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Lancer44
07-24-2006, 04:09 AM
The most comprehensive site about Australia's involvement in Vietnam.

http://www.hotkey.net.au/~marshalle/

18,000 Australian soldiers did their tour of duty in Nam. 504 of them KIA.

Did you Know?

1. Estimated overall casualties 5,773,190
2. Estimated Dead 2,122,244
3. Dust-off Missions 500,000
4. Patients air-lifted from battlefields 900,000
5. Assassinations (South Vietnam) 36,725
6. Abductions (South Vietnam) 58,499
7. Estimated South Vietnamese citizens Killed 587,000
8. South Vietnam Military personal Killed 220,357
9. Defoliants used (US Gallons) 19,000,000
10. Area sprayed (acres) 3,500,000
11. Helicopters Used 12,000
12. Helicopters Downed (Enemy ground Fire) 4,865
13. Average age of World War 2 Soldier 26
14. Average age of Australian Soldier in Vietnam 20
15. Americans Killed 58,169
16. Australians Killed 504
17. Americans killed less than 20 years old 11,464
18. Americans severely disabled 75,000
19. Amputations and crippling wounds were 3000/0 higher than WW2.
20. Ammunition expended each month (tons) 71,000
21. Average of Artillery rounds expended each day in Vietnam 10,000
22. The number of men who registered for National service in Australia, 804,000
Of these 63,000 were called up, and 18,000 went to Vietnam
23. The US Air Force missions over Vietnam 1,899,688
24. Total tonnage of bombs dropped by US Air Force 6,727,084
25. During WW2 the Bomb tonnage dropped on Germany 2,700,000
26. Fixed Wing Aircraft lost in Vietnam 3,750
27 . The US airman lost in Vietnam 8,040
28. B52's Bombers lost in Enemy Action in Vietnam 18
29. B52's Bombers Lost due to mid air collisions and other accidents 13
30. The number of Field Rations consumed each month in Vietnam 10,000,000
31. Litres of petroleum products consumed each month 303,000,000

The Infantry Soldier in the South West Pacific in WW2 saw an average of 40 days in combat in four years. The Australian Infantry Soldier in Vietnam saw an average of 314 days in the bush in one year. In Vietnam the avg time elapsed between being wounded and being in Hospital was 1 Hour. The Percentage of those seriously wounded and saved was 82%. The Percentage of those wounded who died after reaching Hospital was 2.5%.

Lancer44

WaistGunner
07-24-2006, 12:41 PM
THE OP ENGINEER (Tunnel Rat)
(an underground man)

The leading scout raised his arm in the village of Long Phuoc
He'd found another tunnel, but who'd go down to look?
The corporal passed the word back, it went back far behind
To let his platoon commander know of his recent find

Then along came this soldier, with mud from head to toe
"Where's the tunnel entrance?" was all he wanted to know
When they showed the soldier, he quickly looked around
And before you could stop him, he'd gone underground

Now he'd been searching on his gut, all that day I bet
Look out for booby traps that good ol' Charlie sets
Then he found the wire, stretched out taut and thin
But he deloused that booby trap, with a safety pin

Then he found the weapons leaning on the wall
There was no disputing he'd found a real big haul
When he finally surfaced, wearing a big grin
He proudly showed the Diggers what he'd found within

Now he'd like to sit down, and roll himself a smoke
But he's been called up forward, by another bloke
So when you see that hat badge, that's like a bursting shell
Remember that this fellow has crawled half way through to hell

And if he's in a bar mate, you buy that bloke a beer
Because Sir, you're drinking with an Aussie Engineer

http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-conflicts-periods/vietnam/tunnel-rats.htm

I thought you might like this one Lancer.

Lancer44
07-24-2006, 07:01 PM
I thought you might like this one Lancer.

Hi WaistGunner,

Thanks, I like it. At one time I had been collecting pieces written by soldiers and gathered few interesting things mainly from North Africa.

Tunnel rats from Nam it's an amazing story. I met one of them about 17 years ago and we kept contact. He moved to QLD few years ago.
And I tell you, bloke was absolutely crazy, (in a positive sense of course), he would go to hell and back then asked permission to go again.
I met him once in RSL club on ANZAC Day and we both had a couple of beers and then couple too many...
I get cab home and he stayed a bit longer. On his way home he climbed 50 metres crane on nearby building site. Cops spotted him and he started to argue with them and refused to go down...
Finally he tied himself to the boom with his belt and went asleep... 50m below cops, ambulances, fire brigade and crowd of people was waiting long into the night. I think he slept about 4 hours, than get down.
They not charged him because it was ANZAC Day.

This is the way Tunnel Rats entertain...

Cheers,

Lancer44

Panzerknacker
07-26-2006, 08:29 PM
Interesting numbers up there, in respect to the soldiers age...is a mistake to download the conscription age, we do that and also pay the price in Malvinas /Falklands.

Hiddenrug
07-27-2006, 03:16 AM
From what I have heard alot of physcological problems came from the vietcong doing fire and runs. Killed many kept everyone on thier tones. Fire and Movement used to combat the Cong.

Nickdfresh
07-28-2006, 12:46 AM
Anyone with that many days in combat is going to have severe psychological difficulties I think...

I know a lot of U.S. vets said that one of the problems they had a hard time dealing with was the contrast between being helicoptered into a "hot-LZ" and be in vicious combat on moment, then be quickly extracted an go to a safe area where they had cold beer and hot steak the next. It was like a shock of cold and hot...

Lancer44
07-28-2006, 12:58 AM
Anyone with that many days in combat is going to have severe psychological difficulties I think...

I know a lot of U.S. vets said that one of the problems they had a hard time dealing with was the contrast between being helicoptered into a "hot-LZ" and be in vicious combat on moment, then be quickly extracted an go to a safe area where they had cold beer and hot steak the next. It was like a shock of cold and hot...

Theoretically good living conditions in bases should help to overcome combat stress reactions. Theoretically...
I think you're right. I read forum attended by soldiers in Iraq. They complained about the same thing. From relative comfort of air conditioned quarters and right after eating ice cream they go on patrol.
What about creating topic in "General discussion" relating to "battle fatigue"?

Cheers,

Lancer44

WaistGunner
07-28-2006, 04:44 AM
Lancer,

I first learned of the tunnel rats in the 8th grade. Out school janitor was with them. Once he opened up he had some interesting tales to tell. He was a bit on the (positive) crazy side as well. But I guess after being in the tunnels not much could compare in terms of adrenaline and fear.

I read one theory on Vietnam cambat fatigue that it wasn't the quick transport from combat to safe that was the greatest contributing factor but rather the fact that there were no real safe zones a soldier could to get at all (except Taiwan or Hawii on R&R).

