Vietnam War Timeline - 1966
View Australian Vietnam War Ops 1965/ May 1966 in a larger map
View Australian Vietnam War Ops - 1 ATF - May - December 1966 larger map
||The UH-1 has long become a symbol of US involvement in Southeast Asia in general and Vietnam in particular, and as a result of that conflict, has become one of the world's most recognized helicopters. In Vietnam primary missions included general support, air assault, cargo transport, aeromedical evacuation, search and rescue, electronic warfare, and later, ground attack. During the conflict, the craft was upgraded, notably to a larger version based on the Model 205. This version was initially designated the UH-1D and flew operationally from 1963.During service in the Vietnam War, the UH-1 was used for various purposes and various terms for each task abounded. UH-1s tasked with a ground attack or armed escort role were outfitted with rocket launchers, grenade launchers, and machine guns. These gunship UH-1s were commonly referred to as Hogs if they carried rockets, and Cobras if they had guns.UH-1s tasked for troop transport were often called Slicks due to an absence of weapons pods. Slicks did have door gunners, but were generally employed in the troop transport and medevac roles|
The Carrier Force
Sea Dragon was a series of naval operations beginning in 1966 to interdict sea lines of communications and supply going south from North Vietnam to South Vietnam, and to destroy land targets with naval gunfire. The primary purpose of Sea Dragon forces was the interception and destruction of water borne logistic craft (WBLC), which ranged in size from large self propelled barges down to small junks and sampans. US Navy advisers were assigned to the South Vietnamese Navy and US Navy minesweepers assisted South Vietnamese Navy (VNN) ships in carrying out patrols near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Other American naval operations during the Vietnam War included Operation Market Time and Operation Sealords.
From the South China Sea, the Seventh Fleet's Attack Carrier Strike Force mounted the Operation Rolling Thunder bombing and Blue Tree tactical reconnaissance operations in North Vietnam; the Barrel Roll, Steel Tiger, and Tiger Hound bombing and Yankee Team reconnaissance efforts in Laos; and the ground support mission in South Vietnam. Except during the period in 1965 and 1966 when the aircraft carrier supporting operations in the South sailed at Dixie Station, the carrier task force was deployed at Yankee Station (after April 1966 at 1730'N 10830'E). Generally, before August 1966, two or three carriers operated in Task Force 77, and after that date the number was often three or four. On each ship a carrier air wing controlled 70 to 100 aircraft, usually grouped in two fighter and three attack squadrons and smaller detachments. However, the number depended on the size and class of the carriers, which varied from the large-deck 65,000-ton Forrestal-class ships to the 27,000-ton, World War II Essex-class ships.
The Navy's first-line aircraft for strike operations included the manoeuvrable A-4 Skyhawks, A-l Skyraiders, A-7 Corsair II, and the all-weather, day-night Grumman A-6 Intruder. The workhorse F-4 Phantom II, in addition to its attack role, flew fighter escort, as did the F-8 Crusader. Aerial reconnaissance missions were carried out by the heavy RA-5 Vigilante, the older RA-3B Skywarrior, and reconfigured Crusaders and Phantoms. Intruder, Skyraider, and Skywarrior variants also provided electronic countermeasure support in an enemy air defence environment that became increasingly lethal. Detection of enemy MiG's approaching the fleet, guidance of U.S. aircraft to and from their targets, and airborne communications support were all functions of the versatile Grumman E-2 Hawkeye. Ship-based helicopters such as the Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King and Kaman UH-2 Sea Sprite were key components of the search and rescue (SAR) system established to retrieve downed fliers both at sea and in enemy territory. Helicopters also transported ammunition and supplies from logistic ships to the combatants on station in a relatively new procedure called vertical replenishment. The UH-34 Seahorse Boling-Vertol, CH-46 Sea Knight, and Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion troop-carrying helicopters provided essential mobility to the fleet's Marine units.
Fleet aircraft carried a vast array of ordnance, from Korean-era bombs to advanced missiles and precision guided munitions. For their strikes in North Vietnam, Laos, and South Vietnam, attack aircraft dropped 250-, 500-, 1,000-, and 2,000-pound general purpose bombs, napalm bombs, and magnetic mines, and fired 5-inch Zuni and 2.75-inch high-explosive rockets. The carrier aircraft used Bullpup air-to-ground weapons, the newly developed Walleye TV-guided bomb, and the Shrike antiradar missile to great effect. Fighters were equipped with highly effective Sidewinder and Sparrow air-to-air missiles and 20-millimeter machine guns. This array of ordnance helped to restrict enemy movement on the ground and to achieve strategic air superiority over coastal North Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin.
January - 1966
1 RAR 18/65
Formations/units: 1st Battalion, Royal Australian
under command 1 Fd Tp, in direct support 105 Fd Bty. Description:
A brigade search-and-destroy operation, 1 RAR being a manoeuvre
element of 173rd Airborne. The brigade AO included areas east and west
of the Song Vam Co Dong (Oriental River), as well as the village
of Bao Trai (Khiem Cuong) and its airstrip, 34 km WNW of Saigon.
The 1 RAR AO, of some twenty sq km, was immediately east of the
river. Flat terrain with mainly sugar cane plantations, rice and
swamp. The area was significant for the 506 Local Force Bn-a hard-core Viet Cong unit and the Viet Cong supply route using the river. Deployment was
Formations/units: 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment,
with under command 3 Fd Tp (minus), in direct support 105 Fd Bty.
Viet Cong and NVA Tunnels and Fortifications of the Vietnam War
13-1-66 Lees R.V. Sgt(T/WO2) AATTV KIA Sniper.
24 January - 6 March. In the largest search-and-destroy operation up to that point in the war, Operation Masher, 2,389 Viet Cong casualties are reported. The name of the operation is changed from Operation Masher to White Wing at the insistence of the President. The operation combined US and Vietnamese troops in sweeps and amphibious assaults.
26 January - Harold Holt succeeds Robert Menzies as Prime Minister of Australia.
FSB Tan Uyen - XT On the Song Dong River along the western edge of War Zone D, 14 km NNW of Bien Hoa. 161 Bty, RNZA (Kenning?s Bty 13Jun65- 13Jun66) firebase set here 29-30Jan66. Bien Hoa Prov, III Corps.
Operation Masher was a combined U.S., ARVN, and ROKA operation that began on January 28, 1966. The name "Operation Masher" was changed to "Operation White Wing", because the name was deemed too crude for 'nation-building'.The mission was a search and destroy mission, and had little to do with nation-building. The operation was divided into four Phases.
31 January - US bombing of North Vietnam resumes after a 37 day pause.
9 mm Browning Pistol
February - 1996
1 RAR 3/66: Op 'ROUNDHOUSE': Operational Dates: 4-9 February 1966.
Formations/units: 1st Battalion, Royal Australian
under command 1 Tp A Sqn 4/19 PWLH , E/17th Cav(US), 3 Fd Tp, in direct
support 105 Fd Bty and Btry B 3/319th Arty (US), in support 161
(Indep) Recce Fit.
Photo Courtesy of the AWM Photo ID No: BLA/66/0110/VN
7-2-66 MacDonald J.A. Sgt(T/WO2) AATTV KIA GSW. In contact in Quang Tri.
