitled to both clasps. (In NZ this medal is usually referred to as the General SM 1962, but correctly it is the Campaign SM 1962).
The other medals are available for claiming by his n-o-k should they wish as they were issued long after he died as follows:
OSM in 2002, GSM (W) + Viet. clasp 2008, DSM 2011, PJM 2006
W Company RNZIR made 3 tours to Vietnam. It was known as Whisky 1 (W1) or W2 or W3.
W1 was in SVN between 16 Dec 1967 to 14 Nov 1968, therefore Defence are not quite correct in saying he was in Vietnam up to 1969 (unless he was too sick (?) to travel back to Malaya with the rest of W1). The NZ infantry companies were attached to Australian Battalions and most of the NZ'ers were brought up to speed in Malaya prior to flying into SVN. When their tours were finished they flew back to Malaya. Assuming Barry Wahanui left SVN when his Company finished its tour he only lived some five 5 months before dying in Malaya. The Vietnam Medal was instituted in July 1968 and was made available to the ANZAC contingent who went to Paris for the 50th Anniversary of the Armistice on 11 Nov. 1968. It would be surprising if Wahanui had received them in Malaya; although if his death was gradual (through sickness) then Defence may have pulled out all stops to get them to him. However it's more likely they were sent to his next of kin.

Edited by azyeoman

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Just to add to this conversation regarding NZ medal groups for Vietnam. As well as the two medals [Queens Vietnam, and Star] a New Zealander is also entitled to the NZ Operational Service Medal and the NZ General Service Medal (Warlike) and if the person did more than three years of service they would also get the NZ Defence Service Medal. So in all a Vietnam Vet can get from four to five medals. The missing ones can be acquired by collectors as well but they tend to take a wee bit longer to be issued and involve more paperwork to Defence

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Were those issued afterwards and were they named? It would be nice to see a photo of vets sporting all of them on a bar. :whistle:

Cheers,

John

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Hopefully I can manage to add an image in here as an example of one of the groups. This one does not have the Defence Service Medal as it was taken some time ago.

The NZ Operational Service Medal came into existance, along with the NZ General Service Medal (Warlike) about ten years ago..

The Defence Service Medal is a rather recent addition and started being issued and back issued only in the past three years.

All of these three were made retrospective to the end of the Second World War, and is the reason that so many of the groups from Vietnam come on the market without these three additional medals

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Regarding the naming of these medals, the Operational Medal is NOT awarded named at all. I have seen some that have been privately named in groups. The other two medals are most definately awarded named with Service number, Initials, last name and service.

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Interesting and thank you very much for posting. So does the govt. send them to those who apply for them or do people purchase them... I'd think the former. Are there veteran's organizations that people want to join and actually go to and relax and visit? Do the vets get together and march or celebrate ANZAC Day and wear their medal bars? BTW, who's the man in the photo?

Edited by azyeoman

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These awards are issued free to those who apply, their eligibility is checked before the award is issued.

I have noted that there are sellers of cheap knock-offs on the market today and selling these awards and others for just a few dollars, the genuine ones fetch hundreds of dollars each let alone if they are part of a group

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_05_2014/post-7116-0-07089600-1399494689.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_05_2014/post-7116-0-58013500-1399494738.jpgNot Australian or New Zealand, but the latest addition to this small collection of Commonwealth groups for Vietnam

A rare Canadian ICSC Medal Group - The International Commission and the very rare Canadian ICSC Medal Group named - The International Commission for Supervision and Control Indo-China (ICSC) Medal (CAPT. C.R. GARSTANG), Canadian Forces Decoration QEII (CAPT. C.R. GARSTANG), and Canadian Special Service Medal, mounted as worn, missing pin, rare, extremely fine.

ICSC was an interesting organization that while nominally neutral, helped the CIA in Vietnam. Listen to Blair Seaborn's (The Head of the Canadian Contingent in the ICSC) interview: http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categories/war-conflict/peacekeeping/peacekeepers-and-peacemakers-canadas-diplomatic-contribution/diplomacy-or-complicity.html

For photo of then Lt. C.R. Garstang, IO go to: http://www.canadianguards.ca/Albumbc.htm and view:

LtoR Capt JR White A/Coy Comd 8 Coy, Lt CR Garstang IO* and LtCol HEC Price, CO 2 Cdn Gds, at Haltern 1958.

