Story 71

104 Sig Sqn on Patrol in South Vietnam 

By Ken Mackenzie and Denis Hare

Introduction

Before and during the Vietnam War the Royal Australian Corps of Signals (RASigs) was one of the “Arms Corps” of the Australian Army.  The Task Force Signal Squadrons (103 Sig Sqn then 104 Sig Sqn) was part of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) supporting combat operations in Phuoc Tuy Province and beyond.   The Australian combat base for 1ATF was located centrally in the Province at Nui Dat.

104 Signal Squadron

104 Sig Sqn had sector 4 defence responsibility at the Nui Dat base, which directly protected the 1ATF Headquarters.   By Aug 1967, seven four-man Machine Gun (MG) bunkers had been built for the defence of the sector (1).  Two were equipped with General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) M60 and the remainder with L2A1 automatic rifles (2).  The unit was also issued a starlight scope (AN/PVS-2) for its sector defence (3).   The scope at the time was a secret piece of equipment.    Clearing patrols were mounted at dusk and dawn daily across the sector defence front (Kangaroo Pad).  Entrances in and out of the sector wire were protected with trip flares and covered by the machine guns.

104 Sig Sqn
Map: 104 Sig Sqn Defence Sector 4 showing MG Bunkers. The area also included
547 Sig Tp compound which was part of the 104 Sig Sqn defence area.

When deployed with HQ 1ATF (Forward) 104 Sig Sqn’s defence task was to help protect the deployed HQ and as part of the Fire Support Patrol Base (FSPB) defence plan was assigned a sector.    This sector normally was in the direct defence of the deployed HQ.   Members of the unit would also be involved with patrolling as part of the protection of the FSPB.  For example during Jan 1969 members of the unit were deployed to FSPB Julia and 104 Sig Sqn provided two soldiers for patrols in the Julia area on an as required basis. 

After the Battle of Coral Balmoral in May/June 1968, the Deputy Commander of 1ATF, Colonel Donald Dunstan wrote:

For a period of approximately three weeks the task force was exposed to some of the heaviest fighting seen by Australians in Vietnam.  Coral was partially overrun by the enemy. The Signals Squadron held an important part of the inner perimeter directly protecting the Task Force command post. Throughout these engagements' and a number of subsequent attacks by fire, the members of the Squadron not only held their ground but continued to maintain communications with Australian and supporting United States units and headquarters”. 

Because of the lessons learned from the Battle, 104 Sig Sqn on future HQ 1ATF deployments always deployed its own Defence and Employment (D&E) Section to assist the unit in the deployment of its communication equipment, protection and defence of its sector under the direction of the unit Squadron Sergeant Major (SSM) while the FSPB was being established.  Once the communications and signal sector defence, including individual protection was completed, the unit D&E section would normally return to their normal tasks at Nui Dat. 
See http://www.au104.org/Veteran_Stories/vetstory74.html

As part of the unit’s communication tasks, the Radio Troop operators were detached to the Battalions, other 1ATF units and setup VHF radio retrains stations as required in support of operations.  In addition they provided radio links for our Liaison Officers (LO) attached to US Army (Bearcat, Blackhorse, etc) and ARVN units (Xuyen Moc, Duc Thanh, Long Le, Long Dien, Dat Do, etc) as required.    Those members on detachments would assist with the defence of their host units including patrolling.   

A good overview of 104 Sig Sqn radio operators on detachment to a Battalion (6RAR/NZ) has been recorded by L/Cpl Garry Swalling on the 104 Sig Sqn website in story 48. Garry was a national serviceman.  See http://www.au104.org/Veteran_Stories/vetstory48.htm      

Sig Reginald Armstrong, in July 1967, was 104 Sig Sqn's first Wounded in Action (WIA). He was working as a radio operator for the Australian LO working with the 1st Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (US Army) and the details are on the 104 Sig Sqn website in Story 46.  Reg was also a national serviceman.  See  http://www.au104.org/Veteran_Stories/vetstory46.htm 

1ATF TAOR

A tactical area of responsibility (TAOR) is a prescribed area in a theatre of combat which has been assigned to a unit commander who is responsible for, and has the authority to act in, the development and maintenance of installations and conduct of tactical operations, area defence, coordination of support and conducting patrols.  The 1ATF base TAOR defence was based on bunker system on the perimeter combined with aggressive patrolling of the TAOR to protect the Australian base. 