12-2-66 Belleville G.R. Lt-T/Capt AATTV KIA GSW. Vehicle ambush at the Hai Van Pass North of Da Nang.,
1 RAR 4/66: Op 'ROLLING STONE':.Operational Dates: 19-26 February 1966.
Formations/units: Detached from 173rd Airborne to operational control
HQ Ist Inf Bde (US): 1st Battalion, Royal Australian
Regiment with under command 1 Tp A Sqn 4/19 PWLH , 3
Fd Tp, 161 (Indep) Recce Fit, in direct support 161 Fd Bty (NZ),
in support for deployment E/17th Cav (US).
1 RAR Op 5/66 - Cancelled.
14 February - Gen Maxwell Taylor, US Ambassador to South Vietnam 1964-65.
"This country cannot escape its destiny as the champion of the free world - there is no running away".
17-2-66 Andrews J.H. Sgt(T/WO2) AATTV KIA GSW. At Than Tan in Thua Thien Prov.
The 2d Brigade (2/16, 1/18, 2/18) and 3d Brigade (2/2, 1/16, 1/28) of the 1st Infantry Division begin operation Mastiff, a search and destroy operation in southeastern Tay Ninh and northern Hau Nghia provinces south of the Michelin Plantation. 122 tons of rice are captured but only 30 VC are reported KIA.
27-2-66 Suter T. LCpl 17665 1RAR A/2 21 RAIN F KBA Grenade in unit lines at Bien Hoa.
March - 1966 - An Increase in Australian Commitment - Formation of a Task Force
2 March - The US announces that US Forces in Vietnam now number 215,000 with another 20,000 enroute.
8 March - Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt announces the formation of a Task Force for Vietnam consisting of two infantry battalions with combat support. An increase to 4,500 troops.
Harold Holt states, "... a long period of fighting is the prospect we have to face".
The Battle of A Shau was waged in 1966 during the Vietnam War. The battle began on March 9 and lasted until March 10 with the fall of the special forces camp of the same name. The battle was an outright victory for the North Vietnamese; it was nevertheless a costly battle that U.S. estimates suggest cost the attackers almost half of their force.
1 RAR 6/66:Op 'SILVER CITY'. Operational Dates:
9-22 March 1966.
Formations/units: 1st Battalion, Royal Australian
Regiment, with under command E/17th
Cav (US), D/16th Armor (US), 173d Engr Co (US), 3 Fd Tp, in direct
support 105 Fd Bty.
15 March - Alan Fairhall, Australian Minister for Defence
"There is not the slightest doubt that the North Vietnamese are the puppets of the Chinese and that the whole conduct of the war, down to the last jot and tittle of it, comes out of the philosophy of Mao Tse-tung... It is perhaps only the first round of an attack by the Chinese Communists in an effort to dominate the world".
Military Working Agreement between Chief of the General Staff, Australian Army and Commander, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. Dated 17 March 1966.
1 RAR 7/66:Op 'ABILENE'. Operational Dates: 30 March-9 April 1966.
Operation Name Abilene CTZ III TAO 40 miles east of Saigon, south of Cam My village; Phuc Tuy and Long Khanh Provinces.
April - 1966
1 April - Brigadier O.D. Jackson - appointed 1 ATF Commander.
161 Flight renamed 161 Independent Reconnaissance Flight(161 Recce Flt) and prepare to move from Ben Hoa to Vung Tau and eventually move to 1 ATF at Nui Dat to support Australian operations.
FSB - Binh Ba - 43-73 On the W edge of the Binh Ba Rubber Plantation, 8 km NNW of Nui Dat, 10 km WSW of Ngai Giao and 35 km NNE of Vung Tau. 161 Bty, RNZA (Kenning?s Bty 13Jun65-13Jun66) firebase set here 2-8Apr66. Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps.
3 April - An Engineer Advance Party departs for Vietnam.
FSB - Song Be - XT 14-07 45 km WNW of Saigon, along the Song Vam Co Dong River in Hua Ngai Prov. 161 Bty, RNZA (Kenning?s Bty 13Jun65-13Jun66) firebase set here 12-13Apr66 and 17 Apr 66, firing in support of the US 1s/503d Inf, 173d Abn Bde. Hua Ngai Prov, III Corps.
11 April. The Battle of Xa Cam My was a battle of the Vietnam War fought over two days from April 11 to April 12, 1966.
Originally planned as a U.S. search and destroy mission intended to lure out the "crack" Viet Cong D800 Battalion, Charlie Company soon find itself fighting for survival in the rubber plantations of Xa Cam My, approximately 42 miles (68 km) east of Saigon. During this battle 134 men of Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division were ambushed by the Viet Cong. Two posthumous Medals of Honor were awarded in conncection with this action.
12 April - US B-52 Bombers commence bombing over North Vietnam.
1 RAR 8/66:Op 'DENVER': Operational Dates: 13-22 April 1966.
Formations/units: 1st Battalion, Royal Australian
Regiment, with under command 1 Tp A Sqn 4/19 PWLH , in direct support 161 Fd Bty (NZ).
General William C. Westmoreland Commander US Forces Vietnam praising 1st Battalion, Royal Australian
" I have never seen a finer group of men. I have never fought with a finer group of soldiers."
15,16,17 April - Wide spread protests in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth.
19 April - Charter flights begin ferrying advance party troops for the new Australian Task Force in Vietnam.
20 April - Australian Army Ship(AS 3051) John Monash and Army Vessel(AV 1355) AV Vernon Sturdee depart for Vietnam loaded with personnel, engineer vehicles and plant for the new Task Force.The first flights from Richmond Air Base, Australia, arrive at Saigon. Air lifts(charter and RAAF C130) continue bringing in the Task Force troops.
22 April - HMAS Sydney departs Australia with one company of 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. The Sydney was loaded with 337 personnel, 37 SWB Land Rovers, 88 LWB Land Rovers, 65 2.5 tonne trucks. 137 trailers, two semi-trailers, sixteen motor cycles, four graders, two rollers, nine tractors, three towed generators and one Armoured Personnel Carrier(APC).
25 April - Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt visits Vietnam and meets with 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, on ANZAC Day.
27 April - 26 May : 3 Sqn SAS conduct a final training exercise prior to deployment to Vietnam.
May - 1966 - Establishing the Australian Task Force Area(1 ATF).
2-5-66 Cowper L. Civ NZNURSE KIA
4 May - The Australian Task Force's 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment main body arrive at Vung Tau with the first conscripts of the war. 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment remain at Vung Tau for training and familiarization.
6 May - AS John Monashand AV Vernon Sturdee arrive at Vung Tau.
The MV Boonaroo is chartered to carry stores to Vietnam. The Seamen's Union refuse to man it.
13 May - 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment with several subsidiary units is now complete on the ground at Vung Tau.Training continues
Directive by the Chiefs of Staff Committee to Commander Australian Force Vietnam.
17 May - MV Boonaroo departs Sydney on its first trip to Vietnam.
23 May - Ba Ria - YS 43-67 Provincial Capital of Phuoc Tuy Prov, 8 km SW of Nui Dat, 22 km NE of Vung Tau and along Rte-2. 161 Bty, RNZA (Kenning?s Bty 13Jun65-13Jun66) firebase was set N of Ba Ria at this grid, 23May- 5Jun66. Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps. In support of Operation Hardihood.
