22 September 1933 – 18 September 2022

MAJ Claude Decker MC, died in a nursing home on the evening of Sunday 18 September.

Claude was accepted into RMC-D in February 1952. In January 1957 he was posted to 3 RAR and deployed to Malaya, where he was awarded a Military Cross for gallantry while there. Claude had various postings, including 1 RAR and 4 RAR, Staff College and Officer Training Unit before deploying to SVN and joining HQ-AFV in January 1969. In April he joined 5 RAR as OC Charlie Company where he was mentioned in dispatches. Claude then transferred to the CMF and was discharged in 1983.

A Funeral Service for Claude will be held on Friday 30 September 11.00hours, at the Anzac Memorial Chapel of St Paul at Duntroon. Claude will be interned privately after the wake. A notice with further details will be in Saturday’s Canberra Times, Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

Gary Townsend

5 RARA Membership Officer/Tiger Tales Editor

[email protected]



16 August 1948 – 29 August 2022

CPL Guy Ansell died on Monday 29 August after a long and heroic battle with melanomas.

Guy enlisted in November 1967, and following initial training was allocated to the Corps of Infantry.  After training at Ingleburn NSW, he was posted to 5 RAR in May 1968 joining C Company.  Guy deployed to Vietnam with the Battalion’s Advance Party in January 1969.  He initially served as the OC’s Batman until transferring to Support Section in C Company Headquarters.  He was promoted to section commander. Guy returned to Australia on 5 February 1970.  He remained in 5 RAR and was discharged after his three years’ service in November 1970.

A Funeral Service for Guy was held by Farrell & O’Neill Funerals on Monday 5 September.

Gary Townsend

5 RARA Membership Officer/Tiger Tales Editor

[email protected]

Vale 110810 Darrel Albert Cunnington – RAA

We have been advised of the death on 14 September 2022 of Darrel Cunnington. He was 79. Darrel was a CMF Warrant Officer in 11 Field Regiment who signed on to Full-time Duty as a Bombardier Command Post Signaller to join ‘A’ Field Battery on Operations in South Vietnam from 16 June 1971. When ‘A’ Battery ceased operations and moved to Vung Tau in October 1971, Darrel was one of several Battery members who transferred to 104 Battery and remained in Nui Dat until RTA on 15 Dec 1971.

RIP Darrel Albert Cunnington

Peter Bruce, OAM

Obituary Resource Officer

Back home and back on air

We have returned from our adventure to the Cook Islands, Raratonga to be exact. What a wonderful experience it was and I have no hesitation recommending it as a stress-free destination.

We stayed at the Edgewater Resort & Spa on the western side of the island, and it was everything and more than we expected. Back in 2019 we attended a charity function and during the night they auctioned a holiday at the Edgewater for two with heaps included, we were fortunate to win the auction and all we had to pay for were our flights.

We were excited but then Covid hit, and you all know what happened then. This meant that the first opportunity we had to go was September this year.

We had to take four flights to get there and back and all of them were delayed. There is no direct flights we had to pass through Auckland. Our travel agent had warned us of possible delays and advised that we take clothes in our carry-on luggage. Fortunately, no hassles with luggage.

We arrived at Edgewater Resort very late at 11:15pm to the warmest of receptions everybody was so willing to help to ensure that everything was perfect.

The following morning, we woke and walked onto our balcony to find that we were right on the beach, how absolutely wonderful, the water in the lagoon was at the perfect temperature and the weather was a very pleasant 26ᶜ and stayed that way all week.

We had tour and adventures booked for each day with the exception of Sunday which we knew was a quiet day on the island with just about everything closed, we remained at the resort and enjoyed the relaxation. We met a Kiwi couple with very similar interests and a great sense of humour. We spent most of our time with them and a couple from York in the UK. We formed our own ‘Bloody Good Drinkers Club’.

I must at this stage mention the staff at the resort, every single member was a total delight, with the biggest smiles and so willing to make sure we had the best service possible. The attention to detail was outstanding.

We hired a driver for a tour of the island and to experience the culture, his knowledge was extensive, and he took us to places others don’t normally venture. We were impressed at how neat and tidy the whole island was with the homes and yards well maintained.

We went on the reef in a glass bottom boat and snorkelled we enjoyed a BBQ on the beach and were entertained. We also enjoyed a fabulous progressive dinner at three local homes, the food was outstanding and we both ate too much, but what the heck!

I guess you might have realized that we had a wonderful holiday in a perfect place, that I wholeheartedly recommend. If you are thinking of travelling to the Cook Islands stop thinking and do it.

