Below is the 1Troop, 4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse Regiment Commanders Diary, Viet Nam 1965-1966. More Diaries may be viewed at this Australian War Memorial site: http://www.awm.gov.au/diaries/seasia/index.asp
 

 

1Troop, 4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse Regiment Commanders Diary, Viet Nam 1965-1966
 

PLACE

DATE

HOUR

EVENTS

 

27 May 1965

1630

Completed loading HMAS Sydney.

SYDNEY

SYDNEY

28 May 1965

 

0130

Departed SYDNEY for VIETNAM. Escort HMAS DUCHESS.

At Sea

28-31 May 1965

2400

Ships routine – training P&RT, D&S, Gunnery, voice procedure.

At Sea

1 June 1965

0630

Ship routine.

At Sea

3 June 1965

 

Joined by HMAS Parramatta, Vampire, Melbourne.

At Sea

5 June 1965

 

Sighted North Borneo, Philippines.

At Sea

6 June 1965

 

Joined by HMAS Supply. Sydney and Duchess refuelled.

Cap St Jacques

8 June 1965

0700

Arrived VIETNAM. Off loaded APCs. Stayed Vung-Tau overnight and next day.

Cap St Jacques

10 June 1965

1100

Departed up river by LST to SAIGON. Uneventful trip.

SAIGON

11 June 1965

 

Remained SAIGON navy dockyard

SAIGON

12 June 1965

 

Sgt Bennett with 2 APCs by low loader to BIEN-HOA

SAIGON

13 June 1965

1200

All APCs departed for BIEN-HOA by own means.

Joined 1 RAR in Loc.

BLEN HOA

14-18 June 1965

 

Setting up camp. Digging in, radios fitted, shields fitted.

 

19 June 1965

0515

First resupply carried out in TAOR. NTR

 

20-26 June 1965

 

Routine resup in TAOR. Prep for op with D16 APCs.

 

27 June 1965

1500

Departed Bien-Hoa with 173 Bde rd elm incl D16, E17 and 3/319 Arty Bn. Stayed overnight Tan Uyan.

PHUOC-LOC

28 June 1965

29 June 1965

30 June 1965

 

Remained in posn Phuoc-Loc by day and overnight. En attempted infiltration after dark. Cpl Yeates almost captured. Intermittent sniping and mortaring. Rice cache found. Lt HILL departs to CCS, has flesh wound dressed. Returns to posn approx 1200 hrs. 1 RAR moves in to assist in protection of fire sp base. They suffer casualties from mortar fire. Return of all elms to BIEN-HOA

BIEN-HOA

1-4 July 1965

 

Routine servicing; continued digging in and erecting tents. Area subject to heavy rains.

 

5 July 1965

 

Tp carried out clearing op 5 kilometres NE BIEN-HOA

 

6-10 July 1965

 

Four day operation. Arty escorta/resupply TAOR and area as on 5 July.

 

11 July 1965

 

Normal routine servicing.

BIEN HOA

12 July 1965

 

First members of tp on day leave to SAIGON

 

13 July 1965

 

Mor pl of 1 RAR escorted to Dong Nai River. Lt HILL’S APC hit with 3 rounds of SA.

 

14-15 July 1965

 

Routine resupply in TAOR.

 

16 July 1965

0800

Reconnaissance S and E on route 1 with 9 APCs of D16.

 

17 July 1965

0600

10 APCs with Coy of 1 RAR. Cordon and search in TAOR sectors reference 13 July. NTR

 

18 July 1965

0915

Amphibious operation. Swam tp across Dong Nai

 

19-31 July 1965

 

Daily routine resupply in all sectors of TAOR.

BIEN-HOA

1-23 August 1965

 

General daily resup, troop drop off in TAOR, Saigon leave for two per day.

 

24 August 1965

 

Shifted from tp area loc S of B Coy 1 RAR to new loc SW of Sp Coy and E of Cav tp E17. Tp ceased eating in Adm Coy and commenced with Sp Coy.

 

25-31 August 1965

 

General daily resup, servicing and TAOR troop drops

BIEN HOA

1-13 September 1965

 

Normal resup TAOR servicing, SAIGON leave. Prep for 1 RAR Op. 11/65 in BEN CAT area.

BEN CAT

14 September 1965

0800

Departed BIEN HOA for BEN CAT via Hwy 1 – Lai Theu then Hwy 13 – Phu Cnong – BEN CAT. N to river CAN BEN CAT for amphibious crossing. C/S 13A had trim vane shut in water. Drowned APC – recovered. No cas. 3 Sec moved S to Ben Cat to posn RED – fire sp base, to check veh cas. Remainder made crossing, moved to LZ BUSTER at GR 7235 (AP BEB DONG SO).

LZ BUSTER

15-17 September 1965

 

Remained LZ BUSTER. Bn ptlg AO. Tp held as mobile reserve. Tp Comdr and three Sections towed A bty 3/319 Arty bty 3/319 Arty bn (US) to posn CHALK BOX GR7041 (AP BEN DONG SO).

Going extremely slow and heavy. Track key-holed – unusable.

CHALK BOX

18-21 September 1965

 

Remained CHALK BOX. VC probes at night. Small parties. Air reccs to check a track out to Hwy 13 at AP-BAU-BANG.

CHALK BOX

21 September 1965

0615

Route recce. Tp Comdr and 2 Sec to posn MOULDY TENT. Bridge built by Aslt pnrs 1 RAR across stream. 2 and 3 secs towing A bty 3/319 to br. Going very slow and boggy.

DOOR KNOB

22 September 1965

 

Remained overnight in rubber. Raining. En sniper activity.

