1 Field Squadron Group Vietnam - Royal Australian Engineers

This page summarizes events related to Vietnam and links you to these pages as well!

Minefield of Misery - Story of Terry Renshaw's sacrifice
1 Field Squadron RAE and Luscombe Field
"Tunnel Rats"


Vietnam
Vietnam Era Plaque.

Field works and land clearing continued throughout their commitment in Vietnam, not only for Fire Support Bases, (FSB’s), and landing zones (LZ’s) but also for the protection of the villages and Vietnamese troops in Phuoc Tuy Province. They also performed road building and construction tasks for the Civil Aid Programmed.

Engineer Combat Teams from 1 Field Squadron also operated with the rifle companies or at infantry battalion headquarters in support of the rifle companies. They were equipped with two essentials on operations; firstly their expertise on Viet Cong mine warfare, tunnelling and booby-trap techniques, and secondly, the tools of their trade - explosives, primers, detonators, detonating cord, demolition charges and mine detector equipment. To their lot fell the dangerous tasks of clearing minefields and booby-traps and the clearing and destruction of camps and tunnel complexes. The dangerous and unpleasant nature of their work must have made it rank with that of the infantry sections' forward scouts as the nastiest job in the task force. The engineers were withdrawn from Vietnam in November-December 1971.

The map shows Vietnam as it is in 2006.

The circled area indicates the Australian Vietnam Forces sphere of operations. The map indicates specifically Phuoc Tuy province as it was during the Vietnam War. The Australian Task Force set up its base on a strip of beach at Vung Tau Peninsula in Phuoc Tuy province.

The 1st Australian Task Force base at Nui Dat, was set up some 25 kilometres from Vung Tau. The base at Nui Dat was to be the forward fighting base for the Australian contingent. The provincial capital was the city of Baria. The Task Force base was surrounded by mostly jungle covered countryside with the Mao Tao Mountains to the north-east, the Long Hai hills to the south along the coastline and the Dinh Hills to the west.

All three areas were known to be Viet Cong strongholds along with the villages of Long Tan and Long Phuoc. The area surrounding Baria contained rich rice paddy fields and numerous market gardens.

Phuc Tuy province was bounded in the north by Xa Bang, to the west by route 15 to Saigon, to the north-east by the May Tao Mountains and to the south by the South China Sea.

The Task Force base at Nui Dat was central to the province with major population centres of Binh Gia to the north, Dat Do to the south with Baria and Vung Tau to the SSW.

For the main part, the province was jungle covered with the exception of three large groups of mountains –
the May Tao in the north-east, the Long Hai running to the southern coast, the Dinh and Nui Thi Vai, Nui Toc Tien Hills in the west.

Royal Australian Engineers 1965 - 1972

  • 3 Field Troop 14 Sep 65 - 31 Mar 66
  • 1 Field Squadron 1 Apr 66 - 18 Nov 71
  • Det 198 Works Section 9 Jan - 1 Mar 67
  • 198 Works Section 2 Mar 67 - 23 Dec 72
  • Det 11 Movement Control Group 1 Apr 66 - 12 Mar 72
  • 21 Engineer Support Troop 1 Apr 66 - 9 Dec 71
  • Det 55 Advanced Engineer Stores Squadron 1 Apr 66 - 16 Feb 68
  • Det 55 Engineer Workshop & Park Squadron 17 Feb 68 - 12 Mar 72
  • 55 Engineer Workshop & Park Squadron
  • 17 Construction Squadron 1 Apr 66 - 12 Feb 72
  • Det 11 Movement Control Group 1 Apr 66 - 12 Mar 72
  • 30 Terminal Squadron 9 Jan 67 - 12 Mar 72
  • Det 1 Division Postal Unit 1 Apr 66 - 8 Nov 67
  • Det 1 Communication Zone Postal Unit 19 Oct 66 - 23 Feb 72
  • 1 Small Ship Troop (Clive Steele) 26 Jun 66 - 23 Nov 66, 3 Dec 66 - 9 Jan 67, 17 Jan 67- 16 Mar 67, 29 Jan 68 - 27 Apr 69, 21 Jul 69 - 2
  • Mar 70, 11 Jul - 3 Sep 70 and 2 Mar - 12 Mar 71
  • 1 Small Ship Troop (Harry Chauvel) 23 Oct 67 - 21 Mar 68 and 2 May 70 - 6 Jun 70
  • 3 Small Ship Troop (Vernon Sturdee) 11 Apr 66 - 25 Jun 66 and 23 Jan 67 - 14 Dec 67
  • 4 Small Ship Troop (Brudenell White) 22 Sep 70 - 24 Oct 70
  • Det 32 Small Ship Squadron (John Monash) 5 May 66 - 14 May 66, 3 Dec 67 - 31 Jan 68, 17 Feb 68 - 31 Mar 68, 16 Dec 68 - 26 Dec 68,
  • 20 Feb 69 - 4 Mar 69, 25 Oct 69 - 7 Dec 69 and 27 Jul 71 - 14 Aug 71
  • Det 32 Small Ship Squadron (Clive Steele) 23 Feb 71 - 20 Mar 71
  • Det 32 Small Ship Squadron (Harry Chauvel) 11 Nov - 15 Dec 70

 

Minefield of Misery - Story of Terry Renshaw's sacrifice
1 Field Squadron RAE and Luscombe Field
"Tunnel Rats"

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