The Coy’s task of training 4/52 ARVN Battalion on the Horseshoe began on the 28th October.
Our responsibilities were to train them in all facets of warfare and included; weapon handling,
range shoots using various weapons and minor tactics.
This was done by each of our platoons being allocated a company to train and work alongside with.
It culminated by accompanying them on operations in the surrounding area.
On the 24th November, whilst on patrol with an ARVN platoon, 4 members of V4 were ambushed
by an enemy command detonated mine.
Jerry Barrett was Killed in Action instantly and Pete Rauhihi Died of Wounds several hours later.
Ray Davidson and Paddy Smith were Wounded in Action.
The Coy was withdrawn to Nui Dat by road on the 28th November, 1969.
Notes: 1. Paddy wrote an extensive account of this event in the V4 Book.
2. Ray (Puku) also writes about his account of the incident in the RTNZ Section of this website.
3. David Earley, who was the direct support helo for 6 RAR that day and was the first
helo to land on that site, gives his account in the same section.
4. Puku and David would reunite in NZ 43 years after the ambush.
5. It was during this time on the Horseshoe, that elections were about to take place in NZ,
so we were all given the opportunity to vote. Keith Holyoake’s National Party would be
returned to power but ousted 3 years later by Norman Kirk’s Labour party. He would
withdraw all NZ Combat Troops from Vietnam almost immediately.
6. Other V4 personnel would train with the ARVN. They included, Harley Pope,
General Benfell, Bill Rakuraku, Bill Kora and Droop Morrison.