AP-BAU-BANG

24 September 1965

 

Towed A bty 3/319 to AP-BAU-BANG on Hwy 13. Bn HQ 1 RAR, A bty 3/319 and APC tp areas mortared by 60mm mortar. Under fire from 57mm RR at 2115 hrs. Light cas suffered from mor fire.

 

25 September 1965

 

Carried B coy 1 RAR to posn NW of LAI KHE. BC B bty 3/319 following APCs (with relief bty) blown up by CD mine.

LAI-KHE

26 September 1965

 

C/S 12A broken blower drive shaft. Towed by C/S 12.

 

27 September 1965

 

Return to BIEN-HOA. C/S 12A on tow. NTR

BIEN-HOA

28-30 September 1965

 

Servicing. Local leave 2 men daily. Resup TAOR

BIEN-HOA

1-6 October 1965

 

Resup Troop drops. TAOR. Servicing. Prep for BEN-CAT 2.

BEN CAT

7 October 1965

0720

Road move to Ben Cat via hway 1 and 13. 161 bty RNZA lost one veh to a CD mine. 2KIA. D/16 (US) lost one APC to a CD mine. 1 KIA 12 WIA. Column came under 60mm mor and MG fire short of BEN CAT. Arrived at causeway crossing into IRON TRIANGLE at 1100 hrs. Tp Comd and 2 sec moved into NW corner of TRIANGLE with elms of B Coy 1 RAR abroard. CD mines under causeway discovered and removed by ARVN prior to APC crossing. APC Tp carrying B Coy 1 RAR returned to hway 13 to check route for CD mines over approximately 8 kilometres. 1 mine detonated by VC, no cas. Returned to IRON TRIANGLE. Moved to SHABBY CUFF (BEN CAT 1:50,000) at GR7131. Stayed overnight, VC probe, 3 VC KIA by C coy.

IRON TRIANGLE

8 October 1965

 

2 Sec joined C Coy at TOOTH PICK. 1 Kilometre E of SHABBY-CUFF.

 

9-11 October 196

 

Remained in loc. Perimeter defence. C Coy continued ptlg. A sniper active at SHABBY-CUFF. No cas.

BEN TRAC

12 October 1965

 

Moved to Ben Trac. GR7727 (BEN CAT 1:50,000). Bn HQ area booby trapped heavily. 13 cas evacs for wounded Inf. Beer issue. Remained this area on 13 Oct 65. Then moved to posn RED 7629.

POSN RED

14 October 1965

 

Perimeter defence overnight in rubber.

BIEN HOA

15 October 1966

 

Returned to BIEN HOA. No contact. NTR

 

16 October 1965

 

Servicing.

 

17 October 1965

 

Rest day

 

18 October 1965

 

2 Sec took ground FAC to GRO35185 (BIEN HOA 1:50,000) Large party of VC seen across DONG NAI river. VC engaged by .50 MG on APCs. Arty called down followed by air strikes. Int report 150 VC KIA.

 

19-22 October 1965

 

Normal TAOR resup, leave, servicing.

 

23 October 1965

 

Rd move to NUI GO GIAP to secure LZ for 105 bty RRAA, in sp of 1 RAR search and destroy E of airfield. M125A1 mor carr used for first time with mor fitted. (Loc GR 1220 BIEN HOA 1:50,000)

NUI GO GIAP

24-25 October 1965

 

Perimeter defence – Bn HQ and fire sp base NTR.

BIEN HOA

26 October 1965

 

Return to BIEN HOA.

 

27-31 October 1965

 

Rest, servicing, normal routine, TAOR resups. Repaint programme.

SAIGON

1 November 1965

 

Mounted parade through SAIGON. National Liberation day.

BIEN HOA

3-20 November 1965

 

General resups in TOAR. Pl drops. Servicing.

 

21 November 1965

 

Departed Bien Hoa carrying elms of 1/26 Bn en route to VO-DAT “New Life”. Sniper fire received – No cas. Moved from B-H first light, arrived VO-DAT 1530 hrs same day. Off loaded 1/26 En elms. Moved tp onto perimeter of ALSC at VO-DAT air strip.

VO-DAT

23-24 November 1965

 

Moved to join 1 RAR at Duc Hahn (1600 hrs). Heavy rain, road interdicted by VC. Sniper fire at jeep carrying CO 3/319 Arty bn Lt Col Suret. He pulled back rapidly. Tp located in Bn Perimeter. 3 Sec had a short contact at 2300 hrs. MG fire from carriers. No cas.

DUC HAHN

25 November 1965

 

Repositioned in D-H. Carrying VC suspects to interrogation point. Prep for Aslt on VO-ZU with C/1 RAR.

DUC HAHN

26 November 1965

0700

Armd/Inf aslt on VO-ZU. SA fire from village; returned by APCs. C Coy Sgt opened gates to village. Cleared booby traps.

 

 

 

Tango 1, 1 Sec and 2 Sec. Secured cross roads, then moved to posn Bravo.

POSN ‘B’

26 November 1965

 

2 and 3 Secs, with B/1 RAR elms cordon and search 6 hut complex GR 812343. 9 VCC taken, no cas, return Duc Hahn.

DUC HAHN

27 November 1965

 

Assisted B and D Coy/1 RAR with cordon and search Duc Hahn. 20 crossbows recovered. One local VC with Model 98 Mauser rifle surrendered to B Coy.

DUC HAHN

28 November 1965

 

Tried to trap VC located in tunnels N end of D-H. No success.

VO-ZU

29 November 1965

 

Clearing through VO-ZU to bn on E side of village. Fired on by VC at 1200 hrs. Returned fire. B Coy launched attack. VC were on E bank of River. Called Arty strike on them. Own no cas.

