Chronology/Operations - 1965
VC = Viet Cong(local force enemy). NVA= North Vietnam Army.
FSB = Fire Support Base. A defended perimeter within which artillery and/or mortars were placed to support tactical operations by infantry or armour that were normally more than 10 klms(maximum gun range) from the base camp.
FSPB = Fire Support Patrol Base. Same as above.
AO = Area of Operations. TAOR=Tactical Area of Operational Responsibility
KIA = Killed in action. WIA = Wounded in action. MIA = Missing in Action. DOW = Died of wounds
RAR = Royal Australian Regiment(Infantry). RAA = Royal Australian Artillery. RAE = Royal Australian Engineers. RNZA = Royal New Zealand Artillery). AATTV=Australian Army Training Team Vietnam.
Arty = Artillery. Bty = Battery. Coy = Company. Bde = Brigade. APC = Armoured Personnel Carriers.Tp = Troop. Cav = Cavalry(Armour)
Sir Paul Hasluck, Minister for External Affairs
"What is happening in South East Asia today is not a local, temporary or isolated situation. It is part of the rivalry of power and the ideological contest which is taking place throughout the world. It is part of the stream of events continuing into the future. In both of those contests the most significant factor in Asia is China".
US State Department; "In Vietnam, a Communist government has set out deliberately to conquer a sovereign people in a neighboring state..[by a] carefully planned program of concealed aggression ... as real as that of an invading army. The war in Vietnam is not a spontaneous and local rebellion against the established government".
Richard M. Nixon, former US Vice President;
"It will take two or three more years of intensive activity to win military victory over the Viet Cong".
January - 1965
2 January. A six day battle around the village of Binh Gia ends with a clear ARVN defeat. Two hundred of their best troops are killed and three hundred are wounded. Five Americans are killed and three are declared missing.
8 January - Two thousand South Korean troops arrive in South Vietnam.
The AATTV is increased to 100 Officers and Warrant Officers.
11 - 27 January. Buddhists demonstrate against the government of Tran Van Huong. The demonstrations continue and intensify until the Armed Forces Council ousts Huong.
27 January. South Vietnamese Generals instigate another coup and declare Huong incapable of maintaining order and call upon Khanh to form a new Government.
February - 1965
1 - 6 February - The VC call a "Tet Truce" to mark the Vietnamese New Year.
3 February - US National Security Adviser, McGeorge Bundy with a team of experts arrive in Saigon and quickly conclude that "the situation was as bad as had been feared".
Collection of Papers, Letters, and Transcripts from the Johnson Administration
Excerpts from McGeorge Bundy's Memo to President Johnson, February 7,1965
7 February - American Advisor's compound at Pleiku is attacked, killing 8 US soldiers and wounding 128 others, damaging or destroying 122 aircraft. This was branded as, " a provocation that altered the entire course of the war". In retaliation , 49 US carrier aircraft from the US Seventh Fleet conduct large scale air strikes against targets in North Vietnam. US Ambassador Taylor and McGeorge Bundy urge President Johnson for a policy of "sustained reprisal".That same day Coral Sea's Air Wing 15 and Hancock's Air Wing 21 conducted Flaming Dart I, a multiplane attack on Dong Hoi.
10 February - The Viet Cong(VC) destroy a hotel used by US servicemen in Qui Nhon. Twenty three die. President Johnson immediately approves "a second series of reprisals".On the 1Oth, carrier forces were ordered to respond to yet another Communist attack, this time the sabotage of the American quarters in Qui Nhon, which resulted in 54 casualties. The following day, as the U.S. and South Vietnamese Air Forces hit Vu Con, 95 aircraft from Ranger, Hancock, and Coral Sea, in Flaming Dart II, bombed and strafed enemy barracks at Chanh Hoa. But even as the Flaming Dart operations were underway, U.S. leaders decided that continued Communist resistance demanded resort to the last stage in the program of military persuasion, a sustained and increasingly intensive bombing effort in North Vietnam
16 February 1965.- Discovery of a 100-ton North Vietnamese trawler unloading munitions on a beach in South Vietnam's Vung Ro Bay.
17 February - US President Johnson, "We have no ambition there for ourselves.... We seek no wider war..... the US... would persist in the defence of freedom".
US asks for Military Staff talks with Australia as a matter of urgency.
19 February. President Johnson decides on "Operation Rolling Thunder.... a program of "measured and limited air action" against military targets in North Vietnam, south of the 19th Parallel".
20 February. Another coup ousts Khanh and sees a civilian, Phan Huy Quat, as nominal premier.
23 February - Australian Government cables Washington, agreeing to military staff talks.
24 February - The Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment,(1 RAR) is warned that his unit would be deployed to "somewhere in South East Asia".
The first official admission that US airmen are flying combat missions against the VC in South Viet Nam(SVN).
26 February -President Johnson authorized the deployment to Danang of two Marine battalion landing teams, a medium helicopter squadron, and headquarters elements of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
27 February - Aggression From the North - US State Dept White Paper on Vietnam
28 February, Skyraiders and Skyhawks from Coral Sea carried out the first such attack with a concentrated strike on Mu Gia Pass near the North Vietnamese-Laotian border. After an Air Force attack on critical Nape Pass, early in March, Hancock planes again struck Mu Gia. In both operations the logistic routes were cut at critical points and delayed- action bombs made the areas difficult for the enemy to traverse. Still, the North Vietnamese soon managed to repair the roads, construct bypasses, and maintain the logistic flow. By 23 March 1965, Seventh Fleet aircraft had carried out half of the 43 Barrel Roll missions with 134 strike, 28 flak suppression, 56 combat air patrol, 32 aerial photographic, and 25 escort sorties. Nonetheless, American military and civilian leaders concluded that the overriding political objective of the campaign, to deter North Vietnamese subversion of South Vietnam and Laos, had not been achieved.
29 February - Australian Minister for Defence, Senator Shane Paltridge whilst visiting Saigon announces more civil aid for Vietnam and the addition of seventeen advisers.
March - 1965
By March 1965, the government and armed forces of South Vietnam were on the verge of collapse under the weight of the enemy's political-military offensive. Since the year-long American punitive campaign failed to deter the North Vietnamese, the Johnson administration decided that a massive effort was required to strengthen the South's stand against its Communist foe. The regular and paramilitary units were especially in need of increased American assistance. But in a departure from previous assumptions, U.S. leaders concluded that a rebuilding program would succeed only behind a shield of American military power. At the same time, they intended to make the cost of continued military action increasingly prohibitive for the Communists. In practical terms, this meant the use of the American Armed Forces 1) to interdict the infiltration of enemy supplies and reinforcements into the South and 2) to destroy Viet Cong and North Vietnamese units in-country so that a renewed nation- building effort could proceed and, it was hoped, prosper.