104 Sig Sqn Map: 1ATF TAOR and Artillery Strike Zones March 1967.   The 1ATF TAOR changed
 over the war  years but was roughly based on the ALPHA and BRAVO lines.

The Battle of Long Tan was a result of TAOR patrolling in Aug 1966 and most likely saved the Nui Dat base from a major enemy force.

In 1967/68 a number of unit members did “volunteer patrolling” with Battalions TAOR patrols.  Two known TAOR patrol volunteers in 1968 were Sgt Max Lewis and Cpl Denis Hare.   One of the TAOR overnight ambush patrols Max did near the village of Hoa Long, had a contact and Max found himself on the wrong side of the paddy field bund.  The experienced infantry had quickly moved over the bund before springing the ambush.   

1ATF TAOR Patrol Programme

In Nov 1968, to assist with the defence of Nui Dat, 104 Sig Sqn was ordered to assist the 1ATF infantry units (1RAR, 4RAR, 9RAR, 1ARU, D&E Pl (HQ Coy) and the SAS Sqn) with TAOR patrolling (4).  Other Arms Corps (12 Fd Regt (RAA), 1 Armd Regt (RAAC), 1 Fd Sqn (RAE), 17 Const Sqn (RAE) and 161 Recce Flt (AAAC)) were also tasked, at the same time, to start TAOR patrolling.  The patrolling was part of the 1ATF normal program with an infantry battalion delegated to command, control and assist the other Arms Corps units in the patrolling task.  4RAR was 104 Sig Sqn's first battalion for the TAOR patrols, with the 4RAR instructing the Sigs in patrolling tactics and the procedures before the start of 104 Sig Sqn recce, fighting and ambush patrols.  This was done in Dec 68 with an NCO and two OR’s taking part in three patrols (4320/68, 4324/68 and 4332/68) conducted by 4RAR.  It should be noted that the SAS Sqn also did base TAOR patrols under the same arrangements as 104 Sig Sqn.  i.e. Controlled by an Infantry Battalion until late 1970.

The first all member 104 Sig Sqn TAOR patrol was mounted on the 27th Dec 1968 (5) under the command of Sgt Ken Ellis.  Ken had before arriving in South Vietnam had been involved in patrolling in Thailand as part of Snowgum Force on Exercise Ramasoon in 1968 at U- Tapao Air Base and therefore was selected to lead because of this operational experience.   He took part in one of the patrols with 4RAR early in Dec 1968 that was used to train 104 Sig Sqn members in the Battalion procedures and patrol know-how.


104 Sig Sqn
Photo: Patrol Commander, Sgt Ken Ellis on the first all 104 Sig Sqn TAOR Patrol (27/28 Dec 1968).

This started the role of TAOR patrolling for 104 Sig Sqn until the end of the war.  During the war 104 Sig Sqn was part of the TAOR program for 4RAR then 2RAR/NZ then 6RAR/NZ and finally back with 4RAR/NZ on the battalion’s second tour.

However 104 Sig Sqn was also given other patrolling and protection tasks including Guard Duties at the Canberra BEQ, Saigon and protection patrols for overnight  Integrated Civil Affairs Programme (ICAP) run by the 1st Australian Civil Affairs Unit (1ACAU).  Patrols located in war diaries and other records involving 104 Sig Sqn, are detailed in the tables below.

Conclusion

For 104 Sig Sqn we have located 55 x Overnight 1ATF TAOR Patrols under the control of an infantry battalion, 3 x Overnight Training Patrols with 4RAR,  2 x Guard Duties (seven men for a week) in Saigon plus 6 x Overnight Protection Parties for 1ACAU while working with the Vietnamese.   In addition flying up 16 x dummy SAS missions with 9 Sqn RAAF to mask 2SAS had RTA.  All are detailed with referenaces in the tables 104 Sig Sqnbelow.

The Task Force Signal Squadrons of the Vietnam War were not only communicators but combat troops as per the RASigs role.  However they were the only Arms Corps soldiers as part of the 1ATF Order of Battle (ORBAT)(7) who weren’t granted retrospective approval for  the Army Combat Badge (ACB) after 90 days when it was introduced in 2005. 

