Who we are
105th Battery Royal Australian Artillery (105 Bty RAA) Association proudly supports and continues the long and distinguished history of the battery through its membership and commemoration of its history since 1916 to today. Read the history of 105 Bty RAA below.
Any person who has at any time served as a member of 105 Bty RAA is welcome to join the association by applying using the Membership Form or click here. We also welcome to our membership the partner of any deceased former member.
Our website contains information of interest to our members and our colleagues; and also matters of relevance to our unit history.
Forthcoming events are detailed in the Events page(s). Relevant forms, booklets, and other published material are at Resources. Links to kindred organisations and other external sources of relevant information are at Links.
Contact our Association executive via the links at the bottom of our Home page.
Following the withdrawal of the ANZAC troops from the Gallipoli Peninsula, the doubling of the Australian Imperial Force in Egypt spawned the 105th Howitzer Battery on 8 March 1916. Less than five weeks later, the 105th was in action near Armentieres, France.
Becoming part of the 5th Australian Field Artillery Brigade (5 AFAB) in the artillery reorganisation of 11 May 1916 began a long association with this unit. The Battery served with distinction for the next three years from Passchendaele and Ypres in Belgium to Amiens and Villers Bretonneux in France, concluding its time at Thuin, Belgium after the Armistice. The unit was disbanded on 30 March 1919.
The 105th Howitzer Battery was reraised as part of 5 AFAB at Kelvin Grove, Brisbane in the Militia remodelling of 1921. It survived all the reorganisations between the wars and the hardships of the Great Depression and continued its camps and live firings at Fort Lytton, Cominya, Mt Walker and Caloundra. Mechanisation farewelled horses in 1939, and the Battery went on full time duty in 1940. Sadly, it was disbanded in the Second World War reorganisation which formed field regiments of artillery in December 1940.
Australia’s commitment to the British Commonwealth Far East Strategic Reserve led to the re-emergence of 105th Field Battery on 1 July 1955. It sailed for Malaya on 6 October 1955 to become the first unit of the Royal Australian Artillery (RAA) to fire a shot in anger since World War 2. With its headquarters in Butterworth and gun troops in Perak and Kedah states, the Battery supported British, Malay and Australian battalions till its return to Australia in October 1957.
The 105th came under command of 1st then 4th Field Regiments till it was again called upon as the first RAA unit to serve—this time in the Vietnam War. Arriving on 28 September 1965, the Battery came under operational control of the 173rd United States Airborne Brigade, served with the 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) Group, and was awarded the US Meritorious Unit Commendation. Joining 1st Field Regiment RAA at Nui Dat in June 1966, it supported 6 RAR’s D Company at the Battle of Long Tan before returning to Australia in September.
The 105th Field Battery commenced its second tour in Vietnam on 4 February 1969 in support of 5 RAR. Though ‘home’ was at Nui Dat, in 12 months it built 31 fire support bases between Long Binh near Saigon and the south coast of Phuoc Tuy Province, fired over 76 000 rounds and returned home on 4 February 1970 without loss of life.
Since then the 105th has remained under the command of 1st Field Regiment RAA in Brisbane, witnessing the many changes of doctrine and reorganisations of peacetime soldiering. Australia’s entry into peacemaking in East Timor saw 47 members of the Battery on active service again, primarily in Civil Military Liaison Teams with 6 RAR. Second and third tours have now been completed.
The 105th became a medium battery equipped with 155-mm M198 Howitzers on 1 July 2005 with the new role of direct support to a motorised 6 RAR Group.
Subsequently, the 105th Medium Battery supported Australia’s commitment to Iraq by providing individual members on six month detachments to the Security Detachment in Baghdad, and the Australian Army Training Team, up to the end of Australia’s commitment in July 2009.
In early 2009, a 105th Battery Troop of the 105th Medium Battery RAA mobilised to join its British counterparts of 7 Parachute Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery for a six month tour of Afghanistan where the Tiger Troop manned the British 105mm L118 Light Gun in operations in the Helmund Province. The first Tiger round was fired on operations on 9 April 2009. The final contingent of the 105th Battery Troop returned to Australia in April 2011.
Under the Army’s new operational structure the 105th Battery RAA became an observation sub-unit of 1st Regiment RAA. Its command and observer parties are being deployed on operational duties in Afghanistan in 2011-2012.
Arthur Burke, Honorary Historian, 105th Battery RAA
(updated) March 2010