2 March - Operation "Rolling Thunder", the sustained bombing of North Vietnam, south of the 19th parallel commences. 2 March, three weeks after Flaming Dart II, the U.S. and South Vietnamese Air Forces opened the Rolling Thunder campaign with strikes on Xom Bang and Quang Khe. Because of heavy weather, international concerns, and the unstable political situation in South Vietnam, the second operation was delayed for another 12 days. Then, on the 15th, the Navy joined the fray when 64 Skyhawks and Skyraiders and 30 supporting planes from Task Force 77 carriers Hancock and Ranger hit the Phu Qui ammunition depot .This has little effect as only two to four raids were allowed per week. The North Vietnamese respond by building up a comprehensive air defence system.Throughout the Rolling Thunder campaign, the Navy maintained units in the Gulf of Tonkin to retrieve downed fliers from the sea and from North Vietnam and Laos. Normally, two destroyers were deployed to the forward, North SAR Station (20N 107E) and another two to the South SAR Station (19N 106E). To carry out rescues in North Vietnam's lethal environment, one UH-2 Sea Sprite helicopter equipped with self-sealing fuel tanks, machine guns, and armor was nested on board a ship at each station. Another four similarly armed and armored Sikorsky SH-3A Sea Kings (the primary rescue helicopter) were based in one of the Yankee Station carriers. During major air operations, one or two SH-3As orbited over the destroyers. Each of the other aircraft carriers carried a detachment of three unreconfigured UH-2 helicopters devoted to sea rescues. Air Force Sikorsky HH-3E helicopters, Grumman HU-16 amphibian aircraft, and A-l Skyraider escorts also operated in the gulf. To provide the SAR helicopters with enemy ground fire suppression, communications, and other support during operations, the fleet kept four A-l, A-4, or A-7 attack aircraft airborne and ready for action. Under the overall control of Commander Task Force 77, the SAR Coordinator directed the Navy's effort from a North SAR Station destroyer. This officer guided the actions of the airborne on-scene commander and arranged for additional support when it was needed.
3 to 10 March - Representatives from MACV, the U.S. Navy, and the South Vietnamese Navy hammered out details of the establishment of a combined coastal patrol. The operation, named Market Time, was intended to complete the cordon being drawn around the South Vietnamese battleground. The decision for American forces to join in combat with the enemy in South Vietnam was also reached during this period. At first, ground troops were considered only as protection for the vital American air and naval installations at Danang against Viet Cong and regular North Vietnamese attack
At 0600 on 8 March 1965, Rear Admiral Donald W. Wulzen, commander of the Seventh Fleet's Amphibious Task Force, issued the traditional order to "land the landing force." Soon afterward, Vancouver (LPD 2), Mount McKinley (AGC 7), Henrico (APA 45), and Union (AKA 106) began disembarking Marines for the movement ashore. When the 3d Battalion, 9th Marines crossed the beach between 0902 and 0918, it became the first battalion-size American ground combat unit deployed ashore in the extended Southeast Asian conflict. Even before the full 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade had been deployed to Danang, American leaders were considering the use of these Marine and following Army units in active operations against the Viet Cong.
9 March - First US combat troops arrive at Da Nang, Vietnam.
15 March - A new direction in American strategy jelled during a meeting in Washington on 15 March 1965 of the U.S. foreign policy and military establishment. The President authorized the Pacific Command to carry out a systematic bombing campaign against North Vietnamese lines of communication, military installations, and logistic facilities south of the 20th parallel. Thereafter, the Rolling Thunder program focused less on influencing the enemy's will than on hurting his actual physical capability to support the military venture in the South. Much the same occurred with the Yankee Team and Barrel Roll operations in Laos. The Seventh Fleet's naval air forces were given somewhat greater latitude in target, ordnance, and aircraft selection, in operational control, and in other tactical considerations.
30 March - Military staff talks between US, Australia and New Zealand in Honolulu. US wants ground forces. Australian Delegate Air Marshall Scherger returns to Australia and recommends to the Government that an Australian Battalion should be offered as part of the US Forces.
A bomb explodes outside the US Embassy, killing two Americans and wounding the US Deputy Ambassador.
General Westmoreland asks the US President for one Division of troops to combat the communist threat in the central highlands and two battalions for air base protection. The President approves the increase of two battalions but not the division. US Ambassador Taylor convinces the President to adopt the 'enclave strategy'. This involved creating defensive enclaves around air bases and ports.
The Rolling Thunder bombing campaign and the 34A operation in North Vietnam, the Yankee Team and Barrel Roll programs in Laos, the 34A operations, and the fleet's presence in the South China Sea would continue for years. By mid-March of 1965, however, American leaders concluded that these actions would not compel the North Vietnamese and the subordinate Viet Cong and Pathet Lao to forego their drive for control of Southeast Asia. Indeed, the enemy attacks on the Desoto Patrol, stepped up Communist activity in South Vietnam and Laos, and infiltration of regular North Vietnamese Army (NVA) units southward revealed Hanoi's intention to turn up the heat. Having exhausted most of the options in the campaign of coercion initiated in early 1964 without achieving the desired result, the Johnson administration sought a new strategy in Southeast Asia.
April - 1965
The passive defense mission was shelved on 1 April 1965 when President Johnson authorized the Marines at Danang to move out and engage Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces in combat.
3 - 5 April. The first series of raids against bridges on the road to Hanoi begins. In the course of this raid, North Vietnamese MIGS (Russian-built fighter aircraft) attack US planes.
Reflecting the desire to concentrate greater resources against the Ho Chi Minh Trail, on 3 April the southern Laotian Panhandle was separated from the Barrel Roll operational area in northeastern Laos and designated Steel Tiger.
6 April - National Security Action memorandum signed by Bundy to the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and the Director Central Intelligence Agency
7 April - Australian Cabinet agrees to provide a Battalion if and when requested by the US. The decision is welcomed by the US as, "the sooner the better"..
15 April - Coupled with this decision was approval during March for U.S. carrier aircraft to strike enemy forces in South Vietnam. On 15 April planes from Midway, Coral Sea, and Yorktown (CVS 10) conducted the first such attack against Viet Cong positions northwest of Saigon. The ships sailed in a new carrier operating area southeast of Cam Ranh Bay, at 11N 110E, known as Dixie Station. An aircraft carrier was constantly stationed at Dixie Station between June 1965 and August 1966. Beginning in April 1965 the fleet created a radar picket station between the Communist mainland and Task Force 77 sailing in Tonkin Gulf. Normally, two destroyers stayed on alert at this forward station. In July of the following year, this deployment was formalized with establishment of PIRAZ (positive identification radar advisory zone), which entailed locating and tracking all planes over the eastern regions of North Vietnam and the gulf by a positioned surface ship equipped with advanced radar and communications. The unit also vectored naval aircraft to and from their targets and warned them of approaching MiGs.
20 April - Under tight security Operation Plan "Trimdon", codename for the dispatch of the Australian battalion is sent to top levels in the Army. It includes a cover story explaining 1 RAR as simply being "exercised".
