History Overview

See Pronto in South Vietnam 1962-1972, Chapter 4  |  Chapter 6
 Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9

RASigs and 104 Sig Sqn, South Vietnam Badges

These pages are dedicated to

Click  Corporal D. J. Donnelly, 104 Sig Sqn,  AK at Nui Dat, SVN, 9 Aug 1967
Click  Signalman D. E. Abraham,
104 Sig Sqn,  KIA near Blackhorse, SVN, 29 Sept 1968
Click  Signalman A. H. Young,
104 Sig Sqn,  KIA at FSPB Coral, SVN, 16 May 1968

Click name for Photo

"Lest We Forget"

104 Signal Squadron (104 Sig Sqn)  was raised for service in South Vietnam at Wacol, Brisbane, Queensland in November 1965.  It replaced 103 Sig Sqn in South Vietnam in April 1967 and only returned to Australia after the Australian Task Force involvement ceased, in November 1971. 104 Sig Sqn has the distinction as the longest serving (5 years and 8 months) active service tactical signals unit in the Australian Army - both past and present.    Over 800 soldiers served in the Squadron during its over 5 years war service in South Vietnam.  Three members were lost on active service during the period.

When formed and during the Vietnam War, troop establishment designation numbers were not really used, only functional troop names. i.e. Admin (HQ), Comcen (Comcen/Line) and Radio Troops. However the original establishment appears to only define a HQ plus two Troops; TF HQ Sig Tp  (501 Sig Tp) and Radio Troop (582 Sig Tp).  The Squadron in South Vietnam had an additional in theatre increment of 31, which included one Officer.  See  the 104 Sig Sqn Training Report for more details at http://www.au104.org/Memorabilia/Mem-18.htm
104 Sig Sqn was part of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) at Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam.  At the 1ATF base at Nui Dat, the 1ATF Communications Centre (COMCEN), manned and owned by 104 Sig Sqn Comcen Troop, played the key role in keeping Australian and Allied units in contact with each other.  More than 1,000 telephone and telegraph circuits feed into the COMCEN, including 70 microwave channels from bases outside Nui Dat.  Staffing the COMCEN was 50 men, working two shifts to keep communications operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  In the telegraph area, the soldiers handled over 700 messages on some days.  Next door, the 200-line switchboard averaged 4,300 connections each day.  In peak hours, two switchboard operators handled 3 calls every 10 seconds.  Messages received in the COMCEN were registered, and prepared for dispatch by clerks.  Depending on the priority of the message, it was either delivered by special delivery or the more usual Dispatch Rider (DR). 
Regularly during the day, the Signals Delivery Service (SDS) would visit the major units of the Task Force delivering and picking up messages, packets and other correspondence.  The route covered about six miles and took the signalman DR one hour to complete the task.  The COMCEN also controlled an Aerial Delivery Service (ADS), which used helicopters and fixed wing aircraft to deliver correspondence to outlying units and bases.
Working behind the scenes in adverse conditions, maintaining and repairing the telephone lines plus electronic communication equipment, was a team of linesmen and technicians.   In addition, clerks, drivers, cooks, storemen and other soldiers played a vital role keeping the unit fully operational.
104 Sig Sqn Radio Troop (582 Sig Tp) controlled and manned radio (voice, telegraph and morse code) links into and out of the Task Force and were found in all the major units of the 1ATF and with the Liaison Officers (LO) attached to Allied units.   The Squadron also planned, issued and managed the callsigns and frequencies required by all the Task Force units.
When the Task Force HQ moved forward from Nui Dat the COMCEN and key radio links at Nui Dat were reproduced in the field.  After the Battle of Coral in 1968, an ACV (Callsign 85C) was specially fitted out to carry the actual COMCEN and on all following deployments, the ACV COMCEN was ready to transmit messages between the forward HQ and the rear HQ, within 20 minutes of arriving on the site.
As well as running the Task Force communication system the unit was responsible for its own area defense and for conducting Tactical Area of Responsibility (TAOR) Patrols.
After service in South Vietnam 104 Sig Sqn return to Australia and was located first at Ingleburn and then Holsworthy, NSW supporting the 1st Brigade [Renamed 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) that served in South Vietnam] until the Brigade was relocated to Darwin in the late 1990's.

