Vietnam War, 1962-1975
Vietnam War, 1962-1975
Researching Australian military service
Australian military history overview: Vietnam War 1962-1975
The Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans was prepared by the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA). The roll contains information from the Service records of more than 60,000 military members who served during the Vietnam War. It also contains the names of more than 1,600 Australian civilians who had been awarded or were eligible to receive the Vietnam Logistics and Support Medal.
Personal service records
Service records of those who served with Australian forces are held by the National Archives of Australia. You can apply to the National Archives for copies of personal service records.
Those who died while serving
The Roll of Honour records the names of servicemen and servicewomen who died during or as a result of service with Australian military forces. The Roll of Honour introduction provides detailed information about Roll of Honour eligibility.
Where they served
War diaries were kept by the commanding officer of the unit to record their daily activities and location. The war diaries are held in the Official records series AWM95, which have been digitised and are available for viewing on the Memorial's website.
Royal Australian Navy
- Reports of Proceedings (ROPs), known earlier as “Letters of Proceedings”, are summaries of a ship’s or shore base’s activities. The reports were submitted by commanding officers to the Chief of Naval Staff. ROPs in the Memorial’s collection are being progressively digitised.
- Other ships' records can be found by searching the RecordSearch database using the name of the ship as your keyword.
Royal Australian Air Force
- The Research Centre holds microfilm copies of operational diaries for No 2 Squadron (RAAF), 1961-1971 in official records series AWM66 28/1/4/1.
- Some records of RAAF operations in Vietnam are also held at the National Archives of Australia. These can be located using the RecordSearch.
Official histories are a detailed chronological record of all services and all theatres of conflict. Australian operations in the Vietnam War are chronicled in The Official History of Australia’s Involvement in Southeast Asian Conflicts 1948-1975.
- Ian McNeill, To Long Tan: the Australian Army and the Vietnam War 1950-1966 (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1993) Volume 2 studies the Australian Army’s involvement in Vietnam up to the end of 1966, including the battle of Long Tan.
- Ian McNeill and Ashley Ekins, On the Offensive: The Australian Army in the Vietnam War 1967-1968 (Sydney: Allen & Unwin in association with the Australian War Memorial, 2003) Volume 8 continues the story of the Australian Army in the Vietnam War through the expansion of the Australian Task Force to the battles at Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral.
- Ashley Ekins and Ian McNeill, Fighting to the Finish: The Australian Army and the Vietnam War 1968-1975 (Sydney: Allen & Unwin in association with the Australian War Memorial, 2011) Volume 9 concludes the story of the Australian Army in the Vietnam War.
- Jeffrey Grey, Up Top: The Royal Australian Navy in Southeast Asian Conflicts, 1955-1972 (Allen & Unwin in association with the Australian War Memorial, Sydney, 1998) Volume 7 recounts RAN involvement in Vietnam.
- Chris Coulthard-Clark, The RAAF in Vietnam: Australian Air Involvement in the Vietnam War 1962-1975 (Sydney: Allen & Unwin in association with the Australian War Memorial, 1995) Volume 4 details RAAF involvement in Vietnam.
For further information please refer to our guide Researching the history of a unit.
Medals and awards
- Honours and Awards database: please note that not all those recommended for an award received one.
- Campaign and service medals research guide
- Australian military honours and awards research guide
- Alexander M. Palmer, Vietnam veterans: honours and awards, Army (Mosman Park, WA: Military Minded, 1995)
An alphabetical list which gives the citation for each award.
Where to look for photographs
- Collections Search provides access to digitised images of photographs held by the Memorial.
- Trove can search photographs and other images held by a range of major Australian libraries, archives and other cultural institutions
- Australia and the Vietnam War, Roll of Honour Image Gallery features images of the 521 Australians named on the Vietnam War Roll of Honour
Other sources of information
Australia’s Vietnam War: exploring the combat actions of the 1st Australian Task Force
Database and website developed by the University of New South Wales Canberra which combines combat data with mapping and graphing software to produce an interactive battle map of the campaign in Vietnam. Incorporates maps from both the present day and the Vietnam War era to display details of combat incidents involving Australian and New Zealand troops from the 1st Australian Task Force in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s.
Virtual War Memorial Australia is a commemorative collection, purpose built to honour the personal experiences of those who have served the nation in times of conflict.