Chronology/Operations - Period -
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 operating more than 10 klms(maximum gun range) from the Nui Dat Base.
FSPB = Fire Support Patrol Base. As above. Provided a secure base to operate patrols from.
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. RNZA = Royal New Zealand Artillery. RAE = Royal Australian Engineer. SAS=Special Air Service(Australian).
Art = Artillery. Bty = Battery. Coy = Company. Bde = Brigade. APC = Armoured Personnel Carriers.Tp = Troop. Cav = Cavalry.
January - 1967
8 January - 5 March. 1 ATF conduct Op "Woolongong". Main Force Unit: 6 RAR .
8 - 26 January. After the success of Operation Attleboro, US Operation Cedar Falls is launched. The goal of the operation is to rout out Viet Cong base camps in the Iron Triangle. Americans commanders hoped that the Vietcong forces will stand and fight. The operation is designed as a classic Hammer and Anvil operation, and includes a number of US and ARVN divisions. The operation is successful in uncovering large caches of arms and other equipment. The Viet Cong do not choose to fight, but 750 Vietcong are killed, as opposed to 72 American deaths and 11 ARVN casulties. In the course of the operation, 5,987 residents of Ben Suc are forcibly evacuated to refugee camps.
16 - 17 January. 1 ATF conduct OP "Camden". Main Force Unit: 6RAR.
17 January. A four man SAS patrol is inserted into the area north west of Binh Ba.
18 January. The SAS patrol contacts a large enemy group and an SAS patrol member is wounded. The patrol is extracted under fire. The SAS soldier is returned to Australia for treatment, but due to complications he dies. He is the first SAS and only Australian SAS to die from enemy action.
27 January. Believing that the town of Dat Do would be attacked during TET, three SAS partols are infiltrated into the area south east of Dat Do. During the insertion the US craft are fired on and the operation is cancelled.
28 January - 1 February. 1 ATF conduct Op "Seymour". Main Force Unit: 6 RAR.
February - 1967
1 - 8 February. 1 ATF conduct Op "Tamborine" . . Main Force Unit: 6 RAR.
FSB Lance YS 51-64 FSB 8 km SE of Nui Dat, 3 km SE of Long Tan and 4 km NNE of Dat Do. 161 Bty, RNZA (Honners Bty 13Jun66-13May67) firebase set here 1-8Feb67. Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps.
8 - 12 February. 1 ATF conduct Op "Beechmont". Main Force Unit: 6 RAR.
14 February. 5 RAR lose 3 officers killed by landmine.
15 February. Ho Chi Minh's Letter to US President Johnson
16 February. 1 ATF conduct Op "Dalby". Main Force Unit: 6 RAR.
17 - 18 February. 1 ATF conduct Op "Bribie".. Main Force Unit: 6 RAR.
18 February. The first RAN contingent, Clearance Diving Team 3 (CDT3) assume duties at Vung Tau.
21 February. Op "Renmark" - 5 RAR lose 7 killed and 22 wounded by landmines in the Long Hai Hills.
22 February. US Operation 'Junction City' the largest of the war so far, begins in Tay Ninh province.
23 - 27 February. 1 ATF conduct Op "Kirribilli".. Main Force Unit: 6 RAR.
27 February. An SAS patrol apprehends three VC. During an escape attempt two are killed.
28 February. The Mekong Delta Mobile Riverine Force is established in the Mekong delta.
March - 1967
1 March. Operation Junction City, the largest US operation of the war, is launched. Four US divisions, as well as additional brigades, are involved in a massive search and destroy mission along the Cambodian Border. American troops overun much of the area before encountering signinficant resistance. There are three major battles, each intiated by the Viet Cong: the first, at Ap Bau Bang; the second, at Fire Support Base Gold and the third at Ap Gu. In each battle, the Vietcong attack US forces and are repulsed, suffering very heavy losses. In all, the Viet Cong lose 2,728 troops in the battles, while the US loses 282 troops. Nevertheless, the Viet Cong headquarters, one of the targets of the operation, is not captured and, once the US troops withdraw, the area is reoccupied by the Communists.