23 May - The second battalion for the Australian Task Force, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) advance parties arrive at Saigon and depart for Ben Hoa to take over stores and equipment from 1 RAR.
1 ATF 1/66 'HARDIHOOD'. Dates: Phase I-24 May to 4 June 1966, Phase II -5 to 15 June 1966
Formations/units: 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment , with
under command 3 Fd Tp, elements D Coy 1st Battalion, Royal Australian
Regiment,, in direct support 105
25 May- The RAAF No 9 Sqn's - Iroquois("Hueys")
helicopters(8) depart on HMAS Sydney for Vung Tau.
UH-1 Iroquios (Huey)
June - 1966
1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, conclude their first tour in Vietnam. 1 RAR casualties on the 1st tour are 26 killed and 114 wounded.
1 June - RAAF Caribou flight at Vung Tau Airbase is now designated as No 35 Squadron.
3 June - 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment take up defensive position at Nui Dat, conduct patrols and await the arrival of the Task Force.10 Pl D Coy 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment contact an enemy force near the Soui Da Bang, 1500 metres north-west of Long Tan. Three enemy are killed. No friendly casualties.
5 June - 1 ATF Headquarters assumes command at Nui Dat. Over the next several nights enemy parties probe the Task Area trying to establish the position and extent of the Task Force defensive area. Establishing defensive positons and communications in the base area are a high priority.
Nui Dat (means small hill) - YS 43-67 On Rte-2, 60 km ESE of Saigon, 35 km NNE of Vung Tau, 8 km NE of Baria and 14 km SSW of Ngai Giao. The site of an abandoned rubber plantation. FSB for 1ATF, RAR, RNZR and RNZA. 161 Bty, RNZA firebase and HQ set here with "Battery Ready" (Kenning?s Bty) 5Jun66, after permanent move from Bien Hoa that day. 161 Bty, RNZA (Kenning?s) set here 5 Jun66. Luscombe Airfield also at this location.
6 June - 30,000 people welcome home 1 RAR in a ticker-tape march through Sydney.
6 June - The RAAF 9 Sqn with 8 Iroquois Helicopters arrive at Vung Tau to provide support the Australian Task Force(1 ATF) and is based at the Vung Tau Airbase. The RAAF helicopter were to provide transport, "Dustoff" and "light fire teams" and are operational by the 25 June. Long established rivalries and frictions between the RAAF and the Army surfaced, causing unnecessary situations and disputes. It would take the intervention of a senior RAAF officer from Australia to estabish a suitable "working realtionship" between the RAAF and the Commander 1 ATF.
1 APC Sqn (APCs) arrive on HMAS Sydney . On arrival at Nui Dat on 9 June 1966, the Squadron, together with the 5th Battalion RAR (5 RAR) and 105 Battery RAA, proceeded to establish a base for the Australian Task Force.
7 June - Australian military assistance to the civil community commences in the form of a medical visit to Hoa Long village and scheduled every two days thereafter.
9 June - 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) arrive at Vung Tau.
Air strikes are conducted on the deserted village of Long Phouc after Viet Cong use the position as a base to mortar the task force area. 12 houses are destroyed and 22 damaged. Estimated 3 enemy killed.
9-6-66 Sweetnam J.R. Pte 5RAR KIA GSW during morning at Long My.
10-6-66 Farren L.T. Pte 5RAR D/10 KIA Mortar attack.
10-6-66 Coupe B.F. Cpl 5RAR D/10 KIA Mortar attack
10 June - Information is received that a Viet Cong force (274 Regiment) was moving towards 1 ATF from the NW and was within 10 klms of Nui Dat. Intelligence warn of an 4 battalion attack on the base. Artillery is employed in concentration on a significant enemy night movement on Route 2. Expecting the attack, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) is called forward to Nui Dat earlier than the planned 23 June.The attack never came because the enemy were tasked to conduct a major ambush on a crashed aircraft site at Nui Nghe. The diary of the deputy commander 274 Regiment Colonel Nguyen Nam Hung was captured later in the year and confirmed that the Regiment had intended to attack the base.
12-6-66 Ruduss A. Pte 3410295 HQ1ATF D&E RAINF DOW Shrap wds from mortar attack.
12 June - A sweep is conducted on the outskirts of Hoa Long following light mortar fire which caused casualties to a D Coy 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment patrol. A company operation named 'Parkes' is conducted in the area.
6 RAR. The whole Battalion had arrived
by 9th June. After the necessary reconnaissances were completed,
orders to move to Nui Dat were given. On the 14th of June, 1966,
a heli-borne redeployment was made to the south of the rubber plantation
which was to be our home for the next twelve months. The Fifth Battalion
which had been operating in the area for some three weeks secured
the landing zone for the assault.
15 June - 3 Squadron, Special Air Service(SAS) main body departs Australia for Siagon on QANTAS charter flight and on the 17 June comes under
command 1 ATF at Nui Dat.
1 ATF HQ issues plans for operations over the next month in order to gain dominance in the Task Force TAOR. This means aggressive and continuos patrolling by the two infantry battalions out to Line Alpha. A reaction force based on a infantry rifle coy is maintained.
15 - 20 June. 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR), in between digging defensive and Command Post positions. conducted sixteen to eighteen company and platoon patrols each 24 hours. This was in addition to extra patrols ordered by 1 ATF.
16 June - The new Task Force (3450 Army and 180 RAAF) is complete in Vietnam. The Commander 1 ATF Brigadier Jackson says, "..it was an exhausting and nerve racking experience for the infantry". It is an immediate priority that the Task Force establish a presence quickly in the Province and provide security against any sizeable enemy force". The enemy dominance of the area is now under direct threat and the Task Force is expecting a reaction.
16-6-66 Hood R.D. Pte 1ARU KIA
17 June - MV Japer leaves Sydney on its first voyage.
17 - 18 June. 161 Recce Flt commence operations in support of 1 ATF.
General William C. Westmoreland Speaking of Australian Forces
"...thoroughly professional ... small in numbers and well trained, particularly in anti-guerrilla warfare ... the Australian Army was much like the post-Versailles German Army in which even men in the ranks might have been might have been leaders in some less capable force".
20, 21,22 June - 3 Sqn SAS conduct 24 patrols for several kilometres out from Nui Dat as part of thier acclimatisation.
21 June - Two Military Policemen returning from Baria are ambushed at the village of Hoa Long. One is killed. 21-6-66 Brown I.R. Cpl 1DIVPRO KIA Ambushed by sniper at night in Hoa Long
21 - 28 June. 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment provides 8 patrols by day and 4 ambush patrols by night. 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) is scheduled for operation 'Enoggera'. The two Infantry battalions are to be rotated, one on operations and the other maintains company and platoon patrols and ambushes in its sector of the Tactical Areas of Operational Responsibility and man defensive positions at Nui Dat.
5 RAR assumed patrol responsibility for whole TAOR to allow 6 RAR to be relieved for Operation ENOGGERA.
The Destruction of Long Phuoc - a Viet Cong controlled hamlet approx. 2-3 km SW of Nui Dat with a complex and extensive tunnel system, that was evacuated of all its population in Jun 66 during Operation Hardihood. Its residents were moved to the village of Hoa Long, still within the vicinity of Long Phuoc so that the people could maintain their fields and rice paddies. 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) are tasked to destroy the village.