Due to the nature of the Viet Cong tactics they kept every enemy base under extreme stress. I have read a few accounts of people that didn't even realize how wound up they were until they did go on R&R and spent the first day or two just shaking because they were finally able to unwind.

Cuts
08-01-2006, 06:40 PM
A damn good read about the Viet Cong's, (quite literally,) underground bases is "The Tunnels of Cu Chi" by Tom Mangold.
Whether you pick it up from the library or purchase it, just make sure you give it a read, as it gives a surprising insight into the systems the VC had in place.
Unfortunately it's been published by several houses and has therefore a number of ISBN references; 978-0-89141-869-6 (0-89141-869-5) (0-42508-951-7) (0-33029-191-2) to name but a few - you'd probably be better off searching for the title & author.

Keeping with the Oz thread, the Australian SAS were supremely effective in Viet Nam, earning from their VC opponents the respectful moniker of Phantoms of the Jungle. (Until fairly recently some of the Canungra trg staff were veterans of this miitary episode.)

Horner, with the blessing and assistance of 1SASR, wrote a decent record of the unit's history in the Near North, unsurprisingly entitled "Phantoms of the Jungle" ISBN 0-04520-006-8. This too is also well worth the time spent reading it.
(Updated four years back to cover more recent conflicts as "Phantoms of War" ISBN 978-1-86508-647-7)

Lancer44
08-02-2006, 01:13 AM
Lancer,

I first learned of the tunnel rats in the 8th grade. Out school janitor was with them. Once he opened up he had some interesting tales to tell. He was a bit on the (positive) crazy side as well. But I guess after being in the tunnels not much could compare in terms of adrenaline and fear.

I read one theory on Vietnam cambat fatigue that it wasn't the quick transport from combat to safe that was the greatest contributing factor but rather the fact that there were no real safe zones a soldier could to get at all (except Taiwan or Hawii on R&R).

Due to the nature of the Viet Cong tactics they kept every enemy base under extreme stress. I have read a few accounts of people that didn't even realize how wound up they were until they did go on R&R and spent the first day or two just shaking because they were finally able to unwind.

Hi WaistGunner,

I'm very interested in war psychiatry because I believe that my father suffered from PTSD. He lead perfectly normal life if not counting occasional drinking bouts.
I read first one interesting book - you can find it here:
http://www.thetigerisdead.com/tokyorose.html

It's about Guadalcanal vet. This convinced me that my Dad had it.

Here you can find an "official" War Psychiatry textbook published by Office of The Surgeon General USA

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1995/wp/fm.pdf

I would advice anyone to read it. It cover all wars including Vietnam, Falklands and Gulf War.

Cheers,

Lancer44

WaistGunner
08-04-2006, 04:29 AM
Lancer,
Another good one I read when I was still in the Army was called On Killing: The Phsycological cost of learning to kill in war and Society. Great insights. It was written Dave Crossman who was a Lt. Colonel I think. He may have been a full Colonel.

Cuts,

I have Tunnels of Cu Chi. Great book!

David Layne
10-04-2006, 06:37 PM
These "Official U.S. Army" photographs have no captions. I believe the U.S. General is Julian J Ewell who in 1967 commanded the 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta. The Australian is Task Force Commander Major General (Brigadier) Sandy Pearson.

David Layne
10-04-2006, 06:41 PM
10 miles south of Don Glin. 6th August 1969. 3rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Australian Task Force. Photo by 1Lt. Mike Loehrer, 221st. Sig. Co. U.S. Army Official Photograph.

David Layne
10-04-2006, 06:44 PM
10 miles south of Ben Glin Australian troops of the 1st Australian Task Force gather and stack supplies that were bought in by helicopter that morning. 6th Aug. 1969.

Photo by 1Lt. Mike Loehrer. 221st. Sig. Co.

An Lo Voi 6 Aug. '69. A medic sargeant of the 1st. Australian Task Force administers a shot to an elderly Vietnamese man. The 1st Australian Task Force provided medical assistance and medicine to the local people about once every two months.

Photo by 1Lt. Mike Loehrer 221st. Sig. Co. U.S.Army.

Pottsy
03-09-2007, 11:48 PM
Good thread.

Have some mates who served In Vietnam, some SAS,some infantry.

One mate told me they would be getting there boots polished by this nice young lad in camp who was friendly,respectful and willing to help with many things, the next night he's rolling grenades in there tents.

Countless times those around there camps would be there enemy at night, this screwed with them big time especially as alot were female or teenagers or both.

When cleaning up after a contact in the bush, coming across dead or maimed enemy who were kids or women contributed as well. If you got an AK/47 rattling away at you, you have to shoot back.

Coming home getting shunned almost universally, contributed to there drama's. No recognition of what they went threw and public aggression to them and there families.

There's an interesting movie made a few decades back called "the odd angry shot', worth a look.

Pottsy
03-10-2007, 12:08 AM
Keeping with the Oz thread, the Australian SAS were supremely effective in Viet Nam, earning from their VC opponents the respectful moniker of Phantoms of the Jungle. (Until fairly recently some of the Canungra trg staff were veterans of this miitary episode.)


I read somewhere the NVA had complete respect for all Australian Infantry.

We apparently used the Jungle as our friend just like them, when on patrol we were prepared to suffer in the conditions and spend vast amounts of time in the bush to challange the NVA/VC's use of it.

An NVA general said the Americans saw the Jungle as a hinderance and were almost scared of it and the NVA's use of it and thus the NVA had an advantage, he said they had no such advantage when encountering Australians.

Apparently the Australian sector become one of the most safest zones in Vietnam and dangerous for the VC, after the defeat at Long Tan the NVA moved on as attempting to destroy the Australain base was for political purposes and of no real military significance and they realised they had a fight for that sector.

The access to Battlefields for Australians and recognition of what went on is apparently unprecedented amongst combatants and Memorials are in place for battles involving Australians in Vietnam.

Every August the anniversary of Long Tan gets bigger, each year some ex NVA combatant puts on a stubborn brave face but others share freely the goings on of that battle and the respect for the Army involved.

Heck they let our Prime minister visit the long tan memorial in Vietnam.

32Bravo
03-10-2007, 08:01 AM
Interesting. I seem to recall seeing a TV docu (at the time) on the South Korean (Tiger ?) Battalion acquiring much the same reputation.

32Bravo
03-28-2007, 04:46 PM
When at the JWS in Johore, Malaya, some of our instructors were Australians which who had just completed their tour of duty in Vietnam. This was pretty standard, and is typical of the cooperation which existed between the commonwealth forces. These troops also saw action with British troops in the Borneo confrontation (the undeclared war between Britain and Indonesia) beween 1962 and 1966, and the skills which had been honed there, stood them in good stead in Vietnam.

http://www.hotkey.net.au/~marshalle/sas/sasops.html

http://www.hotkey.net.au/~marshalle/lt/lt.htm

An Australian won a Victoria Cross (VC) in Vietnam, which was the last to be won up until those of the Falklands in 1982.

