Vietnam War Timeline
4 January : A Company 2 RAR/NZ deployed into Rung Sat. Again, 26 RF Boat Company and small craft from 1 Field Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers, provided support.
2 - FSB Bruiser - YS 64-65 3 Km S of Xuyen Moc, 18 km ESE of Nui Dat, 5 km SE of FSB Beth and 4 km SSW of FSB Allison. Built on firm white sand that caused sandstorms when Chinooks arrived to resupply. 161 Bty, RNZA (Master’s Bty 22Sep70-29Mar71) firebase set here 2-28Jan71. Prov, III Corps.
25-1-71 Clark R.T Spr 3793971 1 F DSQN 24 RAE * At RGH Heidelberg . VIC
25-1-71 Craig P. Pte 2782049 5RAR 26 RAIN F * At Wagga Wagga. NSW
27-1-71 Hartney G.J. WO2 34854 102 F DWKSP 39 RAEME DOD At 1 F DHOSP from peptic ulcer
27 - New Zealand Government announces the withdrawal of SAS Rangers, they are not to be replaced.
February - 1971
Operation Phoi Hop
|CTZ: III Corp
Allied Units Involved: 7 RAR, 2 RAR , 3 RAR, 4 Tp C Sqn 1st Armd Regt, 1 Tp and elms 3 Tp A Sqn 3 Cav Regt,. In DS 106 Fd Bty the 161 Fd Bty(NZ), 161 (Indep) Recce Flt, 2 Tp 1 Fd Sqn, 9 Sqn RAAF, det 131 Div Loc Bty
Objective of Operation: Destroy the enemy within in AO KIM
Descriptive Narrative of Operation:Operation PHOI HOP (Co-operation) . This operation marked the handover to Province Regional and Popular Forces of a large area formerly controlled by the Battalion. In particular, the unit's former area of operations along Route 15, the Rung Sat Special Zone and much of the area around HOA LONG became the responsibility of the Vietnamese forces. At the same time, 1 ATF assumed general responsibility for the whole of Phuoc Tuy Province and the Battalion gained a new area of operations east of Route 2 and north from Binh Gia village to the Province border.
Sources Used in Archive:
FSB Lynx - YS 75-82 On Rte-329, 35 km NE of Nui Dat, 14 km ENE of FSB Raglan, 8 km due S of Hill 2310, 40 km SSE of Juanita and 15 km N of FSB Feathers, near the far eastern border of Phuoc Tuy Prov. 161 Bty, RNZA (Master’s Bty 6Sep70-8May71) firebase set here 31Jan- 21Feb71 (right section). Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps.
7 RAR Tour Summary: 7 RAR suffered 64 mine incidents on this tour compared with none on the 1st tour. 7 soldiers died and 30 wounded from mine caused injuries. 1180 soldiers served with the battalion. 89 soldiers were wounded in action(WIA) 44 of these were evacuated to Australia. 14 wounded remained on duty. 35 soldiers were returned to Australia as non-battle casualties(NBA). The turn-over of personnel in 7 RAR was 262 Regular soldiers and 329 National servicemen.
6-2-71 Patten R.B. Pte 2141115 7RAR2 Sp 20 RAINF DOW At 1FDHOSP from mine wds on 01.01.71.
8 February - South Vietnamese troops invade Laos with US air support in an attempt to destroy NVA strongholds and infiltration routes.
8-2-71 Kowalski P.F. Pte 1735712 2RAR2 A/2 23 RAINF DOW Mine.
9-2-71 Lyon T.E. WO2 52503 2AOD 35 RAAOC KBA While blowing VC ammo dump.
9-2-71 Ross G.S. Capt 17101 HQA F V 27 RAAOC KBA Mine exp. while under inspection.
9-2-71 Lyddieth T. WO2 26832 AATTV 38 RAASC KBA GSW to head at 1ALSG.