* Intelligence Officer

See photo below - Garstang is in the center.

London Gazette 16 October 1951 p. 5360

Territorial Army

2nd Lt. C.R. Garstang (382451) is granted the rank of Lt. 11th Feb. 1951.

London Gazette Suppliment 16 October 1951 p. 5361

2nd Lt. C.R. Garstang (382451) from Active List, to be 2nd Lt. 8th May 1951, retaining his present seniority.

London Gazette 27 March, 1956 p. 1804

W. Yorks.

Territorial Army Reserve of Officers

Lt. C.R. Garstang (382451) relinquishes his commission 24th of February 1955 on appointment to a commission in the Canadian Army.

INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR SUPERVISION AND CONTROL SERVICE MEDAL (ICSC)

Origins: Following the end of the Second World War, instability in French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia grew into a full-fledged conflict as the Viet Minh waged a war of independence against French forces. In July 1954 a conference was held in, and accords were signed. Three separate commissions were established, one each for Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The accords further divided into two separate parts, North and South. The International Commission for Supervision and Control (ICSC) was charged with supervising the cease-fires and the with-drawl of French military personnel, facilitating the return of refugees to their homes and patriating of civilian and military prisoners. The commission was quite literally intended to supervise and control the implementation of the accords.

At the direction of the commissions Indian delegation, a medal was authorized by the ICSC in February 1961, although approval from the Department of National Defence did not come until March 1962. Even then, the department was still considering whether or not to institute a Canadian General Service Medal rather than allow Canadian personnel to accept medals from international organizations. The General Service Medal project was never approved, therefore the ICSC medal was sanctioned.

Criteria: Awarded for ninety days service consecutive or cumulative as a member of the Commission between 7 August 1954 and 28 January 1973. Persons killed while serving with the commission were automatically awarded the medal posthumously.

Medal: A circular antiqued bronze medal, 34mm in diameter, bearing the crossed flags of Canada and Poland, with the arms of India in the center and the dove of peace at the point where the flags cross, circumscribed by the words International Commission for Supervision and Control, with the word Peace at the base. The reverse bears a map of Indochina with the names of the three countries Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Suspender: A floral motif connects the mounting suspender to the medal: the suspender through which the ribbon passes appears to be shoots of bamboo.

Ribbon: A 32mm wide ribbon of three equal stripes: dark green, white and red. The green represents India, the white peace and the red Canada and Poland.

Bars: None

Other: The medal was made by Bartons Jewelers of Bangalore, India. The recipients name and rank were impressed on the rim in block capitals, and the impression was then filled in with white paint. This award was superseded by the ICCS Medal.

Number of Awards: 1,550 in total with Canada getting around 300 plus. The exact numbers available are conflicting and as of now are not verifiable.

According to Guy Paquette in his Reunification of Vietnam: The Canadian Connection

The French military defeat at Dien Bien Phu swiftly lead to negotiations and from May to July, 1954, a conference was convened in Geneva, Switzerland, to resolve the problems within Indo-China; specifically Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The Geneva Accords was drafted and provided for Vietnams return to independence - but, not before free elections were scheduled for July of 1956. Until then, Vietnam was temporarily divided into two states to enable the separation of the opposing parties. The Communists were to go to the north of the 17th parallel while others were to withdraw to the south.

A three-nation observer force was installed under the auspices of the Geneva agreement. Canada, Poland and Indian made up the International Commission for Supervision and Control (ICSC). This non-United Nations (UN) force consisted, respectively, of western, communist, and neutral administrators and military personnel. It was an unexpected and unique invitation for Canada that saw members of External Affairs and the military on a mission together. In short order, 133 Canadians were dispatched to locations throughout Indo-China during the fall of 1954. The ICSC mission was to ensure that the cease-fire was obeyed, that military forces and refugees returned to their areas and that cross-border movement of unauthorized military personnel and war materiel was controlled throughout Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. As part of the Agreement, the international observers were to monitor the elections that would determine Vietnams future as a nation.