VO-ZU

30 November 1965

 

Clearing VO-ZU. Took suspects back to central cage. Total 399. Over 50% known VC.

VO-ZU

1 December 1965

 

Surprise sweep back through posn B. 30 more VCC taken overnight.

POSN ‘B’

2 December 1965

 

Carried B Coy on search for rice caches, three found. Contents recovered.

VO-ZU

2-4 December 1965

 

Ptl drops. Rice carried from B 1/RAR. Large cache found by bpl.

VO-ZU

5 December 1965

 

ARVN pl captured comd VC local coy; name Capt NGUYEN VAN HO and courier. HO armed with French MAT MG, 2 Sec carried both VC back to ARVN HQ elm at VO-DAT

VO-ZU

6-7 December 1965

 

Ptl drops in TAOR. Amb track employed with RMO on Psych war in market area.

Map: CAAWH-DUC 1:50,000

 

 

 

VO-ZU

8-12 December 1965

 

Carried Coy (+) of 2/503 on 13 of 1 APC Tp plus 6 of D/16 APCs. MSN to secure an LZ for 2/503
(-) outside next village E of VO-Zu. Name of village MEPU. T/F Terry, overall comdr Maj Terry SS of 2/503. Gen Williamson in C and C ship overhead. Approach from VO-DAT, DUC HAHN, N through centre of VO-ZU into paddy fields at first light. Heavy going into a elephant grass higher than APCs. Entered water of approx 10’ vertical drop onto sandbar about 4’ below surface, swam up stream for about 40 minutes, climbed out on sandbar E bank. All cars in extended (skirmish) line through last mile of paddy. 161 NZ bty (L5) put down barrage approx 200 metres to left of Tango neutralized low ridge line of timber. Arrived edge MEPU; dismounted Inf commenced to mov fwd in sp. Sniper fire from edge of village. US suffered cas. Called in F100 for airstrike directly in front of village through a strip of ground approx 100 metres VC commenced withdrawing. Tango 1 engaged 3 at 200. Village had been under VC control for 3 yrs. Malnutrition noticeable in children. Small contacts continued all day.

Map: VO DAT 1:50,000

 

 

…of airfield VO-DAT. 1 APC Tp commenced rd ptl between VO-DAT and GIA-RAY.

VO-DAT

14 December 1965

 

Rd Ptl to GIA RAY. 3 Sec, Tango 1 and Sp sec. Approx 1100 hrs ambush at CR. Snake ptlg at the time. Lead veh let through. Second car received Claymore mine and one MG opened up on APCs. Fire returned by .50 MGs. Sp Sec given range by fired smk for adj and followed with HE for effect. Tango 1 contacted airborne FAC who brought in a flight of AIE skyraiders. Napalm, 20mm from air. Ceased fire with mor. Continued with .5 MGs. Continued ptl.

VO-DAT

15 December 1965

 

Rd ptl VO-DAT – GIA RAY. OC 161 bty NZ airborne. No contact.

VO-DAT

16 December 1965

 

Convoy escort to “COURTNEY” S of XUAN-LOC Opn ‘SMASH’. Defence of SW portion of airstrip APC Tp night MSN. One VC reported inside veh perim at approx 0100 hrs. 100% stand to remainder of night.

Map:

XA-THUA-TICH 1:50,000

 

 

COURTNEY

17-21 December 1965

 

General ptlg with E/17 cav Lt Ruttledge with HQ sec had a good contact S of COURTNEY and N of BIN-BHAH. No cas. Lt Col TYLER (village clearing with 1/503).

COURTNEY

21 December 1965

 

Returned to BIEN-HOA – Servicing, Ptl drops.

BIEN-HOA

22-31 December 1965

 

TAOR resup. XMAS prep for next op.

BIEN-HOA

1 January 1966

0700

Moved by road, via Saigon/CU CHI to BAO-TRI in Plain of Reeds area. Stayed overnight BAO-TRI at E end of airstrip. 60mm mor fire commenced falling E end of airstrip. 2 Sec Comd located sound of primarys and engaged with .5 MG. Mor fire ceased.

BAO-TRI

2 January 1966

 

Moved to Bn HQ area. Very difficult going. Soft, boggy canals. Some mining of APCs near Bn HQ. Booby trap on track. No damage. Snipers very active and aggressive by night and day.

BAO-TRI

Bn HQ Area

3 January 1966

 

Remained on perimeter all day. VC snipers continued active. Fired on CH47 and in Bn CP area. Air recce of new Bn posn made by TP.OC.


 

 

4 January 1966

 

1 Sec, 3 Sec and HQ Sec carried A Coy to new loc

 

5 January 1966

 

SW from previous posn. APCs in considerable difficulties 2 KM short of obj with several bogged. Surface of ground covered to approx 3ft of water. Ground very soft mud; area interspersed with canals – soft banks vertical sides. 3 Fd tp. Capt MacGregor to aid of APC tp with timber and PSP. Remained on plain of reeds overnight. H and I fire brought into under 200m from APCs. 1 Car recovered with assist of tow from CH47 helicopter; remainder towed ea other out. All returned to BAO-TRI airstrip and linked up with remainder of tp.

BAO-TRI

6-7 January 1966

 

Loc approx 1 KM SW of BAO-TRI airstrip in def loc.

BAO-TRI

8 January 1966

 

Moved back to airstrip.

 

9 January 1966

 

1 Tp joined E/17 guarding causeway near CU-CHI prep to mor on op CRIMP

HO BO

10 January 1966

0600

Moved to edge of HOBO woods W of Iron Triangle. Held until B52 strike completed. Moved in and cleared with APCs the Bde LZ area. Set up perimeter around area. Sporadic sniper fire.

