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05/08/2021 01:46am

Vietnam Medal

Vietnam War 1956 - 1975.
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
The Vietnam Medal was a campaign medal jointly developed by Australia and New Zealand and presented for service during the Vietnam War. The medal was instituted in July 1968 and in Australia was awarded for service between 29 May 1964 and 27 January 1973 to those who had served 28 days in ships or craft on inland waters or off the coast of Vietnam, or, posted for one or more days on the strength of a unit or formation on land, or aircrew who undertook a minimum of one operational sortie over Vietnam or Vietnamese waters.
Additionally, it was also awarded for official visits either continuous or aggregate of 30 days or more and to members of accredited philanthropic organisations attached to Australian forces in an official capacity who undertook full time duty of a day or more.
In New Zealand, the medal was awarded to all members of the New Zealand armed forces who, between 29 May 1964 and 27 January 1973, either; served for 28 days, continuous or aggregated, in ships or craft employed in operations on inland waters or off the coast of Vietnam, or, served for one day or more on the posted strength of a unit or formation on land in Vietnam, or, conducted one operational sortie over Vietnam or Vietnamese waters by aircrew on the posted strength of a unit allocated for direct support of operations in Vietnam, or, served for 30 days or more, continuous or aggregated, on official visits, inspections or other occurrences of a temporary nature on duty in Vietnam, or, in ships or craft engaged in operations off the Vietnamese coast.
In both countries, service terminated by death or wounds, or the award of a decoration for gallantry, led to the immediate award of the medal, regardless of whether the qualification period had been fulfilled.
The medal is circular, 36mm in diameter and was struck in silver. The obverse of this medal bears the crowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II with the inscription; ‘ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA F.D.’ (meaning Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith).
The reverse of the medal contains the inscription; ‘VIETNAM’ above a depiction of a man standing between two symbolic spheres, in representation of the ideological war in Vietnam.
The ribbon suspender is of an ornate and swiveling style attached to a fastening that surmounts the medal.
The recipient's details can be found on the medal's rim impressed in capital letters for the New Zealand issue and large capital letters for the Australian issue.
The ribbon is 32mm wide and is made up of a number of vertical stripes. A broad central stripe of bright yellow surmounted by three thin red stripes (representing the Republic of Vietnam) either side of this a red strip representing the army and either a dark blue stripe to represent the Navy and a light blue stripe to represent the Air Force.
None were authorised for this medal, but a single bronze oak leaf emblem was issued to be worn on the ribbon to signify that the recipient had been ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’.
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
Dealer Retail Value *
Vietnam Medal to Australian **
Vietnam Medal to New Zealander **
* It should be noted that the values quoted above reflect the average price that a medal dealer may expect to sell this medal for - please see the ‘things you should know’ web page for more details about valuing medals.
** The individual medal value will vary considerably based on the recipient’s details.
Further Historical Context
This section contains information on:-
- Australia's Involvement In The Vietnam War.
- New Zealand's Involvement In The Vietnam War.
- The Vietnam War.
Australia's Involvement In The Vietnam War - Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War began as a small commitment of 30 military advisors in 1962, and increased over the following decade to a peak of 7,672 Australian troops deployed in South Vietnam or in support of Australian forces there.
The Vietnam War was the longest and most controversial war Australia has ever fought. Although initially enjoying broad support due to concerns about the spread of communism in Southeast Asia, as Australia's military involvement increased a vocal anti-war movement developed. To a large extent this focused upon conscription, which had been an issue in Australia dating back to the First World War; however, considerable portions of society were opposed to the war on political and moral grounds.
The withdrawal of Australia's forces from South Vietnam began in November 1970 when 8 RAR completed its tour of duty and was not replaced. A phased withdrawal followed, and by 11 January 1973 Australian involvement in hostilities in Vietnam had ceased. Nevertheless, Australian troops from the Australian Embassy Platoon remained deployed in the country until 1 July 1973, and Australian forces were deployed briefly in April 1975, during the Fall of Saigon, to evacuate personnel from the Australian embassy.