The members of the Canadian Delegation were witnesses to history from the onset. The former Viet Mihn alliance crumbled as Ho Chi Minh and his communist allies seized power in the north while Emperor Bao Dais nationalists were left to administer the south. However, it didnt take long for Bao Dai to be flushed out of the scene as the USA intensified its involvement in the politics and warfare of Southeast Asia. In October of 1955, the anti-communist, U.S. backed, Ngo Dinh Diem declared the south as the Republic of Vietnam and announced himself as its president.

The promised elections that Canadians were to observe never transpired. Ngo Dinh Diem continued to squash any talk of elections by refusing to negotiate with the North all the while suppressing any opposition to his rule. His defiance spoiled the hope of reunification and this lead to the Second Indochina War, better known as the Vietnam War of the 1960s. Canadians left in 1959 but rejoined the ICSC in the 1960s. In 1965, two Canadian soldiers were killed during the observer mission as Vietnam was engulfed in war between communist and democratic powers. The UN finally pulled the ICSC out of Southeast Asia as the war peaked in 1969.

Vietnam, the former colony, would not be a nation again until the north and the south were united - and - the communists had plans for that eventuality. The Canadian connection to Vietnam continued as a result of the January 1973 peace talks between the USA, the Vietcong, North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Canada returned to the embattled area to monitor peace under the United Nations new International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICCS). However, the political divisions ran too deep and the desire to be one country was too strong. In 1975, a well-coordinated invasion of the south by communist forces sealed Vietnams fate. The former colony was reunified and once again a nation.

Edited by azyeoman

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A very fine Korean War Peacekeeping 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and Vietnam War 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment officer group awarded to Lieutenant Colonel F.J. Spry, Royal Australian Army, who served as second in command of the 5th Battalion in Vietnam during a tour of operations from March 1969 to February 1970, assuming acting command of the Battalion during Operation Camden.

Group of 3: United Nations Medal for Korea, officially impressed naming; (3/35057 F.J. SPRY); Vietnam Medal 1964-1973; (335057 F.J. SPRY); South Vietnam Campaign Medal 1964-1972, with silver 1960 clasp; (335057 F.J. SPRY), mounted court style for display.


Korean War Service: 5 July 1954 - 25 April 1955 (295 days) 1st RAR

Vietnam War Service: 8 February 1969-5 March 1970 (391 days) 5 RAR

Spry is in photos and in the book The Year of the Tigers - the Second tour of 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment in South Vietnam 1969-1970, published 1987