Cuts
03-28-2007, 05:41 PM
An Australian won a Victoria Cross (VC) in Vietnam, which was the last to be won up until those of the Falklands in 1982.

Four actually, Maj P.J. Badcoe VC (http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-vc/badcoe-vc.htm) http://www.diggerhistory.info/images/vc-winners/badcoe.jpg

WO2 Kevin Arthur "Dasher" Wheatley VC (http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-vc/wheatley-vc.htm)

WO2 "Ray" Simpson, VC DCM (http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-vc/simpson-vc.htm) http://www.diggerhistory.info/images/vc-winners/simpson.jpg

and Warrant Officer Class 2 Keith PAYNE VC (http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-vc/payne-vc.htm), the last surviving Aussie holder of the Victoria Cross.

32Bravo
03-28-2007, 05:51 PM
I was writing from a memory of some forty years ago. Please forgive it being a little vague.

Rising Sun*
03-29-2007, 05:36 AM
Notwithstanding what I said in the Why did America Lose? thread about Australian troops being well trained, this was something that improved progressively and wasn't always too good in the early stages. The link from which the following excerpt is taken has some interesting views on a range of matters about Australians in Vietnam.


Sergeant John Joseph ‘Tiny’ O’Shea

‘Tiny’ O’Shea, in the old tradition of men being given nicknames opposite to their features was, in better days, a six foot two sandy haired man of big stature and, if you asked him, not bad looking. After a dispute with his parents which resulted in his occupation of a boat shed for six weeks, Tiny decided to join the army and after finishing in the top three of his recruit course, asked for and was granted posting to Armour.

The Corps did nothing with Tiny for some time and he spent a while breaking up various concrete edifices for make-work. Getting right royally sick of labouring, he went AWL. On return he was charged and given a job in the Officers Mess. Finally, he was sent on a Motor Transport course and was posted to the 1st Armoured Regiment Transport Troop.

All of the above serves to illustrate how blasé the Corps (and indeed the Army) was in preparing soldiers for war. At the time the above was going on, the prospect of active service was a distant dream for most servicemen and the Corps trained its soldiers accordingly. Shortly, it will be seen how this lack of training affected Tiny.

O”Shea was sent to Vietnam on HMAS Sydney, posted to HQ Australian Force Vietnam as transport driver. He landed with “15 rounds for my Owen (gun) and the blokes with pistols had only half a clip.” His job in Saigon (Now Ho Chi Minh City) was to drive an Australian Staff officer and to act as escort as the man made his way around Vietnam, by air as well as vehicle.

Tiny would make it his business to drop into the Australian Cavalry Troop at Bien Hoa, to give out the latest gossip and to keep everyone up to speed as to what was going on in the rest of the country. Now, that Troop had, like everyone else, been sent with minimum preparation and so was often short of personnel, what with an illness here and a leave there. Tiny volunteered to go on operations with the Troop and after gaining permission, he did a ‘soldiers five’ with one of the Troop drivers and went off to war. He drove
the author for a while, who was perhaps a bit pedantic as to his instructions while on the move. Tiny takes up the story.

“So I hop in the driver’s seat then you’re saying ‘OK start up-driver advance, (pull the) left (steering) stick, right stick, slow down, speed up,’ I didn’t know what the hell was going on!” The short instruction he had was just not enough, although to his credit, he quickly assimilated the driving ‘go’.

On one operation, Tiny’s penchant for bad luck took hold of him. At the time, the Troop had pulled up in a protective formation around a large clearing to allow a helicopter re-supply. J. J. was preparing a brew for himself and his crew commander while two hundred metres or so away a platoon was sweeping around the location over a paddy field. One soldier approached a little too close to one of the larger water buffalo, which took exception to his presence and charged. The Digger swiped at it with a back hander, but unfortunately the hand he used was holding his M79 grenade launcher which discharged, lobbing a high explosive shell into our position. Murphy’s Law being what it is, the round landed about five metres from the rear of Tiny’s vehicle, not to mention his backside -peppering it with (he says) a million pieces of schrapnel.

He takes up the story;
“Jungles (nickname for his commander at he time) gives me an axe and says ‘Chop these trees down; we’ve got to clear a landing zone’, and next thing I’m flat on me arse. I got a hole in me bloody bum and a hole in me leg and me back.”

People clustered around and he was duly casevaced. While he was contemplating the vagaries of life, a captain from the 1RAR company involved rushed up and;
“…was screaming down my ear hole ‘What happened, where did it come from?’ I said ****ed if I know! I mean, I was a green as grass and this bloke is trying to ask me where the grenade came from!”

Later, when Tiny came back to the Troop, he was reminded about the old army rule about never volunteering for anything. He replied, “Damn right!” However, he went against this dicta and extended his tour. This extension
saw him involved in the battle of Long Tan. When the Cavalry Troop was activated to take Alpha Company 6RAR, to the relief of Delta Company, Tiny’s carrier (he was now a crew commander) was posted at a creek crossing while the rest of his section (two APCs) was sent back to pick up the Commanding Officer of 6RAR and the padre, amongst others. When this was achieved, the section went on to the battle itself.

Now, this was in spite of the fact that O’Shea had never done an APC drivers course, a crew commanders course, a radio operators course or training on the .50 calibre machine gun which was fitted to each vehicle. It well shows the fact of the Australian soldier’s willingness to adapt and just get on with things, but does no credit to the powers that were in regard to training its men for combat. Another illustration of this took place in an earlier incident, where Tiny was acting as radio operator to his Troop officer, Lieutenant Ruttledge. For some reason, Tiny had been given an M60 machine Gun, the Infantry main section weapon. As Tiny says:
“…and I had this M60, which I had never seen before and it had a belt of ammunition on it. I’m standing outside the cargo hatch with a foot each side of the seat and ‘Jungles’ is saying, ‘Cover the top of the houses, cover the rubber, cover this, cover that,’ and I’m swinging this thing around and would have shit myself if it had gone off.”

Tiny returned to Australia in September 1966. The Corps finally recognized that he should be properly trained and he undertook a Centurion gunnery and Crew Commanders course. He took part in the Australian trials of the Sheridan tank (“a bloody shocking thing”) and after further service at Puckapunyal was sent back to Vietnam to B Squadron Of the Armoured Regiment.