A conference is held in Honolulu between US Ambassador Taylor and senior US government and military officials where they agree that an increase of US combat troops(9 battalions) to Vietnam is needed and that they should solicit help from other countries, notably Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
21 April. Dr Phan Huy Quat, leader of the RVN government, is reluctant to see the introduction of foreign combat troops. It is only after some persuasion by the US that Dr Quat agrees and the Quat government further agrees to state publicly that the battalion had been committed "at its request". The announcement of the committment by the Australia is delayed awaiting the "appropriately worded" request from the Siagon government. The Australian government did not want to announce the committment until it could say that is was acting "at the request of the RVN Government".
Dean Rusk, "American Foreign Policy and International Law:South Vietnam's Right of Self Defense, April 23, 1965
The American Ambassador in Saigon, Maxwell Taylor
The South Vietnamese government has "no enthusiasm" for foreign forces and was "highly sensitive to criticism that the country was "taken over; "anti-American sentiments lie just under the surface".
Australia's Ambassador Anderson Reinforces Taylor's Comments
"Foreign forces would only heighten Vietnamese xenophobia and encourage them to leave the fight to the Americans".
28 April - Australian Ambassador in Saigon David Anderson obtains the formal agreement from the Republic of South Vietnam(RVN) Government .
29 April, 8 pm - Prime Minister Menzies Announces,
"Australia was 'in receipt of a request' from the South Vietnamese Government to provide assistance".
A decision that had been decided "weeks and weeks" before. Menzies also announces the commitment of an Australian infantry battalion of 778 men, and states,"The takeover of South Vietnam would be a direct military threat to Australia and South-East Asia".
The Self-Interested Truth
President Johnson warmly welcomed Australia's Commitment
"This action proves again the deep ties between our countries in the cause of world peace".
Part of the Chief of Staff Directive to the Commander, Australian Force Vietnam
"As a result of a request of the Republic of Vietnam the Australian Government had "agreed" to provide it military assistance to defeat "Communist-inspired insurgency and aggression".
1965 Editorials - After the Announcement that Australia would commit troops to Vietnam
April 30 - The Australian Age - New Tasks in Vietnam
"The decision by the Australian government to send a battalion to South Vietnam is a grave one and commits Australia to a more direct role in this cockpit of war where the conflict for power between Communist China and the West in South East Asia has been joined... These are inescapable obligations which fall on us because of our geographical position, our treaty commitments and our friendships... There is clearly a United States call to share, even in a small way, more of the burdens..There was no alternative but to respond as we have".
April 30 - The Australian - The War That Can't be Won
"The Menzies Government has made a reckless decision on Vietnam which this nation may live to regret. It has decided to send Australian soldiers into a savage, revolutionary war in which the Americans are grievously involved - so that America may share a tiny part of her embarrassment. Their decision is wrong, at this time, whichever way we look at it. It is wrong because Australia's contingent can have only insignificant military value, because it will be purely a political pawn in a situation for which Australia has no responsibility whatsoever.
It is wrong because it deliberately and coldly runs counter to the mounting wave international anxiety about the of the Vietnam war and the justification and perils of America's military escalation...Neither of the Pacific Defence treaties to which Australia subscribes can honestly be invoked to justify the Menzies Government decision".
"ANZUS cannot apply, because the United States is not under attack. SEATO, more worthless than ever, certainly doesn't apply...
But Australia has lined up her generations against the hatred and contempt of resurgent Asian peoples - without adding one iota of confidence or strength to the tragically embroiled American nation. It could be that our historians will recall this day with tears".
30 April. The Canberra Times conducts a survey of late night shoppers and finds that out of 44 people, 26 had no idea of what was happening in Vietnam, including fifteen who had not heard of the decision to send troops to Vietnam.
May - 1965
May 1 - The West Australian - Australia Faces Up To Reality
"The Federal government has made a grave decision in committing 800 Australian troops to fight in South Vietnam. Yet, however much Australians might abhor the prospect of becoming physically embroiled in the conflict in Vietnam, the government could not shirk its responsibilities there. The decision gives expression to the fundamentals of our policy in South East Asia. For the United States, the task of halting Communism aggression involves mainly the principles of freedom and peace. For Australians, in Borneo and Vietnam, our own security also is at stake, both now and in the future. The United States wants to negotiated settlement in Vietnam. Its stepped-up campaign is designed only to convince the Communists that they cannot take what they want by force. If the Americans lose militarily or diplomatically, so do we".
May 1 - The Courier Mail - We Are At War
"This is a grim week-end for every Australian. we are now at war, a war which will touch every one of us far more than most people, even today, will realize. Australia is to fight on the Asian mainland to aid the United States in stopping the advance of Communism, which threatens us directly. We are going with a token, but nonetheless committed and lethal force to support the South Vietnamese Government against the aggression of North Vietnam, backed by communist China".
Our Government has made the decision in our name, and that is its duty. The nation now has to support that... For us, the cost will not be light. Brave men will die in jungles without even seeing the other side's soldiers; many others will be wounded. At home we will have to commit a great deal of our manpower and our economy to the fight. The easy days ended with the Prime Minister's announcement on Thursday.
2 May - Australian Military Planning Team arrive in Siagon.
3 May - US Army 173rd Airborne arrives in South Vietnam. The Australian battalion is to be integrated into this unit.
5 May - The Daily Mirror - Troops for Vietnam
The decision of the Menzies Government to dispatch troops to South Vietnam is opposed by many Australians.
- To send troops at this time is wrong because it flies deliberately in the face of increasing international pressure for negotiation.
- It is wrong because it is not justified under either of our two Pacific pacts. SEATO and ANZUS.
- It is wrong because our future is in South East Asia, and further commitment in Vietnam could irreparably poison our relations with our neighbors.
Early May. A Morgan Gallup Poll seeks reaction to the decision to send troops and finds 52% support, 37% oppose and 11% are undecided. 53% support and 29% oppose the bombing military targets in North Vietnam. 64% favoured and 20% opposed American forces staying in Vietnam. 64% to 16% believed Thailand and Malaysia would be taken over by other countries if the United States left Vietnam. 72% to 16% believed that Australia would eventually be in danger from China if the US pulled out of Vietnam.
11 May . The VC launched their wet season offensive by attacking the town of Song Be, north of Bien Hoa.
13 May - Save Our Sons(SOS) founded in Sydney and oppose conscription.
The US suspends air raids on North Vietnam, hoping for a peaceful overture from the North Vietnamese. At the same time, the US launches a diplomatic offensive.
19 May .When the North Vietnamese fail to respond to the US peace initiative and suspension of bombing, President Johnson orders that the raids be resumed. Raids are conducted against North Vietnamese oil storage tanks.
Australian airlines - QANTAS is called upon to provide aircraft to ferry troops to Vietnam. QANTAS bauks at providing aircraft even though they were aware that they had obligations in such a defence role.The airline cites "disruption to normal commercial operations" as the excuse. The Government is unsympathetic and QANTAS provides charter services to Vietnam, followed by a regular weekly service from March 1968 until operations ceased on 26 February 1972.
