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April 4, 2022

54791 Alan Frederick Stewart

Service Record:
Born: 24 March 1943 in Essendon, Victoria Service: Australian Army
Corps: Royal Australian Infantry Corps
Operational Service / Deployments:
Borneo: 3 RAR
Malay Peninsula: 3 RAR
Vietnam 2 SAS Squadron 5 Feb 68 to 23 Feb 69
Honours and Awards:
Mentioned In Despatches (MID)

Alan Stewart enlisted in the Australian Regular Army at Albany, WA on 24 September 1963. He had previously served in the Naval cadets and the Air Training Corps in high school before serving two and a half years as a rifleman in the Western Australia Regiment.

Stewart completed basic training at Kapooka. He initially hoped to serve with the engineers but was selected for the infantry instead. Fol- lowing completion of his Infantry Training at the Infantry Centre School, Ingleburn he was the awarded top trainee award for his platoon, and elected to serve with 3 Battalion, The Royal Aus- tralian Regiment (3 RAR).

He was posted to C Company, 3 RAR at Teren- dak, Malaysia for an 18-month deployment. Stewart was a part of the battalion's operations on the Malay-Thai border countering Com- munist Terrorist (CT) incursions. Another six months were spent in Borneo on operations against Indonesian infiltrators.

Towards the end of his deployment, Stewart and several other members of 3 RAR were se- lected to undertake the instructors Course at In- gleburn. He completed the course and chose to stay at the Infantry Centre School, Ingleburn as an instructor. 18 months later, Stewart success- fully applied to undertake the Special Air Ser- vice (SAS) selection course. He passed and was posted to 1 SAS Squadron in June 1966, which was preparing to deploy to Vietnam.

Stewart undertook three months of pre- deployment training in Papua New Guinea. During this time, his stepfather, a forestry work- er, was tragically killed when a tree fell on him. Stewart returned to Australia on bereavement leave. After returning from leave, Stewart was posted to 2 SAS Squadron as a corporal and was later promoted to temporary sergeant. He spent the next nine months in preparation for service in Vietnam.
Stewart deployed to Vietnam with the advanceparty of his unit on 5 February 1968. During the following 12 months, Stewart led 22 patrols in Phuoc Tuy Province, these included ambush and intelligence gathering patrols. For his ac- tions over several weeks in January 1969, Stew- art was Mentioned In Despatches. The end of his citation reads 'Sergeant Stewart, by his judgement and determination to succeed, ob- tained extremely valuable information on ene- my movement under difficult conditions. His performance reflects great credit on himself, his Regiment and the Australian Army'. Stew- art returned to Australia on 23 February 1969. During his remaining time with the SAS, Stew- art specialised in water operations and uncon- ventional warfare.

Over the next nine years, Stewart remained in the Army, eventually being posted to RMC Duntroon as a warrant officer second class. In 1978, he joined the Commonwealth Police as a specialist trainer. He also joined the Army Staff Group and, in conjunction with his police ser- vice, spent time over the following three years with the directorate of Special Forces. After this he served 10 years with the RAAF Active Re- serve Squadron (28 Squadron) at Fairbairn. Stewart retired from the Australian Federal Po- lice in 1999 after 21 years’ service. From 1999 Stewart served in the SES and as a member of Marine Rescue NSW.

Alan Stewart was a natural: born to soldiering and gifted in jungle operations. He was a leader and mentor and an inspirational role model. Alan’s life was one of service and adventure. He was a staunch friend who will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Vale, Alan Stewart.

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