HO BO

11-14 January 1966

 

Bde perimeter def by night. Pt1 with E/17 by day. 1 APC, E/17, 3/319 working in conjunction credited approx 60 VC by body count. Lt Ruttledge wounded – shrapnel – through bicep; evacuated.

BIEN-HOA

15 January 1966

 

Arrived Bien-Hoa. Servicing, pt1 drops.

 

31 January 1966

 

Resups TAOR

BIEN-HOA

1-4 February 1966

 

Prepared for search and destroy op. War Zone D.

 

4 February 1966

0700

Rd mov to posn PHOENIX (PHUOC-LOC) Occupied S side of perimeter. No contacts.

PHUOC-LOC

5 February 1966

 

2 Secs carr attd to E/17 Cav, Search area S of Phuoc-Loc. Recovered 100 x 50 Kilo bags of rice. Towed one captured 5 ton diesel truck back to PHOENIX. Distance approx 1.5 Km. SA fire received from cache area. Caches heavily booby trapped.

PHUOC-LOC

6 February 1966

 

Extracted C and D Coy from GR 012326 to Phuoc-Loc.

PHUOC-LOC

7 February 1966

 

HQ and three sections plus a pl of E/17 Cav recce from Phuoc-Loc S to GR 995292. No contact. The two sections cleared either side of rd, from Phuoc-Loc west to main NS rd, returning on parallel routes through rubber plantations. 2 sec carrying 5 pl 1 RAR plus 2nd pl E/17 cav checked tracks, NW of PHUOC-LOC. Discovered two rice caches totalling 8.8 tons. Rice in bags; heavily booby trapped. Four pers of E/17 wounded by booby traps (incl 2nd pl comd). Fifty bags of salt found in caches. Also poisonable foods and tinned fish canned eight days previously in Saigon.

Two rounds 57 RR fire hit between one sec vehs at 0830 hrs. Sgt Modystack’s veh hit by pieces of 57mm round. No damage. Loc of contact - Phuoc-Loc.

PHUOC-LOC

8 February 1966

 

Sp sec and elm of E/17 cav recce tracks E of PHOENIX to the 017 AO line. Sign of foot traffic. One sec with E/17 elm recce foot tracks NW of PHOENIX to 95 EASTING; then checked area of cache 972324. This cache had been visited by VC during night. One sec with E/17 elm then interdicted VC withdrawal route to NW and W of cache area. The APCs dropped trees along and across tracks.

A/1 RAR discovered 450 bag rice cache at GR 982365. HQ sec with 1 sec and a pl of B/1 RAR joined 2 pls of E/17 Cav and moved to cache area. A claymore was found set for detonation on side of track 800 metres S of cache. HQ and 1 Sec took the lead. VC had set an ambush on track to cache. A/1 RAR came upon rear of ambush. VC withdrew after short action leaving claymore behind. One member A/1 RAR KIA. At cache 5 APCs loaded total of 203 x 50 kilos of rice. Also cleared LZ in secondary growth large enough for UH-ID. Eight slicks came in and took out 80 bags. Remainder of cache destroyed.

PHUOC-LOC

(perimeter)

 

2030

VC probe in front of three sec APCs. En cas unknown. Our nil.

 

9 February 1966

 

2000 bags rice found at GR 976357 – 6 caches – CG (Gen Smith) ordered recovery of same. 1200 bags recovered. Remainder destroyed. VC mor and mg posn at 987309. Revealed by burn off. At GR007319 a small well found with track pads spoking into it. Arty strike called in. 120mm rounds and MG ammunition discovered by perimeter at PHUOC-LOC

 

10 February 1966

 

Moved back to BIEN-HOA commencing at 1000 hrs. 2 and 3 secs moving on either side of road with elm of E/17 Cav on road. Mine located between SP and CPs by E/17. One gun tractor from B bty 3/319 blown up on a second mine (pressure type) 6 WIA. Sgt Greig from 2 sec disconnected 105mm gun from burning ammo wagon. 2 VC suspects picked up nearby. Otherwise routine returns.

BIEN-HOA

11-16 February 1966

 

TAOR routine resupply tasks. A Coy ptlg with elms of B Coy working in ONG HUONG. 1,2 and 3 sections carrying out pl drops, pickups and resup.

 

17 February 1966

 

Air recce Capt Hill, Sect Comds for OP ROLLING STONE (location – due N Bien-Hoa, SE of BEN CAT)

BIEN-HOA

18 February 1966

 

Prep for OP ROLLING STONE with 1st Div (US Inf)

 

19 February 1966

0730

Departed Bien-Hoa carrying C/1 RAR and escorting 161 NZ bty. Comms with bty difficult. Light fire team overhead. Arrived AP-BO-LA. (Phuoc Vinh S) at 0945 hrs. Good run.

AP BO LA

20 February 1966

0715

Carried C/1 RAR to intermediate posn at GR 836363 (.) Left sp sect (with mortubes) with C Coy. Returned to Bn perimeter with remainder of tp. Assisted by 15 APCs from ¼ Cav and 9 x M48A3 tks took remainder of Bn and 161 bty through to Engr bn base camp at GR 787323. Returned to intermediate posn, picked up C Coy on 1 sp sect. Moved to new Bn loc near Engr camp. Carried B Coy to Engr road bldg party at GR822346.

ENGR BASE CAMP GR787323

21 February 1966

0645

Carried C Coy plus RSMs party on Cordon and search of small village E of Engr base camp. Tunnels were discussed. No contacts, 1 and 3 sects ptled along Engr road. Sp sect set up with tubes in action midway between Engr base and rough cut party at lead of new road.

ENGR BASE CAMP

DUSTOFF helicopter to 93 Cas Evac Hosp.

