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AN01 Detachment 176 Air Dispatch Company
Advisory from Disability Compensation Branch
No. 1 of 2002
This is an advisory note only. It is not a Repatriation Commission Guideline or a Departmental Instruction. The advice is intended to indicate that some members of the ADF may have served at very different locations than Vung Tau, Nui Dat or Saigon. It is not exhaustive and there may be other locations visited by members of the ADF.
Detachment 176 Air Dispatch Company
South Vietnam 1965 to 1972
Members of Detachment 176 Air Dispatch (Det 176 AD) Coy RAASC served in South Vietnam from 1965 until 1972 and were continually detached to other units; mainly US and RAAF for varying lengths of time. This took individual members of the unit to the length and breadth of South Vietnam.
Det 176 AD Coy undertook varied roles, from that of crewmembers on medium to heavy lift helicopters where members spent time as gunners/loadmasters, to forward resupply officers, to crew on board the river patrol boats out of Vung Tau where they assisted in the maintenance of the curfew.
The following account from a member of Det 176 AD Coy indicates the varied duties of the unit:
I arrived in South Vietnam early in January 1968. During the period of March and April I was seconded to the American Forces as a pathfinder with 273rd Assault Helicopter Company (heavy). Initially I was based at Vung Tau airfield, however I seemed to end up working north from Duc Hoa to Duc Lap & Buon Tsuk operational areas.
During May, June and July 1968 I returned to Det 176 Ad Coy and worked mostly with Victor and Whisky Companies as well as 161 Battery (NZ Forces). Along with another dispatcher I was with 102nd Field Battery RAA at Fire Support Base (FSB) Coral and then was moved to FSB Balmoral.
From August to December I was once again seconded to the American Forces and did not return to a line south of between Song Be and Dong Ba Thin until December 1968. I assisted in operations as a forward supply officer with the US 1st Infantry Div and 127 Battalion, Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) that included operations into Cambodia.
I spent 3 weeks with the 127 Battalion ARVN at a border outpost west of Ban Don, eventually moving with the Battalion back to Ban Don. They could not hold the outpost for more than 3 or 4 days at a time, whereupon the US 11th Armoured Cavalry would assist in the retaking of the outpost at a high casualty rate for all units.
All members of Det 176 AD Coy were issued with flight logbooks. Although some logbooks have not survived the years, documentary evidence is available to assist with most claims. The Air Dispatch Association has selected details from four logbooks and has marked a copy of the master operations map to present a visual appreciation of the areas worked by Det 176 AD Coy. The attached list names the various locations where some members of Det 176 AD Coy served. The list is not exhaustive but indicates the wide range of the detachment.
John R Douglas
Policy, Eligibility and Research
11 January 2002
Area of Operations of selected members from 176 AD Coy. RAASC
Sgt GCpl WPte JPte C
Can Lho — Nha Trang — Bian Hoa — Tay Nian
Bien Hoa — Dak Pek — Bian Hoa — Lagi
Ton S en Nhut — Phan Thiet — Pleiku — Ham Tan
Ham Tan — Van Canh — Donh Donh — Tay Ninh
Phan Thiet — Plei Djerang — Antoi — Long Binh
Song Mao — Plateau GI — Vinh Bin — Mek To
Nha Trang — Qin Nhon — Binh Bar — Truong Toc
Bao Loc — Bien Hoa — Bac Lieu — Duc Hue
Tan Rai — Ton Sen Nhut — Anuet — Bunard
Bong Son — Ham Than — Song Bai — Lia Via
Ban Me Tout — Phan Thiet — Song Mao — Song Be
Plei Me — Sung Mau — Dak Pek — Dong Tam
Dak Pec — Chu Dron — Dak Scang — Lia Kay
Ben Brieng — Cheo Reo — Plei Me — Tan Lia
Dalat — Polie Kreng — Nha Trang — Ton Sen Nhut
Gia Nia — Plei Mrorg — Phu Tuc
Baloc — Cav Lanh — Dalat
Bin Bah — An Thoy — Gia Nghia
Anlac — Cia Mau — Baa Loc
Polie Kleng — Bac Liew — Phan Rhan
Phu Tuc — Tuh Vinh — Vinh Long
Duc Lap — Song Mao — Tra Vinh
Dat Do — Dalat — That Sun
Qui Nhon — Gia Nghia — Cao Lanh
Tam Ki — Bac Loc