Title: Vietnam Gunners – 161 Battery RNZA South Vietnam 1965 – 1971
Author: Newman, S D
Condition: Very Good +
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 1988
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 152 pages
Comments: The detailed and illustrated history of 161 Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery in South Vietnam 1965 – 1971.
In June 1964 the New Zealand Government sent a detachment of Royal New Zealand Engineers to assist the United States forces in defending the Republic of South Vietnam from invasion by the North. The Engineers were replaced in June 1965 by 161 Battery, RNZA. Other military units were to follow and 161 Bty served with Royal Australian Artillery field regiments, usually as part of the 1st Australian Task Force in support of Australian and New Zealand infantry units. The battery left Vietnam in May 1971 after providing virtually continuous fire support to 1 ATF components and other friendly forces for six years.
Approximately 750 members of 161 Bty served in Vietnam after training at 161 Battery Depot. Tours of duty were 12 months with reinforcements being rotated through the battery each month.
Initially, the battery was equipped with four 105mm L5 pack howitzers, but this was later increased to six. These pieces were considered ideal for the current mobile type of operations because they could be lifted by the helicopters which were then available and were needed only for short periods in each fire base. Later operations required sustained fire for longer periods, and the L5s were replaced in 1967 with 105mm M2A2 howitzers which were lifted by the larger twin-rotor CH47 Chinook helicopter.
The battery was presented with the Presidential Unit Citation 1st Class was presented in 1977 for service during the Vietnam war and in 1995 the unit received the Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) in recognition of service with the United States 173rd Airborne Brigade.
Lists Operational Deployments 1965-1971, Honours & Awards and Nominal Roll.