His bad luck continued. His Troop was conducting support operations in that disaster area for Australians, the Long Hai hills, when his vehicle was almost destroyed by a mine. He says; “There was some soft ground and my driver went down about five gears. I turned around to see what was going on and I got hit in the head like a sledge hammer.”

He was very badly knocked about, losing an eye. He was casevaced to Vung Tau and from there to the huge American base at Long Binh. While never to be described as a modest person, Tiny was horrified to realise that
when he had commenced to recover from the operation to put him back together, he had a deep burning sensation when passing urine.

Now, the medical staff at the US hospital was mostly female and for some reason Tiny never had an opportunity to speak to male members on the fact that he thought he might have a ‘dose.’ Finally, when the pain became too much, he sought a senior nurse and confided to her his problem. She laughed, saying that he had had a catheter inserted in his penis and the pain was merely the result of its insertion and its removal, and the pain would go away, which it did.

After ten days in hospital he was returned to Australia and sent on five months theraputic leave. Towards the end of this, he received a telegram informing him that he was to attend a radio instructors course. He says that he was psychologically unready to come back to work, being most aware of the false eye with which he had been fitted.

In the normal way, the Corps didn’t give him the courtesy of attending the initial ‘how to instruct’ course, and he was lumbered with a lesson, ‘The Radio Net’ on almost the first day he was there. Although well enough physically, Tiny was still quite sensitive about the false eye he had been given and was somewhat reluctant to appear in the instructional mode.

Now, all the gurus of the Radio Wing sat in the back of the classroom, watching as to how the trainee would go. Tiny said to the class that he would love to tell them about the Radio Net but he didn’t have a clue and if they looked in the relevant Training Pamphlet, it would show them all about it and if they went outside they could look it up and that the Wing Staff would love to have a talk about his performance.

This they duly did, and after much argument about preparation time and other things, Tiny was taken off the course.

http://armoured.alphalink.com.au/Knights.pdf

Rising Sun*
03-29-2007, 06:20 AM
The best contribution any individual Australian made in Vietnam was made by Ted Serong. In addition to this link by Anne Blair http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/vietnamcenter/events/1996_Symposium/96papers/tenyears.htm , see also her book on Serong http://www.allenandunwin.com/Military/product.asp?ISBN=9781865084688

Rising Sun*
03-29-2007, 06:35 AM
Interesting. I seem to recall seeing a TV docu (at the time) on the South Korean (Tiger ?) Battalion acquiring much the same reputation.

That would be right.


... nearly all will agree that the story of the ROK military in Vietnam resides in its very high kill ratio of enemy killed to Koreans lost and the stark fear these courageous war fighters brought to the hearts of the enemy. Captured enemy documents reflect that the enemy worked hard to avoid the Koreans, and were told to stay away from them unless they were sure of victory.
http://www.talkingproud.us/International061406.html

Hardly anybody seems to know about the large contribution, about 10% of the American troops and dead, Korea made in Vietnam. I doubt anybody outside Korea knew much about it at the time. I remember being surprised the first time I read about it in somewhere in the mid sixties.

Rising Sun*
03-29-2007, 07:15 AM
From a very good paper on Australian friendly fire casualties in Vietnam, whick should dispel any myths that Australians were jungle supermen as they are sometimes presented.


Clashing patrols

In the jungles of Vietnam it was more often the case that the
infantry were the instrument of their own fratricide.
Movement in close country or at night was always very
difficult and tiring, and when troops became disorientated,
the results were often tragic. In one typical incident, a soldier
with the 1ATF Logistic Company was undertaking the
relatively simple task of moving from one flank of his section
to the opposite flank, but at night and in rain he lost his way.
He accidentally moved outside the perimeter and attempted
to re-enter the position from in front of the sentry group.
Although challenged, he apparently failed to hear this. He was shot at close range and killed. Nor was it only
relatively inexperienced service corps soldiers who were
vulnerable.

Nearly five years later, in March 1971, during 2RAR’s
second tour, a veteran infantry non-commissioned officer
(NCO) met a similar fate. After an afternoon contact, a
platoon from B Company harboured for the night near the
banks of the Suoi Soc River. At first light, the platoon
sergeant, Tom Birnie, led a small patrol across the stream to
reconnoitre to the east of the platoon’s night position. It was
expected that he and his patrol would rejoin the platoon by
returning along the same route. In the course of the patrol,
Birnie found signs of the enemy crossing the stream and,
after seeking permission from the platoon commander, he
followed this track and crossed the stream. After a short
distance, he and the patrol came under fire, and the sergeant
was seriously wounded. Unbeknown to Birnie, the stream
followed a circular path around the platoon’s position and the
patrol had actually approached their own troops from the
opposite direction. One of the sentries, not expecting
movement from this direction, assumed that it was enemy
and opened fire.

Gary McKay, a platoon commander with D Company 4RAR,
on that battalion’s second tour of Vietnam, offers another
description of typical patrol clash when both parties are
moving. In September 1971, McKay was part of a companysize
operation in thick jungle in the Phuoc Tuy province.
While out on patrol, McKay received a warning order from
his company HQ that he could expect to encounter enemy
troops in force within a kilometre of his position. He issued a
verbal warning to his platoon before moving off. The platoon
had gone no more than 150 metres when firing broke out at
the front of the file. McKay called out ‘contact front’ to his
platoon signaller so he could inform the OC, but was
surprised when the signaller replied that their neighbouring
platoon (10 Platoon) had already reported that they were also
in contact. In McKay’s words:
My mouth went dry and my heart skipped a beat as it struck
me what was happening. I sprinted forward screaming out
for everyone else to cease firing and came up level with my
forward scout… One of the 10 Platoon soldiers had been hit
with a bullet in the head; the other had been lightly creased
in the area of his scrotum ...

McKay’s example emphasises the problems of coordination
between even small, well-trained units in restricted terrain.
Unlike previous conflicts, where there was little public
scrutiny or understanding of the problem of fratricide, during
the Vietnam War these incidents were often widely reported,
highly sensitive and they quickly became a political issue. As
early as May 1966, the death of Australia’s first national
serviceman in Vietnam, Private Errol Noack (5RAR), had
caused a sharp but brief reaction in Australia. As the
Australian official historian records:
Noack had not been pleased when he had learned that the
ballot had selected him for national service but, like most
conscripts, he had obeyed the call and gone quietly into the
Army. His uncle said, ‘If there’s one thing we don’t want,
it’s any political propaganda being made out of Errol’s
death’, but that wish was disregarded in Holt’s and
Calwell’s rush to issue statements. Holt said that the
Government had acted in ‘Australia’s highest national
interests’. Calwell asserted that the Liberal and Country
Parties and their DLP allies shared a terrible responsibility,
but that the ALP was ‘free of the blame for any
casualties’.