15 February - 3 RAR main body departs Adelaide, Australia on HMAS Sydney.
18 February - 1 Sqn SAS returns to Australia.
20 February - The New Zealand SAS Troop depart for New Zealand.
21 February. Rifle Coy 2 RAR/NZ(ANZAC) deploys into AO NAOMI
25 February - The 3 RAR arrives at Vung Tau to relieve 7 RAR who depart on HMAS Sydney.
March - 1971
1 March. C Sqn1 Armd Regt continues in spt of 2 RAR and 3 RAR ops, A Sqn 3 Cav Regt continues in spt of 2 RAR and 3 RAR ops, 1 Fd Sqn provide teams for all ops, 2 RAR/NZ and 3 RAR continue ops in AO's.
2 March. Mortar Pl 3 RAR deploys to NDP ISA
2-3-71 Manning P. Pte. 218853 3RAR RAINF 19 .KIA .Suspected satchel charge in NDP
2-3-71 Wheeler J.W. Lt. 235407 3RAR RAINF 22 .KIA .Suspected satchel charge in NDP
Operation 'Briar Patch'
|CTZ: III Corp
Allied Units Involved: 3 RAR(-), 1 Tp A Sqn 3 Cav Regt, 4 Tp C Sqn, 2 Tp 1 Fd Sqn, 12 Fd Regt, elm 104 Sig Sqn,161 (Indep) Recce Sqn. C Bty 5/42 (US) Arty
Objective of Operation: Deploy to AO DEBORAH and prevent the mov of en forces in and out of Dat Do District through AO.
Descriptive Narrative of Operation
Sources Used in Archive: AWM95-7-3-71
FSB ZIGGIE opens 27 April.
FSB MARJ - close 28 April.
FSB LINDY - closes 30 April.
FSB Beth - YS 60-67 16 km ESE of Nui Dat, 1 km W of Rte-328, 12 km NE of Dat Do, 12 km SE of FSB Longreach and 5 km SSW of Xuyen Moc. 161 Bty, RNZA (Master’s Bty 6Sep70-8May71) firebase set here 29Mar-7Apr71. Apparently a Bty of US medium arty here as well although unit is unknown. Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps.
6 March. 2 RAR/NZ continues on Op Phoi Hop in AO LISA.
6 March : 1 Rifle Coy 3 RAR deploys to NDP BRIGID
7 March : B Coy 3 RAR deploys to Horseshoe Hill.
8 March : One Rifle Coy 3 RAR deploys to AO NAOMI.
9 March: 3 RAR now fully operational.
10 March - 7 RAR arrive in Sydney, Australia completing their second and final tour of Vietnam.
10 March - John Gorton is replaced by William McMahon as Australian Prime Minister.
10-3-71 Winton J.R. Lt. NZ41576 2RAR RNZIR .KIA Shrap from claymore detonated by fire during contact.
14 - RAAF Canberra Bomber A84-228 is shot down by a Surface to Air Missile (SAM). The crew are rescued.
16 - HMAS Brisbane departs Sydney on its second deployment to Vietnam.
20 March. RAAF Bushranger 7 heavily hit by ground fire mortally killing co-pilot . Aircraft makes a forced landing at FSB BETH.
20-3-71 Betts R.W. P/Off. O1183250 9Sqn RAAF 24 .KIA GSW to head from ground fire Nth of Xuan Moc. Bushranger.
20-3-71 Paterson D. 2Lt. 4718855 3RAR RAINF 25 .KIA GSW to head during bunker contact.
25-3-71 Birnie T. Sgt 18161 2RAR2 B 31 RAINF DOW BA Mistaken for VC and shot by sentry while re-entering lines.
26 March : A Company 2 RAR/NZ was placed under operational control of 3 RAR and deployed east of Route 2 in operations against D445 VC Local Force Battalion, then released 5 April.
28-3-71 Smith N.A. T/Cpl 3797613 21ENGRTP 22 RAE DOI At 24EVAC from pneumonia and burns received on 23.03.
30 March Australian Prime Minister William McMahon announces withdrawal of 1,000 troops during the next 3 months including RAAF No2 Squadron and 4 Caribou from No 35 Squadron.
