5 RAR Republic of South Vietnam 1969 - 1970

21 JULY ~ 26 JULY 1969

This short operation was part of a task force plan to locate elements of D445 and disrupt a reported planned offensive by that unit.

he battalion deployed into AO (Area of Operations) Panther and the Fire Base was named Elaine. The AO was thought to contain two traditional D445 camps. This was not verified. The only major contact was with a tax collecting squad from Xuyen Moc, but some important finds were made.
It was found that a large group of illegal settlers were living in the area of the province boundary. Three defensive hamlets were located by D Company, each of which could hold one hundred people. In both cases, the areas had been vacated some twenty four hours before the arrival of the company. these people were providing rice, vegetables and fish to the Viet Cong. The VC bases were very well established and in one case had hand carved double beds and musical instruments.

Many gardens were located which were being cultivated. The most blatant of these was a scattered cornfield, 10,000 metres long sown along the entire length of the inter province boundary, going right into the Nui May Tao valley.

After the two company sweep towards the armoured blocking forces were completed, it was evident that although the enemy had used the area previously, D445 was not currently in the AO. 9 RAR had found an enemy company west of Xuyen Moc.

Five days after deployment, 5 RAR returned to Nui Dat to prepare for its next major operation.

Captain Mike Battle
Intelligence Officer

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