2/35th Artillery

Australian Unit Citation
Request Procedure

 

 

The following was received from one of our Aussie members, Allen Morley of the 131 Divisional Locating Battery of the Royal Australian Artillery.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

I extracted the section about the 2nd/35th Battery US ARTILLERY from the RAAHC newsletter. Thanks to Veteran Trevor Bryant for this story.

In May 2018, on the 50th anniversary of the Battles of Coral and Balmoral in Vietnam, elements of the Australian Task Force who were involved in the action were awarded a Unit Citation for Gallantry by the Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal (DHAAT). Those elements receiving the citation included specified units of the 12 Field Regiment Royal Australian Artillery. One of those units was the American Army's A Battery of the 2nd/35th Field Artillery, a mobile artillery battery attached to the Australian Task Force and part of the 12 Field Regiment.

Eligible ex-members of specified Australian units found it was a relatively simple on-line process to apply to the DHAAT for their badges, and subsequently received them in remarkably quick time.

However, it was a bit more complicated when it came to getting the award out to the eligible ex-members of the US "A" Battery who are all American citizens scattered across their country. Not being part of the official Australian Defence Force network, most weren't even aware that they had received the honour and those few who did know, had no idea how to apply.

And no-one here in Australia seemed to know how they could apply either. The question was, "How can an individual who is not a citizen of Australia and is not governed by Australian law, and who is part of a completely different honours and awards system, apply to be sent an award from a foreign country?" Even the bureaucrats in Canberra had no answers to the enquiries.

In spite of some concerted effort from Major Mike Grimes Rtd. (ex- 102 Field Battery and Coral veteran) to find out how it could be done, there was still no clear direction. Finally, Mike suggested that we set up a test-case which might identify a process that works. Enter Denny Nevala from Michigan, USA, an ex-member of A Battery 2nd/35th Artillery and Coral veteran.

Denny agreed to use the Australian on-line application system to lodge an Application in his name, and to see what can of worms this would open up. He filed his application in mid-December, 2018. He received no acknowledgement from the DHAAT to say that the application had even been received, leave alone recognised.

At this stage, Denny also realised that most of the US "A" Battery veterans were spread all over the United States and making contact was difficult. He steadfastly tracked down a number of them and telephoned. He found that to a man, they had no knowledge of the UCG before his call, but felt honoured when they were informed. However, convincing them to take on Australian red-tape from all that far away was a challenge. Denny found that many of them had circumstances and issues which made the complex task of applying for a "foreign" award well beyond their inclination and capability.

So Denny did the next best thing... With help from his Australian veterans' network, he purchased a bundle of replica UCGs-with Federation Star from Christies and these were delivered promptly and efficiently to his home in Michigan.

He then set about posting them to all the other "A" Battery Coral vets with whom he had made contact. Problem solved! He has received enthusiastic feedback and thanks from all recipients who are grateful to have the award to wear, but who are spared the effort of having to formally apply. Win-win.

Denny finally received his "official" UCG from DHAAT through the post to his Michigan home on 8th April, 2019, more than 4 months after he applied. Better late than never, and as a test case it was successful - the DHAAT can and will accept applications from non-Australian citizens who served with a foreign unit, although the processing time is long.

But for Denny's ex-A Battery Coral mates it's not an issue. They have earned their UCG and they have a badge to prove it; and just like their Aussie counterparts, they wear it with pride.

Denny Nevala

Coral veteran from the US "A" Battery 2nd/35th Field Artillery wearing his UCG

 

Back to Websites Table of Contents

Home | Table of Contents | Contact Us | Site Map

Copyright 2008 - 2021 by 1/83rd Artillery Association. All rights reserved.