2 March - 1 Sqn, SAS main body arrives at Nui Dat to replace 3 Sqn, SAS.
7 March -1 ATF conduct Op "Ayr". Main Force Unit: 6 RAR.
Australia provides a guided missile destroyer HMAS Hobart to the US 7th Fleet in the Gulf of Tonkin.
15 March - An RAAF Caribou aircraft is used in a experiment by dropping drums of fuel onto a suspected VC position with RAAF helicopters igniting the fuel with tracer rounds, in an attempt to burn away ground cover. The experiment proved a failure and was not conducted again.
15 March - 3 Sqn, SAS main body departs Nui Dat for Australia.
18 - Five SAS patrols from 1 Sqn are inserted into the area north west of Nui Dat and out to a distance of 11 klms.
20 - An SAS patrol contacts an enemy group of ten. Result 1 enemy KIA. The patrol withdraws and extracts from the area.
21 March - April 16. 1 ATF conduct OP Portsea .Main Force Unit: 6 RAR
Horseshoe - YS 49-63 Aka FSB Horseshoe. A small, 82-meter high, steep, rock-strewn extinct volcano located roughly 9 km SE of Nui Dat, 1 km N of Dat Do, 7 km due N of FSB Herring and 1 km W of Hwy 44. Its depressed crater could comfortably hold one rifle company. It was impossible to dig here, so sand for sand bags and emplacements had to be trucked in to the site. Many tons of gravel were also trucked- in to for use in constructing the floors of gun emplacements. Used as a permanent outpost by the 1ATF (5, 6 and 7 RAR) to control the rice-rich central district of Phuoc Tuy Prov. By late 1970, the position was enhanced with generators and nightly movies. 161 Bty, RNZA, Honners Bty firebase first set here 22-24Mar67; Martins Bty here 5-17Mar68. Hitchings Bty here: 5-17Mar68, 16-27Aug68, 5-8Dec68, left section 19-20Mar68. Andrew's Bty: alternate section: 1Nov69-5Dec69 and 10Jan-13Feb70, left section: 22Mar-4Apr70, 4- 7May70, right section: 4-17Apr70, 30Apr-7May70. Master's Bty, left section: 1Feb-10Mar71, right section: 10Mar-23April. Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps.
24 - 25. SAS patrols are inserted into the same area as 20 Mar. Result: sighting of two enemy.
31 March - HMAS Hobart comes under enemy fire north of Cap Falaise.
April - 1967
1 April. 7 RAR Advance party departs for Vietnam.
6 April. Three SAS ambush patrols are inserted into an area north of the Nui Thi Vai hills.
8 April - 7 RAR main body departs Sydney, Australia on HMAS Sydney.
My 21st birthday in country?
9 - Two SAS patrols are inserted into an area ten klms north west of Binh Gia and contact an enemy patrol. Result: 1 enemy KIA.
16 - 23 April. HMAS Hobart in Op "Sea Dragon".
16 April - RAAF No 2 Squadron of eight Canberra Bombers arrive at Phang Rang Air Base.
19 - 20 April. 7 RAR main body lands at Vung Tau and a Company of 5 RAR depart on HMAS Sydney.
20 April. US aircraft bomb Haiphong for the first time, with 86 planes taking part in the raid. Previously raids on Haiphong had been detered by the fear of hitting foreign ships.
21 April. A six man SAS patrol ambushes an enemy patrol of 4 men. Result: 2 VC KIA and 1 VC WIA. The patrol extracts.
22 April - HMAS Hobart comes under enemy fire near Song Ma river.
An SAS patrol ambushes an enemy patrol of 12 men killing 3 VC and wounding another.
23 April - No 2 Sqn RAAF(Canberra Bombers) fly their first combat mission over Vietnam.
25 April - ANZAC Day. 5 RAR., 6 RAR and 7 RAR parade together at Luscombe Field(Nui Dat).
26 - 30 April. Five SAS ambush patrols are inserted into an areas out to 15 klms from Nui Dat.
