7 RAR -The Seventh
Battalion of the
This was a Task Force operation involving all three battalions centred on the District of Xuyen Moc.The operation was mounted to destroy D445 Main Force Battalion, and its base areas. Task Force units involved in the operation were:
HQ 1 ATF
ASqn 1 Armd Regt
BSqn 3 Cav Regt
161 lndep Recce Fit.
7 RAR's task in the operation was to reopen FSB "Discovery" on Route 328 four kilometres north of Route 23. The FSB provided artillery support for reconnaissance and ambush operations conducted by rifle companies in the VC base area known as the Tan Ru. One company was to hold the Horseshoe Hill north of Dot Do and train an ARVN company from the 18 ARVN Division.
For the operation the battalion was allotted the following support:
In direct support 106 Fd Bty and one light helicopter. In support 3 Tp A Sqn 1 Armd Regt, a Section of B Sqn 3 Cav Regt and 2 Tp 1 Fd Sqn. For a short period of time C Bty of 2/35 US Artillery,a 155 mm bty, was deployed in FSB "Discovery".
On 15th April, C Company was placed under operationcil control of HQ 1 ATF and moved by road to the Horseshoe. In addition to its training role, C Company was to conduct ambushes within Dot Do District. At 11.45 a.m. on 19th April, A and B Companies commenced to deploy from Nui Dot by foot. After reaching lie up positions they were to wait for darkness before completing their move. At 2.30 p.m. D Company moved by road to the Horseshoe from where it deployed during the night into the area north of Nui Nhon, about ten kilometres east of the Horseshoe. At first light on the morning of 20th April, all three rifle companies had reached their objectives and were ready to commence detailed searching within their respective Area of Operations.
Early on the morning of the 20th April the Support Company element of the FSB moved from Nui Dot by APC via Routes 2, 23, and 328 to "Discovery". Battalion Headquarters followed later in the morning. All deployment was completed by midday on 20th April.
At 1.45 p.m. on 20th April, 4 Platoon B Company made contact with six VC in an area four kilometres west of "Discovery". A particularly rapid and aggressive follow up by 4 Platoon resulted in 1 VC killed. This was the first contact of the operation.
On 22nd April at 1.15 p.m. B Company sighted another two enemy on the western bank of the Song Rai River about 1,500 metres south east of the original contact area. The follow up from this sighting resulted in a further contact being made with the enemy at 2.35 p.m. which developed into 7 RAR's first clash with D445 Battalion in a bunker system. The battle continued throughout the afternoon. Contact was broken at 4.20 p.m. to allow an airstrike on the enemy bunkers and permit evacuation of our wounded.
At 6.12 p.m. a troop of Centurion tanks linked up with 6 Platoon and started to move forward to the area of battle, however, darkness fell before the attack could be pressed home. During the night B Company patrols moved out to cut possible enemy withdrawal routes to the east. At first light the attack was pressed home and the bunkers taken.
Blood soaked bandages and blood trails in the area indicated that the enemy had taken a number of casualties. Documents captured showed that the position had been held by C3 Company of D445 Battalion and K6 Company of D440 Battalion.
Between the 22nd April and the 8th May all,companies except C continued a detailed search of the Tan Ru. This search disclosed a number of bunkers. From these, and documents captured in contacts, there was now proof fhcit all sub units of D445 Battalion were or had been, in the area.C Company remained under operational control of 1 ATF.
On the 25th April, a 12 man patrol from the company ambushed an enemy group of 50 to 60 guerilicis in the sand dunes outside the village of Long Phuoc Hai, south of Dot Do. The enemy was well armed and fought with machine guns, AK 47 assault rifles and RPG rockets to assist extraction of their dead and wounded before breaking contact. Skilled use by the patrol commander of artillery, air and the fire power of a troop of tanks prevented the enemy from assaulting the patrol's position. Documents taken from enemy dead identified them as being from the Long Dot District Concentrated and Phuoc Hai Guerilla units.
During "Concrete 1" 7 RAR had made contact with all major elements of the enemy who were to oppose the battalion for the remainder of the tour.
The statistical results of the operation were 19 VC killed in action, one Vc prisoner, three wounded VC and on Hoi Chanh. Our own losses being two killed, nine wounded, one who died from wounds later and three minor wounded who remained on duty. Enemy material captured included 9 AK47 rifles, 3 m16 rifles, 1 RPD light machine gun, 1 RPG 2 and 1 K54 pistol. Large quantities ammunition. clothing and personal equipment was also captured.
Operation "Concrete 1" concluded on the May with redeployment for Operation "Concrete 2".
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Last modified: May 12, 1998