Formations/units: 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR),with
under command 3 Tp 1 APC Sqn, 1 Fd Sqn, in direct support 161 Fd
Bty (NZ), in support one OH-13 of 161 (Indep) Recce Flt, UH-1 of
No 9 Sqn RAAF.
AWM95, 1/4/8 - 1-31 August 1966, Combat Operations - Operation Enoggera
25 June - The Task force receives harrassing small arms fire a party of small VC. Over the next few weeks the VC will endeavour to obtain as much intelingence on Australian movements, tactics, reactions and strengths. The VC have dominated this area for more than 12 years and the establishment of the Australian Task Force will have a major effect on thier movement and operations in Phuoc Tuy Province.
26 June - 3 Sqn, SAS commence operations from its base at Nui Dat.Their role will be intelligence gathering and recon. Specifically, they are to find the whereabouts, movements and habits of the two main force enemy units in Phuoc Tuy province. 3 Sqn SAS is deployed to Vietnam. The SASR's role in Vietnam was to act as the 'eyes and the ears' of the Australian Task Force through conducting reconnaissance patrols throughout 1 ATF's area of responsibility. As in Borneo the SASR operated closely with the New Zealand SAS, with a New Zealand SAS troop being attached to each Australian Squadron.
29 June. US planes attack fuel storage facilities around Hanoi and Haiphong, marking the first time that facilities around Hanoi are hit.
30 June - 5 patrols from SAS set out from Nui Dat to recon the Nui Din and Nui Thi areas. These patrols were typically 4 - 5 men each patrol. Result: 3 Viet Cong KIA and numerous sightings of enemy activity. From the patrols reports, it is clear that the Viet Cong are moving freely in the area and it is suspected that a large enemy camp is nearby.
The SAS patrols were to provide early warning of any enemy build up and recon the areas for future operations. These early SAS patrols were deployed on foot because the RAAF No 9 Sqn Helicopters were still operating under essentially peacetime regulations and were loath to move SAS patrols into insecure areas. It would be mid July before the RAAF were tasked to deploy and extract SAS patrols.
M79 Grenade Launcher
July - 1966 - Extending Operations Beyond Line Alpha.
With the creation of the buffer zone around Nui Dat base and the destruction of the Viet Cong fortified village of Long Phouc, the Task Force now turns its attention to battalion operations beyond Line Alpha. Route 2 leading north from Binh Ba and Route 15 connecting Vung Tau with Saigon are to be cleared. Operations are also to be conducted to seek out and draw into battle the D445 provincial mobile battalion. In fact, it would be the enemy who draw the Task Force into battle.
2 July - D Coy 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment engages an enemy group of eight Viet Cong and kill 2 and wound 1.
1ATF 3/66 'SYDNEY I'.
After Action Report
Formations/units: 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment , with in direct
support 105 Fd Bty, in support elements 1 APC Sqn, in support from
6 July one troop 1 Fd Sqn, one company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR), one OH-13 of 161 (Indep)
Recce Fit, four UH-1 No 9 Sqn RAAF.
7-7-66 Holland T. Tpr 3786634 1APCSQN 2Tp 21 RAAC KBA Attempting to inspect loaded OMC.
Operation Hastings was an American military operation in the Vietnam War. Having been threatened by numerous encounters with enemy troops in the Cam Lo area, on July 7, 1966, United States Marine Corps General Lew Walt led a joint U.S. Marine and ARVN force of 8,500 and 3,000 troops in a strike through the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Plans to maintain U.S. occupation of the Cam Lo area in the Quang Tri province soon became known as Operation Hastings.
9 July - A SAS patrol reports main force Viet Cong in the area of Long Tan Village and a base camp is suspected to be in the area.
14 July - Two SAS recon patrols deploy by foot to an area east of Nui Dat ,near Nui Dat 2.
1ATF 4/66 'SYDNEY II' ' Dates: 15-23 July 1966
Formations/units: 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment , with under
command 2 Tp 1 APC Sqn, elements of 3 Fd Tp, in direct support
105 Fd Bty,in support one company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR), one OH-13 of 161 (Indep)
Recce Flt, four UH-1 No 9 Sqn RAAF.
15 July - The task force receives urgent reports that a Vietcong Regiment has occupied the Nui Toc Tien and Nui Dinh hills with the intention of ambushing Route 15. 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) is urgently tasked to react.
15 July - 3 August. A force of US 8,500 Marines and 2,500 South Vietnamese troops launch Operation Hasting. The operation's goal is to thwart the North Vietnamese 324 B Division's efforts to take control of Quang Tri Province.
16 July - A SAS 4 man patrol locates a ten man Viet Cong camp 2000 metres east of Long Tan. The SAS assault the camp and destroy it. Result: 3 Viet Cong KIA and documents and weapons captured.
Formations/units: 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR), with under command one troop
1 APC Sqn, 161 Fd Bty (NZ), detachment 1 Fd Sqn, in support one
OH-13 of 161 (Indep) Recce Flt, two UH-1 No 9 Sqn RAAF.
19 July - A SAS six man recon patrol locates an enemy camp
of platoon strength(approx. 30). The patrol withdraws to1,000 metres from the
camp and an airstrike is put on the position. The patrol moves back to the camp
to assess damage and discover that the bombs have fallen 200 metres west of
the target. They move into the camp killing two Viet Cong and wounding another, then
immediately withdrew with enemy pursuing them. The patrol extracts from the
area the next morning.
22 July - 1 APC Sqn conduct Operation GAUNTLET on 22 July 1966 and required the Squadron to undertake the escort of US 'A' Battery 2/35 Artillery from Long Binh to Nui Dat. The convoy was particularly large, consisting of 75 trucks and 35 APCs from the Squadron. Two sections of APCs, comprising six carriers, were interspersed between every 15 trucks to give security coverage.
23 July - A SAS four man patrol is inserted into the Nui Dinh hills by RAAF helicopter. Their mission: Locate and an enemy radio station(codename 'Fred') that has been reporting the movements of Australian and Allied forces in the Nui Dat and Baria areas, to Viet Cong units in Phuoc Tuy province.
Formations/units: 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR)), initially
(I) with under command 2 trp 1 APC Sqn, one troop 1 Fd Sqn,
in direct support 161 Fd Bty (NZ), in support one company 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (gun
area protection), one OH-13 of 161 (Indep) Recce Flt, four UH-I
No 9 Sqn RAAF; later (II) additionally under operational control
Mayforce 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (headquarters element, one company. one mortar section),
forming, with the other company of 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment , a blocking force for this
part of the operation.
25 - 29 July - 161 Bty, RNZA was located to 3 km SW of Nui Dat at YS 46-65.
26 July. The SAS patrol searching for 'Fred" contacts and enemy group killing six Viet Cong and immediately the Viet Cong start searching for them, cutting off their escape route. The patrol evades the search and is extracted by RAAF Helicopter.