Frederick Joseph Spry was born In Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 15 January 1933, was originally commissioned as a Lieutenant into the Royal Australian Army when he joined the Australian Staff Corps on 9 December 1953. He saw service in Japan in support of the latter stages of the Korean War and was officially posted to the 4 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment from 9 December 1953 to 4 July 1954. He was posted to the 1st Recruit Training Battalion from 12 September 1955 to 12 November 1956, and promoted to Temporary Captain from 13 November 1956 to 8 December 1957. He served as Adjutant of the 3rd Infantry Battalion from 13 November 1956 to 28 July 1960.
 Spry was promoted to Captain in the Australian Staff Corps on 9 December 1957, and then posted to the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment from 29 July 1960 to 17th December 1961, being then appointed Staff Captain of "A" Headquarters to Northern Command from 18 December 1961 to 27 June 1963 while attached to the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment from 28 June to 19 August 1963. Then Spry was fully posted to the 2nd Battalion from 20 August 1968 to 24 January 1965, having held the rank of Temporary Major from 30 September to 8 December 1963, and promoted to full Major with the Australian Staff Corps on 9 December 1963.
 Spry was posted to the Australian Staff College from 25 January 1965 to 6 February 1966, and was appointed General Staff Officer 2nd Grade to the Headquarters of the Northern Territories Command from 7 February 1966 to 18 March 1968, and after was posted to the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment from 19 March 1968 to 17 May 1970, when he served as Battalion Second in Command. 
It was during his time as Battalion Second in Command that Spry saw service during a tour of operations in South Vietnam, during the 5th Battalion's second tour of operations during the Vietnam War. He is well recorded and in much detail in the book The Year of the Tigers - the Second tour of 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment in South Vietnam 1969-1970. Spry is recorded in the book on a number of occasions, the book being a fantastic pictorial record of the tour of operations. Spry had in fact been 'given some special treatment by the troops on board H.M.A.S. Sydney during the "Crossing the Equator" fun and games in February 1969 while enroute to Vietnam, and was specifically recorded in a report concerning 'Operation Camden' which lasted from 29th July to 31st August 1969 when 3rd Platoon and the Assault Pioneer Platoon of the 5th RAR encountered the 3rd Battalion of the 274th North Vietnamese Regiment and a fierce action ensued with a number of casualties, and at the height of the action 'Major Fred Spry, the Acting Battalion Commander who had arrived directly overhead in 'Possum' (Bell Sioux Helicopter) and unflinchingly assumed the mantle of the fearless Lieutenant Colonel Colin 'Genghis' Khan, dropped the much needed shell dressings onto the position' - it being at the time impossible to conduct casualty evacuation due to the intense fire. It is clear that Spry was in temporary command of the 5th Battalion at the time. 
During his period with the 5th Battalion in 1969, it conducted - Operation Quintus Thrust in March - this being a reconnaissance in force operation to prevent enemy forces approaching Baria from the west; Operation Federal Overlander in March, - conducted in order to react to a significant enemy threat to the US bases in the Long Binh and Bien Hoa area; Operation Deerstalk in April - a follow on to the previous operation; Operation Surfside in April - to locate and destroy the Viet Cong D445 Battalion; Operation Twickenham 2 from May to June - to search and destroy in the Nui Bao and Nui Dinh mountains; Operation Hammer in June - the battle of Binh Ba; Operation Tong in June - when C Company attacked the village of Hoa Long; Operation Esso 1, 2 & 3 in July - to counteract the enemy use of mines; Operation Distant Trumpet in July - to disrupt a reported planned offensive by the Viet Cong D445 Battalion; Operation Camden in July to August - conducted in order to protect a US Land Clearing Team and conduct a reconnaissance in force; Operation Kingston in September - in order to locate and destroy D445 Battalion; Operation King's Cross in October to December - to prevent a large scale offensive against Route 15 posts; and finally Operation Bondi 1 & 2 from December 1969 through to February 1970 - this being a cordon and search of the hamlets of Duc Trung, Binh Ba, and Duc My and the return home to Australia.
 On his return from Vietnam, Spry was appointed to Assistant Quartermaster General at Headquarters of Eastern Command on 18 May 1970, and promoted to Temporary Lieutenant Colonel on the same day. He was fully promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 31 August 1970, and was afterwards seconded to the Department of Defence Services as an Advisor at Singapore from 5 July 1971. He retired not long afterwards.

In the group photo below, Major Spry, second in command is the fifth officer from the left in the front row. Next, Spry is in the "hot seat" getting special treatment while crossing the equator on his way to Vietnam in the second photo. In the photo on board HMAS Sydney, Maj. Spry is the officer on the far left. The photo was taken at Garden Island on 10 March 1970.

Here is 5RAR's operational list for 1969-70: http://www.5rar.asn.au/ops/opslist2.htm

For more information on Operation Camden, please see: http://www.5rar.asn.au/narrative/op-camden-2.htm

Edited by azyeoman

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One think to to consider with Vietnam groups is that in a many cases, duplicate sets were issued to the soldier so if you buy a group, it pays to see if a duplicate group was also issued.

Copies of Vietnam groups were also made by the late Rex Clark.

Edited by bushchook

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Yes, that's very true, and these are officially named, I'm happy to say. :-)

Edited by azyeoman

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