Title: 107th Field Battery Royal Australian Artillery, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam 1965 – 1971
Author: Edited by Warren Feakes, Hilton Lenard and Barry Pearce
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2010
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 348 pages
Comments: The detailed history of the 107th Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery.
The 107th Field Battery was raised in May 1965. The battery served in Malaysia from 1967 to 1969 and on a 12-month tour of Vietnam in 1970–71 as part of the 4th Field Regiment.
The 107th Field Battery arrived at Nui Dat in May 1970 and assumed a role of direct artillery support for the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment – New Zealand (ANZAC) (2RAR/NZ). This role meant that the battery alternated between periods spent at Nui Dat and deployments to various Fire Support Bases (FSBs). The battery’s first contact mission in direct support of 2RAR/NZ occurred on the evening of 29 May at FSB Nola, situated west of Nui Dat. Later that night one of the battery’s guns fired splintex at an enemy party moving along a fire trail next to the FSB.
On 12 June the 107th Field Battery moved from FSB Nola to FSB Tess as part of Operation Cung Chung I (12 June to 23 June), an Australian Task Force reconnaissance-and-ambush mission aimed at denying the enemy access to villages along the main roads throughout Phuoc Tuy province.
After returning to Nui Dat, the 107th Field Battery deployed to FSB Gail in order to support 2RAR/NZ in Operation Nathan (13 July to 2 August 1970), a series of reconnaissance-and-ambush and land-clearing-protection missions in the centre and south-west of Phouc Tuy province. The 107th Field Battery remained at FSB Gail until the completion of Operation Cung Chung II (3 August to 10 September 1970). In August 1970 Lance Bombardier Richard Musgrave from the 107th Field Battery was wounded by an enemy mine while on patrol and evacuated by helicopter.
Until September 1970 the 107th Field Battery tended to operate as a unit, with both the battery’s three-gun sections being deployed at either Nui Dat or at a FSB. From that time, however, the battery mainly deployed to three-gun FSBs and one of the battery’s sections often remained at Nui Dat. Throughout the battery’s tour there was also an unofficial seventh gun that remained at Nui Dat and was manned by the battery’s administration section. This gun fired an illuminating round every evening at curfew time as a warning for the local civilians to leave the area.
The 107th Field Battery returned to FSB Gail on two further occasions: one in late September and the other in mid-October. Between these deployments the battery supported 2RAR/NZ on Operation Pimlico (1–2 October), a search-and-ambush mission carried out in cooperation with a contingent of troops from Thailand.
On 7 November the 107th Field Battery replaced the 161st Field Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery, at FSB Longreach. In the early hours of 20 November some rounds of enemy fire, thought to be rocket-propelled grenades, landed near a section of the 107th Field Battery at FSB Helen. By 18 December the whole battery had been reunited at Nui Dat.
In January 1971 sections of the 107th Field Battery deployed to FSBs Perry, Catherine, Elizabeth, and Garth, returning to Nui Dat between these deployments.
In February the 107th Field Battery operated from Nui Dat with one gun at FSB Garth and then at FSB Bass. One member of the 107th Field Battery, Gunner Peter Oprey from a Forward Observation party, was evacuated from FSB Bass by helicopter after being wounded during a contact with the enemy.
When the 4th Field Regiment completed its tour of duty in March 1971, the 107th Field Battery spent the remaining two months of its tour as part of the 12th Field Regiment. The 107th Field Battery finally completed its tour of South Vietnam on 5 May, when it was relieved by the 104th Field Battery.
Signed by the Editors.