Richard Alfred ALDERSEA

Poppy

ALDERSEA, Richard Alfred

Service Number: 55120
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR)
Born: Nedlands, Western Australia, 29 July 1946
Home Town: Subiaco, Nedlands, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Soldier
Died: Killed In Action, South Vietnam, 18 August 1966, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery & Crematorium
Anglican Section, Row ZF, Grave 152, Karrakatta Cemetery, Karrakatta, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Memorials: 11 Platoon Delta Company Memorial Plaque, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Grafton Clarence Valley Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Kallangur Vietnam Veterans' Place, Manjimup War Memorial, McLaren Vale Garden of Remembrance, Port Pirie Vietnam Veterans Honour Wall, Rutherglen Long Tan Cross
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Vietnam War Service

8 Jun 1966: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Private, SN 55120
8 Jun 1966: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Private, SN 55120, 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR)
18 Aug 1966: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Private, SN 55120, 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), Long Tan

Help us honour Richard Alfred Aldersea's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Joy Dalgleish

Pte Richard Alfred Aldersea was just 20 when he was one of 18 Diggers killed during the fierce battle in the Long Tan rubber plantation on August 18, 1966. The Battle of Long Tan (18 August 1966) took place near the village of Long Tan, in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The action was fought between Australian forces and Viet Cong and North Vietnamese units after 108 men from D Company, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR) clashed with a force of 1,500 to 2,500 men from the Viet Cong 275th Regiment, reinforced by at least one North Vietnamese battalion and D445 Provincial Mobile Battalion. The 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF) had just arrived between April and June 1966, constructing a base at Nui Dat. Information from Find a Grave Memorial

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Fri, 26 April 2019 21-year-old Private Richard Alfred Aldersea. 10 Platoon, Delta Company, 6RAR. Killed in Action on 18 August 1966 during the Battle of Long Tan.

 

His elder brother, Jim, 81, still struggles with his death and the memory of telling his parents.

 

“At that time, the old man’s birthday was only a few days’ away,” Mr. Aldersea said. “I got a phone call from some officer in Canberra and he said ‘Do you know Pte Richard Aldersea?’”  “He said something about him being wounded so I said ‘How bad is he’, and he said, ‘He’s dead. He was fatally wounded’. “I had to go along the road and stop my mother and father to tell them, halfway between Pemberton and Northcliffe.”

 

The brothers grew up together in Perth, Treesville, Quinninup and Northcliffe. Mr. Aldersea said his brother hated school from his first day through to his last, but he found his place in the Citizen Military Forces and the regular army.

“The CMF officer said he’s that good, he’d pull a machinegun apart and put it back together blindfolded if they scattered the parts,” Mr. Aldersea said.

“He just wanted to get into the army. He’d rather do that than anything else and he was very good at it.”

                   

Dick Aldersea was not the perfect student

By Jim Aldersea

Richard Alfred Aldersea, known to his family as Dick, was born in Perth on July 29, 1946. He later moved to Treesville, a small country town, then to Quinninup and Northcliffe where he started his schooling. I remember asking him how he liked his first day, the reply was ‘I didn’t’ and right up to the day he walked out of the school gate in Manjimup High School, he always hated school.

One of his last school reports that Mum kept, read ‘If Richard concentrated on his school studies as much as he does entertaining the class, he would have been the perfect student’.

Later the family moved back to the city and Richard started work at the Keystone Service Station near Karrakatta Cemetery.

 

Life was one big adventure, says nephew

By Trevor Aldersea

Richard was killed by a single shot from a sniper who had taken out the machine gunner.

Dick was No2 on the gun and moved to another spot and opened fire on the area that the gunner was shot from. As he got up on one knee, he was yelled at by someone to get down, then a second shot from the sniper hit Dick in the chest and that made him the first and the only WA KIA on that day at Long Tan. When he was KIA at the age of 21 life was only starting. For me I still remember the day my mother picked us up early from school crying and we made one of the longest trips to Perth from Northcliffe I have ever made.

 

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Biography

6RAR

Rank - Private

Served in Vietnam from 8 June 1966 to 18 August 1966

55120 Private Richard Alfred Aldersea
6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment
Killed in Action - Battle of Long Tan
Nui Dat Vietnam 18th August 1966 Age 20
Awarded US PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION for the BATTLE of LONG TAN

The Battle of Long Tan (18 August 1966) took place near the village of Long Tan, in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The action was fought between Australian forces and Viet Cong and North Vietnamese units after 108 men from D Company, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR) clashed with a force of 1,500 to 2,500 men from the Viet Cong 275th Regiment, reinforced by at least one North Vietnamese battalion and D445 Provincial Mobile Battalion. The 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF) had just arrived between April and June 1966, constructing a base at Nui Dat.

Information from Find a Grave Memorial

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