Why was 103 Sig Sqn and 104 Sig Sqn not included as eligible units in the ACB “Qualifying service since 16 June 1948, Table, Serial 5” of ANNEX D to DI(A) PERS 119-1 (Complete Revision) – PERS 8/2006 5 Oct 2006?    Why?

104 Sig Sqn


Details of 104 Sig Sqn TAOR Patrols in South Vietnam
(Under control of an Infantry Battalion)

104 Sig Sqn 1ATF Patrols 1968/69

1ATF Patrol #
(Patrol Ref)

Bn Control CP

DTG Out/In

Task

Patrol Commander

Remarks

4320/68
(AWM95-7-4-34, Page 92)

4RAR

Dec 1968
151730H160800H

Recce in Stan
YS461684

4RAR

8 man patrol with 104 Sig Sqn providing 1xNCO and 2xORs for training

4324/68
(AWM95-7-4-34, Page 93)

4RAR

Dec 68
171400H-181030H

Recce in Ted
YS478681

4RAR

8 man patrol with 104 Sig Sqn providing 1xNCO and 2xORs for training

4332/68
(AWM95-7-4-34, Page 94)

4RAR

Dec 68
211600H-221000H

Recce and observe Nui Dat II feature
YS486675

4RAR

Section patrol with 104 Sig Sqn providing 1xNCO and 2xORs for training

4344/68
(AWM94-1-4-129, Page 91)

4RAR

Dec 1968
271630H-280930H

Observe and early warning in Rod. YS500657

Sgt K. Ellis
(Tpt Sgt) Sgt S Laycock
(2IC (Q Sgt))

10 man patrol
First all 104 Sig Sqn Patrol

Note:  See patrol details at:  http://www.au104.org/Veteran_Stories/vetstory72.html

4350/68
(AWM95-7-4-34, Page 107)

4RAR

Dec 1968/Jan 1969
311630H-010900H

Observe and early warning in Rod. YS496663

104
Name?

7 man patrol

5/69(AWM95-7-4-34, Page 108)

4RAR

Jan 1969
041600H-051000H

Observe and early warning in Stan. YS465680

104
Name?

7 man patrol

4363/69(AWM95-1-4-135, Page 10)

4RAR

Jan 1969
081600H-090830H

Observe in Rod. YS489666

104
Name?

7 man patrol

4371/69
(AWM95-1-4-135, Page 35)

4RAR

Jan 1969
121530H-130900H

Observe and early warning in Alan. YS465665

104
Name?

7 man patrol

4401/69
(AWM95-1-4-135, Page 98)

4RAR

Jan 1969
271700H-280800H

Observe and early warning in Stan. YS462674

104
Name?

7 man patrol

4409/69
(AWM95-1-4-135, Page 100)

4RAR

Jan/Feb 1969
311400H-011100H

Observe and early warning in Noel. YS475692

104
Name?

7 man patrol

4415/69
(AWM95-1-4-135, Page 133)

4RAR

Feb 1969
031530H-040900H

Observe and early warning in Ted. YS465665

Sgt K. Ellis

(Radio Sgt)

7 man patrol

4431/69(AWM95-7-4-36, Page 60)

4RAR

Feb 1969
111630H-120900H

Observe and early warning in Ted. YS471671

104
Name?

7 man patrol

4441/69
(AWM95-7-4-36, Page 72)

4RAR

Feb 1969
161730H-170800H

Observe and early warning in Ted. YS467668

104
Name?

7 man patrol

4455/69
(AWM95-7-4-36, Page 88)

4RAR

Feb 1969
231700H-240750H

Observe and early warning in Stan. YS462677

104
Name?

7 man patrol

4483/69
(AWM95-1-4-143, Page 25)

4RAR

Mar 1969
091630H-100815H

Observe and early warning in Stan. YS469688

104
Name?

7 man patrol

21/69
(AWM95-1-4-151, Page 198)

6RAR/NZ

Jun 1969
041530H-050900H

Ambush.

YS482685

104
Name?

11 man patrol
WO2 S Conlon (SSM) June?

