Donald Dunstan (governor)

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Not to be confused with the South Australian Premier Don Dunstan.
Lieutenant General
Sir Donald Dunstan
AC, KBE, CB
30th Governor of South Australia
In office
23 April 1982 – 5 February 1991
Monarch Queen Elizabeth II
Preceded by Sir Keith Seaman
Succeeded by Dame Roma Mitchell
Personal details
Born Donald Beaumont Dunstan
(1923-02-18)18 February 1923
Murray Bridge, South Australia
Died 15 October 2011(2011-10-15) (aged 88)
Adelaide, South Australia
Nationality Australian
Alma mater Royal Military College, Duntroon
Profession Soldier
Military service
Allegiance  Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1940–1982
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands Chief of the General Staff
1st Australian Task Force
1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Companion of the Order of Australia
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Mentioned in Despatches

Lieutenant General Sir Donald Beaumont Dunstan, AC, KBE, CB (18 February 1923 – 15 October 2011)[1][2] was an Australian Army officer who was Governor of South Australia from 23 April 1982 until 5 February 1991. A career officer, after joining the Army in 1940 during the Second World War, Dunstan graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1942 and served as an infantry officer, seeing combat against the Japanese during the Bougainville Campaign in 1945. After the war, he served in a variety of appointments, including as commander of the 1st Australian Task Force during the Vietnam War. From 1977 to 1982 he held the appointment of Chief of the General Staff, before retiring from the Army having overseen a large-scale re-organisation. Afterwards, he became the longest-serving Governor of South Australia. He died in 2011, at the age of 88.

Military career[edit]

Born in Murray Bridge, South Australia, on 18 February 1923, Dunstan joined the Australian Army and was accepted into the Royal Military College, Duntroon in February 1940 amidst the backdrop of the Second World War.[3] A career officer, after graduating from Duntroon in June 1942, having completed a cut-down 18 month version of the normally four-year course, Dunstan was allocated to the infantry and posted to the 27th Battalion,[3] a South Australian Militia unit known as the South Australian Scottish Regiment.[4] He subsequently served with the 27th until the end of the war, expect for a brief period when he was seconded to headquarters 23rd Brigade.[3]

With the 27th Battalion, Dunstan saw combat against the Japanese during the Bougainville Campaign in 1945, and received a Mention in Despatches for his actions while commanding a platoon. After the war, he served as a staff officer in the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan following the war, transferring to the newly established Australian Regular Army in 1947.[3] Upon returning to Australia in 1948, Dunstan married Beryl Dunningham and was posted to Keswick Barracks in Adelaide, South Australia, where he served on the staff of the 4th Military District.[3]

Dunstan was then posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) as second-in-command in 1953.[3] He then saw service in Korea including a period as Military Assistant to the Commander in Chief of the British Commonwealth Forces Korea.[citation needed] Between May 1964 and February 1965, Dunstan commanded 1 RAR,[5] before later holding an appointment at the 1st Recruit Training Battalion. Having reached the rank of colonel, in early 1968 he was deployed to Vietnam as deputy commander of the 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF).[6] He took over from Brigadier Ron Hughes as Commander of the 1 ATF on 21 May 1968 during the Battle of Coral–Balmoral.[7] For his services during this battle, he was appointed a Commander of the British Empire in 1969.[8]

That year he returned to Australia and on promotion to brigadier took over the 10th Task Force, which was based in New South Wales. He attended the Imperial Defence College in London in 1970 and afterwards he was promoted to major general and appointed Commander of Australian Forces in Vietnam. He remained in the country throughout 1971 and 1972 and oversaw the withdrawal of Australian forces, for which he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath.[8] His next appointments were Chief of Materiel in Army Headquarters (1972–74) and General Officer Commanding Field Forces (1974–77). In 1977, having been raised to the rank of lieutenant general, he became Chief of the General Staff (CGS), being extended in that capacity twice before retiring from the Army in 1982.[9] During his time as CGS, Dunstan reorganised the Army around the concept of specialised brigades and worked to improve the readiness of Army units to meet rapidly developing threats.[10] This work later proved pivotal in ensuring the success of the Australian intervention in East Timor in 1999.[8] His service as service chief was recognised by his appointment as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1980.[11]

Later life[edit]

Following his retirement from the Army, Dunstan returned to South Australia, assuming the appointment of Governor of South Australia. The longest holder of that appointment, he retired from the role in 1991.[11] For his work, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia that same year.[12] He died in Adelaide on 15 October 2011,[11] and was given a state funeral.[12]

Honours and awards[edit]

Lieutenant General Sir Donald Dunstan was decorated with the following honours:

OrderAustraliaRibbon.png Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png Order of the Bath UK ribbon.png