27 May, 1am - B Company of The First Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment(1 RAR) and support troops(347 officers and ORs) including stores and equipment depart Sydney, Australia on HMAS Sydney, escorted by the Destroyer HMAS Duchess. Plan "Trimdon" is put into effect, (the protection by RAN and RAAF of the Australian Force on its deployment to Vietnam). With the force is a troop of APCs from the Prince of Wales Light Horse(PWLH). The remainder of the force depart shortly after by charter aircraft and a RAAF Hercules
Manning Details - Australian Army Forces Vietnam(AAFV) - 1965.
1. Headquarters Australian Army Forces Vietnam(HQ AAFV) - Stationed at Siagon. 12 officers and 22 other ranks. Total 34.
2. 1 RAR(including re-inforcements) 37 officers and 766 other ranks. Total 803.
3. 1st Australian Logistics Company(1ALSC) - 9 officers and 124 other ranks. Total 133.
4. 709 Signal Troop - 2 officers and 48 other ranks. Total 50.
5. Australian Army Training Team Vietnam(AATTV) - already in situ. 15 Officers and 85 other ranks. Total 100
Initial Strength of AAFV - 1965 - 75 Officers and 1045 other ranks. Total strength = 1120
US strength now at 82,000.
June - 1965 - The Australian Involvement
The 'enclave strategy' is abandoned and the US President authorizes General Westmoreland to engage in 'counter insurgency combat operations'. ARVN losses are high and General Westmoreland asks for a further 34 US battalions and 10 battalions from other countries. He believes without substantial numbers of US combat troops South Vietnam will fall. Westmoreland is given approval by the US President to use American forces in any situation in which he deems necessary. Plans are drawn up to conduct a raid into War Zone D, a communist sanctuary near the Bien Hoa airbase. The 173rd Airborne Brigade of which 1 RAR will form part of, is chosen to lead the assault.
Nguyen Cao Ky becomes head of the Saigon Government.
1st - The Commanding Officer, 1 RAR and a party of troops depart Richmond Air Force base in Sydney, bound for Siagon. He is followed by a succession of flights, ferrying the remainder of troops.
8 June - 5.30 am - HMAS Sydney with B Company, The 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment(1 RAR) arrives at Vung Tau. The remainder of 1 RAR and supporting arms, establish at Bien Hoa with the US 173rd Airborne and operate as its 3rd Infantry Battalion.
7 June - US General Westmoreland reports that North Vietnamese troops are infiltrating South Vietnam(SVN) and ARVN forces are reluctant to assume the offensive and in some cases their steadfastness under fire is coming into doubt. He asks for another 41,000 combat troops now and another 52,000 later. He also states; "Studies must continue and plans developed to deploy even greater forces, if and when required".
10 June - The last flights ferrying troops arrives at Saigon. The battalion is paraded at Bein Hoa and officially welcomed by General Nguyen Van Thieu, Minister of Defence, Republic of Vietnam (RVN). 1 RAR then conduct daily clearing patrols, essential training and acclimatization.
A five day battle in Phuoc Long province, 60 klms north of Bien Hoa between ARVN and VC main force units causes heavy casualties to both sides including 13 US advisers killed and ten wounded.
17 June. The first B-52 raids are launched against Viet Cong targets in South Vietnam.
20 June - 1 RAR takes responsibility for a Tactical Area of Responsibility(TAOR), an area extending 4000 metres to the Dong Nai River as was approximately 3500 metres from east to west. 1 RAR is directed to:
1. (a) secure 1 RAR battalion defensive position - (b) secure assigned sectors and airfield defence - (c) secure and defend the intermediate extended zone, and (d) patrol the TAOR.
2. Conduct patrols and offensive operations to secure the Bien Hoa airbase and prevent enemy massing for a surprise attack on Bien Hoa.
3. Conduct search and destroy operations.
25 - 26 June . 1 RAR Operation 1/65
Formations/units: 1 RAR, with in direct support 3/319th Arty (US) less one battery, in support E/17th Cav (US). Description: The battalion shake-down operation on joining 173d Abn Bde (Sep) (173d Bde) at Bien Hoa air base, in the form of a battalion search-and-destroy operation in an AO between the convergence of Routes 1 and 15 on Bien Hoa. The AO, of 24 square kilometres, lay astride a likely VC line of approach to attack the air base. Undulating terrain covered mainly in jungle. The operation was designed to clear a base area for the incoming 2d Bde Ist Inf Div(US). Deployment by helicopter. Location: West central Bien Hoa province, eleven kilometres SE of Bien Hoa air base.
Results: Two platoon-size VC camps located, VC documents and books captured.
Remarks: The accidental detonation of a grenade on return from the operation killed three Australians and one US soldier, with a further soldier dying of wounds; eleven soldiers were injured including two US soldiers.
US strength now at 125,000.
27 June - The assault into War Zone D.
29-30 June 1965 - 1 RAR Operation 2/65
Formations/units: 1 RAR, with in direct support one battery 3/319th Arty (US). Description: A brigade search-and-destroy operation, 1 RAR being the security element for the 173d Bde FSPB in a brigade AO north of Tan Uyen, in the western area of War Zone D. The battalion AO covered 37 square kilometres. Undulating terrain covered mainly in jungle and brushwood. The operation was intended to prevent a build-up of the VC threat to Bien Hoa air base. Insertion by helicopter, extraction by APC. Location: Northern Bien Hoa province, nineteen kilometres north of Bien Hoa air base.
Results: Casualties: own: WIA 4. Remarks: The first combined US-RVN combat operation of the war and the then largest heliborne troop-lift including the ARVN Abn Bde. 173d Bde reported VC: KIA 25 and the destruction or capture of more than 200 tonnes of rice and food, as well as three trucks.
U.S. Department of State FRUS, Vol. II, 1964-68, Vietnam, January-June 1965 Office of the Historian
July - 1965
General Westmoreland attempts to bring the role of 1 RAR into line with the US operations by including 1 RAR as part of a general reserve required to carry out tasks anywhere in Vietnam. Fearing heavy casualties, Australia's response is, " 1 RAR can best be employed, and make its most effective and valuable contribution to the operations in South Vietnam by continuing on its present role and tasks in the Bien Hoa area".
1 RAR OP 3/65- Operational Dates: 6-9 July 1965.
Formations/units: 1 RAR, with in direct support one battery 3/319th Arty (US). Description: A brigade search-and-destroy operation, 1 RAR being a manoeuvre element of 173d Bde, in a brigade AO east and NE of Tan Uyen, part of the SW area of War Zone D. The battalion AO was generally rectangular, extending north from the Song Dong Nai some six kilometres, and approximately three to four kilometres wide. Hilly terrain mainly covered in jungle. Enemy forces anticipated by the brigade were from squad to regimental size. Deployment by helicopter.
