Royal Australian Navy (RAN)

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) performed many important roles during the Vietnam War.

Australian naval vessels ferried troops to and from the logistics base at Vung Tau and served on the 'gunline' where they provided naval gunfire against ground targets in support of Australian and United States (US) troops. RAN clearance divers carried out operations to dispose of unexploded ordnance and keep shipping safe from enemy mines and attacks by enemy frogmen.

Naval personnel also served in an airborne role. The RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam (RANFV), attached to the US Army 135th Assault Helicopter Company, flew combat operations. A detachment of naval aviators also served with No. 9 Squadron RAAF.

HMAS Hobart with the US Seventh Fleet off Vietnam, 1968. Bruce Honisett, 1985.  [Oil on canvas 121.6 x 182.5 cm, AWM ART45009] Royal Australian Naval Destroyer HMAS Hobart was fired on by North Vietnamese shore batteries during her first and second deployments in Vietnam waters.

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An Iroquois 'Huey' prepares to land on the HMAS Sydney off the Vietnam coast. [Image courtesy of Phillip Heeb]

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Last updated: 10 March 2020

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2020), Royal Australian Navy (RAN), DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 26 May 2022,
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