OPERATION PINNAROO
27 FEBRUARY - 24 MARCH 1968
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.