 

Engr Base Camp

22 February 1966

 

 

 

 

 

23 February 1966

 

0725

 

 

 

 

 

1000

 

B Coy left, C Coy night of engr rd sweeping and D Coy protecting rough cut party. All dropped by APC. Returned the tp to the base camp, Tpr JOSE (driver of the ambulance track) shot twice in left leg by VC sniper at water hole on W side of perimeter. Sniper in front of D Coy area. Not loc. Moved entire org to base posn “SORE TOE”, near C Coy original intermediate posn. 1 VC KIA in old base loc, 29 grenade booby traps located in new CP area.

POSN SORE TOE

23 February 1966

1915

Movt heard outside perimeter. Fired on by C/1 RAR.

 

24 February 1966

0145

3 Bns VC attack 2 Bde HQ located within 1 kilometre E of 1 RAR gp. En attempt to infiltrate between HQ 2 Bde and E perimeter of 1 RAR gp.

POSN SORE TOE

24 February 1966

0645

VC break off action withdrew. US cas include 1 x M48A3 and 2 APCs knocked out by 75 and 57 mm recoillers rifles. 2 Bde HQ had 15 APC and 9 M48A3 from 1/4 horse Cav located with them.

 

 

0800

Initial body count revealed 120 VC dead. En leaving area were seen streaming across Phuoc-Vinh – Tan Uyen rd. heading E into War Zone D. Searched area SW of SORE TOE with D Coy on tracks; no contact. Returned to SORE TOE at 1600 hrs. Quiet night.

POSN SORE TOE

25 February 1966

0800

2 sect with elms B/1 RAR searching SE of SORE TOE. Picked up Chinese pack containing three 75mm RCR rounds plus grenades left by VC after attk. Tp Comd with 3 Sect and sp sect took A/1 RAR to ambush site area.

POSN SORE TOE

26 February 1966

0930

Hand over to 1/4 Horse Cav and to move ourselves out for BIEN HOA at 1000 hrs. Approx 0945 VC commence general sniping attack with small arms and rifle grenades. Mount delayed until 1200 hrs. 1st Bn of 2 Bde of 1st Inf Div secured road for some distance toward TAN-UYEN. Seven road blocks in grid square 9426. 1/4 Horse checked blocks with mine detectors. Explosive booby traps found. Tp returned to BIEN-HOA. No contact.

BIEN HOA

26 February 1966

2400

Brief for mov to GR922287 N of TAN UYEN to secure heli LZ for US Op (named after CO1/503).

 

27 February 1996

 

Secured LZ at 922287 with C/1RAR. MSN to keep LZ secure so that remainder of 1 RAR could be flown in as reaction force if reqd. Smashed down scrub to enlarge LZ (used the carriers).

 

27 February 1966

1630

Mov into hide for night with C/1RAR at GR 927294.

HELIPAD GR 922287

28 February 1966

 

(Small rubber patch) No contact.

 

 

0800

Moved back to LZ and secured.

 

 

1600

No contact. Moved tp to GR 926276 to thicken def perimeter of 105 bty and E/17 cav. Quiet night.

HELI-PAD

1 March 1966

1230

Mov back to BIEN-HOA with 105 bty and E/17. No contact.

BIEN HOA

2 March 1966

 

Working on veh maint and erection of two KINGSTRAND huts for tp use.

 

4 March 1966

 

Routine maint, cleaning APCs.

 

5-7 March 1966

 

Old tracks replaced, generator brackets checked, gun shields checked, blower drive shafts inspected.

 

8-20 March 1966

 

Complete overhaul of all systems on vehs. Tp inspection by OC. KINGSTRAND huts finished

BIEN HOA

20 March 1966

 

13 carriers through TAOR. Checked all main access tracks in area and test fired all wpns across Dong-Nai river.

BIEN HOA

21 March 1966

 

1 Sect to Tan-Phu with D Coy – civic action.

 

22 March 1966

 

2 Sect to ON-HUONG with B Coy civic action – new school

BIEN HOA

24 March 1966

0830

HQ Sect took D Coy to Tan Phu – civic action.

 

 

1430

1 Sect took A Coy to old French fort at GR016199 (BIEN-HOA 1:50,000) to relieve D Coy

 

 

1400

3 Sect to 161 bty to assist NZ in a demo on loading L5 How into APC.

 

 

1530

2 Sect to ON-HUONG – B Coy civic action.

BIEN HOA

23 March 1966

 

3 Sect to Tan-Phu to assist D Coy civic action.

BIEN HOA

25 March 1966

0815

2 Sect to ON-HUONG – B Coy Civic action.

 

 

0830

Replen for A Coy ptl at GR 021178. HQ Sect.

 

26-27 March 1966

 

Same activities as on previous days 24/25 March.

 

28 March 1966

1500

OC and Sect comds heli-rec for prep of op ABILENE area of COURTENAY GR 9145 (AP BINH SQN 1:50,000)

BIEN-HOA

29 March 1966

 

Prep for OP ABILENE (Inf Div OP)

 

30 March 1966

0700

Departed B/HOA carrying A/1RAR, 5 XM48A3, 2XM48H, 1 x M88 tks under comd for road move. Order of march 3 tks, 1 dozer tk, Tp OG, Tp 21C, 1, 2, 3, sp sects, recovery tk, dozer tk, 2tks. Following road column of approx 700 vehs.