1939-45 Star.png Pacific Star.gif Defence Medal BAR.svg War Medal 39-45 BAR MID.png

Australian Service Medal 1939-45 ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 ribbon.png Korea Medal.svg United Nations Service Medal for Korea Ribbon.svg

Vietnam Medal ribbon.png Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Centenary Medal (Australia) ribbon.png

DFSM with Fed Star.png National Medal with Rosette.png Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon.png

OrderAustraliaRibbon.png Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) (1991)[13]
Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) Military (1979)[14]
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) Military (1969)[15]
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) Military (1954)[16]
Order of the Bath UK ribbon.png Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) Military (1972)[17]
1939-45 Star.png 1939–1945 Star
Pacific Star.gif Pacific Star
Defence Medal BAR.svg Defence Medal
War Medal 39-45 BAR MID.png War Medal, 1939–45
with Bronze Oakleaf for Mentioned in Despatches
Australian Service Medal 1939-45 ribbon.png Australia Service Medal 1939–45
Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal 1945–1975
Korea Medal.svg Korea Medal
United Nations Service Medal for Korea Ribbon.svg United Nations Korea Medal
Vietnam Medal ribbon.png Vietnam Medal
Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 ribbon.png Australian Service Medal 1945–1975
Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977)
Centenary Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Centenary Medal (2001)[18]
DFSM with Fed Star.png Defence Force Service Medal with Federation Star (5 clasps) (40–44 years service)
National Medal with Rosette.png National Medal with rosette (2 clasps) (1977)[19][20][21]
Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Australian Defence Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon.png Vietnam Campaign Medal

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ "Ex-SA governor dies". ninemsn. 16 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Former SA governor Dunstan dies". ABC News. 17 October 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Australian Army Journal 2011, p. 187.
  4. ^ Festberg 1972, p. 87.
  5. ^ Horner & Bou 2008, p. 438.
  6. ^ Australian Army Journal 2011, pp. 187–188.
  7. ^ McAulay 1988, p. 197.
  8. ^ a b c Australian Army Journal 2011, p. 188.
  9. ^ Australian Army Journal 2011, pp. 188–189.
  10. ^ Horner & Bou 2008, pp. 261–262.
  11. ^ a b c Australian Army Journal 2011, p. 189.
  12. ^ a b The Sunday Mail 2012, p. 4.
  13. ^ Companion of the Order of Australia, 26 January 1991, www.itsanhonour.gov.au
    Citation: In recognition of service to the Crown as Governor of South Australia
  14. ^ The Order of the British Empire – Knights Commander (Military), 31 December 1979, www.itsanhonour.gov.au
    Citation: Chief of the General Staff
  15. ^ The Order of the British Empire – Commander (Military), 25 April 1969, www.itsanhonour.gov.au
    Citation: ARMY – Staff Corps – Vietnam
  16. ^ The Order of the British Empire – Member (Military), 1 January 1954, www.itsanhonour.gov.au
    Citation: ARMY – Staff Corps – Postwar Honours List
  17. ^ The Order of the Bath – Companion (Military), 20 November 1972, www.itsanhonour.gov.au
    Citation: Staff Corps – Vietnam
  18. ^ Centenary Medal, 1 January 2001, www.itsanhonour.gov.au
  19. ^ National Medal, 14 July 1977, www.itsanhonour.gov.au
  20. ^ National Medal – 1st clasp, 14 July 1977, www.itsanhonour.gov.au
  21. ^ National Medal – 2nd clasp, 14 July 1977, www.itsanhonour.gov.au
Bibliography
  • "In Memoriam: Lieutenant General Sir Donald Beaumont Dunstan, AC, KBE, CB (1923–2011)". Australian Army Journal VIII (No. 3): 187–189. 2011. ISSN 1448-2843. 
  • "Sunday Mail 100 Years of Pride 1963–2012 Leaders". The Sunday Mail (Adelaide, South Australia: News Limited Australia). 3 June 2012. p. 4. 
  • Festberg, Alfred (1972). The Lineage of the Australian Army. Melbourne, Victoria: Allara Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85887-024-6. 
  • Horner, David; Bou, Jean (2008). Duty First: A History of the Royal Australian Regiment (2nd ed.). Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-74175-374-5. 
  • McAulay, Lex (1988). The Battle of Coral: Vietnam Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral, May 1968. Arrow Book (Random House Australia Pty Ltd). ISBN 978-0-09169-091-5. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Lieutenant General Arthur MacDonald
Chief of the General Staff
1977–1982
Succeeded by
Lieutenant General Sir Phillip Bennett
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Keith Seaman
Governor of South Australia
1982–1991
Succeeded by
Dame Roma Mitchell