Location: North-central Bien Hoa province, twelve kilometres NNE of Bien Hoa air base. Results:
Casualties: own: DOW 1, WIA 3; VC: KIA 2, wounded/escaped 7.
Six camps and one old ambush position for 200-300 personnel located, also one tonne of rice.
Remarks: 48th Inf Regt (RVN) blocked VC escape routes to the west of the brigade AO. 173d Bde reported own: KIA 10, WIA 46, with VC: KIA 5 1, possible KIA 350, PW 28, and more than 300 VC buildings destroyed, with 100 tons of rice destroyed or recovered, also one tonne of documents, 30 weapons and five radios captured.
11 July. US and Australian officials meet in Saigon where the US is advised that Australia wishes are that 1 RAR continue in its present role of security at Bien Hoa. Later, the 30-35 klm restriction put on 1 RAR operations was lifted and extended to include the whole of III CTZ.
15 July - Bien Hoa - XT 161 Bty, RNZA (Kennings Bty 13Jun65-13Jun66) firebase set here when it arrived in VN. "Single Gun Ready" 15Jul65. 18Aug65, it was 6 km N of Bien Hoa at XT 99-21, on 27 Aug65 it was 2.5 km N of Bien Hoa. Bien Hoa Prov, III Corps.
161 Bty, RNZA, comprised 140 men and was located at Bien Hoa as part of the United States 173rd Airborne Brigade. 161 Battery, RNZA, was based at Bien Hoa for one year, providing close fire support for the Brigade's three infantry battalions and for the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, which had joined the Brigade in June 1965.
L-5 Howitzer - The 105mm Pack Howitzer used by 161 Bty RNZA when it 1st deployed to SVN in 1965. It was replaced by the loner-ranged, more durable but heavier US M2A2 105mm Howitzer, 2Jul66. Until the arrival of Chinook helicopters in large numbers, the New Zealanders L-5 was the only howitzer deployable by UH-1.
1 RAR Op 4/65 - Operational Dates: 17 July 1965.
Formations/units: 1 RAR (less C and D Coys on base patrol and support tasks) with under command 1 APC Tp (PWLH). Description: A battalion search operation to destroy VC using portion of the 173d Bde TAOR for movement, conducted as a sweep from NW to SE into a stop position. The AO was approximately two square kilometres. Terrain-a generally gently sloping ridge line, rising from NW to SE, covered mainly in jungle. Deployment on foot, by APC. Location: Central Bien Hoa province, six kilometres NE of Bien Hoa air base.
20 July - Robert McNamara's Memo to President Johnson
24 July. Ground to air missiles fire at four US Phantoms over Vietnam, shooting down one and damaging three. This marks the first time that US planes are attacked by surface to air missiles (SAM).
26 July - President Johnson writes to Prime Minister seeking a further Australian contribution . Australia's Continuing Commitment .
28 July - Lyndon Johnson. In response to Westmoreland's request for more troops.
"I have today ordered to Vietnam the Airmobile Division and certain other forces which will raise our fighting strength from 75,000 to 125,000 men almost immediately. Additional forces will be sent as requested...... We do not want an expanding struggle with consequences that no one can foresee, nor will we bluster or bully or flaunt our power. But we will not surrender and we will not retreat".
29 July - The Australian Defence Committee recommends additional Australian forces.
1 RAR OP 5/65- Operational Dates: 29 July-3 August 1965.
Formations/units: Under operational control of HQ 2d Inf Bde (US): 1 RAR, with under command 1 APC Tp (PWLH), in direct support 161 Fd Bty (NZ). Description: A battalion patrolling operation in both 1 RAR and 2/503d Inf (US) TAOR of 173d Bde TAOR, to provide warning for and defence of Bien Hoa air base during the brigade operation in Phuoc Tuy province. The AO, comprising the combined battalions' TAOR, was roughly rectangular, of 30 square kilometres. Undulating to flat terrain with rice, rubber plantations, vegetable farms and jungle. Deployment on foot, by APC for particular tasks. Location: Central Bien Hoa province, six kilometres NE of Bien Hoa air base. Results: Two old VC camps located. Remarks: The first operation recorded as involving 161 Fd Bty(NZ) supporting 1 RAR.
US strength at 81,400. US KIA 509.
August - 1965
1 - 3 August. A senior Australian Army Officer goes to Vietnam for reconnaissance and discussions on a further Australian commitment..
1 RAR OP 6/65- Operational Dates: 7-11 August 1965.
Formations/units: 1 RAR, with under command D/16th Armor (US), 1 APC Tp (PWLH), in direct support Btry B 3/319th Arty(US). Description: A battalion search-and-destroy operation in the SW area of War Zone D in an AO generally square in shape of 30 square kilometres. Hilly terrain, mainly covered in jungle. The enemy force was All Main Force Regt, with a local force screen. Insertion by trucks and APC, extraction by helicopter. Location: North-central Bien Hoa province, thirteen kilometres north of Bien Hoa air base.
Results: Casualties: own: WIA 3; VC: KIA 3,wounded/escaped 5. Ten camps and two tonne of rice located.
1 RAR OP 7/65- Operational Dates: 12 August-8 September 1965.
Formations/units: 1 RAR, with under command D/16th Armor (US), 1 APC Tp (PWLH), in direct support 161 Fd Bty(NZ), in support Btry B 3/319th Arty (US). Description: A battalion patrolling operation in both 1 RAR and 2/503d Inf (US) TAOR of 173d Bde TAOR, to provide warning for and defence of Bien Hoa air base, during the brigade operation in the area of Pleiku in II CTZ.The AO, comprising the combined battalions' TAOR, was roughly rectangular, of 30 square kilometres. Undulating to flat terrain, with rice, rubber plantations, vegetable farms and jungle. Deployment on foot. Location: Central Bien Hoa province, six kilometres NE of Bien Hoa air base. Results: Nil.
17 August - The Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the Australian Cabinet approve the additional increment of 350 men. The Increment of the Australian forces will consist of a field artillery battery(105 Fd Bty), a troops of engineers, a reconnaissance flight (Sioux Helicopters), a signals troop and additions to the existing headquarters and logistics support company.
1 RAR Op 8/65 - Operational Date: 18 August 1965.
Formations/units: Task Force 'Lander' comprising, under command, C Coy 1 RAR, D/16th Armor (US), 1 APC Tp (PWLH), with in direct support 161 Fd Bty (NZ), in support Btry B 1/7th Arty (US). Description: An 'artillery raid', in which the guns of 161 Fd Bty (NZ) were established in a temporary gun position,forward in the TAOR on the southern side of the Song Dong Nai. From this advanced position they surprised the VC by firing on a target in depth-a suspected VC regimental sized assembly area NW of Tan Uyen. The AO was the immediate vicinity of the gun position, to provide for its close-in protection, and northwards one kilometre to the banks of the Song Dong Nai. Flat terrain with rice, grassland and cultivation. Deployment by APC. Location: North-central Bien Hoa province, eight kilometres north of Bien Hoa air base.
Results: No indications of casualties to VC forces.
