FSPB - CORAL - OPERATION THUANG THANG The Battle of Fire Support Patrol Base "CORAL" took place just North of Tan Uyen and some 40 miles NorthWest of Saigon in Bien Hoa Province from 12 May 1968 ‘till 4 June 1968.This Battle is the largest fought by 1 RAR in the 25 years of its history The battle directly involved all sub units of 1RAR, 102 Fd Bty, A Bty 2/35 Arty, 1Fd Sqn RAE, C Sqn 1 Arm Regt, A Sqn 2 Cav Regt, 9 Sqn RAAF and the USAF. The Battle indirectly involved the US 1 Div (The Big Red One), 3RAR, 161 Bty RNZA and all of the "Bien Hoa Arty" up to and including the 8 Inch Guns The heaviest action occurred on the night of 12/13 of May 1968, when, after initial contact with B and D Companies, the 141 NVA Regiment overran the Mortar Platoon and part of the 102Fd Bty gun position, turning the mortars and one Gun on to Bn HQ and the 12 Fd regt. RHQ. The Gunners, by an inspired local counter attack, recaptured the their damaged Gun and continued in action with half of each gun crew manning and the others repelling the North Vietnamese in front of the protective bunds. This was the second time 102 fd Bty had lost and recaptured their Guns. The first time being at Lagincourt in France on April 15 1917 when the Germans overran their position. The Guns were recaptured later that day and with the exception of damaged Gun ( the same as at Coral) were back in action almost immediately. The Battle on the 12/13 of May 1968 petered out shortly before dawn as the North Vietnamese withdrew in the face of heavy air support from the USAF F-4 and AC-47 aircraft and US army Gunships. The Battle continued on the night of 15/16 May 1968 when the 141 Regt assisted by the 88 NVA Regt and preceded by a rocket attack, again attempted to overrun the Fire Support Patrol Base. A and C Coys bore the brunt of the attack with A Coy forward pits being overrun. The remaining Coys were subjected to divisionary attacks. The second attempt also failed and the Battle of CORAL gradually petered out after a series of Coy set piece attacks on known NVA positions. The NVA withdrew from the area and the units located at CORAL were withdrawn to Nui Dat on the 4 June 1968.
In early November 1965 the battalion was conducting operations in War Zone D south of the Song Dong Dai. A Coy was in the area of the Gang Toi Plateau and during the course of two separate contacts on the 8th, Tiny Parker and Peter Gilson were both killed - Col Fawcett, then Pl Sgt was later awarded the MM for his bravery under fire in his attempts to recover Gilson. With the support of highly accurate NZ artillery support A Coy managed to extricate itself but was unable to recover Parker and Gilson. Remaining Missing in Action, they are remembered at the memorial on Anzac Parade, ACT and the Battalion Memorial at Lavarack Barracks, Townsville.
First Tour March 1965 - June 1966
Second Tour April 1968 - February 1969