27 - 28 April. 7 RAR conduct 'shake down' Operation "Puckapunyal. A three phase operation. Phase 1: secure fire support base(FSB)' Aspro', 5 klm west of Nui Dat by A Coy. Phase 2: a helicopter airborne assault on LZ 'Bondi Beach' by C Coy. Phase 3: a battalion search and destroy operation with companies following independent routes. In support were 161 Fd Bty(RNZA), two US Army air mobile helicopter companies, two light fire teams and four RAAF Canberra Bombers loaded wth 500lb bombs.Terrain: padi, patches of spring bamboo and some light rain forest. Results : nil: Casualties: nil.
FSB Weir - YS 45-74 FSB located 4 km WNW of Nui Dat, 5 km NE of Nui Thi33 km NNE of Vung Tau. 161 Bty, RNZA (Honners Bty 13Jun66- 13May67) firebase set here 27Apr67. Likely named in honor of Sir Stephen Weir, the NZ Ambassador to Thailand and SVN, who had been a gunner himself and was very supportive of 161 Bty RNZA. One night (appx 22Oct68) when a US arty unit was passing through, there were 72 artillery pieces set up here. Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps.
No 2 Sqn RAAF fly the first mission in support of Australian troops by providing 7 RAR with air support during Operation "Puckapunyal".
29 April - A five-man SAS patrol ambush two VC patrols(almost at the same time) Result: 5 VC KIA and 1 VC WIA.
May - 1967
US Forces now at 436,000.
2 May . A five-man SAS patrol ambush an enemy group: Result: 3 VC KIA. Recovered one US M1 carbine, one French MAT49 SMG, a diary and quantity of documents. The patrol extracts.
2 - 8 May. 7 RAR conduct Operation "Lismore".
3 May. An SAS patrol take enemy fire on insertion by RAAF helicopter and immediately extract, also under fire.
11 May - HMAS Hobart under enemy fire off Kien Giang.
12 May - 5 RAR arrive back in Sydney.
17 May - HMAS Hobart under fire whilst bombarding Truc Li Ferry.
18 May. An SAS patrol contact a large enemy group. Result: 1 VC KIA. One SAS member is wounded and the patrol is extracted by RAAF and US helicopters, under fire.
19 May - HMAS Sydney departs Brisbane with 2 RAR.
24 May - HMAS Hobart under enemy fire near Hon Matt Island.
24 May - 1 June. 7 RAR conduct Op "Leeton", southeast of Nui Dat.
Grahams Folly - A minefield laid to the South of Horseshoe FSB from which the VC made a regular habit of stealing the ANZAC mines. The PF forces in the area failed to properly patrol access to the minefield and the author of Vietnam Gunners (see bibliography) speculates that more allied soldiers in Phuoc Tuy Prov may have died from these mines than died from VC bullets. Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps.
26 May. Australian Sioux Helicopter A1-409 shot down by enemy ground fire. Pilot survived.
27 May. An SAS ambush patrol kills one VC in the area of the Song Ria river.
30 May - 2 RAR main body land at Vung Tau and 6 RAR main body depart on HMAS Sydney.
Morgan Gallup Poll indicates 62% of Australians are in favor of the war, 24% in favor of withdrawal, 14% undecided.
June - 1967
2 June. An SAS patrol ambushes four VC. Result: 2 VC KIA. Documents, maps and weapons captured. One VC is identified as the company commander of C240 Mobile Force from Ben Hoa.
7 - 13 June. 7 RAR conduct combined Operation "Broken Hill" with US and SVN Forces.
9 June. An SAS patrol ambushes a VC party: Result:1 VC tax collector KIA.
14 June - 6 RAR main body arrives home at Brisbane completing their first tour.
20 June. An SAS patrol kills one VC, ten klms north east of Nui Dat.
21 June. A five man SAS patrol comes under fire from a large enemy force who pursue the patrol all night. The patrol is extracted under fire the next morning with the assistance of gunships and air strikes.
