VIII

Vietnam Diary of the
Eighth Battalion,
The Royal Australian Regiment

Based on:
The Grey Eight in Vietnam:
The History of the Eighth Battalion
The Royal Australian Regiment
November 1969 to November 1970






NOVEMBER 1969

17. The main body of the Battalion (Bn) departed from Hamilton Wharf, Brisbane, on HMAS SYDNEY
18. The advance party of the Bn departed from Eagle Farm Airport, Brisbane, and arrive in Saigon at 0945 hrs on 19 November .
20. The advance party began in-theatre training with Exercise "Lifesaver".
25. 8 RAR officially took over the Command Post (CP), Intelligence Section and Tactical Area of Responsibility (TAOR) Patrol duties from 9  RAR.
28. The main body of the Battalion landed at Vung Tau, and moved by road to Nui Dat, arriving at 1100 hrs.
31. Main body began Exercise "Lifesaver".

DECEMBER 1969

1-8. All companies conducted training in mine warfare, booby trap familiarisation, infantry/armour cooperation, andfire support procedures.
10. Bn deployed in Area of Operations (AO) Ashgrove to begin Operatation (Op) Atherton. The Battalion Headquarters (BHQ) deployed to Fire Support Patrol Base (FSPB) Peggy located west of Route 2, adjacent to the Ap Cu Bi rubber.
12. Bn's first operational contact. 1 Platoon A Company (1 Pl A Coy) engaged two enemy, one of whom was wounded. Second enemy fired an RPG wounding six 1 Pl members.
25. Christmas truce.

JANUARY 1970

1. New Year's truce
10. Bn returned to Nui Dat.
11. Christmas Day celebrations in all companies.
12-23. All coys phased through the following routine:
Rest in Country (R in C) at the Peter Badcoe Club in Vung Tau; Local TAOR patrols, standby for Ready Reaction.
23. Op Keperra began with the deployment to Xuyen Moc village.
24. Cordon and search of Xuyen Moc village.
26. Deployment of B and D Coys to blocking positions in the Nui Dinh Hills.
27. Fly-in of Assault Pioneers (Asslt Pnr), a section of Mortars (Mor), A Coy and C Coy to the Nui Dinhs.
28. Visit by the Minister of State for the Army, the Hon Andrew Peacock, MP, to 8 RAR elements in Nui Dat.

FEBRUARY 1970

3. C and D Coys returned to Nui Dat for Ready Reaction tasks.
6. Lunar New Year (Tet) truce.
7. C Coy deployed east of Hoa Long on local ambush tasks.
10. C Coy deployed on Op Hammersley to the Long Hai hills to protect an engineer quarrying group.
14. A and B Coys and Asslt Pnrs returned to Nui Dat to prepare for Op Epsom.
15. D Coy deployed on Ready Reaction to assist C Coy on Op Hammersley.
16. Sp Coy personnel deployed to FSPB Pat. Deployment of A, B and D Coys on Op Epsom delayed. B Coy deployed to Op Hammersley. Tactical HQ deployed on Op Hammersley to FSB Isa.
18. Battle of the Long Hai's.
21. B52 strike on the Long Hai bunkers.

MARCH 1970

2. A and B Coys returned to Nui Dat.
3. BHQ deployed to FSPB Discovery in AO Ascot. D Coy returned to Nui Dat. C Coy relieved BHQ in FSPB Isa. A and B Coys deployed to AO Ascot.
4. D Coy deployed to AO Ascot.
7. Bn continued to cordon areas believed to be location of HQ D445.
11. FSPB Pat closed.
12. C Coy redeployed from FSPB Isa to AO Ascot. Asslt Pnrs and small HQ relieved C Coy at Isa.
20. A Coy returned to Nui Dat for R in C.
21. C Coy returned to Nui Dat.
24. B and D Coys and BHQ returned to Nui Dat. C Coy deployed to an area NE of Xuyen Moc on a Ready Reaction task.
24. - 8 April, all coys phased through R in C at the Peter Badcoe Club, local TAOR patrolling and Ready Reaction duties.
27. D Coy reacted to an area NE of Xuyen Moc.
29. D Coy returned to Nui Dat.

APRIL 1970

1. A Coy as Reaction Coy reacted to an intelligence report of an enemy concentration east of Dat Do. Returned to Nui Dat the same day.
2. A Coy reacted again to an area E of Dat Do, and returned the same day, leaving behind one Pl to continue the search.
3. A Coy reacted again to an area just N of Ap Nui Nhon.
4. A Coy returned to Nui Dat.
6. B Coy reacted to an area NE of Binh Ba and returned the same day.
7. B Coy deployed to area W of Duc My on Op Phoi Hop.
8. A Coy deployed to an area W of Ap Suoi Nghe. C and D Coys deployed to ambush positions in Hoa Long village on Op Phoi Hop.
11. C and D Coys redeployed to ambush positions S and W of Hoa Long village.
18- 19. Cordon and search of Ap Bac Hamlet
20. All coys and BHQ deploy on 1 Australian Task Force (ATF) Op Concrete to an area S and SW of Xuyen Moc. BHQ deployed to FSB Bond.
25. C and D Coys moved to Dat Do to lay ambushes.
26. A and B Coys moved to Hoa Long to lay ambushes.
27. FSB Bond vacated.
28. B, C and D Coys deployed on Op Nudgee. A Coy continued ambusing approaches to Hoa Long and Dat Do.