Remarks: For the first time the L5 howitzers of 161 Fd Bty (NZ) were deployed inside the APCs for concealment to achieve surprise.
XT 161 Bty, RNZA (Kennings Bty 13Jun65-13Jun66) . 18Aug65, it was 6 km N of Bien Hoa at XT 99-21, Bien Hoa Prov, III Corps.
21 August. Operation Starlite, the first major action fought by only US forces, takes place. US marines numbering 5,500 destroy a Viet Cong base area near Van Tuong. The attack is preceded by a massive artillery and air assault. US forces successfully capture the Vietcong positions and rout the Communist forces. The US marines lose 45 and claim to kill 668 Viet Cong.
24 August. The Bien Hoa airbase is bombarded by 300 enemy shells which includes mountain guns , mortars and 75mm RCLs. Eleven US aircraft are damaged with 29 personnel wounded.
1 RAR Op 9/65 - Operational Date: 27 August 1965.
Formations/units: Task Force'Tattam' comprising, under command C Coy 1 RAR: 1 APC Tp (PWLH), element D/16th Armor (US) with in direct support 161 Fd Bty (NZ), in support Btry B 1/7th Arty (US). Description: An 'artillery raid' in which the guns of 161 Fd Bty (NZ) were established in a temporary gun position, forward in the TAOR on the southern bank of the Song Dong Nai. This advanced position allowed them to surprise the VC by firing on targets in depth-VC activity in an area of War Zone D immediately north of the TAOR. The AO was the immediate vicinity of the gun position, to provide for its close-in protection. Undulating terrain mainly rubber plantation and jungle. Deployment on foot and by APC (161 Fd Bty (NZ)). Location: North-central Bien Hoa province, five kilometres NE of Bien Hoa air base.
Results: No indication of casualties to VC forces.
XT 161 Bty, RNZA (Kennings Bty 13Jun65-13Jun66) . On 27 Aug65 it was 2.5 km N of Bien Hoa. Bien Hoa Prov, III Corps.
September - 1965
1 RAR Op 10/65 - Operational Date: 3 September 1965.
Formation/Units/nits: 1 RAR less C Coy, with under command 1APC Tp (PWLH), element D/16th Armor (US), in direct support 161 Fd Bty (NZ) and Btry A 1/7th Arty (US), in support 1/7th Arty (US) less Btry A. Description: An 'artillery raid' in which the guns of 161 Fd Bty (NZ) and Btry C 1/7th Arty (US) were established in a temporary gun position, forward of the TAOR on the eastern flank. This advanced position allowed them to engage elements of All Main Force Regt. The AO protecting the gun-position was 46 square kilometres. Undulating terrain, covered mainly in jungle, rice, and clear forest. Deployment by truck, APC and helicopter. Location: North-central Bien Hoa province, 14 kilometres east of Bien Hoa air base.
Results: No indications of casualties to VC forces; one VC suspect captured.Remarks: Btry C 1/7th Arty (US) was under command 161 Fd Bty (NZ) for the operation.
FSB Bien Cat - XT 78-32 161 Bty, RNZA (Kennings Bty 13Jun65-13Jun66) firebase set here 4-16Sep65 and 19-23Feb66. Was also 2 km NW of city 16- 18Sep65, 10 km N of city 18-23Sep65 and 6 km S of city 8- 14Oct65. Binh Duong Prov, III Corps.
14 September - The additional Australian force departs Australia on HMAS Sydney and arrives at Vung Tau on the 28 Sep65.
1 RAR Op 11/65 'Bien CAT 1' - Operational Dates: 14-27 September 1965.
Formations/units: 1 RAR,with under command 1 APC Tp (PWLH), in direct support 161 Fd Bty (NZ). Description: A brigade search-and-destroy operation, 1 RAR being a manoeuvre element of 173d Bde and the brigade AO being north and NW of Bien Cat. A pro-VC area, it lay between the VC routes east-west between War Zone C and War Zone D and the Iron Triangle SW of Bien Cat; Summary of operations, 1965-1966 441 was a potential concentration area for more than one VC main force division. The brigade AO was roughly oval-shaped on an east-west line, of approximately 275 square km; the battalion was assigned A0s successively in a line from SW to NE within the brigade AO. Generally undulating terrain, mainly jungle in the SW, mainly clear forest in the centre, and a mixture of vegetation in the NE. Deployment by APC and helicopter. Location: NW Binh Duong province, 40 kilometres NW of Bien Hoa air base.
Results: Casualties: own: KIA 1,WIA 5; VC: KIA 12, wounded/escaped 5, PW 4, 20 camps or defensive positions located-some destroyed, one homemade plant for making ammunition destroyed, three weapons captured. Remarks: 173d Bde results were: VC. KIA 46, PW 80, 9000 documents and half a tonne of medical supplies recovered, 23 camps destroyed or marked for later airstrikes.
FSB Ap Bau Bang - XT Appx 26 km NNE of Bien Cat. 161 Bty, RNZA (Kennings Bty 13Jun65-13Jun66) firebase set here 23-27Sep65. Binh Duong Prov, III Corps.
FSB Lai Khe - XT 77-38 161 Bty, RNZA (Kennings Bty 13Jun65-13Jun66) firebase set here 27-28Sep65. Binh Duong Prov, III Corps.
28 September - The Additional Australian force land at Vung Tau and proceed to Bien Hoa where the engineers and Recce Flight come under command 1 RAR. 105 Fd Bty comes under operational control of the US 3rd Artillery Battalion, 319 Artillery.
Morgan Gallop Poll in Australia indicates: 56% of Australians are in favor of involvement in Vietnam, 28% in favor of withdrawal, 10% were undecided.
1 RAR and supporting units have established a strong defensive position at Bien Hoa with effective logistics and administrative support and have achieved dominance of their TAOR.
October - 1965
A South Korean combat division lands in South Vietnam.
1 RAR Op 12/65 'IRON TRIANGLE'. Operational Dates: 8-14 October 1965.
Formations/units: 1 RAR,with under command 1 APC Tp (PWLH), D/16th Armor (US), in direct support 161 Fd Bty(NZ). Description: A brigade search-and-destroy operation, 1 RAR being a manoeuvre element of 173d Bde. The brigade AO was immediately south and west of Bien Cat, covering the 'Iron Triangle', a VC headquarters, transit camp and supply installations area. The first 1 RAR AO was some fourteen sq km of the NE section of the brigade AO immediately SW of Bien Cat; the second, of ten sq km, was to the east of the brigade AO between the Song Thi Tinh and Route 13. Flat to undulating terrain, traversed by the Song Thi Tinh, with jungle,rubber, grassland, and rice areas adjoining the river. Insertion by APC and truck, extraction by the same means and by helicopter. Location: West-central Binh Duong province, 29 km WNW of Bien Hoa air base. Results: Casualties: own: KIA 2 including one US attached,WIA 37; VC: KIA 8, wounded/escaped 1, PW 2. Four small defensive positions and three camps/VC villages were located, including one of 5000 sq m., comprising tunnels, weapon pits, trench lines and huts.
