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Study shows almost 60,000 served in Vietnam War

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MEDIA RELEASET he H on C on S c ia c c a MP M i n i s t e r f o r V e t e r a n s ' A f f a ir s 48/95 29 October, 1995


The first complete nominal roll of Australians who served in the Vietnam war has been compiled by the Federal Government after 18 months of detailed research.

The Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Con Sciacca, announced the completion of the nominal roll today which revealed that previous Defence Department estimates of about 53,000 people who served during the war were incorrect. Other popular estimates had believed it was as low as 50,000.

He said new statistics from the nominal roll shows the number of Vietnam service personnel had been underestimated by at least 5000 people.

Mr Sciacca said the roll contained the names o f 59, 053 men and 484 women who, between 23 May 1962 and 1 July 1973, served in the armed forces and civilians who were in Vietnam with medicals teams and philanthropic

organisations or as merchant seamen, correspondents and official entertainers.

He said statistics contained in the roll showed that the average age of Vietnam veterans was 51 years and that 80 per cent of them were now between 44 and 56 years. .

"The Federal Government is proud to have sponsored this major piece of research that is regarded as the most complete and accurate nominal roll of Australians who served in the Vietnam war.

"This nominal roll represents a major part of the welcome home process that Vietnam veterans having been trying to piece together since they returned from the war," Mr Sciacca said.

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"It will also represents the starting point of some very important research in regard to the health of Vietnam veterans and its impact on their families. The Department of Veterans' Affairs can now begin its $350,000 Vietnam veteran health study, which will form the basis of future policy development."

Mr Sciacca said the health study would look at problems such as alcohol and drug abuse, smoking, obesity, family health and working status.

Media Adviser: Amanda Lampe (0411) 241 356

(06) 277 7820 (W)

Table 1: Numbers of male veterans by first Vietnam service

Service Group

Regular National Service CMF


On Shore - Vietnam At Sea - Vietnam Visit Vietnam Logistic Support


Visit Vietnam Stationed in Vietnam Stationed Outside Vietnam


War Correspondents SEATO Surgical Aid Teams Merchant Seamen Entertainers Red Cross YMCA

Salvation Army Everymans AFOF





21,371 19,384 632


762 1,041 373 10,207



4,250 24



270 229 218 1


13 6 3 1



Note: All service groups are mutually exclusive

Table 2: Numbers of female veterans by first Vietnam service

Service Group N um ber

Female health professionals 47

Sub-Total 47

■ e a r n Stationed outside Vietnam - Nurses 112

- " Sub-Total 112

G m tiM c W i! X vX ^V :

Entertainers 136

Red Cross 21


Sub-Total 331

Total 490

Note: All service groups are mutually exclusive


Table 3: Service characteristics Army & Philanthropic Organisations*

■ sir

* 30 representatives are included

J l

Average number o f : tours 1

days 309

Table 4: Service characteristics RAAF

Number of visits ** 3 over 3 Total ' 1

Over 3 Ό .

* 158 personnel who were never stationed in Vietnam are not included.

** Medevac flights are not included

Average number o f : tours 1

days 304

P a g e 1


Table 5: Service characteristics Navy

Average number o f : Average number o f :

tours 1

visits 1 visits 2.5

days 243 days 4.5

for males with for males with

at least one tour only visits

Table 6: Service characteristics War Correspondents

Average number o f : tours 1

visits 0

days 437

P a g e 2

Collected Complete Estimate

Australian Regular Army, National Service & CMF

40,610 male 'allotted' personnel 40,572

female 'allotted' personnel

ARA & NS visitors

inch above CMF visitors

41,910 41435 Army total


'allotted' personnel

Medevac flights - nurses

Medevac flights - crews

'allotted' personnel

'deemed allotted’ personnel 10,000

Philanthropic organisations

Australian Red Cross

Campaigners for Christ - Everyman's Welfare Service

Salvation Army



Australian Forces Overseas Fund

Philanthropic total


Merchant seamen

SEATO aid program surgical teams

Official entertainers

War correspondents and photographers

1,117 Civilians total


n.e. - no estimate

Table 9: Coverage of the Nominal Roll