MAY 1970

7. BHQ deployed to FSPB Le Loi. B, C and D Coys deployed to AO Quartermile in continuation of Op Nudgee.
9. B Coy returned to Nui Dat for R in C.
12. D Coy returned to Nui Dat. One Pl of D Coy occupied FSPB Isa.
13. D Coy conducted a cordon and search of Ap Bac hamlet. B Coy ambushed around Long Dien.
15. C Coy returned to Nui Dat for R in C. D Coy redeployed in AO Quartermile NW of Ap Suoi Nghe.
16. C Coy to R in C.
18. C Coy redeployed to ambush positions in the S sector of Hoa Long.
20. D Coy returned to Nui Dat for R in C. B Coy deployed to the areaa of Binh Ba. CHQ to FSB Le Loi.
21. C Coy deployed to ambush positions S of Long Dien. D Coy to the Badcoe Cluch for R in C.
23. D Coy ambushed S and SE of Hoa Long.
25. A Coy returned to Nui Dat for R in C. B Coy moved N of Le Loi. CHQ to Nui Nhan.
26. D Coy ambushed S of Hoa Long and replaced C Coy S of Long Dien. C Coy deployed to blocks SW of Le Loi in conjunction with 2 RAR's initial operation.
28. A Coy returned form R in C and then deployed by air to the NW of Le Loi to attempt to locate an enemy hospital.
30. A and C Coys deployed to the N of AO Kipper.

JUNE 1970

1. B Coy returned to Nui dat.
2. B Coy to R in C at the Badcoe Club.
4. B Coy returned to Nui Dat.
5. A Coy deployed from the N of AO Kipper to NW of Binh Ba.
6. C Coy deployed for the N of AO Kipper to Le Loi, and conducted local patrols.
7. B Coy deployed on local ambush tasks by night around Hoa Long.
10. A coy returned to Nui Dat.
11. Op Nudgee ended.
12. Op Cung Chung began. A Coy deployed to the W and SW of Binh Ba.
15. C Coy returned to Nui Dat for R in C.
17. C Coy returned to Nui Dat for two days retraining.
20. C Coy took over D Coy's responsibilities in Long Dien District. D Coy to R in C. B Coy conducted snap search for bunkers in Ap Bac Hamlet of Hoa Long.
22. D Coy returned from R in C for two days training in Nui Dat.
25. D Coy deployed to the tri-village complex adjacent to Le Loi. A Coy returned to Nui Dat for R in C.
27. A Coy returned from R in C for two days training.
29. A Coy deployed by APC from Nui Dat to blocking positions in the N of AO Mullet. B and C Coys deployed from Nui Dat by air to blocking positions in AO Mullet. D Coy deployed by air from Le Loi to blocking positions in AO Mullet.

JULY 1970

7. A Coy deployed to a blocking position N of the Song Ca.
8. C Coy redeployed to a blocking position N of the Suoi Soc.
11. B Company returned to Nui Dat for local ambusing tasks at Hoa Long.
13. A, C and D Coys returned to Nui dat for rest and retraining. Le Loi and Kylie handed over to 2 RAR.
23. D Coy deployed to FSB Brigid. Sp Coy (-), deployed to FSB Isa. A, B and C Coys began operations around Long Dien and Hoa Long, interrupted by cordon and search of Dat Do on 23, 24 July.
25. C Coy moved to the Badcoe Club for R in C.
27. C Coy returned from R in C and began operations round Hoa Long.

AUGUST 1970

2. B Coy deployed to Le Loi and began operations in the tri-village area. D Coy vacated Brigid and began operations in the Long Dien area. A Coy deployed to the area W of Ap Suoi Nghe.
6. D Coy to R in C.
7. All coys returned to Nui Dat.
8. Battalion parade and Birthday celebrations. D Coy returned from R in C.
9. All coys redeployed to areas occupied on the 7th, except A Coy who were moved to the An Nhut sector of Long Dien district.
24. B Coy returned from Le Loi which was handed over to C Coy elements.
25. B Coy to R in C. Isa handed over to 7 RAR.
26. The Bn, less B Coy, concentrated around Hoa Long.
27. B Coy returned form R in C and deployed to the neck of the Chau Pha valley.

SEPTEMBER 1970

1. B Coy returned to Nui Dat for ambush tasks round Hoa Long. C Coy to R in C.
12. D Coy to R in C.
13. Kylie closed. Asslt Pnrs returned to Nui Dat.
14. D Coy returned from R in C to ambush tasks around Hoa Long.
16. D Coy deployed to the Chau Pha valley. C Coy deployed to the area of the Three Sisters.
21. C Coy returned to Nui Dat. A Coy to R in C. C Coy deployed to the E of Dat Do for ambush tasks.
24. A Coy returned from R in C and deployed to the E of Dat Do for ambush tasks.
25. C Coy redeployed from Dat Do to Hoa Long.

OCTOBER 1970

4. Bn came out of operations and began a one company operational cycle.
23. Bn Memorial Service.
28. Presentation of Vietnamese Meritorious Unit Citation - Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and individual awards.
31. Main body departed aboard HMAS SYDNEY.

NOVEMBER 1970

5. Advance party departed Tan Son Nhut by air.
10. Rear party departed Tan Son Nhut by air.
12. Main Body arrived at Hamilton Wharf, Brisbane. The Bn marched through Brisbane, and dispersed from Enoggera on leave.