At the time of his death it was widely believed within 5RAR
that his comrades had accidentally shot Noack when a VC
unit got between two Australian companies. They believed
that Noack was killed either by VC fire or the crossfire
between the two Australian sub-units. The official historian
believed that, on the weight of the evidence, the latter was
more probable, noting:
The newly-arrived battalion was finding navigation in the
Nui Dat area unexpectedly difficult and the two companies
had come closer to each other than they had realised. They
were operated under standing instructions to communicate not with each other directly but with battalion headquarters.

This conclusion is supported by the evidence in the first volume of
the official history dealing with combat operations that quotes the
after-action report of OC B Company 5RAR, who had deployed a
listening post between his company and A Company when: ‘The
next thing we knew A Company was firing on our listening post …
One member of our listening post, Private Errol Noack, happened
to stand up at the time. He was struck by a bullet and was seriously
wounded.’ Noack died three hours later at the 36th (US)
Evacuation Hospital at Vung Tau. Noack was shot at 6.25 pm, at the end of a tense day of extreme, enervating heat when both companies were
expecting renewed contact with the enemy.

The battalion’s officers were immediately made aware of
the high political importance attached to Noack’s death, but
the pressures now exerted by and on political and military
authorities were not conducive to frank and honest
assessments. After a flurry of messages between Nui Dat,
Saigon and Canberra the task force commander, Brigadier
OD Jackson, sent a short signal to Canberra, saying that
after visiting the battalion and interviewing officers and
non-commissioned officers he was satisfied that Noack had
been killed by Viet Cong fire. The strong suspicions to the
contrary held by many in the battalion did not become
public in Australia until long afterwards.

Errol Noack’s death certainly has all of the hallmarks of
classic accidental fratricide. The newly arrived troops were
operating in complex terrain, which made navigation and
command and control difficult, and they were fatigued and
expecting to encounter the enemy. When they did see a
briefly visible target, they may have either mistaken other
Australian troops for the enemy or indeed they may have
inadvertently hit one of their own in an exchange with a
fleeting VC force. The truth, regardless which version is
correct, is that Errol Noack was as much a casualty of war as
any other Australian soldier KIA in Vietnam. The problem
then, and now, is that the public and press are generally
ignorant as to the realities of combat, and, in a time of war,
the matter becomes so emotionally and politically charged
that the truth inevitably becomes casualty.
http://www.defence.gov.au/army/lwsc/Publications/WP/WP_128.pdf

32Bravo
03-29-2007, 07:16 AM
That would be right.


http://www.talkingproud.us/International061406.html

Hardly anybody seems to know about the large contribution, about 10% of the American troops and dead, Korea made in Vietnam. I doubt anybody outside Korea knew much about it at the time. I remember being surprised the first time I read about it in somewhere in the mid sixties.

Bearing in mind I saw the docu about forty years ago, as I recall, they were so successful that there area of responsibility became a 'No-Go Area' to the NVA and VC.

herman2
12-15-2008, 01:55 PM
The Minefield: An Australian Tragedy in the Vietnam War http://xmb.stuffucanuse.com/xmb/viewthread.php?tid=5789

The greatest Australian military blunder post WW2 occurred during the Vietnam war when 20,000 powerful mines were basically given to the enemy and used against Australian forces.

A fascinating article.

In 1967, Brigadier Stuart Graham issued the calamitous order: First Australian Task Force would construct an 11 kilometre barrier fence minefield containing 20,292 powerful M16 landmines in southern Vietnam's Phuoc Tuy Province.

As work on the laying of the minefield went on through May 1967, 13 Australian sappers were killed and dismembered as a result of detonations caused by the stress of the job.

What he failed to realise was that the opposing forces were well positioned to lift thousands of the mines and turn them back against the Australian Task Force with horrendous, far reaching results.

For protracted periods, Australia's own M16 mines became the enemy's most effective strike weapons, causing over 50 per cent of all task force casualties. The minefield also guaranteed the enemy's successful defence of its vital area and base complexes against task force incursions

Rising Sun*
12-15-2008, 06:36 PM
What he failed to realise was that the opposing forces were well positioned to lift thousands of the mines and turn them back against the Australian Task Force with horrendous, far reaching results.

It was worse than a failure to realise.

Graham was warned by other officers against sowing the mines, but he had inadequate forces for his tasks and chose to sow the minefield to try to make up for his resource deficiencies. Various other factors resulted in the minefield not being properly guarded which allowed the VC to lift the mines.

Cuts
12-16-2008, 07:28 AM
Afrikakorpsdesertfox, I know you mean well in directing people to the Wiki for information, but unfortunately it's proven to be a very fallible tool for research.
The major problem lies in it's very ethos - anyone can edit it.
This unsurprisingly means that the village idiot, should he have internet access, can write whatever notion enters his skull.

Even here on WWincolor we are sadly not immune.
There was a 'gentleman' - or perhaps howling moonbat might be more accurate - who would put forward preposterous ideas that flew in the face of known fact and natural law, and 'back them up' with a Wiki reference he himself had created ! :lol:
(If you're interested you can read more on this lunatic by clicking here (http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/IRONMAN).)


One is much more likely to find reliable information on a veterans forum, or indeed one like ours here.

Rising Sun*
12-16-2008, 07:43 AM
If you want to learn about the vietnam war then go to www.wikipedia.com
and search vietnam war

If you want to learn about fatuous go to www.wikipedia.com and search fatuous .

Rising Sun*
12-16-2008, 07:44 AM
One is much more likely to find reliable information on a veterans forum, or indeed one like ours here.

Omitting, of course, plainly fatuous comments.

namvet
12-16-2008, 12:28 PM
the RAN was in Nam to. I remember seeing their warships on the gun line. a salute to them. and all the beer they drank at sea in front of us !!!!!:mrgreen:

The Royal Australian Navy in the Vietnam War

RAN Ships in Support of the Vietnam War
Gunline Destroyers
HOBART
BRISBANE
PERTH
VENDETTA

Logistic Support
SYDNEY
BOONAROO
JEPARIT

Escorts
ANZAC
DERWENT
DUCHESS
MELBOURNE
PARRAMATTA
STUART
SWAN
TORRENS
VAMPIRE
VENDETTA
YARRA

source (source)

greatwhitehunter
05-19-2010, 01:12 AM
Agrees that The Odd Angry Shot is worth watching. Also the book "Vietnam - The Australian War" by Paul Ham is well worth reading. It's a long one, about 650 pages and I'm into the last 200. Some of the stories of the heroics of our soldiers and the tragedies really touched me. Some of it is really sad but makes me feel proud to be Australian and proud of the sacrifices made by Aussies in Vietnam. It also made me quite angry to learn that some extremists in Australia actually sent funds to the VC, abused returning soldiers and their families and chanted pro Viet Cong messages. The ACTU was also guilty of being pro Viet Cong and were actually hoping for a Communist victory. They were led by non other than Bob Hawke (the so called best labor prime minister ever). To me that is just sick. There is a difference between being against the war and wanting peace (we are after all a peace loving nation) and supporting the oppression of millions of South Vietnamese not to mention the torture, rape and murder of civilians who didn't support communism.

