Errol Wayne NOACK

Service Number: 4717546
Enlisted: 30 June 1965, Keswick, Adelaide
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (5RAR)
Born: Adelaide, South Australia, 28 March 1945
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Concordia College, Highgate, South Australia
Occupation: Fisherman
Died: Died of Wounds (GSW), Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam, South Vietnam, Vietnam, 24 May 1966, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia

Commemorated Derrick Gardens - Path 36 - Grave 214A, Centennial Park Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Memorials: Adelaide Post Second World War Memorial, Adelaide Vietnam War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Grafton Clarence Valley Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Highgate Concordia College Vietnam Honour Roll, Hilton Australia's National Servicemen Memorial, Kallangur Vietnam Veterans' Place, Pooraka War Memorial, Port Pirie Vietnam Veterans Honour Wall, Seymour Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk Roll of Honour, Wamuran National Servicemen's Memorial

The first National Seviceman killed in Vietnam

Errol Wayne NOACK was born on 28th March, 1945 in North Adelaide, South Australia

His parents were Walter Heinrich NOACK and Dorothy Muriel WILSON

Vietnam War Service
30 Jun 1965: Enlisted Australian Army (Post WW2), Keswick, Adelaide
12 May 1966: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Private, SN 4717546, 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (5RAR)
12 May 1966: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Private, SN 4717546
Date unknown: Involvement Private, SN 4717546

Kangaroo Island Connection

His Father, Walter (Wally) died on K.I. and was buried in Penneshaw Cemetery.

As a boy Errol Noack swam and fished from the beach. He shared the original house on Mad Mile Track with members of his family as his parents were separated.  


Wally and Errol NOACK 1966

SLSA reference PRG 1452/2/39

Penneshaw Cemetery

"Our Vietnam War" (ABC iView) devotes about 5 minutes to his story. starting from 44:23. 

Born Errol Wilson NOACK (after his mum)
Enrolled as  Errol Wayne NOACK
Father's memorial: Errol John NOACK

... Errol went to stay with his father in Port Lincoln for his final period of leave. He went for a swim and took Holy Communion before flying to Vietnam on 13 May 1966. ...

A street named after Errol Noack, in Nuit Dat Vietnam, 1966. (John Bentley)

The Errol Noack House commemorates Errol Noack who was the first national serviceman to be killed in the Vietnam War.  The facility opened in December 1989.  Ten days after arriving in Vietnam, he was critically wounded, apparently in the cross-fire of two Australian sub-units, and died of his wounds in the United States 36th Evacuation Hospital. News of his death sparked public controversy around Australia, and he became a symbol of the small but growing anti-Vietnam War movement in Australia. In 1989 the South Australian branch of the Returned Services League with assistance from government and veterans' groups, established Errol Noack House to provide emergency accommodation for up to 27 ex-service persons and their families in times of crisis or when undergoing medical treatment.  The establishment is now closed.

Errol Noack

SLSA reference PRG 1452/2/84

See biography at 

See profile, with many references, at 

See newspaper report:  Vietcong squad apparently killed conscript (1966, May 27). The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), p. 4.    

Controversy about cause of death: He died from gunshot wounds from friendly forces at Nui Dat but the description of his death was later altered to wounded in action. He died on 24th May 1966. He was the first National Serviceman killed in Vietnam. Noack was in a water party to fill bottles from the local creek on Operation Hardyhood, he came within the vision of A Coy scouts who mistook him for enemy and opened fire on him. He was hit with 9mm from an Owen Gun which was carried at the time.

Funeral of Errol Noack