Title: The Fighting Fourth – A Pictorial Record of the Second Tour in South Vietnam
Author: Sayce, R L and O’Neill, M D
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication Date: 1989
Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 208 pages
Comments: The detailed history of the Fourth Battalion (The Royal Australian Regiment) in South Vietnam 1971 – 1972.
The battalion returned to Vietnam in May of 1971, relieving 2RAR.
4RAR/NZ continued with pacification operations in Phuoc Tuy. The 1st Australian Task Force had adopted a “pacification programme” as its first priority in April 1969. This involved seeking out and destroying the enemy in its base areas, preventing enemy access to the civilian population, and helping to create a secure climate for South Vietnamese social, political, and military life. This work was demanding, dangerous, and monotonous for the troops. It was the primary task carried out by the battalion during its second tour.
The last battles fought by Australians in Vietnam occurred during Operation Ivanhoe (18 September–2 October 1971). Intelligence reports had alerted 4RAR/NZ to the presence of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) troops in northern Phuoc Tuy. The battalion engaged the troops and became involved in heavy fighting. Although it sustained comparatively high casualties during these engagements, 4RAR/NZ was successful in hindering NVA attempts to move further south.
The withdrawal of Australian forces from the area cut short 4RAR/NZ’s tour. It completed eight of its twelve-month tour and was the last Australian battalion to leave Vietnam. On 7 November 1971 it withdrew from Nui Dat to Vung Tau, before departing for Australia on 8 December.
Nominal Roll included