32/69
(AWM95-1-4-155, Page 23)

6RAR/NZ

Jun 1969
091700H-100730H

Ambush. YS455678

104
Name?

11 man patrol

36/69
(AWM95-1-4-155, Page 24)

6RAR/NZ

Jun 1969
111700H-120730H

Ambush. YS461669

104
Name?

11 man patrol

41/69
(AWM95-1-4-155, Page 25)

6RAR/NZ

Jun 1969
141700H-150700H

Ambush.
YS489671

104
Name?

11 man patrol

104/69
(AWM95-1-4-159, Page 64)

6RAR/NZ

Jul 1969
151730H-160730H

Ambush.

YS46367?

104
Name?

11 man patrol

132/69
(AWM95-1-4-159, Page 152)

6RAR/NZ

Jul 1969
291630H-300800H

Early warning.
YS472686

104
Name?

11 man patrol
(Included Lt Bryan Brackin, CMF visiting from 125 Sig Sqn)

146/69
(AWM95-1-4-163, Page 11)

6RAR/NZ

Aug 1969
051530H-060730H

Ambush and early warning.
YS474690

104
Name?

11 man patrol

153/69
(AWM95-1-4-163, Page 13)

6RAR/NZ

Aug 1969
081700H-090800H

Early warning.
YS462658

104
Name?

11 man patrol

182/69
(AWM95-1-4-163, Page 83)

6RAR/NZ

Aug 1969
231730H-240730H

Observe and early warning.

YS460665

104
Name?

11 man patrol

196/69
(AWM95-1-4-163, Page 116)

6RAR/NZ

Aug 1969
291800H-300700H

Observe and early warning.

YS453683

104
Name?

11 man patrol

203/69
(AWM95-1-4-163, Page 153)

6RAR/NZ

Sept 1969
031800H-040800H

Ambush.

YS471663

104
Name?

11 man patrol

241/69
(AWM95-1-4-166, Page 35)

6RAR/NZ

Sept 1969
201800H-210800H

Ambush.
YS464657

104
Name?

11 man patrol

270/69
(AWM95-1-4-169, Page 103)

6RAR/NZ

Oct 1969
081500H-090800H

Early warning and Ambush.
YS460669

104
Name?

7 man patrol

382/69
(AWM95-1-4-172, Page 98)

6RAR/NZ

Dec 1969
031800H-040830H

Ambush.
YS504671

104
Name?

9 man patrol

 104 Sig Sqn   104 Sig Sqn
Photo (Left):  Sgt Scott Laycock with M16 on first TAOR Patrol 27-28 Dec 1968. 
Photo (Right): Sig Allen Summerfield with AN/PRC-25 on first TAOR Patrol 27-28 Dec 1968.

Note:  Patrol details at:  http://www.au104.org/Veteran_Stories/vetstory72.html


 104 Sig Sqn 1ATF Patrols 1970

1ATF Patrol #
(Patrol Ref)

Bn Control CP

DTG Out/In

Task

Patrol Commander

Remarks

68/70
(AWM95-6-2-35, Page 5)

6RAR/NZ

Feb 1970
071515H-080830H

Ambush.
YS508658

104
Name?

10 man patrol

OPS?
(AWM95-6-2-35, Page 5)

1ACAU

Feb 1970
11500H-120900H

ICAP protection patrol Xa Hoi My
YS5056

104
Name?

? man protection party

Note:  1ATF Integrated Civic Action Programme (ICAP) was an operation carried out in contested hamlets, normally at night by the 1 Australian Civil Affairs Unit.  Units provided security force to protect the ICAP team.

?/70
(AWM95-6-2-35, Page 24)

6RAR/NZ

Feb 1970
11/12

Ambush.