Remarks: 1 RAR search area was significant for booby traps (five detonations accounting for most of the WIA) and several adapted and VC-initiated mines.173d Bde reported VC KIA 106, possible KIA 4, PW 115; recovered or destroyed a small number of weapons and munitions, more than one tonne of rice, six camps, 212 huts, seven sampans.
1 RAR OP 13/65- Operational Dates: 23-26 October 1965.
Formations/units: 1 RAR, with under command 1 APC Tp (PWLH) and 3 Fd Tp, in direct support 105 Fd Bty and 161 Fd Bty (NZ), in support E/17th Cav (US). 161 (Indep) Recce Fit. Description: A battalion search-and-destroy operation to extend the 173d Bde area of influence beyond and to the NE of its TAOR based on the Bien Hoa air base. The AO was 38 sq km, most of which was within the VC base area War Zone D. Generally hilly terrain, covered mainly in jungle. Deployment by APC and truck. Location: NE Bien Hoa province, eighteen km NE of Bien Hoa air base.
Results: Casualties: own: KIA 1; VC: KIA 2, wounded/escaped 5. A number of civilians were detained for questioning and later released.
10 - 14 October. The US 1st Cavalry Division joins the South Vietnamese in an attack in the Central Highlands
22 October - Anti war demonstration in Pitt St, Sydney.
November - 1965
1 RAR Op 14/65 "HUMP". Operational Dates: 5-9 November 1965.Formations/units: 1 RAR, with under command 3 Fd Tp, in direct support 105 Fd Bty, 161 Fd Bty (NZ), in support 161 (Indep)Recce Fit. Description: A brigade search-and-destroy operation, 1 RAR being one of two manoeuvre elements of 173d Bde. The brigade AO was in the VC base area War Zone D,astride the Song Dong Nai to the NE of Bien Hoa; the AO of 1/503d Inf (US) was to the NW, and that of 1 RAR, 32 sq km to the SE of the river. Undulating to hilly terrain covered mainly in jungle. VC forces object of the operation were Q762 Main Force Regt and D800 Main Force Bn. Deployment by helicopter. Location: NE Bien Hoa province, twenty km NE of Bien Hoa air base.
Results: Casualties own: KIA 1, MIA believed dead 1, WIA 6; VC: KIA 6, wounded/escaped 1, PW 1 and 4 children from a VC hamlet. Five VC hamlets,one camp and one heavily-defended company position located. Remarks: 173d Bde reported losing KIA 40, WIA 51 from 1/503d Inf(US) and claimed 403 VC KIA inflicted by that battalion in one major action.
Richard Parker and Peter Gilson - 1 RAR - both presumed KIA during the Battle of the Hump in Bien Hoa Province on November 8, 1965. Attempts were made to recover their bodies but due to intense enemy resistance and further loss of life in the attempts, their bodies were never recovered from the battle field. 1 RAR requested a special operation to attempt a recovery but this was denied by the US Commander.
1 RAR OP 15/65 - Cancelled.
Guy Fawkes Night - A New Zealand celebration first held 5Nov65 (and each 5Nov), when 161 Bty, RNZA fired 240 rounds of illum, smoke and HE into the air above War Zone D. The puzzled US command ignorant of the significance of the event urgently queried to the nature of the contact, then told the higher US HQ that "the Kiwis are celebrating some Guy named Fox."
Letters to the Southern Communists from Hanoi
1 RAR Op 16/65 'NEW LIFE'. Operational Dates: 21 November-16 December 1965.
Formations/units: 1 RAR, with under command 1 APC Tp (PWLH), 3 Fd Tp, and in direct support 161 Fd Bty (NZ). Description: An operation, as a manoeuvre element of 173d Bde, to clear, develop and maintain a key section of road within the brigade AO, together with the conduct of associated search, control and destroy operations; four AOs, of successively 82, 42, 44 and 43 sq km, were assigned to 1 RAR. This was within the the overall strategy of denial of VC access to the rice harvest, and restoring to government control an area generally under VC domination since late 1964. The brigade AO was centred on the rice growing areas of the La Nga Valley, in the vicinity of Vo Dat and Vo Xu. Generally flat terrain, with mainly swamp and rice, and some jungle. Deployment by helicopter. Location: NW Binh Tuy province,80 km ENE of Bien Hoa air base.
Results: Casualties: own: DOW 1, WIA 1; VC: KIA 8,wounded/escaped 8, PW 86. 134 tonne of rice removed or destroyed where removal impracticable.
Remarks: 173d Bde was augmented by two infantry battalions, with supporting artillery, from lst Inf Div (US).
1 RAR - The Attack on Chin Duch/Duc Hanh
FSB Vo Dat - YT 60-33 80 km ENE of Bien Hoa and 35 km NE of Xuan Loc. 161 Bty, RNZA (Kennings Bty 13Jun65-13Jun66) firebase set here 21- 25Nov65, and 25-29Nov65, they were 6 km NW of Vo Dat at Chinh Duc. III Corps.
FSB Chinh Duc - XT? Appx 6 km NW of Vo Dat. 161 Bty, RNZA (Kennings Bty 13Jun65-13Jun66) firebase set here 25-29Nov65. III Corps
FSB Vo Xu - 81-38 161 Bty, RNZA (Kennings Bty 13Jun65-13Jun66) firebase set here 29Nov65-13Dec66. III Corps.
December - 1965
8 - 9 December. In one of the heaviest raids of the war, US aircraft raid 115 points in North Vietnam to interdict supply lines.
1 RAR Op 17/65 'SMASH': Operational Dates: 17-21 December 1965.
Formations/Units: 1 RAR, with under command 3 Fd Tp (minus), in direct support 161 Fd Bty (NZ). Description: A brigade search-and-destroy operation, 1 RAR being a manoeuvre element of 173d Bde. The brigade AO was centred 23 km SW of Xuan Loc and west of the Courtenay rubber plantation,between Route 2 and the more distant Route 15 to the west. The objective was a possible VC concentration area for attacks being planned for the holiday season against targets in the general area Xuan Loc-Ham Tan-Ba Ria. The 1 RAR AO was roughly rectangular, 59 sq km,in the SW of Long Khanh province. Hilly to undulating terrain, covered mainly in jungle.Deployment by helicopter, and directly from Operation 16/65 'NEW LIFE' via Xuan Loc. Location: In the vicinity of the junction of the boundaries of the provinces of Bien Hoa,Long Khanh and Phuoc Tuy, 43 km SE of Bien Hoa air base.
Results: Casualties: own:WIA 1; VC: KIA 2. One small village and two camps located. Remarks: 2d Inf Bde (US) AO was to the immediate west of the brigade AO, operations being co-ordinated.
24 December. The United States halts the bombing of North Vietnam. During the halt, the US engages in a massive peace offensive aimed at finding a diplomatic settlement to the war. The North Vietnamese do not recipricate and, after 37 days, President Johnson announces that the bombing will resume.
