4 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Operations
Dateline : 8 April to 17 April 1969
Duration : 9 days
Outcome : 4 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) troops - 8 wounded
Enemy - 14 killed, 6 wounded
Operation Overlander saw 4 RAR/NZ(Anzac) Bn in the Hat Dich area for the fourth time in its tour in South Vietnam.
This time the battalion was after the headquarters of Military Headquarters Seven and the remnants of a battalion of 274 VC Regiment, probably the 1st Battalion, which had been pushed south by operations by 5RAR.
4 RAR/NZ(Anzac) Bn's mission was to conduct a reconnaissance in force in AO Marulan and to neutralise any enemy assets located.
The concept of operations called for W Company to air-assault into FSPB Dyke and secure it for the fly-in of 104 Field Battery and battalion headquarters. C, D and V companies were then to fly in to their respective landing zones and move into their AOs on foot.
C Company found little sign of the enemy in its area and on April 13 moved by APC to a new area to the southeast of Dyke.
Meanwhile, D Company was back in old hunting ground and set about neutralising the bunkers located but not destroyed during operations in AO Riversdale.
V Company found a number of large bunker systems and numerous VC supply caches. Documents recovered revealed the detailed organisation of J565, which was the rear services group supporting Military Region Seven. Previously, only sketchy details were known of this unit.
The biggest cache of all, found on April 13, contained large quantities of ammunition, explosives and workshop tools and materials, found by V Company on its third visit to the area.
W Company achieved local security by close patrolling in the initial stages and then moving further north and to the south and west of Dyke.
Highlights of this period were the successful ambush by the anti-tank/tracker platoon on the night of April 9, resulting in seven VC killed, and a contact by W Company with a very determined group of VC in a camp on April 15.
Though the operation was short, it was highly successful and on April 17 D and V companies extracted from a pad north of V Company's AO which was commonly known as the Football Field. C Company extracted from the Brimstone Trail and the remainder of the battalion from Dyke.
The anti-tank/tracker platoon left a stay-behind party in Dyke and that night this group contacted what was thought to be a VC platoon. A sweep next morning recovered two NVA bodies, weapons and documents.
Extract from 'Mission In Vietnam', published by 4 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Bn for, and on behalf of, all ranks.
Edited by Lt J R Webb
Assisted by Pte L A Drake.
Map overlays drawn by Cpl R Strong, Pte M J Cash and Pte T J J Egan.
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