9th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment

9th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (9RAR) was raised on 13 November 1967 in Adelaide. It was initially based at the Keswick Barracks before transferring to Woodside. The battalion arrived in Vietnam in November 1968, relieving 3 RAR. It formed part of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) and was based at Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy province.

9RAR joined Operation Goodwood (3 December-17 February) on 1 January, 1969. Goodwood was a reaction to a perceived threat posed by an increase in Viet Cong (VC) activity that suggested an offensive was being planned. The operation took place in the Bien Hoa province. On 17 February the battalion became involved in Operation Federal (17 February-2 April), also in Bien Hoa. It was engaged in searches and patrols following the 1969 Tet Offensive. The battalion returned to Nui Dat for a period of rest from 9 to 24 March. It then rejoined Federal until 2 April.

During April 1969 1ATF adopted pacification operations as its first priority. This involved seeking out and destroying the enemy in its base areas, preventing enemy access to the civilian population, and helping to create a secure climate for South Vietnamese social, political, and military life. The work was demanding, dangerous, and monotonous and was the primary task carried out by the battalion for the remainder of its tour.

9RAR was primarily engaged with pacification operations. All but three operations took place in Phuoc Tuy. On 2 April it was deployed to the Bien Hoa-Long Khanh-Phuoc Tuy border for Operation Overland (2-10 April). On 11 April it moved south within Bien Hoa and commenced Operation Overlander (11-15 April). The battalion then returned to the Bien Hoa province for Operation Jack (30 September-31 October). These operations were reconnaissance-in-force operations, involving patrolling, land clearing, and protecting civilians.

On 25 November 9RAR was relieved by 8RAR. The battalion arrived in Australia in December 1969.

Glossary

Battle Honours

Casualties

  • 35 killed
  • no wounded figures available

For more information please see the Roll of Honour and Vietnam War Nominal Roll (external website) databases.

Commanding Officers

Decorations

  • 1 DSO
  • 2 MC
  • 7 MM
  • 11 MID

For more information please see Honours and Awards database

References

  • 9 RAR Association, 9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment : Vietnam tour of duty 1968-1969 on active service., (Brisbane: 9 RAR Association, 1992)
  • Horner, David Murray, Duty first : the Royal Australian Regiment in war and peace, (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1990)
  • Kuring, Ian; Australian Army History Unit, Red Coats to Cams : a history of Australian Infantry 1788 to 2001, (Loftus N.S.W.: Australian Military History Publications in association with the Australian Army History Unit, 2004)
  • McNeill, Ian Graham; Australian War Memorial, To Long Tan : the Australian army and the Vietnam war 1950-1966, (St Leonards, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin in association with the Australian War Memorial, 1993)
  • McNeill, Ian Graham; Ekins, Ashley, On the offensive : the Australian Army in the Vietnam War, January 1967-June 1968, (Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 2003)