29 July - The Task Force on Alert. Intelligence received by 1 ATF advises the presence three days earlier(26th) of a Viet Cong battalion dug-in, in dense jungle within Line Alpha, 4,000 metres due west of Nui Dat. The area is subjected to intense air and artillery strikes. Heavy ground fire is encountered by the Chinook Gunships. A further intelligence report is received advising that 1,000 Viet Cong were detected moving within the Rung Sat Special Zone south west of Ba Ria. The report also states that in a one to two-day period 3,000 Viet Cong would have arrived in Phuoc Tuy province 'to attack Allied forces'. A combination of intelligence reports indicate the build up of enemy forces to the east of the 1 ATF base. 1 ATF intelligence staff assess that the enemy could mount a multi-regimental attack on the base. The Commander 1 ATF concludes that there is a direct threat to the base.
The Australian 547 Signal Troop(radio location and tracking) at Nui Dat detects what appears to be a Viet Cong main force unit (275 Viet Cong Regiment HQ) beginning to move towards Nui Dat from the area immediately north of Xuyen Moc and 22 klms east of Nui Dat. Other intelligence suggest that 275 Regiment is also building up its strength with troops from North Vietnam. For the OC of 547 Troop this indicates something important is to happen. The OC reports his findings to an Intelligence Officer at HQ 1 ATF. 1 ATF HQ is skeptical of the information and appear to take little notice of it. The Troop continues to map the location of 275 Regiment radio down the map towards Nui Dat. It is also possible that this a ruse.
4:15 pm - 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) is ordered back to Nui Dat. The Comd 1 ATF intends to conduct base security with both battalions and patrol outwards in an attempt to prove or disprove the enemy locations and strengths. 1 ATF HQ request assistance from American Forces to counter the threat and the Americans consider there is no threat and refuse the request. The Task Force is kept on full alert.
30 July - B Company 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment with Anti-Tank Platoon depart the task force for a 36 hour patrol in the western sector. D Company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) with a Platoon of 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment head north-east to the extremity of Line Alpha and are prepared to patrol up to 3 days. Their mission, 'determine enemy action in the area and destroy enemy camps'. Other patrols from the battalions scour the area closer to the task force.
31 July - An enemy recon party is detected on the perimeter of the 1 ATF base. The 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment patrol returns to base and report no enemy activity.
A seven man SAS patrol moves to the Nui Dat 2 area, then heads north, parallel the Route 2. The patrol finds nothing. Three SAS recon patrols are inserted into the area west of Binh Ba. All patrols see and contact small parties of Viet Cong but nothing indicating a large build up or movement of large enemy forces in the area.
The Task Force receives information that changes the assessment of the enemy threat. Prior reports on some enemy movement has been discredited and the Task Force now reassesses the enemy as still formidable but the Task force area at Nui Dat is no longer under threat of attack. The enemy is thought to be mainly in the west and east of the base.
31 July - 14 August. Eleven SAS patrols are conducted concentrating on locating and detecting Viet Cong movement in areas where Infantry battalions were not operating.
Nui Dat Playboy Club - The Nui Dat 1st ATF POW Compound. A sign posted at its entrance said "Club Members Only - Exclusively for NVA/ Viet Cong."
AWM95, 2/6/3 - 1-31 July 1966, Operational Summary and Annex E1-F1(pdf 16.02 Mb)
Chicom Type 56 Light Machine Gun : North Vietnamese Forces
August - 1966
Task Force operations resume.
1 August - Nguyen Cao Ky, Premier of South Vietnam
" In two or three years, or even before, the Communists will accept defeat. I am sure we are going to win".
An SAS patrol fires on a party of 5 Viet Cong to the north of Binh Ba. Nothing develops.
A Company 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment conduct a 'Road Runner' operation along Route 44 from Baria to the coastal village of Long Hai. Nil results.
1 ATF receives a reported sighting of 300 Viet Cong carrying crew served weapons with green uniforms one hundred metres to the north of Nui Dat 2. D Company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) are close to that area and may have been mistaken for them.
2 August - Eight Viet Cong sighted by SAS patrol heading north from the Bin Ba area. A SAS patrol is inserted into the area south of Nui Thi Vai, they see sign of enemy movement.
5-8-66 Checkley T.W.Gnr 311534 131BTY 28 RAA KBA Fell from truck returning from Vung Tau.
1ATF 7/66 '"HOLSWORTHY"'. Dates: 5-18 August 1966.
Formations/units: 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment , with under command 1 APC
Sqn (minus), one troop 1 Fd Sqn, two companies 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR), one section
1 Tpt PI, in direct support 105 Fd Bty, in support one OH-13 of
161 (Indep) Recce Flt, one UH-1 No 9 Sqn RAAF.
7 - 14 August. SAS patrols now concentrate on the Nui Dinh
mountains to locate and destroy enemy observation posts(OPs) and radio stations
Battle of Đức Cơ was a major engagement between the North Vietnamese 5th Battalion of the 33rd Regiment and the South Korean 3rd Battalion of the 1st Cavalry Regiment on August 9, 1966. The battle resulted from North Vietnamese attempts to infiltrate from Cambodia. On the night of August 9, the reinforced North Vietnamese 5th Battalion attacked a Korean tactical base in Đức Cơ. During several hours of fighting the outnumbered South Koreans defeated their enemies who left more than one hundred bodies on the field.
9 August. Battle of Đức Cơ was a major engagement between the North Vietnamese 5th Battalion of the 33rd Regiment and the South Korean 3rd Battalion of the 1st Cavalry Regiment on August 9, 1966. The battle resulted from North Vietnamese attempts to infiltrate Đức Cơ from Cambodia.On the night of August 9, the reinforced North Vietnamese 5th Battalion attacked a Korean tactical base in Đức Cơ, when the airborne were alerted to prevent the Defeated North Vietnamese regiments, trying to retreat back into Cambodia. During several hours of fighting the outnumbered South Koreans defeated their enemies who left more than one hundred bodies on the field.
11 August - 1 ATF receives another report that that a Viet Cong battalion and two separate companies are in the rubber plantation between Long Tan and Nui Dat 2, even though 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) patrols have searched that area.
13 August - 1 ATF reports to AFV Siagon that "... the presence of possibly company sized forces in the vicinity of Nui Dat YS4868(Nui Dat 2 - 2,500 metres from the base)"
14 August - Lyndon Johnson(after conferring with General Westmoreland)
"A communist military takeover in South Vietnam is no longer just improbable ... it is impossible".
14-8-66 Kennedy R.J. Pte 5 RAR B/4 KIAFFF
15 August - 547 Signal troop report to 1 ATF that 275 Regiment have reached a point at 5,000 metres east of the base. It had appeared that 275 Regiment had arrived at a point just beyond the Long Tan rubber plantation. To the OC of the troop, "this was pretty important stuff.... a grain of gold amongst all the crap."
D Company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) patrol out to Nui Dat 2 and back through the Long Tan plantation. Nil result.
Support Tp 1 APC Sqn was deployed to support the 48th ARVN Battalion on a road to the north of Long Dien.
16 August - A Company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) on a three day patrol, out to an area around and at Niu Dat 2 and engage three small parties of enemy in the vicinity of Nui Dat 2.
A RAAF No 35 Sqn Caribou A4-173 crashes at Ba To, the first casualty of the unit, with no injuries to the crew.
17 August - 2:43 am . The Prelude to a Battle. The Australian Task Force(1 ATF) base at Nui Dat is heavily mortared. 24 are wounded (2 seriously). The Task Force is put on alert.