COURTENAY

30 March 1966

0940

Arrived COURTENAY plantation. Made a mounted sweep around area then Inf were dismounted. Rural force VIETNAMESE from the village at E end of landing strip warned of a mine belt across E end of landing strip. Area secured. Airborne C and C ship informed. Heliborne force arrive. APC Sects moved off to marry up with rifle coys. Mov from Bien-Hoa was without occurrence, except for one rd block in a bottle neck approx 5 kilometres N of COURTENAY. Put two tks on high ground above block and had lead dozer tk sweep the rubber trees away. Moved colm through and the two tks on high ground by passed danger area and joined near of colm. Lead US APC escorting first packet of B Vehs following vanguard detonated (CD) mine at this loc. 1 KIA, 3WIA (from 1/4 cav).

COURTENAY

30 March 966

1000 (+)

Disposn of APCs; 1 Sect with A Coy, 2 and 3 Sect with C Coy, HQ Sect with D Coy, Sp Sect with mor pl. Tp OC on T1 with Bn HQ. B Coy were without carrs of necessity. They were perched on top of a small, very steep feature dominating W end of airstrip.

COURTENAY

31 March 1966

0700

APC sects commenced ptlg with respective rifle coys.

 

 

1000

1 Sect report contact at GR 473887; 7 VC moved area of Thua-Tich to south. 3 more VC moving SW. Sect opened fire. 1 VC captured. Sp sect rehearse role as a reaction force in area. Recce from 1100 hrs, rehearse till 1400 hrs. They carry atk pl. They will move on receipt of nick name “break water”. C/S 12A has radio problem, SO QP; Tp offr Lt GUYMER takes his place for 24 hrs.

 

 

1045

1 Sect again contact 3 VC. Open fire. Area swept, VC not found. GR 477907. Map Thua-Tich 1:50,000.

COURTENAY

1 April 1966

 

All sects spend day ptlg with inf.

COURTENAY

2 April 1966

 

Orders go for mov on Binh Ba and Binh-Ba South. Deputy Comd 1 US Inf Div to comd (Brig Gen Hollingsworth) Order of march 3 tks from 1/4 Cav, 2 Sect, T1 and OA, 1 sect, 3 sect and sp sect.

COURTENAY

 

BINH-BA

1:50,000

 

 

BINH-BA

1:50,000

3 April 1966

 

 

 

 

 

 

Approx 1100

Early morning; joined with 1/4 cav M48A3 tks and moved south on Inter provincial route 2. Light fire team overhead. Tks used their .50 MGs to recce by fire GR4474. Road very badly keyholed. Such populace as were seen appeared sullen. CO 1 RAR in OH13 overhead. Pilot Capt B Smith 161 Aust recce flt hit in hand by a sniper shot. Col Preece assists pilot to land machine near an ARVN outpost. Column reaches Binh-Ba South; sweep around airstrip and commence off loading inf. Gen Hollingsworth contacts T1 (Ironides on US comd net) and informs Tp Comd he can see VC fleeing through rubber due East of Binh-Ba South. T1 and OA move off immediately and make contact approx 5 min later. GR 465755 VC number about 12; armd and approx 300 metres short of jungle edge. 3 VC KIA, wpms recovered. Likelihood more were hit in jungle edge area. Called in light fire team who strafed jungle with MG and rockets. APCs were forced to stop because of deep sided narrow creek at jungle edge. Other APCs arrived with B Coy aboard. Lay down heavy fire into jungle edge area. Tp sects with inf plts ptled for remainder of day, 3 push bikes (camouflaged) were found. 5 VC sighted moving W of Binh-Ba South. Engaged; 1 probably KIA, 4 suspects captured GR 466763 1 sect engaged 3 VC with MGs. 2 KIA (VC) and their wpns captured, other VC probably KIA or died of wounds.

BINH-BA

4 April 1966

0700

1 Sect WIA 1 VC with .50 MG. Wounded VC captured and a rifle recovered. GR 31850

BINH-BA

5 April 1966

 

Tp ptled with sect/coy lots all day. No contact.

 

6 April 1966

 

2 Sect with pl B Coy moved West to three knolls feature. Found VC village GR 4270 and nine bullock wagons. Also 5 booby traps. 3 Sect and pl of C Coy found booby trapped rice cache at GR 4072 (Binh-Ba 1:50,000). Rice brought out by APC.

BINH-BA (south)

7 April 1966

0700

B52 strike in Grid Squares 7279 and 7485. Tp ptlg with Coys. Prep to move back to BIEN-HOA.

BINH-BA (south)

8 April 1966

 

 

 

 

Cap St Jacques 1:50,000

0900

Moved the tp out en route for BIEN-HOA via NUI-DAT, Phuoc-Le, BARIA then N up route 15 to junc with highway 1A, then BIEN-HOA. Composition of colm and order of march 3 sect, T1 and OA, 9 vehs of 161 NZ bty, 1 sect, 14 vehcs of 1 RAR Echelon, Sp Sect, 10 vehs of 1/18 US Inf bn, 2 sect at rear. Total 49 vehs. On T1 C Coy comd, ARVN FO and Sig, US FAC and sig, US advisor to ARVN FO. Overhead was a light fire team. AIE Skyraiders of VNAF, Airborne FAC with flt of F100; on scramble and air relay ship with NZ FO aboard. Arty sp was laid on for full trip except 2 miles near Phy-My. Return was uneventful, except 18A (sp sect) broke a track in BARIA and delayed colm for 20 mins to replace a broken link.

BIEN-HOA

8 April 1966

1130

Arrive Bien Hoa, off load C Coy, unload pars kit, refuel, stand down.

BIEN-HOA

10 April 1966

 

3 Sect brought C Coy in from TAOR

 

10 April 1966

 

2 Sect took B Coy to TAOR

 

11 April 1966

 

1 Sect brought 11 Coy in from TAOR

BIEN-HOA

12 April 1966

 

Prep for Op 7/66 to SONG BE airfield. All vehs to be air lifted by C130.