YS4666

104
Name?

10 man patrol

OPS?
(AWM95-6-2-37, Page 35)

1ACAU

Mar 1970
091500H-100900H

ICAP protection patrol Ap Soui Nghe YS4271

104
Name?

? man protection party

OPS?
(AWM95-6-2-37, Page 35)

1ACAU

Mar 1970
161500H-170900H

 ICAP protection patrol Binh Ba YS4474

104
Name ?

? man protection party

157/70
(AWM95-6-2-37, Page 35)

6RAR/NZ

Mar 1970
251600H-260815H

Ambush.
YS473674

104
Name?

12 man patrol

186/70
(AWM95-1-4-185, Page 57)

6RAR/NZ

Apr 1970
091600H-100800H

Ambush.
YS472673

104
Name?

10 man patrol

211/70
(AWM95-1-4-185, Page 37)

6RAR/NZ

Apr 1970
211545H-220800H

Ambush.
YS495665

104
Name?

10 man patrol

OPS ?
(AWM95-6-2-38, Page 5)

1ATF

May 1970
30/?

Guard Duty
Canberra BEQ, Saigon YS8595

N/A

7 man party

35/70
(AWM95-1-4-188, Page 46/AWM95-6-2-40, Page 54)

2RAR/NZ

Jun 1970
031500H-051700H

3/4 Ambush.
YS478678
4/5 Ambush
YS483686

WO2 A. Huston (SSM)
Sgt P. Martin (2IC)

12 man patrol

Patrol contact

Note: 35/70 Patrol Contact Report: http://www.au104.org/Veteran_Stories/vetstory73.html 

62/70
(AWM95-6-2-39, Page 5)

2RAR/NZ

Jun/Jul 1970
301615H-011745H

Ambush near Nui Dat 2 in AO Buma (2RAR TAOR)

104
Name?

12 man patrol

OPS?
(AWM95-6-2-40, Page 5)

1ACAU

Jul 1970
161500H-170900H

ICAP protection patrol Xa Phuoc Thanh YS458595

104
Name?

? man protection party

117/70
(AWM95-1-4-197, Page 31)

2RAR/NZ

Sept 1970
061300H-080730H

6/7 Ambush.
YS483670
7/8 Ambush.
YS473659

104
Name?

11 man patrol

OPS1096
(AWM95-1-4-199 Page 67/68)

1ACAU

Sept 1970
171500H-180900H

ICAP protection patrol Xa An Nhut YS

104
Name?

20 man protection party

132/70
(AWM95-1-4-199, Page 23)

2RAR/NZ

Sept 1970
281200H-300800H

28/29 Ambush.

YS481684
29/30 Ambush.

YS478658

104
Name?

11 man patrol

OPS1242/OPS1221
(AWM-1-4-201 Page83/84)

1ACAU

Oct 1970
131500H-140900H

ICAP protection patrol Xa Long Hai  YS

104
Name?

20 man protection party

Note:  From 104 Sig Sqn Oct 70 War Diary details 1ATF TAOR patrolling going to 4 man reconnaissance  because of reorganization of operations into two battalions.  Unit preparing training for new requirement.  This didn't happen.

M2/70
(AWM95-6-2-44, Page 6/AWM95-7-2-67, Page 121)

2RAR/NZ

Nov 1970
231700H-241700H

Recce and Ambush.

YS435639

Hoa Long

WO2 B. Huston (SSM)

5 man patrol
Patrol under fire

Note:  See 104 Sig Sqn Dec70 War Diary, Monthly Report Nov 70 page 2 for details. (AWM95-6-2-45, Page 7)

M6/70
(AWM95-6-2-45, Page 5/AWM95-7-2-67, Page 192 (G1990))

2RAR/NZ

Dec 1970
071700H-081700H

Recce
YS4164

WO2 B. Huston (SSM)

15 man patrol

M9/70
(AWM95-6-2-45, Page 5/AWM95-7-2-70, Page 145 (G2047))

2RAR/NZ

Dec 1970
151700H-161700H

Recce
YS4063

104
Name?

10 man patrol

M12/70
(AWM95-6-2-45, Page 5/AWM95-7-2-10, Page 201 (G2141))

2RAR/NZ

Dec 1970
231700H-241700H

Recce
YS4169

104
Name?

12 man patrol

M14/70
(AWM95-6-2-45, Page 5/ AWM95-7-2-10, Page 201 (G2141))

2RAR/NZ

Dec/Jan 1971
311700H-011700H

Recce

YS4269

104
Name?

9 man patrol

 105 Sig Sqn
Photo:  35/70 TAOR Patrol 3/4 Jun 1970 moving to start point under the command of WO2 A. Huston (SSM)

L-R (Left side of Truck) John Bell, ?, Peter Emmanuel, David Churchill and ?
L-R
(Right side of truck) ?, ?, Derek Kerr and Peter Scheinpflug