23 June - 1 July. 7 RAR conduct search and destroy Operation "Cooparoo".
25 June. An SAS patrol kill two VC and wound another, north east of Nui Dat.
27 June. An SAS five man patrol contacts a large enemy group 5 klms east of Thua Tich and is extracted under fire. This was suspected of being the VC Headquarters of 274 Regiment.
July - 1967
5 July. 5 RAR complete their first tour.
An SAS patrol ambushes an enemy party, killing 4 VC and capturing documents, weapons and a diary.
FSB Tom - YS 65-76 FSB 23 km due E of Nui Dat, 18 km NE of Dat Do and appx 12 km N of the coast. Was known simply as Xuyen Moc until renamed Tom sometime in 1967. 161 Bty, RNZA (Martins Bty 28Apr67- 6Apr68) firebase set here 8-15Jul67 . Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps.
Australia announces additional helicopter support including 8 RAN helicopter pilots and supporting staff who join the US Army 135th Assault Helicopter Company.
9 - 15 July. 7 RAR conduct Operation "Paddington".
15 - 19 July. 7 RAR mount three platton sized patrols of between 2 and 3 day duration and four half platoon night ambushes. This was typical of the demand placed on battalions to provide base defence between operations and in addition to this they also provided a company on ready reaction standby.
23 July. An SAS patrol kill two VC 6 klms east of Binh Ba.
29 July. A fire breaks out on aircraft carrier USS Forrestall off the coast of North Vietnam, killing 134 crewmen and injuring 62.
"VIETNAM: This Nation Is Caught On A Treadmill", Summarized from an Address Before Congress, By U.S. Representative Morris Udall Democrat, Second District of Arizona, Reveille, July, 1967, pp. 12.
The United States and Vietnam -What Lies Ahead?, by Morris K. Udall Reprinted from Congressman's Report, Morris K. Udall, 2d District of Arizona, October 23, 1967.
August - 1967
2 August . HMAS Hobart under enemy fire whilst bombarding Cong Phu Railway spur.
4 - 16 August. 7 RAR conduct Operation "Ballarat". The Battle of Suoi Chau.
6 August - 3 September. 7 RAR conduct Operation "Atherton" which incorporated OP "Mosman, Burnside amd Ulmarra". FSB Ap Suoi Nghe - YS 43-71 FSB, appx 2 km W of Rte-2, 5 Km N of Nui Dat and on the S edge of the Binh Ba Rubber Plantation. 161 Bty, RNZA (Martins Bty 28Apr67-6Apr68) firebase set here 6-9Aug67 . Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps.
9 August - HMAS Hobart under fire near Sam Son.
A five man SAS patrol infiltrates into the area 4 klms south east of Thua Tich and sight at least 63 heavily armed VC. After reporting the incident, the patrol moves off and then comes under heavy fire . With one patrol member badly wounded the patrol withdrawals then extracts by helicopter, under heavy fire.
10 August. An SAS patrol kill three VC and wound another, 6 klms north east Nui Dat.
12 August. An SAS five man patrol ambushes a group of ten enemy 8 klms north of Xuyen Moc, killing five. The patrol is extracted under fire with the RAAF helicopter sustaining hits.
18 - 26 August. Op "Atherton" conducted.
26 August - First RAN casualty, Able Seaman D.C Tromp is wounded in action Phuoc Tuy province.
30 - RAAF Caribou A4-171 crashes into the water at the end of the runway at An Thoi on Phu Quoc Island, one crew member is injured.
31 August - 21 September. 7 RAR conduct Operation "Ainslie".
31 August. An SAS snatch patrol kills three VC.
Slope 30 - Area in Phuoc Tuy Prov near Duc Tanh from which 7 RAR cleared and relocated all civilians during Operation Ainslie. The displaced were moved to "Hamlet 3," aka Ap Suoi Nghe, appx 14Sep67. Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps.
Gunflint - US General Westmorelands secret code name for an inspection visit to Nui Dat in Aug67.