I'm one of the younger members but my pop served in Vietnam as did his brother. My dad joined the army just after Vietnam when he was 16, if he were a few years older he probably would have gone too. However unpopular the war was, I think it's important that all Australians realise that our troops do a terrific job at keeping Australia's shores (and our allies) safe from all hostile forces...........Vietnam was no different.

forager
06-06-2010, 08:34 AM
True story=I know the names, but won't tell them.

At some point, there were some Australians working with SF A Camps.

2 of them were on an operation that ran into way too many Indians.
The CIDG withdrew, forcing a retreat.
One Australian was badly wounded and could not be carried easily.
His mate voluntarily remained with him intending to be captured and care for him.
When the area was checked the next day, both were found hands tied and a burst of AK rounds down thir throats.

I don't like relating some of these stories, because as a friend remarks, "they think we're lying."

Manovar
07-02-2013, 03:44 AM
The conflict in Vietnam was the longest war in Australia’s history. It lasted ten year, from 1962 to 1973, involved almost 60,000 Australians. In the early 1960s, under the threat from a growing communist insurgency, South Vietnam government repeatedly sought security assistance from the US and its allies. Following the US – its most valued ally, Australia responded with civil and military support. In 1962, Autralian government formed up the Autralian Army Traning Team Vietnam (AATTV), also known as “the Team” which included 30 qualified and experienced officers, led by Colonel Ted Serong. The team would provide their experiment in jungle warfare, which they had gotten from the Malayan Emergency, to American forces. In the middle of 1965, Australian government sent the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) to Bien Hoa Province. This time, the 1st Battalion fought a number of battles including Gang Toi, Operation Crimp, Suoi Bong Trang, but they were still a part of the US 173rd Airborne Brigade. After that, Australian and US military leader agreed to future deployment of Australian forces in a discrete province, so they could fight their own tactical war, independently from US army. From 1966, later forces were sent to a garrison at Nui Dat, Phuoc Tuy Province. The 1st Australian Task Force now could operate independently, enabling them to apply their own counter-insurgency tactics and that was considered very effective. Read more.... (http://thevietnamwar.info/what-was-australia-role-in-vietnam-war/)

forager
07-04-2013, 11:48 PM
There were some Australians working with some A Camps.

A documented event occured where an operation was hit hard and the CIDG bugged out.

Two advisors were Australians . One was hit hard and the other stayed behind with the intent of surrendering and taking care of his mate.
Next day a recovery team found them both. bound and shot multiple times,

Rising Sun*
07-05-2013, 11:11 AM
Two advisors were Australians . One was hit hard and the other stayed behind with the intent of surrendering and taking care of his mate.

Next day a recovery team found them both. bound and shot multiple times,

Probably Warrant Officers Wheatley and Swanton, 13 November 1965, at Tra Bong Valley, Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam.

My scant knowledge of it from army folklore about five years later and from a family friend warrant officer who served in Vietnam and who knew Wheatley (don't know how well) is that the last thing Wheatley had in mind was surrendering, but only taking care of his mate until they could be rescued and, as it turned out, fighting to the death in the meantime.

'Dasher' Wheatley was awarded a Victoria Cross (equivalent to US Congressional Medal of Honor as our highest award for valour) for what seems to be the event to which you refer.

The (Post.) in the heading means it's a posthumous award.


WOII K.A. WHEATLEY, VC(Post.)

'DASHER' WHEATLEY was born at Sydney on 13 March 1937. Educated at Maroubra Junction technical school, Sydney, he worked as a brick burner and machine operator prior to enlisting in the regular army in June 1956. He was posted to the 4th Battalion in September and then to the 3rd Battalion in March the following year; his first operational duty was with the 3rd Battalion in Malaya in 1957-59. In August 1959 he joined the 2nd Battalion and in June 1961 transferred to the 1st Battalion. He joined the Training Team on 16 March 1965 as a temporary Warrant Officer; he had been appointed Lance Corporal on 19 January 1959, promoted to Corporal on 2 February 1959 and to Sergeant 1 January 1964.

Arriving in Vietnam in early 1965 he spent six months with a Vietnamese battalion in Quang Tri province prior to being posted to Tra Bong with five other Australian Warrant Officers in October 1965 to relieve the previous group of advisers. From the Special Forces outpost deep in the enemy dominated Tra Bong valley, in Quang Ngai province, the AATTV and American advisers conducted 'search and destroy' operations. The advisers, housed in an isolated area to which access was gained by Caribou aircraft operating from a small nearby strip, were attached to a Civil Irregular Defence Group (CIDG) of Vietnamese and Montagnard soldiers.

Daily patrols were conducted from the base to a design which gradually moved the probes further outwards. It was on one of these patrols, on 13 November 1965, that Wheatley performed the actions for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. The company patrol had split into three platoon groups and Wheatley and Warrant Officer 2 R.J. Swanton were with the right-hand group. At about 1.40pm (1340hrs) Wheatley reported contact with Viet Cong soldiers and soon after he requested assistance. Captain Fazekas, who was with the centre platoon, organized about fifteen irregulars and fought towards the scene of the action. He received another message from Wheatley to say that Swanton had been hit in the chest. Wheatley requested an air strike and an aircraft for casualty evacuation.

About this time the right platoon began to scatter and although the CIDG medical assistant told Wheatley that Swanton was dying, Wheatley refused to abandon him. He discarded his radio and half dragged, half carried Swanton, under heavy enemy small arms fire, out of the open rice paddies into a wooded area 200 metres away. A CIDG member, Private Dinh Do, who was assisting Wheatley, urged him to leave Swanton. Wheatley refused,and was seen to pull the pins from two grenades. Holding a grenade in each hand, he calmly awaited the encircling Viet Cong.

Captain Fazekas led the search party that found the bodies next morning; both had died of gunshot wounds. (Fazekas was awarded the Military Cross for his courage in trying to relieve Wheatley and Swanton.)

