ADF members awarded RoV Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation

Australian Defence Force members from the Royal Australian Navy Clearance Diving Team Three (CDT3), Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight Vietnam (RANHFV), Royal Australian Air Force Transport Flight Vietnam (RTFV)/35 Squadron (SQN) and 9 SQN who served in Vietnam 50 years ago have been recognised with the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation (the Citation).

The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK, MC (Retd) has formally approved the awarding of the Citation in recognition of the military assistance provided to the former Republic of Vietnam while under the operational command of the United States Military Assistance Command.

The Citation was originally awarded by the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) to all units subordinate to Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) during the period 8 February 1962 and 28 March 1973, and to United States Army Vietnam and its subordinate units for the period 20 July 1965 and 28 March 1973.

Policy at the time regarding foreign awards to Australian military units required the foreign government to make a formal offer to the Australia Government. As no such offer was made, some units were overlooked for the Citation.

During a recent Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal review, the Royal Australian Air Force identified that RTFV/35SQN were eligible for the Citation. After additional research, Navy identified that CDT3 and RANHFV were eligible for the Citation and Air Force identified that 9SQN were eligible. Army identified that no other units were eligible for the Citation.

To be eligible for the Citation members must have served in Vietnam under the command of MACV and posted to one of the following units, during the eligible dates:

  • Royal Australian Navy Clearance Diving Team Three from 5 February 1967 to 5 May 1971
  • Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight Vietnamfrom 16 October 1967 to 8 June 1971
  • Royal Australian Navy personnel in 9 Squadron (8 personnel) from February 1968 to April 1969
  • Royal Australian Air Force personnel in 9 Squadron from June 1966 to December 1971
  • Royal Australian Air Force Transport Flight Vietnam/35 Squadron from August 1964 to February 1972

The palm on the Citation is bronze, rather than gold, and previously issued citation devices are incorrect. Personnel wishing to obtain the bronze palm device should return their existing device for replacement to the Directorate of Honours and Awards at:

Directorate of Honours and Awards
Citation Exchange
PO BOX 7952
CANBERRA   BC   ACT   2610

Further details about the award and eligibility requirements and the exchange of incorrect devices are available on the Directorate of Honours and Awards website at: www.defence.gov.au/medals

 


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Brian Hartigan

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5 thoughts on “ADF members awarded RoV Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation

  • 24/10/2018 at 6:47 pm
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    Unlike the 1st Australian Task Force in Phuoc Tuy province, which operated independently of American forces, 2 Squadron was integrated into the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing, although its missions were restricted to targets in South Vietnam. 35th Tac Fighter Wing was part of MACV. People who served with 2 Sqn RAAF have been entitled to wear the citation for many years. I think the same can be said for AATT

    Reply
  • 12/06/2017 at 11:50 am
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    I am of the view that – regrettably, no Australian personnel are eligible for the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (CofG) with Palm Unit Citation as awarded to MACV under DA GO 8, This was quite apparent in the mid-March 1973 MACV proposal to the RVN Joint General Staff (JGS) for the Vietnamese CofG Unit Citation to MACV – written as MACV “scrambled” to pack up and leave Saigon after the late January 1973 Paris Accords; and also apparent in the actual RVN JGS CofG Unit Citation No.034 for MACV that was subsequently issued by the RVN JGS on 5 April 1973 (ie that was the basis for the US Department of the Army DA GO 8 Citation to MACV). Indeed, in a 2007 Newsletter by Defence (Canberra) Directorate of Honours and Awards (Defence Honours and Awards – Issue # 3, July 2007; titled “The Gallantry Cross Unit Citation – the Myth”), Defence specifically noted that in respect of that “MACV DA GO 8/RVN CofG Unit Citation”: “The order relates only [sic] to the United States Army and has no authority for Australian personnel. At no time during the Vietnam War was an Australian unit or an individual person under the command of the United States.”
    In January 2017, a copy of the original RVN JGS Citation No.034 was passed to Defence Canberra – and the above views were put to Defence Canberra, Army, and DHAAT. The matter is reportedly currently under review.

    Reply
    • 20/05/2018 at 4:54 pm
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      Once again 36 Squadron Hercules C130’s and 37 Squadron C130E’s have been overlooked including the Med-evac teams who accompanied us.
      Jockey Fordyce RAAF aircrew.

      Reply
  • 03/02/2017 at 3:53 pm
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    I triggered this matter by lodging a Review Submission to the Honours & Awards Tribunal after a nearly 3 year bureaucratic battle with the Defence Department. The initial Submission was made on behalf of RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam/No. 35 Squadron, who were first in/last out of RAAF Units in Vietnam.

    My Flight arrived in Vietnam in August 1964 and was immediately formally handed over to the operational command of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, and assigned to USAF 2nd Air Division, Vietnam. The Flight was enlarged to full Squadron status in June 1966, and transferred to the operational command of the U.S. 7th Air Force – assigned to USAF 834th Air Division. Our last Caribou aircraft left Vietnam in February 1972.

    The RVN Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Award now finally approved by the Australian Government
    was a “Unit” Award granted by the RVN Government to Military Assistance Command Vietnam and
    “its Subordinate Units” and covered the span from 8 February 1962 until 28 March 1973. As such, it is a Unit Award not an individual Award.

    The Flight/Squadron was eligible for the RVN Award, and a USAF Outstanding Unit Award initially offered to our USAF parent group while we were under the operational control of the USAF 315 Air Commando Group (TC). However, by the time the official wheels turned and the Awards were finally made, due to reorganization of the MACV U.S. Airlift Command we had been transferred to the 7th Air Force and missed out.

    My pursuit of the Award was to seek some final recognition of the outstanding performance of our Flight/Squadron, given the total lack of any Australian Government acknowledgement for our service in Vietnam.

    Reply
  • 16/01/2017 at 8:46 pm
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    What about the SASR I know they had members attached to MACV in 68 and in 71. I am sure other it happened in other years too. Or did the unit as a whole had to be loaned or seconded to MACV.

    Reply

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