RCB Update 14 September 2022 – DHAAT

Further to our last Update I can report that the Tribunal is nearing the Hearing date.

You can see The Tribunal’s terms of reference here and submissions to date here.

Of specific interest is the Defence Submission dated 6 July Submission 096 – Chief of the Defence Force on behalf of Defence but not presented publicly until 31 July and our Response dated 23 August 2022 Submission 065a – Mr Raymond Fulcher on behalf of the Rifle Company Butterworth Review Group

On the 19th August the Tribunal requested both Defence and RCBRG and one other principal body to answer specific questions on the RCB’s deployment and operations.

We see this request as a positive move by the Tribunal to understand the core issues and facts. Our answers are being finalised.

The Tribunal’s request also invited any other questions that should be asked. We’ve replied with two questions that we have put previously to Defence many times, but they have deigned not to respond:

1.      In relation to the incurred danger test as it applied to RCB, and given the established rulings by the Federal Court and other Tribunals, what level of danger does Defence say was required to meet the threshold of the incurred danger test?

2.  Which section/s of what legislation or regulation authorises the award of the ASM for normal peacetime service?

On behalf of the RCBRG, I thank you all for your DHAAT submissions and your untiring assistance, patience and perseverance over many years dating back to 1986 with Robert Cross initiating the claim and joined by other dedicated men in Stan Hannaford, Phil Marsh, Phil Oysten, Ken Rundell, and Chris Duffield to name a few. Their torch has been kept alight by other veterans who joined the action with massive contributions. You are all exemplars of the RAR’s motto Duty First.


Ray Fulcher
RCB Service 1979
Chairman RCB Review Group
Date: 14 September 2022

DFRDB September Update

Hi All,

Attached is our latest Update, we knew we were in for a long fight and we intend to keep going.

Please follow the link in the attachment as it is essential that we are all singing from the same song book. The link is as simple as we can present our case and yet we are still uncovering more information.

I have had to reconstruct my DFRDB distribution lists and there is a good chance I have made some errors, I would appreciate your co-operation and let me know of any mistakes.

I recently visited Vietnam again and this time I used a travel company based in Hanoi (Little Vietnam Tours) they were excellent and if you are considering a holiday in Vietnam I recommend them to you. Probably from 2 to 10 people would be an ideal group. Just tell them what you want or get them to put a tour together to suit your needs. I am not on commission!

Many thanks for sticking with us on this long journey.





2 Field Ambulance Vietnam 1966/7

Forming part of the Australian Military committment in South Vietnam in 1966, 2 Field Ambulance was committed to Vietnam in March 1966 to support the Australian forces in Vietnam. Stationed at Vung Tau from 1 April 1966 until 5 July 1967, the unit included a 50 bed hospital element, a hygiene squad, a medical stores component and a surgical team comprising a surgeon and anaesthetist.

A detachment of the field ambulance moved to the Task Force base at Nui Dat to establish a subsidiary minor medical facility, its main function, to provide emergency medical treatment before evacuation for more definitive treatment. Medical facilities were supplemented by Regimental Aid Posts from some Task Force units.

8 Field Ambulance( tour 2 March 1967-12 March 1972) replaced 2 Field Ambulance in April 1967 and provided medical facilities at Vung Tau and Nui Dat until 1972.

On the 1st April, 1968, 1 Australian Field Hospital was opened at Vung Tau and catered for the Austalian wounded until 21 November 1971.


Vale 4719459 Trevor Ronald Chapman – 9RAR

Aged 75 years. A veteran of A Coy, 9RAR 1968-69

Loving husband to Chris

Loved dad to Vicki and Phil, and Marc

Adored Chappie to Thomas and Lucy

We hope you’re somewhere warm, where the fish are biting and the Stanley Port is flowing.

Please join us to celebrate Chappie’s life, Thursday 22d September from 2:00pm at the Kimba Golf Club.

Sometimes exploits can’t be forgiven

THERE is probably one individual almost universally despised by Vietnam war veterans, particularly, but not exclusively, by Americans. It is not the wily communist dictator Ho Chi Minh nor the brilliant strategist Võ Nguyên Giáp, choreographer of many victories in the south from the humiliating French defeat at Dien Ben Phu to the capture of Saigon in April, 1975. It is not the American politicians from JFK, who first committed US troops to the war to JBJ and Nixon who escalated it, nor the hapless Gerald Ford who oversaw the humiliating defeat and withdrawal of US interests.

Australian politicians don’t rate.

CLICK LINK to read the article

Sometimes expolits can’t be forgiven | Australian Defence History, Policy and Veterans Issues (