Wheatley had married on 20 July 1954, and was survived by his wife Edna and four children. His body was returned to Australia for burial at Pine Grove Memorial Park, Blacktown, New South Wales. His name is commemorated in the New South Wales Garden of Remembrance at Rookwood war cemetery. In 1967 a trophy for annual competition between the Australian Services Rugby Union Football Union was inaugurated in his name. A sports arena at Vung Tau, Vietnam and the Land Warfare Centre Canungra Soldiers Club were named after him and his citation and photograph are displayed in theHall of Heroes, John F. Kennedy Center for Military Assistance, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, USA. The United States also awarded him the Silver Star . He was made a Knight Of The National Order Of The Republic Of Vietnam, and received the Military Merit Medal and the Cross of Gallantry With Palm.

A copy of the Citation (kindly provided by Bill Tomlinson - Qld Br - AATTV 1966 - 67) as printed in the London Gazette: 13 December 1966: Supplement, 15 December 1966 reads as follows:
The VICTORIA CROSS

WHEATLEY, Warrant Officer Class II
Kevin Arthur

Australian Army; Training Team Vietnam
13 November 1965, at Tra Bong Valley, Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam
(Posthumous Award)
CITATION: Warrant Officer Wheatley enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in 1956. He served in Malaya with 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment from 1957 to 1959 and then with 2nd and 1st Battalions of the Regiment until 1965 when he was posted to the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam.


His posting in this area has been distinguished by meritorious and gallant service.

On 13th November 1965 at approximately 1300 hours, a Vietnamese Civil Irregular Defence Group company commenced a search and destroy operation in the Tra Bong valley, 15 kilometres east of Tra Bong Special Forces camp in Quang Ngai Province. Accompanying the force were Captain F. Fazekas, senior Australian Advisor, with the centre platoon, and Warrant Officers K.A. Wheatley and R.J. Swanton with the right hand platoon. At about 1340hours,Warrant Officer Wheatley reported contact with Viet Cong elements.The VietCong resistance increased in strength until finally Warrant Officer Wheatley asked for assistance. Captain Fazekas immediately organised the centre platoon to help and personally led and fought towards the action area. While moving towards this area he received another radio message from Warrant Officer Wheatley to say that Warrant Officer Swanton had been hit in the chest, and requested an air strike and an aircraft, for the evacuation of casualties. At about this time the right platoon broke in the face of heavy Viet Cong fire and began to scatter. Although told by the Civil Irregular Defence Group medical assistant that Warrant Officer Swanton was dying, Warrant Officer Wheatley refused to abandon him. He discarded his radio to enable him to half drag, half carry Warrant Officer Swanton, under heavy machine-gun and automatic rifle fire, out of the open rice paddies into the comparative safety of a wooded area, some 200 metres away. He was assisted by a Civil Irregular Defence Group member, Private Dinh Do who, when the Viet Cong were only some ten metres away, urged him to leave his dying comrade. Again he refused, and was seen to pull the pins from two grenades and calmly awaited the Viet Cong, holding one grenade in each hand. Shortly afterwards, two grenade explosions were heard, followed by several bursts of small arms fire.

The two bodies were found at first light next morning after the fighting had ceased, with Warrant Officer Wheatley lying beside Warrant Officer Swanton. Both had died of gunshot wounds.

Warrant Officer Wheatley displayed magnificent courage in the face of an overwhelming Viet Cong force which was later estimated at more than a company. He had the clear choice of abandoning a wounded comrade and saving himself by escaping through the dense timber or of staying with Warrant Officer Swanton and thereby facing certain death. He deliberately chose the latter course. His acts of heroism, determination and unflinching loyalty in the face of the enemy will always stand as examples of the true meaning of valour.
http://www.aattv.iinet.net.au/wheatley.htm

Rising Sun*
07-05-2013, 11:13 AM
Continued


After Action Report by Capt F. Fazekas, MC (provided courtesy of Peter 'Wallaby' Wilkes - AATTV 68 - 69). Note: The incorrect spelling of the Surname: "Fazekas" is shown in the report as "Fasckas".
Special Forces Camp
A 107 Tra Bong
14 November 1965

Statement by 48049 Captain
F. Fasckas

I, 48049 Captain F Fasckas, make the following statement: I was the senior AATTV advisor on the 13th and 14th of November 1965 with the CIDG Coy, which went out for a two day operation. The patrol started from Tra Bong Special Forces Camp at 130500 and moved in an easterly direction along the main Tra Bong valley road to ES 376874. From these coordinates the patrol moved to ES 377868 and moved along the 1OO metre contour line to ES 426863. There the patrol had a short rest. While resting, the patrol commander, 2/Lt Quang, LLDB, talked to me and told me that he would not move along the western creek of Nai Hon Dost to ES 445845 where the coy was supposed to stay overnight. He instead said he was going to move his coy along the jungle edge on the eastern side of the feature. His reason was that the valley in which the original route was planned was too dangerous for his coy. After some discussion I agreed to the change of plan. The company moved off and moved very close to the jungle edge on the eastern side and I and also the other advisors, W02 Wheatley, W02 Swanton and SSgt Sershen agreed that we had been seen by the local population. At 1145 hrs the company arrived at ES 445846 and stopped for lunch.

I went to 2/Lt Quang and asked him what were his intentions. He stated that he would follow the original plan and split his company in three groups and continue with the search and destroy operation. As we all thought that surprise was lost, this seemed to be a reasonable plan.The only trouble was the time factor. It was 1300 hrs and did not allow us a full day. The force moved then to ES 447846 and one platoon went NW along the main track leading to Binh Hoa (1) ES 435871 without advisors. Another platoon and elements of the weapons Platoon (one MG and one 60mm mortar) moved north in the center of the valley with me and SSgt Sershen. The remaining platoon and the Combat Reconnaissance Platoon with Wheatley and WO2 Swanton and one MG moved NE following the Suci Tra Voi river.

My element made contact at ES 432852. We sighted 4 VC in huts near the area. The VC returned fire and broke in a westerly direction, abandoning one Ml carbine. The huts were destroyed by my element. This happened at approximately 1330 hrs. At the same time there was firing heard from WO Wheatley's group from the east. Upon contacting him on the -1 radio he stated that the CIDG were rounding up some civilian suspects. We continued to advance to ES450855 where we stopped to allow the flanking platoons to catch up. When I contacted W02 Wheatley he stated that they were in contact with the VC at ES 453848 but they could handle it. They had one CIDG slightly wounded at this time. He also stated that the CIDG Platoon commander was not doing anything at all and that he had just stopped. I then spoke to2/Lt Quang and on my radio he spoke to his platoon commander as his radio did not work. 2/Lt Quang then stated that they had three casualties from AR and MG fire. I contacted Wheatley again and asked him about the situation. He still said that they could handle it. Some more conversation took place between 2/LtQuang and Platoon commander and at the same time the firing increased. I spoke to WO Wheatley again and he said that they would require help. I told him we were on our way and to Lt Quang to move his platoon into the fight area. He was very reluctant and only when I said I was going anyway did he agree. I moved with SSgt Sershen immediately back taking point scout. The CIDG then slowly started to move also. About halfway back to the fight area SSgt Sershen shouted to me and said that WO Swanton was hit in the chest and that WO Wheatley requested MedEvac and immediate airstrike on the SE side of the bridge at ES 453847. I radioed immediately to the Tra Bong requesting the above. This was the last time we were in radio voice contact with WO Wheatley.