31 March - RAAF No 9 Sqn dust-off helicopter is hit by ground fire and 1 crew member is fatally wounded.
31-3-71 Bloxsom A.C. LAC A111550 9Sqn RAAF 29 .KIA .Ground fire W. of Xuyen Moc during 'Dustoff'
31-3-71 Adams L.W.H. Pte. 1201945 2RAR RAINF 23 .KIA .In contact W.of Xuyen Moc
April - 1971
5 April : A Company 2 RAR/NZ was released from operational control of 3 RAR and returned to Nui Dat for rest and retraining. C Company was redeployed by APC and continued operations under control of 3 RAR.
7 - President Nixon announces a further withdrawal of US troops of 100,000.
10-4-71 Jones B.R.A. 2Lt 55780 2SAS2 22 RAIN F KBA F F F GSW to head by Pte J. Mathews. Entered patrol from wrong direction.
17 - RAAF No9 Sqn dustoff helicopter A2-767 is shot down supporting ARVN Regional Forces. 3 are killed and 3 wounded.
14-4-71 Salzmann R.W. LCpl 1732899 3RAR2 B 24 RAIN F DOI Fell under trailer in Vung Tau
17-4-71 Gillespie J.F. L/Cpl. 3170244 8FDAMB RAAMC 24 .KIA BNR Dustoff (A2-767) shot down and burnt in Long Hai's. L/Cpl Gillespie was list as Missing in Action (Mia) as his body could be recovered from the burnt-out wreckage of the helicopter. L/Cpl Gillespie's remains were recovered and repatriated to Australia in 2008.
17-4-71 Blackhurst T.D.. L/Cpl-T/Cpl. 19983 AATTV RANINF 24 .KIA Dustoff (A2-767) shot down and burnt in Long Hai's.
28-4-71 Chapman R.S. Pte 4721369 2RAR2 Ad 22 RAIN F DOI At 1 F DHOSP VT.
DELLUMS COMMITTEE HEARINGS ON WAR CRIMES IN VIETNAM April 25, 1971
30 April : Australian Minister for Navy announces CDT3 and RANHFV will be withdrawn from Vietnam.
Unit Summary: 2 RAR in location at Nui Dat, 3 RAR Coy's continue ops in AO's, 4 RAR advance party arrives Nui Dat
29 - 30 April : A Company and V Company 2 RAR were withdrawn to from operations to Nui Dat. V Company commenced a period of administration in preparation for its return to Singapore.
May - 1971
2 May: B Company, C Company and Support Company 2 RAR/NZ were withdrawn from operations to Nui Dat for rest and retraining. Operation PHOI HOP was concluded.
4 - 12 May : A, B and C Companies2 RAR/NZ conducted short operations on the Battalion TAOR.
7 May : V5 Company RNZIR returned to Singapore and was relieved by V6 Company.
13 May - 4 RAR main body depart Townsville.
15 May : V6 Company (RNIR) carried out co-operation training with cavalry and then deployed to the Courtenay Rubber area for their first operation.
17 May : A, B and C Companies2 RAR/NZ conducted short reconnaissance and ambush operations in the areas west and north-west of Nui Dat. Active operations ceased on 20th May, with base defence patrolling continuing until 22nd May.
18 May : V (RNIR Company reported the last contact of the tour, with two enemy in an area east of Route 2.
20-5-70 Mills N.R. Chap 1200423 HQ1AT F 45 RAACD At RGH Concord . NSW
22 May - 4 RAR arrive in Vietnam and "chopper" off HMAS Sydney directly to Nui Dat. They relieve 2 RAR who depart on HMAS Sydney. 4 Troop C Sqn Tanks depart Vietnam - not to be replaced due to a phase out of Tank support.
31 May - RAAF No2 Squadron Canberra Jet Bombers fly their last mission in Vietnam. The contribution by No 2 Sqn over four years was; 11,963 sorties(of which 11,696 were combat missions), dropping 76,389 bombs for the loss of two aircraft.
June - 1971
1 June - 2 RAR arrive at Townsville, Australia.
Three No 35 Sqn RAAF Caribous depart Vung Tau for Australia is part of the Australian forces reduction, leaving 4 aircraft for operational duties at Vung Tau.
