Vietnam Veterans 1968-1971

VALE – MAJGEN (Ret’d) W.B. (Digger) JAMES AC, AO, MBE, OStJ, MC

William Brian 'Digger' James was an exceptional man who provided leadership to all who served with him. He touched the lives of not only many people in the Defence Force but in the many associations, clubs, trusts and groups where he held positions of president, patron, delegate and member.

He was born in Shepparton, Victoria on 14 May 1930 and died in Brisbane on 16 October 2015.

A memorial service will be held in Brisbane at 11am on Friday 30 October 2015 at the Albert Street Uniting Church, 391 Albert Street Brisbane. In lieu of flowers, donations to Mates for Mates would be appreciated. Donations can be made online at


Service Details

Military Service:

1948-51  Royal Military College (Cadet)

1952-53  Platoon Commander 1 RAR Korea (LT)

7 Nov 52 Wounded in Action

1954-55  ADJT Armoured School Puckapunyal (CAPT)

1956-57  ADJT 12/16 Hunter River Lancers (CAPT)

1964-66  RMO 2 Camp Hospital (CAPT)

1966-67  RMO Royal Military College (MAJ)

1968-69  OC 8 Field Ambulance Vietnam  and SMO 1st Australian Task Force

1969       DADGMS Canberra

1970       Post Graduate Training (UK) (LTCOL)

1971       MO St John Relief Team Biafra – Nigeria

1971-75  DMS and DDMS 1st Military District (COL)

1975-81  DMS-A (BRIG)

1982-85  DGAHS (MAJGEN)

Date of Commission:

Dec 51 (LT Staff Corps)





MC (Military Cross) 1953 (For self sacrifice, extreme fortitude and devotion to duty when in great personal distress)

MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) 1969 (for service as SMO 1 ATF in Vietnam)

OStJ (Officer of the Order of St John) 1971

AO (Officer of the Order of Australia) 1985 (for service to the Australian Army, Medical Services and as Director General of Army Health Services)

AC (Companion of the Order of Australia) 1998 (for service to the veterans and service people, particularly as National President of the RSL of Australia through leadership and advocacy in the areas of health prevention, medication usage and community care).