Charlie Company, 3 RAR in South Vietnam 1971

2nd Lt Dave Paterson commanded 8 Platoon - Killed In Action 20 March 1971 Huey Charlie Company Site Banner, displaying the RAR Corps Badge, US Presidential Citation, Vietnam Campaign Ribbons & Infantry Combat Badge
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We came off the farms and we came from the cities. We were descended from the original inhabitants and we were descendants of the early white settlers. Our parents had emigrated from Europe after World War Two and we were just new arrivals ourselves to this country. Our names were tribal, they were Anglo-Saxon and they were European. We had left school when we were 14 and we were still going to University. We were labourers, clerks, tradesmen, soldiers, and unemployed. We were on the run from the law and we were solid citizens. We were the Baby Boomer generation and we were Regular career soldiers (Regs) and we were Conscripted into National Service (Nashos). We represented a microcosm of Australian society in the 1970's. We were here because we wanted adventure, because we believed in fighting for democracy, because our Government had asked us or we had nothing better to do at the time. We had only one thing in common ... we were all volunteers. We were to become Charlie Company. We were to set the record for the longest single operation in the history of the Vietnam War (52 days) and possibly for the entire Australian Army. In World War Two soldiers averaged 40 days in four years in combat in the jungle ... an average of 10 days per year ... we did more than 5 years worth in the first operation alone. In Vietnam soldiers averaged 314 days per year in Combat.

Rumour had it, that if you fouled up you got sent to Charlie Company and if you fouled up again (or badly in the first place) then you went to 7 Platoon. Whether that rumour was true or not, we certainly had our characters. A bunch of disparate blokes thrown together ... they formed us into Sections, then those Sections became the Platoons and finally those Platoons became Charlie Company. Each Platoon took on the characteristics of the Platoon Leader.

Company Headquarters
235133 Major Peter "Spot" TilleyWO2 D.E. "Moose" Harris

Major Peter "Spot" Tilley commanded Charlie Company with WO2 David "Moose" Harris as the Company Sergeant Major.

7 Platoon
Sgt Robert "Dogs" KearneyLt Dennis TysonSergeant Robert "Dogs" Kearney commanded 7 Platoon. The Goon Platoon (as they were to become known) had a number of lieutenants, but they never stayed with them long. Dogs became The Head Goon and the Platoon took on Dogs' personality ... hard drinking, hard fighting and never give an inch. The drunken Rat became the Goon Platoon's emblem and their motto was R.L.B.P (Rape, Loot, Burn & Plunder). The Goons amassed more charges than any other Platoon in Charlie Company. Of all the Lieutenants that they had, Lt Dennis J. Tyson was the only one really accepted by The Goons ... and then only because he allowed Dogs to continue to have a say in the leadership of the Platoon.
The Goons still hold a special place in their heart for Dennis Tyson.
8 Platoon
2nd Lt Dave Paterson commanded 8 Platoon.The Slum - 8 Platoon, Private Contractors2nd Lt Dave Paterson commanded 8 Platoon. He was a giant of a man, who had to have his uniforms especially made for him. Lt Dave Paterson cared deeply for his men and the platoon members loved him in return. Eight Platoon adopted the logo of the Golden Fleece Petroleum Company and it's associated slogan of Activ-8 (Active Eight). The platoon reflected Dave Paterson's personality, well ordered, well disciplined and well trained. 2Lt Dave Paterson was Killed In Action in Viet Nam on 20 March 1971.
9 Platoon
2nd Lieutenant Robert "Bob" Lewis commanded 9 Platoon.2nd Lieutenant Robert "Bob" Lewis commanded 9 Platoon. Bob was recognised by all members of Charlie Company as one of the best Platoon Commanders within the Battalion, and all the troops respected Bob Lewis' judgement. Nine Platoon were a determined, disciplined, well organised and well trained Platoon. Bob Lewis has maintained close contact with the Platoon members since Viet Nam.
The Web Site
The web site will take your through the history and the stories of Charlie Company, 3RAR during their Tour Of Duty in Viet Nam in 1971. Although the Company worked in the same general area of Phuoc Tuy, each Platoon had different experiences. Each page of the history will tell the general story for that part of the tour and the specific Platoon stories will be identified by their Platoon Logos ... 9 actually didn't have a logo (so I have given them one for the site).
7 Platoon
8 Platoon
9 Platoon
Regardless of your opinions of the morality of The Viet Nam War or the rights and wrongs of it, we went there to do a job .... and at times we may have done it in our own way ... but ....
We did our job

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by Bob Wood, Tony Cox, Bob Lewis & members of C Coy
1999 -
Disclaimer:This site has no official links with the Army, Department of Defence, The Royal Australian Regiment or 3 RAR. The site is purely a personal page of recollections & photos of our great adventure and the blokes that shared that adventure. Any errors or omissions are accidental and regretted. Please email the Author and they will be corrected.
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