2:50 am - 1 Fd Regt artillery conduct counter bombardment.
4:10 am - 1 Fd Regt counter bombardment fire ceases.
4:50 am - B Company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) is warned to move out on patrol to pinpoint the enemy firing positions.
6:15 am - A SAS patrol is inserted into an area 16 klms form Nui Dat. The patrol finds itself in an area of high enemy activity. The patrol suspects that a company of Viet Cong have detected them and are searching for the patrol. The patrol is unable to report due to an unserviceable radio and this information is not known until the 19 Aug when the patrol is extracted.
6:31 am - B Company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) (80 men)departs Nui Dat. A Company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) already out on patrol in the same area are ordered to continue with their patrol program. A platoon of C Company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) already in night ambush position on the southern perimeter is ordered to conduct a search of specific areas south of the Base on its way back to Nui Dat. C Company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) are alerted to provide a platoon mounted patrol (9 PL) in APCs to investigate other suspected enemy firing positions south west of the base.
7:00 am - 9 Pl C Coy 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) depart on their task to the south west.
8:00 am - B Coy 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) locates the enemy base plate(firing) position of five 82mm mortars. Tracks lead off to the north-north-east. They are ordered to follow-up the tracks.
9:41 am - 9 Pl C Coy return to base and have found nothing in the south-west of the base. They are ordered out again to join the search in the area that B Coy had found the base plate positions.
10:30 am - B Coy loses the main track they have been following.
2:45 pm - SAS patrols are inserted into the area north of Binh Gia. One of the patrols sights enemy in uniform and moving tactically. They are unable to radio 1 ATF.
Midday - A Company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) reports heavy jamming of their radio transmissions and they are ordered to search the Nui Dat 2 feature. B Coy continues to search for the enemy mortar teams.
3:08 pm - An SAS patrol sight 10 Viet Cong moving west in a tactical formation, 7 klms north of Binh Gia. They sight a further 7 Viet Cong moving east in the same area. They also hear a group of Viet Cong(size unknown) moving east.
5:30 pm - 9 Pl C Coy returns to base. A and B Coy remain out over night to continue the search in the morning.
18 August - 6:30 am. A Coy are ordered to search southward towards B Coy. B Coy release 48 men to go back to Nui Dat, leaving them with 32 men to continue the search. D Coy having been warned for a three day patrol and will replace B Coy in the search.
7:05 am - B Coy commence the search east to the edge of the Long Tan rubber plantation.
Two RAAF helicopters, A2-1020 and A2-1022 arrive at Nui Dat. The helicopters were to fly crucial missions later in the day.
10:20 am - B Coy find freshly dug enemy positions for 20 men and 22 empty tubes for 75mm RCL(Recoilless launcher). Tracks lead off the north-east and south. A section patrol investigates a rubber tappers hut 1000 metres to the east. Nothing is found.
11:00 am - D Company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) depart Nui Dat moving east to relieve B Coy. A Coy is sweeping south on its way back to Nui Dat.
11:05 am - A Coy 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR)locate an old food cache. B Coy is patrolling north-east and south from the previously found firing position.
12:00 Midday - Another section patrol from B Coy find an abandoned enemy post with empty 75mm shell cases. This is the firing position for the three recoilless rifles (from the shelling of the Task Force base on the 17 th) .Blood stains indicate enemy wounded from the counter bombardment on the 17th.
SAS patrols are reporting "frequent enemy movement on tracks" in the area near Binh Gia and near the Long Kanh provincial border. The SAS up till now had not detected any threat to the Task Force.
1:00 pm - D Coy 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) reach B Coy on the edge of the Long Tan rubber plantation, 2500 metres from Nui Dat. B Coy set out to return to base. Col Joye and "Little Pattie" are entertaining Australian troops at Nui Dat.
To the east, four battalions of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese including the D445, were approaching the eastern edge of Long Tan rubber plantation, near Nui Dat 2. Another 3 battalions of enemy are moving to the north, possibly to attack Nui Dat from north or west.(Not known at the time).
3:00 pm - D Coy 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) having noted fresh enemy tracks leading north-east decide to follow them.
3:40 pm - The Battle. D Coy have a contact with 6 enemy who flee east. No sooner had D Coy moved when they come under heavy fire, the The Battle of Long Tan (Operation 'SMITHFIELD') had begun.
The Battle of Long Tan
D Company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR) (125 men) with artillery support
repel an attack by a Regiment size enemy force(2,500- 3,000) consisting
of NVA regulars with local Viet Cong support. 3 Troop 1 APC Squadron relieve the beleaguered D Company in what could have turned out to be one of Australia's worst military defeats. Enemy deaths 245 confirmed
by body count (many more dead and wounded were removed during the
night 18 Aug). Australian casualties 18 killed, 21 wounded. Long Tan - YS 49-66 FSB on the N side of route 52, 6 km
ESE of Nui Dat, 30 km NE of Vung Tau and about 5 km due N of Dat
The follow up - to locate enemy forces involved in the Battle.
23 - 28 August. Four SAS patrol the area between Nui Dat 2 and Binh Gia . Four patrols report enemy movement. It is suspected that the HQs 275 Regiment had been found. 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment is deployed on Operation 'Darlinghurst' to sweep the area. No enemy is encountered. 5 RAR Op 'Darlinghurst'
Operation Beaver Cage was a U.S. Army and U.S. Navy Joint Operation in North Vietnam along the coastline of the Bon Hai river. The Operation took place 23 August, 1966, through 5 September, 1966.
Mauser Kar 98k Rifle : North Vietnamese Forces
1ATF 9/66 'TOLEDO'
23 - 31. B Coy 6 RAR on joint Op "Toledo" with 5 RAR.
Analysis of the Vietnamese Communists' strengths, capabilities, and will to persist in their present strategy in Vietnam. Annex XI: The probable near term military and political strategy of the Vietnamese Communists
PPSh 41 Sub-machine Gun : North Vietnamese Forces
September - 1966
The attention of the Task Force is now turned to concentrating on clearing out the remnants of enemy bases and installations from within the Task Force(Tactical Area of Responsibility)TAOR.
Throughout September the SAS conduct patrols surveillance over the eastern approaches to the Task Force area.
1ATF 10/66 'VAUCLUSE'
Formations/units: 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, with in direct
support 161 Fd Bty (NZ), in support one troop 1 Fd Sqn, one OH-13
of 161 (Indep) Recce Flt, UH-1 of No 9 Sqn RAAF.
French Fort (Ap Tay) - YS 39-62 FSB in the vicinity of Ap
Tay Hamlet and on the W side of Rte-2, 6 km S of Nui Dat, 6 km E of Nui Thi
and 20 km NNE of Vung Tau. 161 Bty, RNZA (Honner?s Bty 13May66-13May67) firebase set here 8-24Sep66. Consisted of a dilapidated concrete block-house from the
French colonial period. Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps.
