Ships of the Royal Australian Navy were stationed on continuous operational service in Vietnam between 1965 and 1972; a total 18 ships served in Vietnam waters during the war. During this period, the Navy performed a wide variety of operational tasks at sea, ashore, and in the air. The RAN's primary contribution consisted of destroyers, Fleet Air Arm personnel attached to a Unites States Army helicopter company andNo9 Squadron RAAF, a Clearance Diving Team, and a logistical support force consisting of transport and escort ships. Other RAN personnel served ashore in medical teams or performed staff duties at the Australian Embassy in SAigon or the 1st Australian Task Headquarters at Nui Dat. Vung Tau Ferry By 1972, when Australia’s involvement in Vietnam ended, HMAS Sydney (the ‘Vung Tau Ferry’) had carried 16,000 Army and RAAF personnel to Vung Tau on 24 ferry runs and had made a 25th trip to Vietnam to deliver and pick-up military equipment. Sydney’s efforts were complemented by the Jeparit and Boonaroo. On the Gunline – Destroyers Australia’s largest naval commitment to the Vietnam War was the provision of destroyers, on rotation, to serve on the ‘gunline’ – delivering naval gunfire support for ground forces with the US 7th Fleet. Clearance Divers The task that faced the Australian Naval Clearance Diving teams in Vietnam was complex and dangerous. The country’s long coast and many rivers, and the large Mekong Delta near Saigon gave the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong many opportunities to attack and disrupt shipping with mines and underwater obstacles. Helicopter Flight Helicopter crews flew daily missions and combat assaults that left crews and maintenance personnel exhausted. Aircrew would rise at 4.30 am and, not infrequently, have twelve hours of flying, including dropping troops into, or extracting them from, extremely dangerous landing sites. 9 Sqn RAAF detachment Already heavily committed in Vietnam, Malaysia and at home, the RAAF was short of trained aircrew. The RAN was approached to help temporarily by providing pilots, eight of whom joined the squadron in 1968.