Amongst the rarest of all Vietnam War patches...a Flight Jacket patch from the combined, US and Australian Unit 135th Assault Helicopter Company...MOTTO.... "GET THE BLOODY JOB DONE". The 135th AHC was formed at Fort Hood Texas in February 1967 specifically for duty in Vietnam. The Company arrived in Vietnam at Vung Tau in October 1967. In November the Royal Australian Navy sent 11 Officers and 36 Enlisted men to Vietnam as their contribution to Helicopter Combat in Vietnam. This unit designated 'RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam' was formed July 14th 1967. They were immediately assigned and integrated into the 135th Assault Helicopter Company. The 135th AHC was renamed the 'Experimental Military Unit' or EMU for short and became the only fully integrated international Military Unit to serve in the Vietnam War. Australian enlisted men took orders from US Officers and US Enlisted men took orders from Australian Officers. The experiment was not to be repeated (although the Unit was highly successful) for the rest of the war and as such the 135th EMU remains in history as the only unit of it's type to fight in Vietnam. The patch reflects both the Australian and the Unites States of America Flags. Originally assigned to the transport of ANZAC forces (Australian and New Zealand) and in-particular the Australian Task Force operating in Phuoc Tuy Province the unit's actions were diverse with assaults on enemy positions throughout Military Corps Tactical Zones II and III recorded. Variously located after their initial Vung Tau posting to Blackhorse and to Bear Cat in 1970 the Unit detached themselves from the Australian Task Force and was assigned to the transport and assault support of South Vietnamese Troops in Mekong Z Delta and they were based at Dong Tam. In June of 1971 the experiment came to an end with the withdrawal of the Australian Contingent from the War and as such the Royal Australian Navy element, rather than being officially re-assigned, was in fact de-activated with the placement of Australian personnel to new units only occuring once the personnel had returned to Australia.
The 135th Assault Helicopter Company kept the name 'EMU' until they too were de-activated. On the 21st of January 1971, the 135th AHC flew a RVN Ranger Company into Nui Ba Den near Tay Ninh in defence of a Viet Cong Assault. The following day the unit was de-activated. Rare RAN Piece Measures - 4 x 3.8 inches (10 x 9.5 cms) Cheesecloth Backed
At Molloy's MEGA ANTIQUES CENTRE, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand
Specialists in Pacific Islands Items, Victoriana, And a Fascinating Range of General Collectibles