12 September. Five hundred US Air Force planes bomb targets in North Vietnam in the heaviest air raid of the war.
14 September - 27 November. US Operation Attleboro begins with a search and destroy mission led by the196th US Light Infantry Brigade in the area north of its base camp at Tay Ninh. On November 1, after a month and a half of uneventful patrolling, US troops run into elements of the 9th Viet Cong Division in the dense jungles northwest of Dau Tieng. The Viet Cong fight tenaciously to defend their base camp. US forces are reinforced to face the stubborn Viet Cong opposition. When the battle is over, the Viet Cong are forced to withdraw, leaving behind the bodies of their 1,106 dead soldiers. After the base camp is overun, troops discover one of the largest weapons caches of the Vietnam War.
16 September. An SAS patrol contact an enemy group on the eastern approaches of Nui Dat. Result: 2 Viet Cong WIA.
20-9-66 Blanck W.A. Sgt(T/WO2) 38033 AATTV RAINF DOW GSW.
1ATF 11/66 'CASULA'. Dates: 21 September-30 October 1966.
Formations/units: 1ATF, with under
command units tasked: 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR), 1 Fd Regt, 1 APC Sqn, 1 Fd Sqn,
103 Sig Sqn, 3 SAS Sqn, 1 ARU.
22 September - An SAS patrol of 28 men deploy to an enemy installation found by a previous patrol and locate 13 recent graves, possibly from the battle at Long Tan.
24 September. 2 Troop 1 APC Sqn was deployed to the Long Tan area on 24 September for a further search of the area. While 2 Troop searched the plantation, 3 Troop and Support Troop moved to a blocking position about 3 kilometres south of the Long Tan plantation. No further evidence of the enemy was found during this deployment, so the Squadron moved back to the Task Force area later that afternoon.
1ATF 12/66 'CROWS NEST' 'Dates: 30 September-3 October 1966.
Formations/units: 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment , with under command one troop 1 APC Sqn including
APC mortar carriers, in direct support 103 Fd Bty, in support 1
APC Sqn less one troop, one OH-13 of 161 (Indep)Recce Flt, three
UH-1 No 9 Sqn RAAF.
Photo Courtesy of the AWM Photo ID No: FOR/66/0886/VN
Carl Gustaf 84mm Recoiless Rifle - Used by Australian Infantry Soldiers-Too Large and Too Heavy
October - 1966
Although air power was the cutting edge of Task Force 77, surface ships were essential to the interdiction campaign in North Vietnam and Laos. In Operation Sea Dragon, begun in October 1966, cruisers, destroyers, and for one month battleship New Jersey (BB 62) ranged the North Vietnamese littoral sinking Communist supply craft, shelling coastal batteries and radar sites, and complementing the aerial interdiction effort by bombarding the infiltration routes ashore. While at first restricted to coastal waters south of 1731'N, by February 1967 the Sea Dragon force was authorized to operate as far north as the 20th parallel. This area was constricted in April 1968 when the bombing halt ended American combat activity north of the 19th parallel.
Steaming generally in pairs, the two to four American and Australian destroyers and one cruiser worked with carrier-based spotter planes, such as the A-l Skyraider and Grumman S-2 Tracker, to find, identify, and destroy infiltrating vessels and shore targets. Often, North Vietnamese coastal batteries fired back. Although several of the 19 ships that were hit required repairs at shipyards in Japan and the Philippines, no vessel was sunk during the two-year-long Sea Dragon operation. Damaged ships were quickly replaced on the gun line and the coastal deployment was maintained. Periodically, this group reinforced the Seventh Fleet cruisers and destroyers providing naval gunfire support to allied forces in South Vietnam. The naval surface group conducted the Sea Dragon effort until the end of October 1968, when American combat operations in North Vietnam ceased.
1-10-66 Warburton G.F.A. Pte 3786978 5RAR D/10 RAINF DOW Died on route to 36EVAC from GSW sniper wds to chest.
1ATF 13/66 'BATHURST' '
Formations/units: 1ATF, with under
command units tasked: 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment , 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 1 APC Sqn, 1 Fd Sqn, 3 SAS Sqn,
161 (Indep) Recce Fit.
3 October. - SAS patrols are inserted into the Nui Thi Vai
4 October. An SAS recon patrol locates an enemy camp on the western slopes of Nui Thi Vai. Result 1 Viet Cong KIA. The patrol contacts six Viet Cong the next morning, killing one and then extract from the area.
5 October. Four SAS patrols are inserted into the area across the northern approaches to Nui Thi Vai. The Mission: locate and destroy enemy. Described as a 'hunter/killer shadow force".
1ATF 14/66 'CANBERRA' ' Dates: 6-10 October 1966.
Formations/units: 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment , with under
command one section 1 APC Sqn, four combat engineer teams 1 Fd Sqn,
in direct support 103 Fd Bty, in support 1 APC Sqn (minus), Btry
A 2/35th Arty (US), one OH-13 of 161 (Indep) Recce Flt, four UH-1
No 9 Sqn RAAF.
8 October. A six
man SAS fighting patrol ambush and kill three Viet Cong.
10 October. An SAS fighting patrol kills one Viet Cong and wounds another.
Australian Bell Sioux Helicopter(Possum) A1-395 shot down near Ong Tron Village. Pilot shot in head and survived.
1ATF 15/66 'ROBIN'.
Formations/units: 1ATF, with under
command units tasked: 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment , 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (two companies), 1 APC Sqn, 103
Fd Bty, Btry A 2/35th Arty (US), 1 Fd Sqn (elements), 3 SAS Sqn, 161 (Indep)
Recce Fit (one OH-13); in support No 9 Sqn RAAF (six UH-1).
16 - 17 October. Six SAS patrols are inserted the area astride the Song Rai.
1ATF 16/66 'QUEANBEYAN'. Dates: 16-26 October 1966.
Commanding Officers After Action Report (COAAR) Operation Queanbeyan
Formations/units: 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment , with under
command four combat engineer teams 1 Fd Sqn, in direct support 103
Fd Bty, in support one troop 1 APC Sqn, Btry A 2/35th Arty (US),
D Coy 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, one OH-13 of 161(Indep) Recce Fit, four UH-1 No 9 Sqn RAAF.
18 Oct - RAAF helicopter A2-1018 supporting 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment crashes injuring 6 personnel.
25 Oct - US Navy Destroyers commence operations against enemy junks delivering supplies to the south.
1ATF 17/66 'BUNDABERG'.
Commanding Officers After Action Report (COAAR) Operation Bundaberg
Formations/units: 1ATF, with under
command units tasked: 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment , 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 1 APC Sqn (less one troop), 1 Fd Regt, 1 Fd Sqn (six combat engineer teams), 3 SAS Sqn, 161 (Indep)
Recce Fit (two OH-13); in support No 9 Sqn RAAF (four UH-1).
2,000 Filipino combat troops arrive in South Vietnam.
All the Way With LBJ.
October 21 - Lyndon Baines Johnson, Visits Canberra
M203 Grenade Launcher attached to an M16 Rifle
November - 1966
3- 6 Nov. 161 Bty(RNZA) was located 3 km SW of Nui Dat at YS 46-65.
Commanding Officer After Action Report (COAAR) Operation Hayman
Formations/units: 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment , with under
command 1 APC Sqn (reducing to one troop after preliminary operation),
one troop 1 Fd Sqn, C Coy 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (plus), elements 3 SAS Sqn, elements
1 Tpt Coy (for preliminary operation only), in direct support 103
Fd Bty, in support one platoon Btry A 2/35th Arty (US), one OH-13 of 161 (Indep) Recce Flt, UH-1 No 9 Sqn RAAF.