Unit patch: White over blue square with vertical purple diamond superimposed.

104 Sig Sqn Patch

In the late 1990's 104 Sig Sqn was moved to Darwin and rename A Squadron (A Sqn) , 1st Command Support Unit (1CSU) as part of a trial of a single major support unit in support of a Brigade HQ. With the success of the Army trial of 1CSU in Darwin, 1CSU was re-designated the 1st Command Support Regiment (1CSR).
In late 2001, 'A Sqn' was proudly renamed '104 Signal Squadron'.
The 1CSR training room was name the 'The Alexander Young Training Room' and the name of the 1CSR boozer, the 'Abraham Club' in honour of two of our fallen Signalman.

1CSR Badge

In January 2006, 1CSR was re-designated the 1st Combat Signal Regiment (1CSR).   Structurally, 1CSR comprises three squadrons: two Combat Signal Squadrons (104 and 105 Signal Squadron) and the Headquarters Squadron, in addition to the Regimental Headquarters.

1CSR - Home of 104 Sig Sqn

In May 2018, 104 Sig Sqn and the other RASigs members involved in the Battle of Coral Balmoral (May/June 1968) in South Vietnam, were awarded the Unit Citation for Gallantry (UCG).  All members  who were part of the 1st Australian Task Force (Forward) were awarded.  The Signal veterans were from 104 Sig Sqn (Forward) and detachments from 110 Sig Sqn (Force Signals), 547 Sig Tp (SIGINT) plus the 53rd Sig Bn (US Army).  104 Sig Sqn protected the 1ATF CP during the battle with Signalman Alexander Young KIA and three other 104 Sig Sqn members WIA.

Unit Citation for Gallantry Insignia

On the 8th August 2018, the 1st Combat Signal Regiment formally opened the Alexander Young  Battlefield  Communication Wing, the first of its kind to be embedded into a Combat Signal Regiment of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals. 

The establishment of the wing enables all units within the 1st Brigade the opportunity to hone their skills in digital literacy – skills which have become paramount for militaries in the 21st century.

Central to the ceremony was an unveiling of a plaque by Col Darren Moore, CSM and Mrs Lynette McHale commemorating the involvement of 104 Sig Sqn in the Battle Coral Balmoral, South Vietnam with a dedication to 104 Sig Sqn lineman, Signalman Young, who was KIA during the battle.  Lynette is the younger sister of the fallen signalman.   

1CSR - Col Moore and Mrs Lynne Mchale   Signaller Alexander Young  Battlefield  Communication Wing
Left Photo: Col Darren Moore, CSM and Mrs Lynette McHale unveiling the plaque
commemorating the involvement of 104 Sig Sqn in the Battle Coral Balmoral at 1CSR. 
Right Photo: 
Sign at the front of the Signaller Alexander Young  Battlefield  Communication Wing,

See WEB BOOK: Pronto in South Vietnam 1962-1972
Web Book with details of the History of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals
 in South Vietnam
Includes details of units and who served.

WEBSITE: Signals at the Battle of Coral Balmoral
104 Sig Sqn, 110 Sig Sqn and 547 Sig Tp in support of 1ATF (Forward).
All involved awarded the
Unit Citation for Gallantry.

 WEBSITE: 1 Combat Signal Regiment (Home of 104 Sig Sqn)
Mark website in favorites as you are leaving the 104 Sig Sqn, South Vietnam Website

See VIDEO: Film from South Vietnam (Memorabilia 28)
Supplied mostly by members of 104 Sig Sqn

Go to top of page