Reginald Arthur PHILLIPS


PHILLIPS, Reginald Arthur

Service Number: 4719545
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 9th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (9RAR)
Born: Murray Bridge, South Australia, 17 April 1947
Home Town: Murray Bridge, Murray Bridge, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Died of wounds, South Vietnam, South Vietnam, Vietnam, 18 January 1969, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Murray Bridge (Adelaide Road) Cemetery, S.A.
Lawn RSL - Grave 105, Murray Bridge Cemetery, Murray Bridge, South Australia, Australia
Memorials: Adelaide South East Asian Conflicts Memorial, Adelaide Vietnam War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Hilton Australia's National Servicemen Memorial, Murray Bridge Pictorial Honour Roll KIA WW2 & Vietnam
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Vietnam War Service

1 Jul 1962: Involvement Private, SN 4719545
13 Nov 1968: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Private, SN 4719545, 9th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (9RAR)
13 Nov 1968: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Private, SN 4719545
Date unknown: Involvement

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Biography contributed by Keith Harrison

4719545 Private Reginald Phillips, aged 21 years, a National Serviceman born and raised in Murray Bridge, died of wounds in South Vietnam on 18th January, 1969.

Reginald Arthur Phillips was born at Murray Bridge on 17 April 1947. His parents were Sydney and Lorna Phillips and he had two younger sisters; Janet and Helen. Reg was educated at Murray Bridge Infant, Primary and High Schools and afterwards attended Technical College where he excelled at welding. He took a job with Nicolai & Fixk as a farm machinery mechanic after leaving school. Reg had three loves in his life; his fiancee Gwenda, the dune buggy he designed and built as well as fishing.

Reg was called up for National Service in 1967 and was enlisted into the Australian Army in October and posted to the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, Puckapunyal, Victoria for his recruit training and then to the 3rd Training Battalion, Singleton, NSW for his Infantry Corps training in January 1968. In April 1968 he was posted to the newly formed 9th Battalion,The Royal Australian Regiment (9RAR) at Woodside, SA near his home town and was allocated to 8 Section 3 Platoon A Company for employment as a rifleman. On 9 November 1968 Reg embarked with 9 RAR from Outer Harbor on the converted aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney and arrived in South Vietnam on 13 November 1968. He was with his section during their operational training and then on Operation King Hit from mid December until Christmas Eve.

On 1 January 1969 9 RAR deployed to the Hat Dich area in the southern part of Bien Hoa Province to counter the enemy’s build up for the 1969 Tet Offensive. On 10 January 1969 Reg’s section moved forward whilst in contact with the enemy and evacuated the fatally wounded Private Tom Meredith.

During the afternoon of 18 January 1969, 3 Platoon A Company 9RAR contacted a group of enemy and in the following fire fight Reg was fatally wounded and died later that evening in the 1st Australian Field Hospital, Vung Tau despite the best efforts of surgeon Lieutenant Colonel Brian Cornish. Also wounded in the contact were Reg’s Acting Section 2IC Private Geoff (Tubby) Shaw (wounded while evacuating Reg) and Private John Brewer. At the time, 9 RAR, along with with other Australian battalions, were involved in Operation Goodwood in an area known as Hat Dich, 30 kms NW of Nui Dat. All those units involved were awarded the Battle Honour Hat Dich.

From Murray Bridge RSL Facebook Page, Jan 2017