13 May - 22 May 1969
Captain Mike Battle
Twickenham, a significant ground and rocket threat to the US
Long Binh base (one of the largest military complexes in the
world) developed. 5 RAR was given twenty four hours notice
to move from where it was deployed in AO (Area of
Operations) Illawarra onto a new AO Kangaroo, slightly east
of the previous AO Arunda on Route 1.
captured in fighting around Xuan Loc stated that the
objective of 5 VC Division was 18 ARVN Division at Xuan Loc.
Success in this area could have lead to the expansion of
this objective westwards against Long Binh. 5 RAR was to
block any enemy movement from east to west.
On 13 May 5
RAR moved by air and road to AO Kangaroo. Fire Support Base
Nick was established and the companies moved out on foot to
search the AO. If the enemy thrust proved imminent in this
phase, plans for a battalion defensive battle would be
actioned. a forward echelon for resupply was established in
the Long Binh base and the Deputy Commander 1ATF moved to
Bien Hoa command centre as the senior Australian
The only real
contact made during the eight day operation was on the
evening of 13 May when 3 Platoon A Company met ten VC on
the corner of the Tram Bom rubber plantation. One VC was
captured who died of wounds during evacuation.
reasonably successful attack against a US battery in Xuan
Loc, the enemy offensive faltered. Since Long Binh and Bien
Hoa were again considered safe, 5 RAR left Nick and went
back to the war in AO Illawarra.
It was very
strongly rumoured at the time that the 5 VC Division
abandoned their offensive because they heard that the
'Tigers' were waiting!'