11 November. 1 APC Sqn conduct Operation 'YASS' 9 klms east of the 1 ATF Base..
14-11-66 Nilsen E.H. Pte 1200083 5RAR B/4 20 RAIN F KBA AD from shotgun in lines.
18 November. Six SAS patrols are inserted into the area east of Nui Dat to support Op 'Ingham".
1ATF 19/66 ' INGHAM'.
Formations/units: 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, with under
command 1 APC Sqn (from 22 November), one troop 1 Fd Sqn, in direct
support 161 Fd Bty (NZ), in support Btry A 2/35th Arty (US), two
companies 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment , one OH-13 of 161 (Indep) Recce Flt, two UH-1 No 9 Sqn RAAF; 3 SAS Sqn providing flank protection to north and NE,
co-ordinated by HQ 1 ATF.
19 November. Morgan Gallup Poll indicates 63% of Australians
are in favor of the war, 24% favor withdrawal, 14% undecided.
FSB Long Tan - YS 49-66 FSB on the N side of route 52, 6 km ESE of Nui Dat, 30 km NE of Vung Tau and about 5 km due N of Dat Do. 161 Bty, RNZA (Honner?s Bty 13Jun66-13May67) firebase set here 19-25 Nov 66. Site of Battle of Long Tan. Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps.
FSB Xuyen Moc - YS 65-76 FSB later named FSB Tom, 23 km due E of Nui Dat, 18 km NE of Dat Do and approx 12 km N of the coast. A Regimental FSB. US 9th Inf Div, 1st Bde here for ops in Jul66 against 274th Viet Cong Regt. Contained 1ATF 4th Fld HQ, Arty TAC, 108 Bty RAA, 161 Bty, RNZA RNZA, B Bty, 1st/11th US Arty and a howitzer Bty of the 1st/11th ACR. 161 Bty, RNZA, (Honner?s Bty 13Jun66-13May67) firebase set here 25-27 Nov 66 . FSB Janet also at Xuyen Moc, 24-31Aug69. Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps.
22-11-66 Lithgow C.T. T/Cpl 6RAR D/11 KIA Mine. While crossing bridge at Xuyen Moc.
26 Nov - In a Federal Election, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt is returned to office.
27 Nov - 1 Dec 66, 161 Bty, RNZA was located 5 km NW of Xuyen Moc at YS 60-70.
27 Nov - An SAS patrol kills 1 Viet Cong south west of Thua Tich.
30-11-66 Hendle T.E. LCpl 18256 6RAR RAINF DOW At 36 Evac from GSW that day.
December - 1966
1 - 2 December. The SAS conduct Operation 'Danglesniff". Two members of the SAS are inserted individually into eight separate locations in the mountains of Nui Thi Vai area to test the effectiveness of CS crystals laid on a previous Operation by 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
CIA Document - Strength of Viet Cong "Main Force Support Personnel" (PDF File)
1-3 Dec. 161 Bty, RNZA located at YS 65-68.
2 December. Fuel dumps and truck parks are hit around Hanoi. A record eight US planes are downed, bringing US aircraft losses over North Vietnam to a total of 435 planes.
1ATF 20/66 'CANARY'.
Formations/units: 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment , with under
command one troop 1 APC Sqn, element 1 Fd Sqn, one company 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment,
in direct support 103 Fd Bty, in support one platoon Btry A 2/35th
Arty (US), one OH-13 of 161(Indep) Recce Flt, UH-1 No 9 Sqn RAAF.
14 December.- Five SAS patrols are inserted into the area north of Nui Thi Vai and Nui Dinh to report enemy activity in support of Op 'Duck'.
1ATF 21/66 'DUCK.
Formations6units: 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment with under
command one troop (plus) 1 APC Sqn, one company 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, in direct
support 101 Fd Bty, in support 1/83d Arty (US), elements 1 Fd Sqn,
one OH-13 of 161 (Indep) Recce Flt, two UH-1 No 9 Sqn RAAF.
27-12-66 Sullivan P.C. Pte 5RAR B/4 KIA During contact in ambush.
18 Dec. An SAS patrol discover an enemy base camp in a cave near Nui Toc Tien. They kill four Viet Cong and withdraw.
20 Dec - A four man SAS patrol sights 9 well armed Viet Cong.
22 Dec - A four man SAS patrol engages a enemy force north of the Nui Dinh hills killing two Viet Cong and wounding another. They patrol withdraw under fire.
22 Dec - Australian Government announces a further military increase to Vietnam that will bring Australia's commitment to 6,300. The HMAS Hobart is committed to operations off the coast of Vietnam under operational control of the US 7th Fleet. The No 2 Sqn, RAAF Canberra Bomber Squadron at Butterworth is to move to Phang Rang, South Vietnam. Royal Australian Naval(RAN) Clearance Diving Team(CDT) and 498 additional Army personnel are also committed.
24 Dec - An SAS patrol sights 50 armed Viet Cong in separate sightings north east of Nui Toc Tien.
27 Dec - 5 Jan. 1 ATF conduct conduct Op "Duck II". Main Force Unit: 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(6 RAR).
31 Dec- US Military Forces now at 385,000. 79,000 air sorties have been flown against North Vietnam in 1966 compared with 25,000 in 1965. In 1967 this increases to 108,000 sorties. Enemy forces are estimated 282,000. Overall strength of the South Vietnamese forces, 630,000.
Real Military Flixs
|STRIKE FROM THE SEA - THE US Navy off Vietnam||Captured North Vietnamese Film||US Army HELICOPTER Operations||Detainee Operations in Vietnam||101st Airborne Division in Vietnam||Silent edited Film, B-52 Operations in Vietnam||Getting a Handle on Combat in Vietnam - 1966|
|Overview of all Navy activity in the early years of the Vietnam War - 1966.||Rare captured "enemy" film shows anti-aircraft artillery (AAA), radar and even trench rifle defenses against US aircraft overhead during the Vietnam war. (SILENT)||In 1963 Air Mobile operations in Vietnam were so revolutionary the US Army made this introductory film to explain the concept and to introduce the UH-1A Armed Helicopter||Shows how the US Army ran their POW operation during Vietnam||The 101st Airborne Division puts the Air Mobility concept into action in Vietnam.||Raw footage covers all aspects of the B-52 in Vietnam from upload to bombing over target. Color, Silent||Early Army film passes on new lessons learned in a totally new war. New thinking on artillery, helicopter operations, close air support and convoy movements.|
Australian Government Office Bearers - 1966
19 December 1949 - 26 January 1966 Sir Robert Gordon Menzies
26 January 1966 - 18 December 1967 Harold Edward Holt
Minsiter for External Affairs
24 April 1964 - 11 Febraury 1969 Paul Meernaa Caedwalla Hasluck
Minister of Defence
24 April 1964 - 19 January 1966 Sir Shane Dunne Paltridge
26 January 1966 - 12 November 1969 Allen Fairhall
18 August 1964 - 1 June 1970 Sir John Keith Waller
1 March 1964 - 7 July 1966 Harold David Anderson
7 July 1966 - 9 August 1968 Lewis Harold Bord