Note:
35/70 Patrol Contact Report: http://www.au104.org/Veteran_Stories/vetstory73.html


  

 104 Sig Sqn 1ATF Patrols 1971 (6)

1ATF Patrol #
(Patrol Ref)

Bn Control CP

DTG Out/In

Task

Patrol Commander

Remarks

17/71
AWM-7-2-10, Page 219/G2165)

2RAR/NZ

Jan 1971
091700H-101700H

Recce
YS?

104
Name?

5 man patrol

19/71(AWM95-6-2-46, Page 5/AWM-7-2-73 (G67))

2RAR/NZ

Jan 1971
171700H-181700H


Recce
YS4164

Sgt K. Mackenzie (Radio Sgt)

5 men patrol

22/71
(AWM95-6-2-46, Page 5 and 55/AWm95-7-2-73, Page 53 (G67))

2RAR/NZ
(A Sqn, 3 Cav Regt)

Jan 1971
261700H-271700H

Recce (Protection Party for Road block)

Sgt K. Mackenzie
(Radio Sgt)

6 man party

23/71
(AWM95-7-2-73, Page 132 (G203))

2RAR/NZ

Feb 1971
041700H-061700H

Fighting patrol
YS

104
Name?

15 man patrol

25/71
(AWM95-6-2-47, Page 5/AWM95-7-2-73, Page 132 (G203))

2RAR/NZ

Feb 1971
251700H-271700H

Fighting patrol
YS4069

Sgt M. Joseph (Radio Sgt)
Sgt Ken Mackenzie (2IC (Radio Sgt))

15 man patrol

27/71
(AWM95-6-2-48, Page 5/AWM95-7-2-76, Page 36 (G371))

2RAR/NZ

Mar 1971
231700H-251700H

Fighting patrol
YA4068

Sgt M. Joseph
(Radio Sgt)

15 man patrol

Note:  No contact but sound of voices it is thought that a small group moved within 100-200m of the ambush position.  No follow-up action was possible due to darkness.

8/71
(AWM95-6-2-49, Page 5)  Note: Date changed from 14/16 Apr as tasking changed via 30/71 G549 (AWM95-7-2-79, Page 58)

2RAR/NZ

Apr 1971
101745H-120745H

Ambush 10/11

YS406669.
Ambusgh11/12
YS398662

(AO Sadie)

Sgt M. Joseph
(Radio Sgt)
Sgt K. Casey (2IC (Line Sgt))

13 man patrol

20/71
(AWM95-6-2-51, Page 5)

2RAR/NZ

Apr 1971

261730H-280730H

Ambush 26/27
YS403659
Ambush 27/28
YS408667
(AO Quest)

Sgt B. Dwyer (Tech Sgt)
Sgt L. Thomas (2IC (Q Sgt))

13 man patrol(69 hours Ref: 104 War Diary)

Note:  20/71 - No contact was made with the enemy but a number of civilians were sighted outside civil assess areas.

35/71
(AWM95-6-2-50, Page 6)

2RAR/NZ

May 1971
221630H- 0800H

Ambush 22/23.

YS398663.
Ambush 23/24
YS404679
(AO Quest)

Sgt J. Coleman
Sgt B Dwyer (2IC
(Tech Sgt))

10 man patrol(36 hours)

7/71
(AWM95-1-4-224, Page 145) Note: 6/71 104 Sig Sqn tasked but rename 7/71 – See AWM95-1-4-224, Page 142

4RAR/NZ

Jun 1971
251700H-281000H

Ambush 25/26
YS398656
Ambush 26/27
YS378655
Ambush
YS371641

104

Name ?

13 man patrol
(72 hours)

16/71
(AWM95-6-2-52, Page 5) Note: 15/71
104 Sig Sqn tasked but cancelled

 

4RAR/NZ

Jul 1971
121530H-150945H

Ambush 12/13
YS397666
Ambush 13/14
YS393673
Ambush 14/15
YS387684

Sgt M. Joseph
(Radio Sgt)
Sgt L. Harbridge (2IC (Chief Clerk))

11 man patrol
(72 hours)

OPS?
(AWM95-6-2-52, Page 5)

1ATF

Jul-Aug 1971
31 Jul – 6 Aug 71

Guard Duty
Canberra BEQ, Saigon YS8595

LCpl ?

