8th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (8RAR) was raised in July 1966 as part of the expansion of the Australian Army. They served in Vietnam from November 1969 until November 1970, and were based at Nui Dat, Phuoc Tuy province.
Although mainly involved in pacification operations, 8RAR was also involved in the reconnaissance operation Hammersley. On 18 February 1970, 8RAR uncovered an enemy bunker system. It had been evacuated as a result of air raids. The battalion spent the rest of the operation patrolling the area to engage the enemy, primarily through ambushes.
This operation earned 8RAR a Meritorious Unit Commendation from the government of South Vietnam. However, it was also during this operation that 8RAR sustained most of its fatal casualties, including 8 on a single day. In the year they were deployed, eighteen members of 8RAR lost their lives.
- Shrine Life Governor Lieutenant Colonel Adrian Lombardo
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Reviewed 05 February 2021