Somalia

 In 1993, 54 soldiers from the 2/4 RAR Battalion was detached to 1 RAR for operational service in Somalia as part of Operation Solace.

The Mission. In December 1992, a UN peacekeeping force led by 2,000 United States Marines were sent to Somalia to restore order after months of Clan Fighting which had left thousands of people dying of starvation. This was the start of Operation Restore Hope, an operation that designed to distribute food and other humanitarian aid to the people of Somalia. This intervention was unique in that, not only was it the first time the United Nations had ever intervened without permission in the affairs of an independent nation it was also the first time that a Battalion Group (Bn Gp) of Australian soldiers had deployed on active service since 4 RAR/NZ had commenced its tour of South Vietnam in 1971.

The Australian operation was called Operation Solace and involved the deployment of a Battalion Group (Bn Gp) of some 900 personnel, the majority from 1 RAR. Their mission was to provide a secure environment for the distribution of humanitarian aid, within the Humanitarian Relief sector (HRS), Baidoa, a total area of some 17000 square kilometres. 

The Baidoa HRS was hot, dry and unrepenting land. Stories abound of the trips that the Bn Gp took to get to Somalia.  The plane trip and the long boat journey by members of Alpha Company on Christmas Eve.  Delta Company and attachments disembarked from their civilian charter plane to the sounds of gunfire. How could this be, when you are alighting from an Australian owned aircraft with a kangaroo on the tail and your weapons are still in bubble wrap in the hold of the aircraft?  The drive to Baidoa proved to be without incident, although the soldiers were probably looking in awe at the destruction and the open display of poverty and malnutrition that greeted them for over 150 kilometres.

The Commanding Officer of the 1 RAR Bn Gp took command of HRS Baidoa on the 19 January 1993, from 3/9 Battalion United States Marine Corps (USMC).  The Battalion Group had all arrived in the HRS safely and soon found that life for the civilians was a battle to stay alive. By the time the Bn Gp had arrived many people had perished beyond help, their bodies withered, so that even children looked like old men. This took the young soldiers by surprise; no briefing could prepare them for what they would see over the next 5 months. The Bn Gp got on with the job and was soon escorting food and humanitarian aid convoys, local township security, patrolling in depth and the protection of the Australian assets at the airfield.

2/4 RAR Australian Force- Somalia nominal roll
1PL PTE SJ HEY RFN
2PL PTE DT GOLLOP RFN
3PL PTE KC MURRELLS RFN
  PTE DR RANDALL RFN
4PL PTE S.A BRADSHAW RFN
  PTE N.J. ELMA RFN
  PTE S.C. GRIESE RFN
  PTE D.J. HAWKINS RFN
5PL PTE B.A. KIPPING RFN
  PTE B.G. LUMBY RFN
  PTE T.A. McGILL RFN
  PTE A.J. McGUINNESS RFN
  PTE A.R. PARKER RFN
6PL PTE A.C. BILSTON RFN
  PTE J.L. COX RFN
  PTE K.J. PERRY RFN
  PTE S.W. POLLOCK RFN
  PTE C.S. RHODES RFN
  PTE C.A. RICHARDSON RFN
  PTE M.J. ROSIER RFN
CHQ PTE B.R. DICKINSON STMN
7PL PTE G.M. BROWN RFN
  PTE P.E. LAWS RFN
  PTE S.D. MILLIGAN RFN
  PTE S.L. O'MEARA RFN
  PTE J.L. SLATTERY RFN
8PL PTE D.A. BALL RFN
  PTE A. CAMPBELL RFN
9PL PTE J.D. DONALD RFN
  PTE A.C. EVERSON RFN
  PTE R.J. McCORMICK RFN
  PTE D.P. MOORE RFN
  PTE M.W. PARSONS RFN
CHQ PTE M.J. COOK CLK/RFN
  PTE C.R. ELLIOTT RFN
  PTE M.R. NANCARROW RFN
10PL PTE J.A. ADAMS RFN
  PTE S.J. HOLLIS RFN
  PTE S.D. INNES RFN
  PTE P.A. STEPHENS RFN
11PL PTE P. DENBY RFN
  PTE A.J. McNAMEE RFN
  PTE J.L. WATENE RFN
12PL PTE J.R. HOLLINGWORTH RFN
  PTE J.C. READDY RFN
  PTE W.O. REDLICH RFN
  PTE C.J. WILLIS RFN
  PTE A.J. WILSON RFN
DFSW PL PTE A.J. WALLACE DFSW
MORTAR PL PTE J.A. PAIN MOR
ASS-PIONEER PL  PL PTE K.B. CARLIN PNR
  PTE R.J. SOMERTON PNR
  PTE M.D. COOKE PNR