7 man party

25/71
(AWM95-6-2-53, Page 5)  Note: 23/71 and 26/71 104 Sig Sqn tasked but cancelled – AWM95-1-4-231 Page 5, 11 and 15

4RAR/NZ

Aug 1971
101530H-131000H

Ambush 10/11
YS411702
Ambusth11/12
YS398703
Ambush 12/13
YS382695
(AO Kingagrove)

Sgt L. Thomas
(Q Sgt)
Sgt D. Boland (2IC)

11 man patrol

(48 hours)

31/71
(AWM95-1-4-231, Page 20)

4RAR/NZ

Sept 1971
021615H-040745H

 

Ambush 2/3
YS397666
Ambush 3/4
YS398669

104
Name?

8 man patrol

??/71 (Last Patrol)(AWM95-6-2-54, Page 5)

4RAR/NZ

10-12 Sept 1971

Fighting  patrol
AO Kingagrove

YS

Sgt D. Boland

9 man patrol

OPS?
(AWM95-1-4-236, Pages 48, 50, 52, 57, 62, 65, 67, 79, 83, 88, 85, 93, 104, 108, 112, 113, 122, 127, 139 and 146)

1ATF/RAAF

Oct/Nov 1971

Flying 16 dummy SAS missions with 9 Sqn RAAF to mask 2SAS had RTA.

N/A

Sig P. Bird
Sig N. Williams
Sig D. Shanhun

Note:  See ’Withdrawing from South Vietnam (RASigs)’ at: http://www.au104.org/Veteran_Stories/vetstory57.html

Remark: HQ 1ATF moved to Vung Tau early Oct 71 along with most of 104 Sig Sqn. 104 Sig Sqn ACV SIGCEN remained with 4RAR/NZ at Nui Dat and Radio Op with LO detachments remain deployed until early Nov 71.

 104 Sig Sqn   104 SIg SqnPhoto (Left):  25-27 Feb 1971 25/71 TAOR Patrol before leaving 104 Sig Sqn  at Nui Dat.
Front four L-R: Sig Denis Clemmens (M60), Sig Colin (Harry) Sinclair kneeling (Radio),
Sgt Mick (Bluey) Joseph Patrol Comd, Sgt Ken Mackenzie, Patrol 2IC. 
  
Photo (Right): Sgt Ken Mackenzie about to move out on M6/1970 TAOR patrol (7-8 Dec 1970).
Note:  Ken has his personal weapon M16 plus lots of 5.62 ammo,  M79 (back) with two bandoliers
 of M79 HE Rounds plus M18A1 Claymore Mine slung behind his right shoulder and smoke
grenade clipped to his webbing on left side.

 

 References

1.     Bunkers of Sector Defence - AWM95-6-2-5 - 104 Sig Sqn War Diary Aug 67 page 15 – (OC Monthly Report).

2.     Two M60 GPMGs – AWM95-1-4-50 1ATF War Diary Jul 67 pages 177/178 and 192 (Weapon Holdings Report).

3.     Two M60 GPMGs and Starlight Scope – AWM95-6-2-3 104 Sig Sqn War Diary Jun 67 page 19 (OC Monthly Report).

4.     TAOR patrolling for 104 Sig Sqn – AWM95-6-2-20 104 Sig Sqn War Diary Nov 68 page 8 (OC Monthly Report).

5.     104 Sig Sqn patrolling with 4RAR – AWM95-6-2-22 104 Sig Sqn War Diary Jan 69 page 9 (OC Monthly Report).

6.     1ATF TAOR responsibility for whole of Phuoc Tuy Province because of withdrawal of
US Forces from 1 Feb 71 – AWM95-1-4-208 1ATF War Diary page 73 to 78 (Report).

7.     Order of Battle – AWM95-1-4-45 1ATF War Diary page 41 and 42 (Report).


Home   |    Go to top of page