Donald Bradman PHILLIPS

PHILLIPS, Donald Bradman

Service Number: 41192
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Warrant Officer Class 2
Last Unit: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV)
Born: Elliston, South Australia, 3 July 1932
Home Town: Modbury, Tea Tree Gully, South Australia
Schooling: Mount Damper via Minnipa
Occupation: Retired
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Vietnam War Service

1 Jul 1962: Involvement Warrant Officer Class 2, SN 41192
2 Apr 1968: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Warrant Officer Class 2, SN 41192, Australian Army Training Team Operations - Vietnam
2 Apr 1968: Embarked Australian Army (Post WW2), Warrant Officer Class 2, SN 41192, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), Commenced Advisory Team for District Chief DANANG & Advisory Team for District Chief CAMLO both in April 1968.
2 Apr 1968: Honoured Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975, USA President Citation emblem of Meritorious Unit Commendation. South Viet President Citation Emblem of the Meritorious Unit Commendation. Sth Vietnam Award of Cross of Gallantry with Palm (not presented). Vietnam Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Long Service leave & Good conduct Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Efficiency Medal, Defence Medal, Active Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge
9 Apr 1968: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Warrant Officer Class 2, SN 41192
18 Jul 1974: Promoted Australian Army (Post WW2), Warrant Officer Class 1, Promotions to Corporal Clerk General Duties 5/9/55. Prom to Sergeant Clerk General Duties Platoon Sergeant 17/12/57. Prom to Warrant Officer Class 2 Wing Sergeant Battle Wing JTL 2/1/66. Prom to Warrant Officer Class 1 Regimental Sergeant Major AHQ Melbourne 18/7/74
28 Nov 1975: Discharged Australian Army (Post WW2), Warrant Officer Class 1, SN 41192, Based at Army Headquarters Melbourne as Warrant Officer Class 1 and Regimental Sargent Major. Placed on Australian Army Regular Reserves 29/11/1975 to 29/11/1978
28 Nov 1975: Discharged Australian Army (Post WW2), Warrant Officer Class 2, SN 41192, Enlisted 10/10/51 DISCHARGED 28/11/75 was posted at AHQ Melbourne. Placed on Australian Army Regular Reserve 29/11/75 to 24/11/78

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Biography contributed by Lesley Hunt

Donald Bradman Phillips (my Uncle) was born at Elliston 1932 and after many more siblings arriving became one of 15.

His father was sitting at the front bar of the local pub listening to the cricket and wetting his new son's head when he remembered that he hadn't registered his birth. So around to the Police station and the Cop asked for the name yep old Hugh hadnt asked his wife so took it upon himself to name the boy Donald Bradman Phillips.

After moving to another farm near Minnipa  SA and being one of 7 sons he said that the writing was on the wall ...this farm would not support them all. He decided to work at the local Stock agent Goldsborough Mort for 2 years.

He moved onto the Big city Adelaide and after being a grocery delivery boy decided to join the Army for Korea. The Hierchacy realised he was trying to pull a swifty.. yep to young.

He went back again a year or so later and joined up in 1951.

 When he joined the Army his Mum said ... Son there is a Field Marshals baton in every soldiers kitbag. Don looked in his and could only find a JOCK STRAP. This item was a constant companion and stood him in good service. His posting to the Generals Staff in 1955 was no doubt to help him stay in the Inter Series Aust Army Rules football team for 6 years and automatically a team member when he transferred to Sydney. He also coached the team in Sydney to win the trophy for the Army in 1964.

His main sports he particpated in were Australian Rules Football and cricket. Some of the areas where in Inter mid week Competions and weekends in Goulbourn League, Metro Politan League in Melb and AFLeague NSW in Sydney anf Gold Coast Football Leaague in QLD.

Don's sense of humour is one that many of you will relate to. A huge Story teller and still the Aussie larakinism lives on today. This year I once again took the bull by the horns and I have contacted him and ASKED questions relating to his army career and especially Vietnam ( he told me back in 1973 when asked what he was involved with in Vietnam his response was that they were showing them how to build latrines. Me being a gullible 18 year old female believed him.) Now is such a different story..

Uncle Don has shared so much since Anzac day 2018 from books to read, Paper clippings, DVD to watch, phone calls etc. One of the books was  The Team in Vietnam The Lighter Side. We have purchased this book and the humour in the short stories was hilarious. Uncle Don has several stories in this.

Here is one for a good belly laugh.

External Application

I was suffering badly from heat rash on my arms which had reached the stage of ulcers. I thought the old fashioned remedy of methylated spirits rubbed into the affected parts may heal them up.

I asked the Australian Adviser at Alpha Two if he would endeavour to get me some when next in Danang.

Quickly I got a hostile radio message from his team leader... If I  wanted liquor to drink in the field,it was my own personal doing and I should not implicate other people. It took someime to placate the man and to explain that I was not an incurable drunk and what I really needed was rubbing alcohol.

If you ever get the chance to speak to Donald Bradman Phillips ask him about delivering and "guarding" the Aussie beer supply in Vietnam.

He also shared with me the DVD "The Team" with interviews from many personel (including Unc Don) l who were part of this incredible group of men the AATTV. This was a total "eye opener" very raw but in another sense very forthright and informative. 

Three weeks prior to when Uncle Don was deployed to Vietnam in 1968 he and his wife Shirley (yep she is still with him today) their daughter Arlene died and we are now learning how hard that was for them especially Auntie Shirley who was "left" behind dealing with this dreadful loss of both her daughter and not having her husband there. She says that it was so difficult even tho she had the other wives at Kapuka but still no family near her and Uncle Don somewhere in Nam.

Our family only found out about Uncle Don's service in Vietnam when visiting the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and the word "involvement" came onto the screen. The guide could then advise us of what this "truly" entailed.

I am so relieved that Uncle Don has shared "some" of his stories and even a few of his 'nighmares" as we as his extended family can try to understand him and his family living with an Australian Army man.

We are so proud of you Uncle Don in all that you have endured and now uphold.


Enlisted in Adelaide 1951 then Recruit to Puckapunyal/Kapuka 26/2/52.Then

Posted to 2nd Battalion RAR 27/2/52.

Detached to LRWER Woomera Aug 52.

Rejoined 2RAR 3/3/53.

Posted Generals Staff HQ Southern Command 3/1/55.

Posted 39 Air Supply Platoon 30/11/60.
Posted HQ 1 Corps Troops RAASC3/7/63.
Posted 1 Infantry Division Transport 8/2/65.
Posted Jungle Training Centre 2/1/66.
Posted Australian Army Training Team Vietnam 2/4/68.
Posted Army HQ Melbourne 2/4/69.
Posted HQ 9 Task force Adelaide SA 22/10/71.
Posted 4 Army Recruiting Unit 10/10/74.
Placed on Australian Army Regular Reserve 29/11/75 to 29/11/78