Ron Sulman: HMAS Sydney (III) – Vietnam

Posted on: Mon 25 Apr 2022

Royal Australian Navy Veteran Ron Sulman was a young Mid-Shipman aboard the Sydney when he came aboard for the first of his three trips in it to Vietnam, carrying troops, vehicles, ammunition, stores and equipment.  He gives us some insight into anchoring at Vung Tau and unloading cargo.

In 1962 HMAS Sydney III had been taken out of Reserve and refitted and reactivated as a fast troop transport, to be maintained at seven days’ notice for sea.  She returned to full operational service as an active fleet unit in 1963, and in early 1964 prepared to transport troops, equipment and aid to Malaya as part of the Australian Army’s commitment to the Indonesian Confrontation.  Between 1965 and 1972, Sydney undertook 24 voyages to Vietnam, amounting to 25 operational visits to Vung Tau. She transported 16,094 troops, 5753 deadweight tons of cargo and 2375 vehicles during that time.  

Producer Helen Meyer


HMAS Sydney (III) in the role of the ‘Vung Tau Ferry’. Vietnam C1968. AWM

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