3 June : 4 RAR Bravo, Charlie and Delta Four Companies were inserted into the Courtney area in Operation Bhowani Junction. The following day Support Coy secured a Fire Support Base site on the edge of Courtney Plantation and began constructing Fire Support Base Trish.
4 June - No 2 Sqn RAAF Canberra Bombers (total 8) depart Phan Rang for Australia.
5 June - Operations " BRIAR PATCH II' and "BHOWANI JUNCTION' terminated .
CTZ: III Corp
7 June: RAAF helicopter A2-723 crashes and is destroyed by fire. Two crew are killed with 2
8 June - RANHFV pilots cease flying operations.
13 - "Pentagon Papers" are published in the New York Times.
18 June : 3 RAR commences Op 'HAWKER'
24-6-71 . Harding K.H. Pte NZ388811 4RAR V6 RNZIR DOW In contact. GSW to head
26 June - Peace Proposal of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam
30 June - Third and final anti-war rally. 110,000 demonstrate across Australian cities.
July - 1971
3-7-71 Wilkinson A.C. F . Cpl 61560 4RAR2 D/12 33 RAIN F DOD Fever.
14 July - The last of RAAF No2 Sqn (rear party) hand over to the USAF and depart Phan Rang.
16-7-71 Wilson R.B. Spr 1201940 1 F DSQN 21 RAE F /NBCAS Truck rolled on him.
21-7-71 Weston R.B. Cpl A17233 1OSU 29 RAA F KBA GSW while 'unloading' M60.
28July - 3 RAR and 4 RAR conduct Operation 'Iron Fox'. Operation Iron Fox commences on 28 July 1971 with a hammer and anvil operation along the Suoi Ca river in conjunction with 3RAR, 1st Armoured Regt and 3 Cav. C Coy 4 RAR locates a strongly defended bunker system near Suoi Ca. Heavy fighting takes place. The Battle of Suoi Ca
30-7-70 Pengily B. M. Pte. 5717657 4RAR RAA 22 .KIA GSW/MG to chest while assisting wounded with Cpl O'Sullivan.
August - 1971
5 August: Operation 'Northward' commences . 4 RAR
12 August - Australian Naval Staff Office (HQ AFV) is closed down.
18 August - Australian Government announces that the 1st Australian Task Force will be withdrawn by late December , with logistics units shortly after. New Zealand also announce their withdrawal. HMAS Brisbane is not to be replaced. Some training and advisory elements would remain.
September - 1971
9-71 Parker R.T. Sgt 218346 12 F DREGTA Bty 27 RAA * In Aust of illness after being Medevaced.
9 September - South Korea announce the withdrawal of their 48,000 troops by June 1972.
18 September -. Operation 'NORTHWARD' concludes
|CTZ: III Corp
Allied Units Involved: 4 RAR , D Coy 3 RAR, 1 Tp A Sqn 3 Cav Regt, 4 Tp C Sqn, 2 Tp 104 Fd Bty, 104 Fd Regt, elm 104 Sig Sqn,161 (Indep) Recce Sqn.
Objective of Operation: RIF Operation
Descriptive Narrative of Operation
Sources Used in Archive: AWM95-7-3-71
19-9-71 Rhodes M. L. Pte. 2786378 4RAR RAA 22 .KIA FFF Mistaken for VC. GSW to head from 11 Pl lead scout
21-9-71 Kingston-Powles K.M. Pte. 56226 4RAR RAINF 24 .KIA GSW to head during bunker contact E.of Courtenay. Body recovered next day
21-9-71 Sprigg R.J. Pte. 5718122 4RAR RAINF 21 .GSW to head during bunker contact E.of Courtenay.
21-9-71 Duff J. Pte. 3799449 4RAR RAINF 21 .KIA GSW/RPG during bunker contact E.of Courtenay. Body recovered next day
21-9-71 Niblett R.J. Pte. 3798081 4RAR RAINF 22 .KIA GSW to chest during bunker contact E.of Courtenay. Body recovered next day.
