LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN ARNOLD
1 SEPTEMBER 1965 ~ 17 NOVEMBER 1967
Prior to being appointed as the Commanding
Officer of The Fifth Battalion, The Royal
Australian Regiment, John already had his
"Baptism of Fire;" he served with the
British Commonwealth Occupation Forces
(BCOF) in Japan and with the renowned 3rd
Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3
RAR) in Korea, where he was badly wounded.
He also served with the Canadian Army as an
exchange officer (1960 - 62).
Colonel John Warr retired from the army in 1972. After his
resignation, he spent two years as an adviser to the Senate
Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, investigating
the Australian Army's future role. Colonel John Warr was the
President of the 5 RAR Association up until his death in May
Colonel John Warr was an inspiration to his men in battle and in
peace. His dedication to the Australian Army, his soldiers
5 RAR Association will never be forgotten.
CITATION TO THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER
Arnold Warr was commissioned into the
Australian Army in 1947, after graduation
from the Royal Military College , Duntroon.
Since that time he has either served with
the Royal Australian Regiment or held staff
appointments in Australia or abroad. When
the Fifth Battalion was formed, Lt. Col Warr
was Second in Command until September 1965,
when he was appointed Commanding Officer and
the unit was warned for overseas service. As
Commanding Officer he was responsible for
the training and welding together of both
regular soldiers and national servicemen
into an efficient combat unit in a short
period of time. During a year's service in
Vietnam the Fifth Battalion, The Royal
Australian Regiment, was in almost continual
action with the enemy whilst conducting
offensive patrol tasks, search and destroy
missions and cordon and search operations.
The techniques for these latter operations
were developed so successfully by Lt. Col
Warr that they were accepted as standard
procedures in the First Australian Task
Lt. Col Warr was responsible for the planning and execution in
detail which is so necessary for the successful operations by a
battalion group in air mobile operations. His thorough
preparation and orders, his sound tactical knowledge, his
calmness and leadership under fire was largely responsible for
the accomplishments of the Fifth Battalion, The Royal Australian
Regiment, in Vietnam.
Robert Kearney who served under Colonel Warr's
command, penned this poem about his boss.
A kind man, a gentle man, a
leader born and bred;
A soldier's soldier, an officer, a man among the men.
The Fifth Battalion respected him, even loved him, it was said,
In our hearts he still lives on, just as he did then.
Our Commander with his mission clear,
always spoke of his "Diggers" with pride;
He was badly wounded in South Korea,
Where from the shrapnel he nearly died.
Known as "Wingy" with his shattered arm,
He worked for the common good;
Throughout our tour of South Vietnam,
he led us well, starting with "Hardihood."
To South Vietnam the Battalion was sent,
Where "Reg" and "Nasho" fought side by side;
Warr's "Diggers," the "Tigers" of the Regiment,
Now always speak of him with pride.
ROBERT. S. KEARNEY.
(One of "Wingy's" Diggers)
Brian London OAM.,
For the list
of COs and RSMs of 5RAR, go the 5RAR history page, or