Location Map: New Zealanders In Vietnam
New Zealand Defence Force personnel were based in Vietnam from June 1964 to December 1972. At the peak of New Zealand's involvement, 543 service people were there. A total of 3890 served, with 37 killed and 187 wounded. All those who served were regulars or had enlisted in the Regular Force to join V force, or New Zealand's army contingent in the US-led coalition. New Zealanders served in several different locations in what was then known as South Vietnam.
In March 1972 a New Zealand Army Training Team in Vietnam (2ndNZATTV) arrived at Dong Ba Thin, near Cam Ranh Bay. The team helped train Khmer Republic (Cambodian) infantry battalions in weapons use, tactics and first aid, and medical and technical training. The team was withdrawn from Vietnam in December 1972, together with the earlier 1stNZATTV training team.
161 Battery of the Royal New Zealand Artillery was the first New Zealand combat unit to go to Vietnam (July 1965). It was initially based at Bien Hoa air base and attached to the US 173rd Airborne Brigade. From June 1966 it came under the operational control of 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) at Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy province. Initially limited to four guns, the battery was brought to full strength, 6 guns, in July 1966, and was withdrawn from Vietnam in May 1971.
1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) was based at Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy province. The Royal New Zealand Artillery's 161 Battery moved here to be under 1ATF control in June 1966.
In May 1967 V (Victor) Company of 1st Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) arrived in Vietnam from Malaysia, followed by W (Whiskey) Company in December. The companies were based at Nui Dat, Phouc Tuy province as part of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF).
4 Troop Special Air Service (SAS) Squadron was also based at Nui Dat from December 1968 until February 1971. The squadron was attached to the Australian Special Air Service Squadron and was involved in intelligence gathering and ambush operations.
In August 1966 161 Battery of the Royal New Zealand Artillery participated in the Battle of Long Tan.
1st Australian Logistic Support Group (ALSG)
ALSG supported the 1st Australian Task Force; 60 New Zealanders, including two nurses, served in ALSG units.
Royal New Zealand Air Force helicopter pilots
With 9Sqn RAAF, New Zealand pilots carried troops to battle, flew helicopter gunships and helped direct artillery fire. They worked with the United States and Australian Air Forces. New Zealand FACs (Forward Air Controllers) sometimes also flew from Vung Tau.
Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps
Based at the Australian field hospital, the New Zealand Nursing Sisters gave medical care to soldiers and Vietnamese people.
In January 1971 the first New Zealand Army Training Team in Vietnam (1stNZATTV) arrived at the National Training Centre at Chi Lang. The team helped train South Vietnamese platoon commanders in tactics and small arms effectiveness. The team was withdrawn from Vietnam in December 1972, together with the later 2ndNZATTV training team.
HQ NZ V Force, Saigon 1964-71
A small group of New Zealanders, including the commander of V Force, were based in Saigon. The HQ was located in the compound of the International Military Assistance Office. New Zealand troops also guarded the New Zealand Embassy after 1967.
After the fall of Saigon in 1975, it was renamed Ho Chi Minh City.
The New Zealand Army Detachment Vietnam (NEWZAD) arrived in Vietnam in June 1964 and was based at Thu Dau Mot in the Binh Duong province. NEWZAD was an engineer detachment engaged in reconstruction and development projects (building roads, buildings and bridges). It was withdrawn in July 1965.
This was the location for most of the infantry activity, which comprised patrols and search operations. Large-scale operations were uncommon.
Phouc Tuy province is now known as Ba Ria province.