September - 1967
3 September - General Nguyen Van Thieu is elected President of South Vietnam with Nguyen Cao Ky as Vice President.
4 - 7 September. In a 4-day battle in Que Son Valley, 114 men of the US 5th Marine Regiment are killed.
FSB Allanbroke - YS 45-78 FSB, 1 km W of Rte-2, 11 km N of Nui Dat, 5 km WNW of Ngai Giao. 161 Bty, RNZA (Martins Bty 13 May 67-14 Apr 68) firebase set here 5-19 Sep 67. Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps
14 September. HMAS Hobart completing it's first tour is relieved by HMAS Perth at Subic Bay.
29 September. Thai combat troops arrive in South Vietnam.
30 September - 11 October. 7 RAR conduct Operation "Kenmore".
October - 1967
4 October. The seige at Con Thien by North Vietnamese Troops is broken.
16 October. 8 RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam((RANHFV) pilots and 39 supporting staff join the US Army 135th Assault Helicopter Company at Vung Tau., within a month they redeploy to Xuan Loc in Long Khan Province.
17 October. Harold Holt announces that a third Infantry battalion is to be deployed to Vietnam, with a further 8 helicopters for No 9 Squadron. A squadron of Centurion tanks .with 250 personnel will also be deployed. Australia's commitment is now 8,000.
18 October. HMAS Perth under fire near Sam Son and is hit with one shell that injures 4 crewmen.
27 October - 16 November. 7 RAR conduct Operation "Santa Fe".
29 October - 3 November. US special forces at Loc Ninh are attacked by the Viet Cong's 273rd Regiment. The special forces are quickly reinforced, and more than 900 Viet Cong are killed during the attack.
General William C. Westmoreland, Commander US Forces, Vietnam
"The war is not a stalemate. We are winning it slowly but steadily".
November - 1967
2 November. 135th Assault Helicopter Coy (with RANHAV Pilots)commence combat operations.
3 - 25 November. Fifteen SAS fighting patrols are inserted into the area along a line from north of Binh Gia to east of Xuyen Moc.
3 - 22 November. One of the bloodiest battles of the war takes place in the Central Highlands near Dak To. About 4,500 troops of the US 4th Division and 173rd Airborne Brigade face off 6,000 North Vietnamese troops of the 174th regiment. The North Vietnamese are forced to withdraw, with 1,455 dead troops. US casualities number 285 killed and 985 wounded.
6 November. An SAS patrol ambushes a VC patrol killing three VC, 6 klms east of Bing Gia.
8 - 9 November. A ten man SAS fighting patrol kill one VC and locate an enemy camp, two klms south of Thua Tich. Further SAS patrols kill 4 VC in the vicinity.
17 November. An SAS patrol ambushes a VC patrol killing three, close to Nui Dinh.
20 November. - Bell Helicopter A1-401 shot down enemy ground fire.Crew survives and the aircraft is destroyed by airstrike.
23 November - 5 January 1968. 7 RAR conduct Operations "Oodnadatta, Shepparton, Dimboola, Melbourne, Lorne and Lawley as part of overall Operation "Forrest".
December - 1967
3 December. HMAS Perth under fire in Bay of Brandon.
12 December. A ten-man SAS patrol(including two US SEAL personnel) ambush a VC patrol, killing seven.
16 December. 3 RAR main body departs Port Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAS Sydney.
16 - FSB Charlie - YS 29-62 FSB. A "crab-covered seaside position" on Rte 15, 20 km due N of Vung Tau, 9 km W of Ba Ria, and 15 km SW of Nui Dat. 161 Bty, RNZA (Martins Bty 13May67-14Apr68) firebase set here 16Dec67 and other days in Dec67. Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps.
17 December. Prime Minister Harold Holt wades into the surf off Portsea and disappears. His body is never recovered. HMAS Perth under fire off Dong Hoi.
27 December. 3 RAR arrive at Vung Tau on HMAS Sydney for their first tour and deploy to Nui Dat.
31 December. US military strength now at 485,600. US KIA 15,979.
135th AHC operate from Xuan Loc.
General William C. Westmoreland, Commander US Forces, Vietnam
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