Timelines

Australians at War 1901-2000

1961–1966

16 January 1962

Death of J F Hurley, first official AIF photographer, appointed during the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917. The photographs taken by Hurley and his colleague, G H Wilkins, of this battle have become synonymous with the appalling conditions faced by Australian soldiers on the Western Front during World War I.

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August 1962

A group of 30 advisors of the Australian Army Training Team (AATTV) was deployed to Vietnam during August 1962.

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1963-1966

1963–1966
Australian military units in Borneo helped defend the borders of Malaysia against incursions from Indonesia during the Confrontation conflict.

It was [for Australia] an important victory gained in a short time at a low price. Would that all Australia's military involvements had such happy consequences

[Dr Jeffrey Grey, official historian, Indonesian Confrontation conflict].

The number of Australians who died in the Indonesian Confrontation (1963–1966): 15.
From the names recorded on the national Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial.

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August 1964

During August, RAAF Caribou flight established at Vung Tau, Vietnam.

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November 1964

Introduction of selective conscription by ballot for military service.

May 1965

The first Australian combat force of 1,100 soldiers was sent to Vietnam.

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13 November 1965

Warrant Officer K A Wheatley, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), awarded posthumously the first Victoria Cross won in Vietnam.

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April 1966

Prime Minister Harold Holt visited Australian forces in Vietnam.

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May 1966

Australian Task Force of 4,500 men was established at Nui Dat, Vietnam.

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18 August 1966

Enlarge The Piper’s Lament, dedication of the battlefield memorial, the Long Tan Cross, 18 August 1969, to those who died in the Battle of Long Tan, 18 August 1966.
The Piper’s Lament, dedication of the battlefield memorial, the Long Tan Cross, 18 August 1969, to those who died in the Battle of Long Tan, 18 August 1966. [AWM negative BEL/69/0556/VN]

Battle of Long Tan, Vietnam.

I saw a rain and sweat drenched man in green, laden like a pack mule, aged 21 going on 50, cutting his way through jungle by day to find and attack the enemy, then laying all night in paddy fields or on trails in ambush.

[Brigadier Colin Kahn DSO at Martin Place Cenotaph on 3 October 1987, speaking of the experience of Australian soldiers during the Vietnam War].

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October 1966

Enlarge Australian singer Patty McGrath entertaining Australian troops at Nui Dat, 1967.
Australian singer Patty McGrath entertaining Australian troops at Nui Dat, 1967. [AWM negative CAN/67/886/VN]

President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, visited Australia and Prime Minister Harold Holt declared that 'Australia will be all the way with LBJ'.

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