21-9-71 Beilken B.C. Pte. 5718195 4RAR RAINF 21 .KIA GSW to chest during bunker contact E.of Courtenay. Body recovered next day.
21 September - . D Coy 4 RAR engage a battalion of the the 33rd Regiment at Nui Le. An
intense fight sees 5 Australians killed and 30 wounded. The Battle of Niu Le.
28-9-71 McDuff P.E. LCpl 2782440 2RAR D 21 RAIN F KBA F F F Rocket fire from USA chopper during firepower demonstration.
28-9-71 Radomi S.E. Pte 43573 2RAR D 22 RAIN F KBA F F F Rocket fire from USA chopper during firepower demonstration
30 September - All 1 Armed Regt Centurion Tanks are withdrawn from Vietnam.
30-9-71 Smith R.S. WO2 14209 2RAR 36 RAIN F * At Brisbane . QLD
October - 1971
3 October : 4 RAR/NZ Operation Valiant commenced on 3 October 1971 and was aimed at a phased withdrawal of Australian forces along the Long Khanh border back to Nui Dat.
6-7 October . RAAF Caribous up lift 3 RAR from Nui Dat to Vung Tau and 3 RAR depart Vietnam on HMAS "Sydney".
7 October - 2 Sqn SAS advance party depart Vietnam.
10 October - RAAF Caribous uplift the SAS from Nui Dat and the main body 2 Sqn SAS departs for Australia. The last SAS Sqn to serve in Vietnam. During its second tour in Vietnam 2 Sqn SAS conducted 100 recce patrols and 67 fighting patrols.
27-10-71 Hall J. SSgt 243015 12 F DREGT2 31 RAA M/VIET Murdered by S.Vn national in Vung Tau
November - 1971
3-11-71 Black B. F . Capt F 35135 1 FD HOSP 25 RAANC At Fitzroy. VIC
7 November : - Operation South Ward. Four RAR/NZ had been tasked with securing part of Nui Dat with the balance of the Task Force base being occupied by South Vietnamese forces. The bulk of the Task Force had already been redeployed to Vung Tau or returned to Australia, but 4RAR/NZ was reinforced with a Troop of APC's including a section of Fire Support Vehicles, engineers, a platoon of 155mm guns from the 5/42nd Battery (US) and helicopters to hold Nui Dat until room could be made for them at Vung Tau by units leaving for Australia. On 7 November 1971 the final column of APC's from 1 Troop B Squadron 3 Cavalry Regt carrying Diggers from Delta Four passed through Nui Dat's gates bound for the Logistic Support Group's base in Vung Tau.
Brigadier Ian Geddes - Commander, Australian Residual Forces in 1972 - Nui Dat,
"It was eerie. I had been there back in 1966 when it was crowded with thousands of young soldiers with a purpose. Now there was no-one. Just the empty husks of corrugated iron buildings, often half stripped by local scavengers ratting for timber and iron. The weeds were coming back everywhere. It was a military ghost town".
12 November - President Nixon announces a further withdrawal of US troops of 45,000 by December and January 1972.
19 November - The last missions are flown by the RAAF No 9 Sqn helicopters. During the five and a half years in Vietnam the unit's helicopters had flown 237,000 sorties, carried over 414,000 passengers, 4,000 casevacs and 12,000 tonnes of freight. The Sqn suffered 7 aircraft destroyed or written off and 37 damaged, 23 by ground fire. 4 members of the unit were killed.
December - 1971
9 December - Australian Government announces that the Australian Army Assistance Group Vietnam (AAAGV) consisting mainly of AATTV will remain in Vietnam.
17 December - The HMAS Sydney anchors off Caloundra (QLD) to discharge RAAF 9 Sqn Helicopters and subsequently form a fly-past over Brisbane.
26-30 December. North Vietnamese troop build up. US planes attack military targets.
Between 1968 and until the end of 1971, US naval air units averaged 1,000 to 2,500 strike sorties in Laos and South Vietnam. In this three- year period, the Navy dropped over 700,000 tons of ordnance on the enemy, while losing 130 aircraft and many of their crews.
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