Rod McLennan President 2/4th MGB 2010 – 2018



Chris McLennan’s son Rod joined the 2/4th Committee some years after his father’s death. 

When then Secretary Lawrie Morris on behalf of the 2009 Committee advised they could no longer continue working and the 2/4th would ‘close’ down, the two youngest and newest committee members Cheryl Mellor and Rod quietly discussed the possibility of offering their services.  They asked  Peter Dimopulous if he would agree to take on the role of Treasurer. It was agreed too!   in a few short minutes we announced to the retiring ‘old boys’ –

The 2/4th MGB ex-Members Committee would live on.

Jim Elliott and Rob Badock had tears in their eyes. 
How they loved their 2/4th Battalion. They were so excited!  
Rod became President 2010 remaining until his untimely death in 2018.  Cheryl Mellor was Secretary and they bumbled through the first (and probably the next ) year’s events – with limited knowledge and experience.
The old ‘boys’  enjoyed Rod’s company – he sort of spoke the same language.  They would always enjoy lunch over a few beers at the old Anzac House following monthly meetings (we women would sit the other end of the table – it wasn’t because we didn’t wish to mix, the ‘boys’ enjoyed sitting together over their beers mostly quietly talking.   (the Old Anzac House meals were similar to pub food, i.e. sausages & mash, Fish & Chips, Roast meat and baked veges, soup of the day!  Good value.  It was popular with lunchtime staff from work places in the Terrace with the line-up often straggling out of the dining hall entrance).   
Rodney Chris McLennan born 23 July 1947 died 25 Sept 2018 was a former Vietnam Veteran and Conscript who served with 21 Platoon, Charlie Coy,  9RAR.  Rod was what we (the entire country of Australia) called a ‘Nasho’ who served in Vietnam.  i.e. Conscript for Australian Army.
Rod turned 21 when he was at Woodside, in South Australia.
His parents were undertaking a driving holiday/trip around Australia, and visited Rod at Woodside the year he turned 21 years.
One has to think what did Chris McLennan a former AIF soldier and former POW of Japan, think about his son Rod being called up?  What went through his mind?  In particular how did Chris react to news Rod was being transferred to Vietnam??


Please read further 

Their mascot is a pure bred merino ram (known as Stan the Ram)

‘The 9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (9RAR) was raised in November 1967. After training, 9RAR deployed to Vietnam as part of the 1st Australian Task Force. The unit served there from November 1968 until November 1969, when they were relieved by 8RAR.
Over the 12 months, 9RAR took part in 11 major operations each lasting roughly a month. These operations focused on pacification and reconnaissance and aimed to isolate Viet Cong from the local population. During their year of service, 9RAR lost 35 men killed with another 150 wounded.
An annual service takes place on the first Sunday following Remembrance Day. This date commemorates the raising of 9RAR and its first and last days of active service in Vietnam.’ 

Below:  Twitter from 2018.

During the last years of his life Rod sadly suffered terrible health issues from his conscript time in  Vietnam.    Months of hospitalisation, home a short time then back to another hospital.  He had a series of sores which were the affects of agent orange and untreatable,  ulcers which would not heal on his legs and feet.  He lost several toes due to amputation.   Understandably Ron had his dark times but would appear upbeat, alway optimistic and happy to see everybody. 
Rod died 25 September 2018.
Rod was father to three sons CAMERON (decd), SCOTT and CHRIS.
‘I well remember seeing sores over his limbs and body for the first time.  Sores which would not heal and the itch which drove him mad at times – he reminded me he always had them! 
But they were more visible when wearing only a blue hospital gown!
They were the long-term results and reminder of Vietnam’s chemical sprays – Agent Orange. I realised there was little the doctors could do – there were no cures!’
by Cheryl Mellor

Above:  Chris McLennan

Chris McLennan and Mrs McLennan would have been mighty pleased and very proud of their eldest son.  We, the Committee of 2/4th  we will fondly remember Rod’s commitment to 2/4th and in particular his admiration and endless patience with the ‘old boys’ who loved him dearly.  He moved at their pace and his patience was endless and to be admired.

We miss you Roddy!