Approximately 60,000 Australians served in the war; 521 were killed and more than 3,000 were wounded.
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
New Zealand's Involvement In The Vietnam War - New Zealand's involvement in the Vietnam War was highly controversial, sparking widespread protest at home from anti-Vietnam War movements modelled on their American counterparts. This conflict was also the first in which New Zealand did not fight alongside the United Kingdom, instead following the loyalties of the ANZUS Pact.
New Zealand decided to send troops to Vietnam in 1965 because of Cold War concerns and alliance considerations. The potential adverse effect on the ANZUS alliance of not supporting the United States (and Australia) in Vietnam was key. It also upheld New Zealand's national interests of countering communism in South-East Asia.
The government wanted to maintain solidarity with the United States, but was unsure about the likely outcome of external military intervention in Vietnam. Prime Minister Keith Holyoake decided to keep New Zealand involvement in Vietnam at the minimum level deemed necessary to meet allied expectations. New Zealand could not do much more - its meagre military resources were already stretched in Malaya and conscription was out of the question.
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
The Vietnam War - The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, was a Cold War-era proxy war that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from December 1956 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975.
This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam-supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies-and the government of South Vietnam-supported by the United States and other anti-communist countries.
The Viet Cong (also known as the National Liberation Front, or NLF), a lightly armed South Vietnamese communist common front directed by the North, fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The People's Army of Vietnam (a.k.a. the North Vietnamese Army) engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units into battle.
As the war wore on, the part of the Viet Cong in the fighting decreased as the role of the NVA grew. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery, and airstrikes. In the course of the war, the U.S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam, and over time the North Vietnamese airspace became the most heavily defended airspace of any in the world.
The U.S. viewed American involvement in the war as a way to prevent a Communist takeover of South Vietnam. This was part of a wider strategy of containment, which aimed at stopping the spread of communism. According to the U.S. domino theory, if one state went Communist, other states in the region would follow, and U.S. policy thus held that accommodation to the spread of Communist rule across all of Vietnam was unacceptable.
The North Vietnamese government and the Viet Cong were fighting to reunify Vietnam under communist rule. They viewed the conflict as a colonial war, fought initially against forces from France and then America, as France was backed by the U.S., and later against South Vietnam, which it regarded as a U.S. puppet state.
Beginning in 1950, American military advisors arrived in what was then French Indochina. U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with troop levels tripling in 1961 and again in 1962. U.S. involvement escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U.S. destroyer clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft, which was followed by the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave the U.S. president authorization to increase U.S. military presence.
Regular U.S. combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. Operations crossed international borders: bordering areas of Laos and Cambodia were heavily bombed by U.S. forces as American involvement in the war peaked in 1968, the same year that the Communist side launched the Tet Offensive.
The Tet Offensive failed in its goal of overthrowing the South Vietnamese government but became the turning point in the war, as it showed that South Vietnam was unable to fend for itself against the North, despite many years of massive U.S. military aid.
As the point of U.S. victory was indeterminate, U.S. ground forces were gradually withdrawn as part of a policy known as Vietnamization, which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the Communists to the South Vietnamese themselves. Despite the Paris Peace Accords, which was signed by all parties in January 1973, the fighting continued.
In the U.S. and the Western world, a large anti-Vietnam War movement developed. This movement was both part of a larger Counterculture of the 1960s and also fed into it.
Direct U.S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case-Church Amendment passed by the U.S. Congress. The capture of Saigon at the hands of the North Vietnamese Army in April 1975 marked the end of the war, and North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year.
The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese service members and civilians killed vary from 800,000 to 3.1 million. Some 200,000 - 300,000 Cambodians, 20,000 - 200,000 Laotians, and 58,220 U.S. service members also died in the conflict.
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.