 

13 April 1966

 

24hr hold given to tp. Shortage of A/C. Not available. Gen servicing. Obtained old jeep from E/17 Cav for VC truck (minus front wheels).

BIEN-HOA

14 April 1966

 

Op 7/66 cancelled for Tp. New Msn to ptl RAR TAOR.

 

15 April 1966

am

1 Sect and Tp HQ Sect to On Huong with elm of B Coy/1 RAR. Civil affairs activity. 1 Sect remains On-Huong. Tp OC and amb carr mov back to Tan-Phu then East to OP posn at GR 035185 (Bien-Hoa 1:50,000) Four armed VC sighted at GR 044204 across DONG-NAI river. Range approx 1800 metres. Engaged by Tango 1. VC take cover in small bamboo thicket. Tango 1 puts seven belts of .5 into thicket Reduce it to fine kindling wood. Claim 2 probably KIA.

 

15 April 1966

pm

3 Sect on ON-HUONG, replaces 1 Sect on security task for civil affairs activities.

BIEN-HOA

16 April 1966

am

2 Sect and Tp Comd on ON-HUONG. C/S 12A and 12B remain at village while Tango 1 and C/S 12 patrol TAOR. Move into OP posn at 035185. 1 VC sighted at GR 034208. No action taken, sighting lasts about 3 seconds.

 

 

1230

Report from Tan Phu of VC wpn squad in TAOR at GR 035165. Elm of B Coy and 1/18 Inf (US) move to investigate US advisor at Tan Phu reports he has info that VC intend to mine road between Tan Phu and ON-HUONG for benefit of Aust APCs.

BIEN-HOA

16 April 1966

1230

Tp HQ and 2 Sect check bridges and culverts through TAOR. No sign of tampering.

 

17 April 1966

 

TP HQ and 2 Sect move out of TAOR to BINH LONG loc on EAST bdy of 2/503 TAOR then SOUTH along narrow track to RC villages on highway 1 back to Bien-Hoa, No contacts.

BIEN-HOA

18 April 1966

 

Tp HQ and 3 Sect ptl to posn WEST of TAN UYEN and took up posn of obsn to cover North side of DONG-NAI river. VC could be heard on North bank firing at low flying C123 ac coming in on final approach to airfield, Called 179 Bde rear on wrls and informed them of VC activity. 3 VC with wpns sighted on N bank. Tango 1 and 13 open fire at approx 300 metres. Claim 1 WIA as conservative estimate. 1 Sect carried out TAOR sweep with Coy C 2/16 Inf aboard, then laid up at op GR 035185. 2 Sect ptled from ON-HUONG to WEST edge of TAOR.

BIEN-HOA

19 April 1966

 

Servicing – Sgt BENNETT returned to Aust. Sgt SYMONS took over 3 Sect Wef 18 April 66

BIEN-HOA

20 April 1966

0800

1 Sect with Coy C 2/16 Inf as mobile ptl through TAOR.

 

 

0830

3 and 4 sect (-) ptl 2/503 TAOR.

 

 

0830

C/S 10 and C/S 10J ptl WEST of BINH LONG GS9921 (UYEN-HUNG 1:50,000)

BIEN-HOA

21 April 1966

0800

1 Sect with Coy C 2/16 Inf as mobile ptl through TAOR. Tp HQ, 2 Sect, 3 SECT, Sp Sect and HQ Sect with newly arrived 5 RAR pers down to TAN-PHU then NW to Dong-Nai river. All .5 wpns fired across river.

BIEN-HOA

21 April 1966

1045

From D-Nai river back through 1 RAR TAOR, 2/503 TAOR then SOUTH through Catholic villages with 5 RAR pers. Bn to highway 1 and back to BIEN-HOA

 

 

am

Sgt MODYSTACK reported VC contact at GR 040190. Result 1 VC probably KIA.

 

 

pm

4 Sect to OP posn at 035185. 2 Sect with PR elm on ON-HUONG

BIEN-HOA

22 April 1966

 

Preparation for visit of Aust PM Holt. Concert party (Aust) arrives in area.

 

23-30 April 1966

 

Page of war diary missing. Recollection of time suggests PMs visit; ANZAC day activities. Concert party and TAOR resupply.

BIEN-HOA

1-7 May 1966

 

Reinforcement drivers and crewmen arrive. Tp strength raised from 45 to 70. Lt Guymer and 2Lt Roberts preparing to take over. Preliminary packing commenced including dismantling of the two Kingstrand huts.

Area – PHUOC-LOC N of TAN-UYEN

8 May 1966

 

Tp with reinforcement crewmen as passengers and drivers moved out with E/17 Cavalry on OP DEXTER. A Coy of 48 ARVN Inf Regt loaded at TAN-UYEN. Attd for duration of op. Tp escorted bty of 3/319 Arty to area of Phuoc Loc turn off; from main Phuoc-Vinh-Tan Uyen road.

 

 

0900

Secured LZ at junc of Phuoc-Loc turn off and North South road. Msn then given to sweep next village North of junc; code named “MINK”.

 

 

1000

Sgt Modystack has contact with four VC. Engages them with 1 Sect MGs. Radio report to Tp OC who endeavours to out flank VC through rubber. The VC are intercepted and engaged at close range. They return fire from posn on edge of jungle and rubber. Tp OC calls in light fire team and brings up 1 Sect. Area in which VC were located was subject to MG and rocket fire. En fire ceased. Four probable KIA.

 

9 May 1966

 

LZ security for OP DEXTER. 1/503 Bn loc South of AO in blocking role. 2/503 sweeping from West to East toward E/17 and 1 APC Tp which were securing LZs and protecting 4.2 mor pls of both inf bns. The troop’s original drivers were flying from VN today leaving CCs driver TPR Gillam remaining.