Below:  2015-2106 Committee members



President Ron McLennan, John Gilmour, Ron Badock and Cheryl Mellor (then Secretary)


** Woodside Barracks was where Rod’s father Chris McLennan was sent to train with 2/4th MGB in 1941.


‘9 RAR was raised at Keswick Barracks in AdelaideSouth Australia, on 13 November 1967.  Shortly after that they moved to Woodside Barracks ** where they began lead-up training in anticipation for future deployment to South Vietnam.  His training also included Puckapunyal, Victoria.
Over the course of the next few months the battalion was slowly brought up to full strength, and by April 1968 9 RAR had received its full complement of personnel.In order to achieve this more quickly, the battalion undertook the training of its complement of 140 national servicemen instead of putting them through the normal centralised training scheme.
After completing its training, an advance party of 150 men from the battalion arrived at the 1st Australian Task Force base at Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy Province on 5 November 1968.  The rest of 9 RAR departed Adelaide on HMAS Sydney on 9 November 1968 and while en route they celebrated the battalion’s first birthday at sea, becoming the first battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment to do so. They were also the first battalion to deploy on active service without first having been presented with their colours.
Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Albie Morrison, the main body arrived in country on 20 November 1968 and by early December, 9 RAR had commenced operations. Their first major operation, Operation Goodwood, was undertaken in Bien Hoa Province and was a response to the increasing presence of Vietcong (VC) forces in the province.  Over the course of the tour, 9 RAR undertook eleven major operations that lasted roughly a month each, along with a number of other minor operations.
To a large extent these operations were focused upon pacification, which attempted to isolate the VC from the local population and to create a more secure situation in order to stabilise the South Vietnamese government.  Thus the main role for 9 RAR at this time was to carry out reconnaissance-in-force and cordon-and-search missions to locate the VC base locations, clear land and to protect the civilian population.   The majority of these operations were carried out in Phuoc Tuy, Long Khanh, Bien Hoa and Binh Tuy provinces.
9 RAR remained in South Vietnam until 28 November 1969 when it was relieved by 8 RAR and returned to Australia. One Distinguished Service Order, two Military Crosses, seven Military Medals and eleven Mentions in Despatches were awarded to members of 9 RAR as result of their tour to South Vietnam.  Casualties included 35 killed, and another 150 wounded.’

We acknowledge Wikipedia for the above information

September 29, 2018
Farewell to our highly respected and much loved President Rod, long time committee member 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion Ex Members Association and forever “One of the Boys”. Son of former Japanese POW WX7608 Chris McLennan, Vietnam veteran and conscript, father of three sons and grandchildren. You were unable to reach the ton – the boundaries unfairly moved as your health failed. Your Aussie soul and humour will live on. A real good bloke and boy from the bush. Keep stirring the possum Rod. You will be greatly missed. Committee and Members of the 2/4th MGB Ex Members Association.


Below: Rod McLennan Service No. 5715700 served 13 Nov 1968 to 5 Dec 1969.

Woodside 1958 C Coy.



From AWM:  9th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (9RAR) was raised on 13 November 1967 in Adelaide. It was initially based at the Keswick Barracks before transferring to Woodside. The battalion arrived in Vietnam in November 1968, relieving 3 RAR. It formed part of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) and was based at Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy province.
9RAR joined Operation Goodwood (3 December-17 February) on 1 January, 1969. Goodwood was a reaction to a perceived threat posed by an increase in Viet Cong (VC) activity that suggested an offensive was being planned. The operation took place in the Bien Hoa province. On 17 February the battalion became involved in Operation Federal (17 February-2 April), also in Bien Hoa. It was engaged in searches and patrols following the 1969 Tet Offensive. The battalion returned to Nui Dat for a period of rest from 9 to 24 March. It then rejoined Federal until 2 April.
During April 1969 1ATF adopted pacification operations as its first priority. This involved seeking out and destroying the enemy in its base areas, preventing enemy access to the civilian population, and helping to create a secure climate for South Vietnamese social, political, and military life. The work was demanding, dangerous, and monotonous and was the primary task carried out by the battalion for the remainder of its tour.
9RAR was primarily engaged with pacification operations. All but three operations took place in Phuoc Tuy. On 2 April it was deployed to the Bien Hoa-Long Khanh-Phuoc Tuy border for Operation Overland (2-10 April). On 11 April it moved south within Bien Hoa and commenced Operation Overlander (11-15 April). The battalion then returned to the Bien Hoa province for Operation Jack (30 September-31 October). These operations were reconnaissance-in-force operations, involving patrolling, land clearing, and protecting civilians.
On 25 November 9RAR was relieved by 8RAR. The battalion arrived in Australia in December 1969.