27 February - 24 March 1968
Operation Pinnaroo
From the 27 February to 23 March 1968 W Company was engaged in Operation Pinnaroo. This was initially a
battalion sized clearing task but grew into a task force operation. It involved a clearing operation in the village of
Long Dien and then a search and destroy action in the Long Hai hills. This operation was launched with only four
to five hours notice based on information that the Viet Cong were occupying part of the village. Along with the
rest of the battalion, W Company was moved by assault helicopters to surround Long Dien. Although there were
signs that the Viet Cong had been in the village before the assault took place (a Viet Cong check point was
observed from a helicopter), they had fled or hidden before the blocking positions had been established. By the
29th the village had been swept without result. The battalion was then ordered to conduct patrols to the south
and east, between the village and the Nui Da Dung hills. The 1st of March was an active day for W Company. A
group of 20 Viet Cong were contacted and after helicopter gun ships were called in they withdrew with unknown
results. Later there were two mine incidents resulting in the wounding of seven members of W Company. On 4
March, the Company and a squadron of armour conducted a cordon and search of Tam Phouc village with limited
intelligence results obtained from the screening of all villagers. A further soldier was wounded by a mine during
the cordon and subsequent search of a house. On 8 March, while establishing an overnight company base, a
group of 20 Viet Cong crossed the open ground in front of the company perimeter and were engaged with
artillery and small arms fire with unknown results. The following night five enemy approached the company
position resulting in three being killed and two taken prisoner. Another two contacts occurred on the 12th with
two small groups of Viet Cong. These actions resulted in two Viet Cong being killed and at least one seriously
wounded. Following up on a blood trail led to the location of                                                           an enemy
platoon sized camp which had just been vacated. Patrolling                                                            continued
with another member of the Company being wounded by an                                                           enemy mine.
The Company returned to Nui Dat on 24 March, only to re-                                                             deploy the
next day on Operation Ashgrove Tram.