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Diggers awarded major Vietnamese honour



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£ WEDNESDAY. FEBRUARY 14. 1975 PR No. 31/73 .

' DIGGERS AWARDED MAJOR VIETNAMESE HONOUR

The Government of the Republic of Vietnam has .

awarded Australia's most highly decorated Army unit, the .

Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), its second

highest unit citation. · ·

The award is the Gallantry Cross with Palm,

which ranks next to the Vietnamese Presidential Unit Citation.

The Queen has approved acceptance of the award.

Members of the training team were the first

troops to be committed to Vietnam and! the last to be withdrawn.

The team arrived in the war zone in July 1962 and came home in

December last year. .

This is the longest any Australian unit has ever

been continuously on operational service.

Its members served in all provinces of the embattled

country alongside Vietnamese soldiers. .

During these 10 years, men of the team received 112

decorations, including the four Victoria Crosses won in Vietnam.

Vietnam is the second country to honour the training

team as a unit.

' In 1970 the United States awarded it the US

Meritorious Unit Commendation.

The Gallantry Cross with Palm was awarded to one

other Australian Army unit - 8th Battalion, The Royal. Australian

Regiment - in 1971. It was also awarded to No. 2 Squadron, RAAF.

The citation to the award for the AATTV reads

in part: "This outstanding unit is an assemblage of first

class fighting men who have a wealth of ability and good

will. .

"In 1964 the Australian Army Training Team

Vietnam contributed to the development of the Regional and

Popular Forces and established Advisory Teams in the Combat

Battalions of the Military Regions. ' .

"In particular, the Training Team has participated

in almost all the military operations in Military Region 1

(bordering the demilitarised zone) during the period from

1964 to 1970.

"In view of the Australian Army Training Team's

achievements, it is seen that the unit has contributed greatly

to the common struggle against communism and the protection of

freedom in the Republic of Vietnam, while at the same time the

unit has upheld the heroic traditions of the Australian

Forces." .