Operation Santa Fe

Operation Santa Fe was a security operation conducted during the Vietnam War by the U.S. 1st Brigade, 9th Infantry Division, the 1st Australian Task Force and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) 18th Division against the May Tao Secret Zone, South Vietnam from 3 November 1967 to 5 January 1968.

Background

The operational plan was to destroy the Viet Cong (VC) 5th Division's base in the May Tao Secret Zone and to reopen and secure a 60km stretch of Highway 1 from Xuân Lộc to the II Corps boundary that had been closed by VC activity since 1962.[1]:108

Operation

On 3 November the 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment was lifted by helicopters from Long Binh Post to a landing zone just north of the May Tao Secret Zone, under the protective cover of helicopter gunships from Troop D, 3rd Squadron, 5th Cavalry Regiment. The 4/39th Infantry secured the surrounding area and that afternoon a convoy carrying the 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment and the forward headquarters of the 1st Brigade arrived at the landing zone. Engineer companies proceeded to establish Firebase Wildcat (10°48′47″N 107°34′34″E / 10.813°N 107.576°E), the forward operating base for the operation.[1]:109.[2]

The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 1st Australian Task Force blocked the May Tao Secret Zone while the 1st Brigade, 9th Infantry Division, swept the area meeting only scattered resistance. It became clear that the VC 5th Division was not in the zone and intelligence indicated that the division's headquarters and the 275th Regiment had moved north into Sông Bé Province, the 274th Regiment was in Hát Dịch and the rest of the division had withdrawn to War Zone D in northern Long Khánh Province. By 1 December, the 1st Brigade had destroyed approximately 1,000 fortifications within the Zone.[1]:110

With the May Tao Secret Zone neutralized and Highway 1 secured, units from the 15th and 86th Engineer Battalions repaired or replaced 11 bridges, resurfaced the road and created a cleared zone of 100m on each side of the Highway. The engineers also built Regional Force bases along the Highway to support road security and pacification.[1]:110

Aftermath

The operation ended on 5 January 1968, VC losses were 126 killed while U.S. losses were 6 killed.[1]:110

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.

  1. ^ a b c d e Villard, Erik (2017). United States Army in Vietnam Combat Operations Staying the Course October 1967 to September 1968. Center of Military History United States Army. ISBN 9780160942808. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ Kelley, Michael (2002). Where we were in Vietnam. Hellgate Press. p. 5–550. ISBN 978-1555716257.
18th Division (South Vietnam)

The 18th Division was an infantry division in the III Corps of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). The U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam considered the 18th as undisciplined and was well known throughout the ARVN for its "cowboy" reputation. In 1975 the 18th was made famous for its tenacious defense of Xuân Lộc, the last major battle before the Fall of Saigon.

7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment

The 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (7 RAR) is a regular infantry battalion of the Australian Army. It was originally raised in 1965 as part of Australia's commitment to the Vietnam War and it eventually served two tours in Vietnam in 1967 and 1971. In 1973, following Australia's withdrawal from the conflict, the battalion was amalgamated with the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment to form the 5th/7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (5/7 RAR).

These two units remained linked until 2007, during which time they served together in the mechanised infantry role in East Timor and Iraq. In December 2006 – early January 2007, 5/7 RAR was delinked and 7 RAR was re-raised. In January 2009, 7 RAR achieved operational status, a year ahead of schedule. The battalion deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Slipper in 2008–09 and 2012–13. Following its return in 2013 it was converted into a standard infantry battalion. It currently forms part of the 1st Brigade and is based at RAAF Base Edinburgh in Adelaide.

Battle of Suoi Chau Pha

The Battle of Suoi Chau Pha (6 August 1967) was fought during the Vietnam War between Australian troops and the Viet Cong. The battle took place during Operation Ballarat, an Australian search and destroy operation in the eastern Hat Dich area, north-west of Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy province. Following a covert insertion the day before which had caught a number of Viet Cong sentries by surprise, A Company, 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (7 RAR) had patrolled forward unaware of the presence of a large Viet Cong main force unit nearby. Clashing with a reinforced company from the Viet Cong 3rd Battalion, 274th Regiment, a classic encounter battle ensued between two forces of roughly equal size. Fought at close quarters in dense jungle amid a heavy monsoon rain, both sides suffered heavy casualties as neither was able to gain an advantage. Finally, after a battle lasting several hours, the Australian artillery proved decisive and the Viet Cong were forced to withdraw, dragging many of their dead from the battlefield after having suffered crippling losses.

Eastern Flyer

The Eastern Flyer is a proposed medium distance inter-city train traveling between Oklahoma City in central Oklahoma and Tulsa in north-eastern Oklahoma. It was originally to be a private operation by the Iowa Pacific railroad, and its services were to have included a dome car, coaches and full meal service. This would have been the first regular passenger service to Tulsa since the Santa Fe discontinued service in 1971.

List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (1966)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War in 1966, conducted by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States and their allies.

List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (1967)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War in 1967, conducted by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States and their allies.

List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (M–S)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War, a war fought by the United States to try to stop communism in Southeast Asia, conducted by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States and allies consisting of Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, and the Philippines. This is not a complete list. Operations are currently listed alphabetically, but are being progressively reorganised as a chronology.

Plowman's Railroad

Plowman's Railroad operates the collection of 7 1⁄4 in (184 mm) gauge American outline steam and diesel locomotives from the former Dobwalls Adventure Park and is located at Plowmans Garden Nursery & Plant Centre Ltd, West Parley, Ferndown, Dorset. The rolling stock has since been sold and shipped to Australia and the railway is now run by the West Parley Miniature Engineering Society. Please note that this railway has now closed following the complete collapse of the Garden Centre.

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