Phillip McLeod (deceased)
Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community, Jervis Bay Territory
32 Small Ship Squadron
Royal Australian Engineers
Australian Army
Vietnam Veteran

Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 – Vietnam
Vietnam Medal
National Medal
Australian Defence Medal
Anniversary of National Service 1951-72 Medal
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Returned from Active Service Badge


I was born in Batemans Bay on the South Coast of NSW in 1947. I volunteered for National Service in 1967 and, following my medical tests, was sent to 1 RTB (Recruit Training Battalion) at Kapooka for basic training. I was allocated to the Royal Australian Engineers, completing Corps training at SME (School of Military Engineering) and Seamanship training at the Transportation Centre before being posted to 32 Small Ship Squadron.

Our unit operated the Army’s small fleet of four WW2-vintage LSMs (Landing Ships Medium) capable of carrying Centurion tanks and performing other logistic tasks. My ship was the AV1356 ‘Clive Steele’, and we sailed twice to Vietnam, in December 1968 and then again in July 1969, carrying over tanks and other equipment for the Australian Task Force. In Vietnam, we supported both our forces and the Americans, delivering everything from tanks and ammunition to building supplies and beer. We operated on the busy Saigon River and the Mekong Delta, and from Vung Tau up the coast to Cam Ranh Bay, always under threat from VC rockets and gunfire. I served with some good mates aboard ‘The Steel’ – Bob Freeman, Bob Saunders, and Warren Barsley, amongst others, and we all stayed good friends afterwards.

I returned to Australia in December 1969, and after discharging from the regular Army, I enlisted in the CMF (Citizen Military Forces). I served in the 4th Battalion, Royal New South Wales Regiment for nearly two years before finally leaving the Army with the rank of Lance Corporal.

My wife Mary and I had four children and three grandchildren. I am a respected Elder of the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community in Jervis Bay Territory. I am a member of the Huskisson RSL and founder of the Wreck Bay Fire Brigade