9th ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGT

Remembering An Irish Vietnam Veteran

     OPERATIONS LOG 9th BN RAR JANUARY 1968

THE FOLLOWING ACCOUNT DETAILS THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE ENGAGEMENT INVOLVING 5 PLATOON B COMPANY 9 BATTALION ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT DURING 'OPERATION GOODWOOD' ON MONDAY 06 JANUARY 1969 IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH VIETNAM.

Introduction:                                                                                 

George Nagle was a member of No. 5 Platoon B Company 9 Battalion RAR The 23 year old Irishman from Clonmel Co. Tipperary died within weeks of the arrival of  his unit in Vietnam. Pte. Nagle was killed in action on 6th January 1969 while his unit was on mission, patrolling as part of  'Operation Goodwood'.

                                           AFTER ACTION REPORT

Date / Time 061200HJan1968

Loc: Hat Dich, Nui Dat, Phuoc Tuy Province RVN. 

Map Ref. XA BINH BA   Grid. XS21880 

Brief Narrative Of Action:

Source: Unit Commanders Diary - Operational Log - and Other Information sources

B Company was operating in an area known as Hat Dich located approx 35 km north west of the Australian Combat Base at Nui Dat. No. 5 Platoon  Call Sign  22,  armed with GPMGs, M16s and SLRs was patrolling an area covered by thick bambo. The task of the patrol was to search for enemy track paterns in order to detect enemy movement throughout the area. 

Pte Nagle was positioned second from the front as his section,  the platoon forward (point) section, advanced in file. They were  investigating a track leading from a waterhole. At 1200 hrs as they were moving east to west along the track at grid YS21880 they were suddenly subjected to Claymore and small arms fire from enemy positions located a distance of approx 20 metres away. Pte. Nagle was killed instantly as a result of a command detonated Claymore explosion. He suffered multiple fragmentation wounds to his body which resulted in his death. Six other members of the patrol were wounded, in the attack, one of whom died of wounds received, the following day. (Refer to list of casualties)

On contact the Patrol immediately pulled back, set up a defensive fire base and returned fire. U.S. helicopter gunships and F1 Phantom jets were called in support,  while the platoon recovered its casualties for evacuation. During the engagement the Platoon expended some 400 rds 7.62mm Link , 300 rds 5.56mm ball and 300 rds 7.62mm ball. Some time later when the area was being cleared, a large bunker system was discovered which contained a large cache of weapons and food.

During the overall operation the 9th Battalion suffered numerous casualties, 14 personnel were killed in action and 47 were wounded.

9 RAR continued on operations until it left South Vietnam on 28 November 1969.  It had many heavy contacts with the enemy during its tour of duty. Sadly a total of 35 members of the battalion were killed in action and 150 were wounded, during its deployment to Vietnam.

               CASUALTY ROLL - 5 PL B COY 9 RAR - 06 JANUARY 1969

Pte.  G. Nagle             B Coy - killed in action      

Cpl.  A.W. Graham   B Coy - wounded in action (died of wounds 7 Jan 69)

Pte.  J.E. Hallam         B Coy - wounded in action ( lost both his legs )

L/Cpl. D.J. Cole         B Coy - wounded in action

Pte.  G.J. Jellett           B Coy - wounded in action

Pte.  J. Higgins           B Coy - wounded in action

Pte. M. Young            B Coy - wounded in action

 

                           BAND OF BROTHERS

 

                     

This photograph was taken in late 1968 in Vietnam. It shows Pte George Nagle (front kneeling) with a group of mates during an off duty break. Pte J. Hallam (centre standing) and Pte Jimmy Jellett (right standing) were seriously wounded in the action of 06 January '69 in which George Nagle died.

                 Operations Map - Phuoc Tuy Province

                            ENLARGE IMAGE FOR BETTER VIEW OF LOCATIONS