 

10 May 1966

0900

Carried ARVN coy to PHUOC-LOC, and made thorough sweep of area. Found many fresh signs of VC. Moved short distance North of PHUOC-LOC on OX TRACK. Rice cache of approx 2000lbs discovered at GR985335. Cache checked for booby traps and loaded aboard APCs. Signs of hasty VC flight. Moved back to LZ area.

 

11 May 1966

1230

Moved back to TAN-UYEN. Off loaded ARVN and rice. Continued to Bien Hoa in company of E/17 and D/16 Armour.

BIEN-HOA

12/15 May 1966

 

Servicing pl drops in TAOR and preparation for Op HARD HOOD.

Highway 15 (to BARIA)

16 May 1966

0530

Drp HIEN-HOA with rd elms of 173 AB Bde for op “HARD HOOD”. Initial move South to BARIA then North on inter provincial route 2 to set up fire sp base with 3/319 Arty bn, D/16 Armour Coy. E/17 Cav Tp and 173 bde engrs.

1KM N OF BARIA

17 May 1966

 

In loc at fire sp base. One only bn of inf avail for clearing op of Nui-Dat area. 1/503 heli aslt into LZ areas.

 

 

 

One claymore fired into Engr position of perimeter during the night. Very heavy overnight rain fell, commenced at stand to.

 

18 May 1966

 

1/503 suffered some cas today. Another claymore fired into Engr perimeter. Arty very active in sp of Inf.

 

19 May 1966

 

The tp move out with 15 carr and D/16 with 11 to the NE to secure S and E sides of Long-Phuoc. No infantry or the carriers. The ARVN will move in from West to East and 2 Coys of 1/503 bearing down from the North. We are part of Taskforce “SIGHOLTZ”. Our area is the East and Se side of Long-Phuoc with Long-Tan (abandoned) behind us. VC in the area in force. 1/503 takes causalities; considered amount of SA fire. 3 Sect straddled by three 105mm rds from 3/319 bn. Aerial rocket hits ground alongside Sgt Greig’s carr. Tp Comd carr moves down main E-West rd toward edge of village. Visibility very limited by banana, rubber etc cultivation, The carr comes under MG fire. A number of VC run across road behind carrier. Engage them with .5 and put a belt into doorway from which fire had been coming. Move the carr back to the West approx 400 metres and commence working the area over with MG fire. Approaching late afternoon, orders are received to move back to fire sp base.

LONG-PHUOC

19 May 1966

 

Take tp down E-W road straight through LONG-PHUOC. VC remain silent. Continue back to fire sp base after a short detour to SOUTH chasing some infiltrations.

 

20 May 1966

 

Move out first light with D/16. We both carry dismounted elms of E/17 Cav. Mov across padi fields into posn held the previous day. VC still in loc at LONG-PHUOC. They have closed in on the 2 Coys of 1/503 making arty fire ineffective. 1/503 request we link up with them. Lt Col SIGHOLTZ to guide HQ and 1 Sect of the APC tp to the 1/503 lines. The going is slow, visibility about twenty feet in thick banana cultivations, VC fire quite heavy. The six carriers are also receiving US small arms overshoots. Arty fire falling within 100 metres cutting pieces of banana trees. Lt Col SIGHOLTZ in helicopter H13 overhead is guiding. He comes under concentrated fire. Pilot lifts to about 2,000ft. Sigholtz can’t guide carr – he can’t see them. Request US FO on carr to contact inf of 1/503 and have them fire a burst (long) of MG for a guide. They acknowledge. Two MG open up, one on either side of the column. 1/503 advise it was not theirs. Tp Comd instructs 1 carr to fire at nearest MG on left side. 1/503 complain that rd are passing through VC and overshooting some of them. They commence using tear smoke. It drifts down over the carr very uncomfortable. Advise Lt Col SIGHOLTZ that Sect are unable to fire, because of danger to friend by tps; also unable to advance without using fire. Request advice as to where nearest friendly elm is located.

LONG-PHUOC

20 May 1966

 

Sunday. T/F SIGHOLTZ advises unable to assist. The two sects commence to withdraw. VC line appears to have been very close to interlocking 1/503 posn. Friendly tps in a horse shoe shape with VC on the inside and the two sect of carr moved up the centre of the horse shoe.

Withdrew back to edge of village. One E/17 soldier wounded aboard a carr.

 

 

noon

T1 checks patch of scrub approx 400 metres WEST of LONG PHUOC, finds rice cache of several hundred kilo polished rice. Call sect of APC at a time to area of cache – check for booby traps and load rice in carriers. Move back to edge of village and riflemen. VC commences firing at H13. Fire is brought to bear from 7 APC. Rifle fire stops. Last light move through padi back to fire sp base. Info from bde S2 that 1/503 suffered 17 KIA, 76 WIA for the day. En cas were not known.

Fire Sp Base

21 May 1966

0630

Prepare to move out with same elm as on previous day. Msn to move N on inter provincial 2 then E then S and come down in rear of the 2 Coys of 1/503

 

 

0800

Comd 1 ATF flies in. Bde S3 subsequently inform Tp Comd 1 APC Tp that Aust elms were not to move out of fire sp base. E/17 Cav pers off loaded. Carrs mov back to perimeter. Tp Comd hands tp over to Lt GUYMER. All crew comds and Tp Comds driver due for rotation to Aust. Fly back to BIEN-HOA

 

22-26 May 1966

 

General dismantling of camp.

 

27 May 1966

 

Mov to Saigon. Fly back to Aust via Manilla.

 

28 May 1966

 

Arrive SYDNEY.