I continued toward the fight area where heavy firing was still going on and eventually arrived there with SSgt Sershen and about 15 CIDG. I called the mortar and machine guns forward but they did not arrive.

As we broke into the fight area we were engaged by small arms fire. I went to ground and engaged the enemy in the bridge area along the river bank. I had killed or wounded two or three VC, when they broke and started to flee. With about 7-10 CIDG soldiers, I followed them and broke into the village, where the VC broke contact. I saw two VC dead and I grenaded some hides in the village. As there was still firing going on behind me, I moved back to where SSgt Sershen was in contact with the VC. By the time I got back the firing had stopped and the Med Evac aircraft was in the area. I guided the helicopters in and evacuated two CIDG wounded. I also told the pilot to look for an Australian wounded (WO2 Swanton) thinking that WO Wheatley might be setting up another LZ in his position.

At this stage 2/Lt Quang stated that he gave orders to the platoon engaged in the fight originally to move back to Binh Hoa (1). Also that he was moving his own platoon back. I told him I would not move without the two Australians. He said that the platoon would be on the track to Binh Hoa (1) and that we could evacuate the wounded Australians from there. I moved back about 500metres to ES449849, then to ES 447853. At this time the requested airstrike bombed the SE end of the bridge and surrounding area.

At this stage I was sure of it, the CIDG would not fight anymore, so I requested the Nung reaction forces to be brought in at 1620 hrs. The reaction forces arrived at 1800 hrs. I lead the reaction forces to the fight area and placed them in two different ambush positions as at this stage it would have been fruitless to search. It was past 2030hrs and very dark. After this I headed over to LtCol Charles Erc(remainder of surname corrupted on original copy held) commanding officer of USSF Det C-1.

At 2230 we had one ambush sprung by 2 VC trying to cross the river. One CIDG slightly wounded. Enemy casualties unknown.

The next morning at 0615 we commenced the search. We found two CIDG KIA and WO2 Wheatley and W02 Swanton together in a thicket shot through the head several times from close range. We also picked up several weapons their maps, watches and packs. At 0715 we evacuated them to Chu Lai. After completing the search and med evac the force moved back to Tra Bong.
From the position of the bodies it would be judged that WO2 Wheatley was dragging and carrying W02 Swanton from the open area to the thicket and stayed there with him, without a weapon, after the CIDG abandoned them, trying to help him and defend him.

The whole CIDG company, after the reaction force came in, claiming that they had no ammunition and that they were tired, moved back to Binh Hoa (1). They were picked up at the same location at 0730 hrs on 14 November 1965 and moved back to Tra Bong with the reaction force. The estimated number of VC was a platoon originally in the fight area, then they were reinforced from the village SE of the bridge probably with the remainder of the company.Total casualties were:

Friendly Enemy
2 AATTV KIA 4 VC KIA Confirmed
2 CIDG KIA 16 VC KIA Unconfirmed
1 CIDG DOW
9 CIDG WIA

F. Fasckas, 48049
Capt, Inf, AATTV

The above statement is true and correct to the best of my knowledge. Witness:

Theodore F Sershen
SSgt, USA Det A 107
http://www.aattv.iinet.net.au/wheatley.htm

forager
07-06-2013, 10:18 AM
From an aquintence who was there. Official after action reports are often embellished and sanitized.

"CRS which is which any more but one of the two had been nick-named Scrounge by the other Auzzies. He was "the" Auzzie ya see in the moves. Two fisted beer drinking, always joking & laughing, full of wild side of life type of guy. Crazy at times. Drove bar girls in DaNang, crazy when he would smack a big bug (cock roach?) as it crawled over the bar/table and pop it into his mouth. He would then wash it down with the remainder of his beer and order a new one.
They were on one of the first big patrols out of Tra Bong, an Auzzie A-Camp. May have been the only Auzzie A-Camp? Our senior como man Sgt Serchen (RIP) had moved in with the Auzzies (due to the como/accent problems?). The patrol consisted of (CRS) 4 Auzzie one USSF & about 120 CIDG. They were over run by NVA. Everyone took off in different direction. One of the Auzzie was hit (Wheathley or Sawnton?) and could not run. The other one told the other two & Serchen, that he was going to become a POW with the wounded man to take care of him. Not sure any more but believe his last/parting words were something like "See ya after the war." Serchen said that they were about 200 yds are so away when they heard auto fire from the area where they had left them. Their bodies were recovered by the relief team sent in from our camp. Both had had guns shoved in their mouth and taken a burst of at six thru the head. Serchen hid behind a tree and caught 10 of the NVA as they came running to catch up with him and the other two Auzzie. He said he got all ten of them.
Jerry in Phx remembering an old vet for Veterans Day
*Serchen was a Korean as well as VN vet."

diddles
12-01-2013, 08:19 PM
Lance-Corporal/Corporal BRIAN FREDERICK SNOW Service No; 4718469

Hi, I am a new user and I would like to find out any information about my late brother who died very suddenly last year.

He was called up for National Service in 1966 from South Australia.

On the 12/12/1967 he left Adelaide Airport along with 150 other soldiers with the 3 RAR, Advance Party for Vietnam and returned on the 05/06/1968 (6 months service).
I am interested in which Operations he would have been involved in and any other information about him or his regiment.

On some documents it shows that he was Lance-Corporal and another Corporal. Is it possible to find out when and why he was promoted?

I have his service details but know very little of his roll in Vietnam.
Di

Rising Sun*
12-02-2013, 06:18 AM
Lance-Corporal/Corporal BRIAN FREDERICK SNOW Service No; 4718469

Hi, I am a new user and I would like to find out any information about my late brother who died very suddenly last year.

He was called up for National Service in 1966 from South Australia.

On the 12/12/1967 he left Adelaide Airport along with 150 other soldiers with the 3 RAR, Advance Party for Vietnam and returned on the 05/06/1968 (6 months service).
I am interested in which Operations he would have been involved in and any other information about him or his regiment.

On some documents it shows that he was Lance-Corporal and another Corporal. Is it possible to find out when and why he was promoted?

I have his service details but know very little of his roll in Vietnam.
Di

Try contacting http://3rar-sa-assoc.org.au/

If they can't help you, they can probably tell you who can.

diddles
12-02-2013, 03:18 PM
Thankyou very much I shall contact them.