31 December. US strength now at 184,300. US KIA 1,594
U.S. Department of State FRUS, Vol. III, 1964-68, Vietnam, June-December 1965 Office of the Historian
Albatross: callsign of the RAAF Iroquois(Huey)
Arc Light Operations: code name for the devastating aerial raids of B-52 Stratofortresses against enemy positions in Southeast Asia, the first B-52 Arc Light raid took place on June 18, 1965, on a suspected Vietcong base north of Saigon. In November 1965, B-52s directly supported American ground forces for the first time, and were used regularly for that purpose thereafter.
Baggy Arse: private soldier.
Base Camp: semi-permanent field headquarters and center for a given unit usually within that unit's tactical areas responsibility. A unit may operate in or away from its base camp. Base camps usually contain all or part of a given unit's support elements.
Battalion: organizational institution in the Army. Commanded by a lieutenant colonel, an infantry battalion usually has around 800 soldiers.
Beehive: a direct-fire artillery round which incorporated steel darts (fleshettes), used as a primary base defense munition against ground attack.
Bird: any aircraft, usually helicopters.
Boom Boom: sex. Bookoo Boom Boom: much sex.
Borneo Design Battery - RNZA nomenclature for a form of artillery battery using only four guns instead of the normal six. Specifically, it meant four, L-5 (105mm) pack howitzers served by 89 gunners, 13 reinforcements and a 17 man logistical Det. 161 Bty RNZA was also allowed a 5th tube when it deployed to VN which was supposed to be a spare, however it was used as part of the Bty makeup almost from the start and without the permission of the NZ Govt, as the extra firepower was needed and prudent. The Borneo configuration was standard for the 161 Bty RNZA from 1965 until 2Jul66, when a six gun battery was finally authorized. Later, the US M2A2 105MM Howitzer replaced the lighter, shorter-ranged and less durable L-5s. Until the arrival of Chinook helicopters in large numbers, the New Zealanders L-5 was the only howitzer deployable by UH-1.
Brigade: basic military organizational institution. During the Vietnam War, a division was organized into three brigades, with each brigade commanded by a colonel. A division consists of approximately 20,000 people.
Brass Up: concentrated fire into an area.
Bushranger: Australian Iroquios Gunship
Bunds: RAA/RNZA name for sandbag defensive artillery positions employed because it was impossible to dig down in their AO without striking water.
Charlie: viet cong(VC)
Cheap Charlie: used by vietnamese to describe someone who would not spend money on them or buy anything from them.
Company: organizational institution commanded by a Major and consisting of four or more platoons; varied widely in size according to mission.
Contact. to be in a fire fight with enemy.
Chieu Hoi: (chew hoy)Vietnamese meaning ememy soldier who surrended under the SVN government program for surrended soldiers.
Choges: vietnamese people.
Di di mau: (diddy mow -ow as in cow) go away or any other explisite meaning same.
DMZ: demilitarized zone
Dustoff: nickname for a medical evacuation helicopter or mission.
Firefight or Contact: exchange of fire between opposing units.
Friendlies: Australian troops, allies, or anyone not on the other side.
Friendly Fire: euphemism used during the war in Vietnam to describe air, artillery, or small-arms fire from our own forces mistakenly directed at our positions.
Gat: a rifle
Goffer: can of soft drink.(5-10 cents)
Gollick: a machete
Grunt: popular nickname for an infantryman in Vietnam; supposedly derived from the sound one made from lifting up his pack.
Hanoi Hilton: nickname American prisoners of war used to describe the Hoa Loa Prison in Hanoi.
Hepatitis roll: bread roll baked locally
Hootchy: tent, house, living quarters or a native hut
Hot LZ: landing zone under hostile fire
Hook into: to attack agreesively
Hutchie:(hootchie) small tent used by Australian soldiers.
In Country: In Vietnam .
J: the jungle
Kiwis - Nickname for the troops of the New Zealand Artillery (161 Bty) and Infantry.
Klick, K: short for kilometre (.62 miles).
Light Up: to fire on the enemy.
LZ: landing zone .
Nasho: national serviceman
Nog or Noggy: a vietnamese person.
Number One: good
Number Ten: bad
Number Ten: very bad
Platoon: approximately 40 men belonging to a company. Commanded by a lieutenant, a platoon is an organizational unit composed of three or more sections.
POW: Prisoner of War
Pogo: a person not involved in combat. Usually stayed in protected areas.
Possum: radio callsign for Bell Sioux helicopter
Prop: stop, halt
Reg: a regular (full time) soldier
Reo: a soldier reinforcement for a unit
PTSD: post-traumatic stress disorder
Rock 'n' Roll: to put a M16A1 rifle on full automatic fire.
R & R: rest-and-recreation vacation taken during a one-year duty tour in Vietnam. Out-of-country R & R was at Bangkok, Hawaii, Tokyo, Australia, Hong Kong, Manila, Penang, Taipei, Kuala Lampur, or Singapore. In-country R & R locations were at Vung Tau.
RVN: Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam)
Search and Destroy: offensive operations designed to find and destroy enemy forces rather than establish permanent government control.
Tail-end charlie: last man in patrol
The dat: Nui Dat - base area for the Task Force
Splintex - The Australian/New Zealand Artillerys anti-personnel, 105mm cannon round that was apparently equivalent to the US Beehive round.
Skipper: leader or commander of a platoon
Slopes: a vietnamese person
Sunray: commander of that unit radio callsign.
Short Timer: individual with little time remaining in Vietnam
Sortie: one aircraft making one takeoff and landing to conduct the mission for which it was scheduled
Stand-Down: period of rest and refitting in which all operational activity, except for security, is stopped.
Stand To: period where troops were on full alert with weapons ready. Normally conducted at first light and last light daily.
Uc Dai Loi: (ook-daa-loy) Australian.
Vungers. Vung Tau.
Tin Trunk - The RNZA nomenclature for the firing artillery registrations of pre- set Defensive Targets (DF task registrations), or Delta Tangos, as they were known by US forces
Vietnam Shower: RNZA Gunners nickname for a bathing technique used during the mid May-Nov Monsoon season. Involved stripping inside a tent, stepping out to get wet, stepping inside again to lather and then stepping out again to rinse.
Wakey: the final night before an event like going home.
Wallaby: RAAF Caribou aircraft, known as "Wallaby Airlines"
Warburtons: nickname for the Nui Dinh and Nui Thi Vai hills. Lines from a song which went' "dont go near Warburton mountain if you are looking for a fight".
Weapon Pit: A pit dug in the ground with sandbag protection and sometimes an elevated roof of sheetmetal, reinforced with sandbags. Sized for one or two troops, fighting holes might be dispersed around a company or battery area for defensive use during a ground attack.
White Mice: South Vietnamese police; nickname came from their uniform white helmets and gloves
Xin Loi: (sin loy) sorry about that.