Did any British Forces Serve In Vietnam?

There is a lot of speculation about this, does anyone know of any facts relating to it? it's a long time ago now so surely as with other involvements of British Forces World Wide that have come to light recently, the truth can now be known about Vietnam?
Aussie SAS is as close as it gets, I believe.


There were apparently 6 bars to the GSM awarded with the legend "South Vietnam". That would suggest at least 6 British soldiers did serve there.

Speculation has been that they were attached to the Aussie or Kiwi SAS in a training role, and ended up "in country".

Not sure how you would find out though.
there were a lot of aussie and kiwi units in viet nam.





there were more than a few ex-pat brits living in the USA who forght there most ex-brit army.
a hell of a lot of cannadians were in vietnam going south of the border to join up.

a lot of my instructors in the NZ army were vietnam vets
theres a lot of 'DIGGER' amd 'ANZAC' websits out there covering this, i'm rushed for time at the mo, i'll try and be back later to post more links.



Met at least two chaps (walt alert) who claimed to have been over there helping US Army with sniper training....

On a more believable note, it was of course British forces which initially re-occupied French Indo-China after the Japanese surrender. UK, in conjunction with US OSS, did make a start on stabilising the area and training local militias (one reason there were so many British weapons to be found in the region during the later Vietnam war), before the Frogs came back and tried to carry on as if WW2 had never happened. It is concievable that some British "training advisors"/spooks from this era still had sufficient local knowledge to be of use to the US in 1965.
4(T) said:
It is concievable that some British "training advisors"/spooks from this era still had sufficient local knowledge to be of use to the US in 1965.

Talking to the bloke who was organising the memorial to British servicemen killed since 1945 (some 3,000 soldiers, sailors, and airmen); one of them was killed in Vietnam.

Apparently he was with the Australian army, but his transfer documents hadn't quite come through. Take that as you will...


War Hero
I believe that a small number of RMP served in Vietnam to a very limited extent in and around the British embassy.
The Dad of a schoolfriend of mine published a book in the late eighties called 'Her Majesty's Vietnam Soldier'. I don't remember anything else about it but the title suggests that he was there in a British rather than US capacity.


Book Reviewer
I had a friend, ex-sigs officer who was a troop commander at a certain place, who did an exchange tour with the Aussies and had the bar to his GSM. Now a solicitor somewhere in the South West.

I have heard reference to around 50 bars being issued to the UK GSM


Recently read 'The Cage' an Englishman in Vietnam - Tom Abraham, born in Cheshire and emigrated to USA, he served in the American Army in Vietnam.
My dad was in the Andrew from 65 to 76.
got the juicier details about his service after a few ales.
was attached to Royal Marines in Borneo as a communicator.
Also was on the Armilla Patrol, and "exercised" with the American Navy off the coast of Vietnam...
Apparently some these "exercises" included some live firing NGS evolutions.
He claimed they spent enough time in territorial waters to qualify for US vietnam medal if they had wanted to claim.
Again totally uncorroborated and I could be the victim of a Very Salty Dit from the Old Boy.


Q. Did any British Forces Serve in Vietnam?

A. No.

Britain was not involved in the Vietnam War.

There were however many ex British Servicemen who enlisted in the Australian or New Zealand Military Forces and as a result served in the Vietnam War.

The same applied to the Canadians where although Canada, like Britain was not involved in the Vietnam War, many Canadians enlisted in the US Forces and subsequently served in Vietnam.
And no RAF Aircrew on exchange postings with USAF units at that time?


Kit Reviewer
This seems to be the accepted/official view on things, but stranger things happen at sea...


South Vietnam

This clasp was instituted by Royal Warrant dated 8 June 1968 for award to Australian personnel. Only 68 clasps were issued, and all 68 went to members of the Australian Army Training Team.

The various qualifying periods, between 24 December 1962 and 29 May 1964, were

* 30 days' service in ships operating in inland waters or off the Vietnamese coast.
* 1 day in the service of a land unit.
* 1 operational sortie.
* 30 days' service on an official visit.

For service after 29 May 1964, the personnel were awarded The Australian Vietnam Medal.


This Clasp was awarded for service in South Vietnam from the 24th December 1962 to 28th May 1964.

Authorised by Royal Warrant on 8th June, 1968 for award to Australian troops only. Qualifying service are: 30 days service in ships employed in operations on inland waters and/or off the coast of Vietnam, one day or more on the posted strength of a unit on Land, one operational sortie, or 30 days for offical visits etc. The usual concession is made regarding termination of service from death, wounds or an award of a gallantry decoration. In total, 68 clasps were awarded. All the medals were awarded to members of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV). Names of Team members and rank at time of service are shown as follows:

My bold in both quotes.
interesting to note,
the NZ forces that were deployed to Vietnam wernt allowed to take thier British made GPMGs and had to use US M60s, for 'political' reasons.
the M60s were brought home to NZ and used on the side door mounting kits on the NZAF iroquoi UH1D and UH1H choppers.
all 42 of them.
they were disposed of in the mid '90s Farkin useless things they were.
Thanks guys, interesting facts...

My question derived from a former American SEAL I have worked with in the past few years (he wasn't a SEAL in those days) but he told me his Unit had a small patrol of British, what he thinks must have been SF, stay at their patrol base for 1 night, after which, he never saw them or any other Brits again... weird, but he's a good egg and certainly not a story teller... It will be interesting if there is an article/book out there that does indeed hint that there were Brits there, however few in number...
wedge35 said:
The Dad of a schoolfriend of mine published a book in the late eighties called 'Her Majesty's Vietnam Soldier'. I don't remember anything else about it but the title suggests that he was there in a British rather than US capacity.

That was about a bloke, former RAF Regt I think, who served in Vietnam with the New Zealand Army.
At the time I believe Embassies had Mil, Naval and Air Attache offices- proabably a good handful of bods in each one when there's something exciting going on as their main function is Int. Back in the 1990s, I knew one WO who did two tours in wartime Saigon as a Cpl. He wouldn't say either way whether anyone was playing silly buggers over there.

One thing to remember about Septic accounts of meeting Brits- they are fecking hopeless at distinguishing between British and Aussie accents.