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Thread: MT in Vietnam

  1. MT in Vietnam

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Timothy
    I served in Vietnam as an an Infantry Medic with 8th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment, from November 1969 until November 1970, whence I like Adolph Hitler, achieved the rank of Lance Corporal!


    My call sign was Starlight Grey Four Two, after a couple days of lectures we were told to prepare for a cross country jaunt with the Cavalry, we would be heading up country in M113 Armored Personnel Carriers, to rendezvous with another armored detachment that had tanks.

    Lance Corporal Normie Rowe an Australian pop music man, who sold plenty of records until he was drafted was Commander of the vehicle I was in, he had about ten days hair on his face, and had gone to the trouble of lacing his boots from the outside in, he told us that he was on "happy pills," they were issued when a soldier had only fourteen days to go in country.

    We did not leave Nui Dat the main Australian base until about three in the afternoon, we traveled out of the main gate turning right on to a macadam road, the view was across about three kilometers of rice fields then densely forested foothills, and a jungle covered hill with a couple of summits and saddles,

    Called Nui Dinh from the east, Nui Thi from the west, and the Nui Thi Vai’s in operational terms, known colloquially in Australian Army slang as The Warbies or Warburton Mountain, a large rocky outcrop visible from the road was said to be used for target practice by artillery units.

    Going up the road it was great, we were sitting on top of the carriers in the breeze, civilian traffic was a logging truck with a big log hauler and a couple of motor bikes. We only stayed on the road for about two K’s, then turning right took to the countryside going right thru some undulating bush country, then across someone’s coffee grove, the driver took out one complete row of coffee trees,
    Normie looked a bit pained, and the driver a tad sheepish… Until we wiped out this guy’s coffee trees we had been more or less well behaved, not that we had been there that long. We crashed thru some more bush land and caught up with the tanks, and another couple of tracked vehicles called AMC’s, which are M113 carriers minus turret with an 81mm mortar tube inside, the cavalry guys were laid back on camp chairs.

    The coffee pot was on, and music was being played inside the AMC’s.. three Centurion tanks were in triangular formation, each could fire across a one hundred and twenty degree arc, the AMC’s were situated between them.

    We were told to place Claymore mines in front of our positions, then to place our machine gun and rifle groups as per our Infantry training, by this time it was nearly dark, and by the time we had put our minefield out and sighted the guns it was dark.

    The Cav said now that we were there they were knocking off, they told us that we did not have to provide a picket on our weaponry, and that the fifty caliber MG’s on the Tracks, as we called the Cav M113’s, were the only weapons to be manned round the clock. We asked about the tankies, what they were gonna do and were told to keep out of other peoples business, barbecue’s out the bush is what, they had a barbecue going.

    I got a crash course in operating a .50 Cal from a cavalryman who seemed in on something, we were not allowed to cook up or light up our bush stoves to brew tea or coffee, muted laughter and the sfwit sound of ring pull cans, and the giveaway smell of the Barbie coming from the Armored Corps camp, mingled with the night in the forest, grey and white long tailed monkeys were in the branches of the trees.

    Barking lizards and fireflies, then at eleven o’clock I man the .50 Cal atop the AMC for a two hour picket, going off at one am, only just settling down to get a bit of sleep maybe when all hell broke loose, one of the tanks fired his 84mm turret gun, then for about a full minute tank and machine gun fire, we did not know what was going on.

    The vehicles the cavalry were manning were pouring fire into the jungle, they shouted at us to fire our Claymores, we told them we were reluctant to do so since we had not seen any enemy, and after all the fuss we wanted them in case there was a counter attack. They had a man with a bit of rank with them and he said to fire them, so we fired them, then they said get a bit of sleep ..we went off their roster after that.

    In the morning they said not to do a clearing patrol, because of the danger of unexploded ammo from the night before, we just packed up and left, arriving back at the Aussie base in time for breakfast.


    Above, Vu Van Hai ex Haiphong in North Vietnam, he deserted the North Vietnamese Army, and bore arms against his own ppl for American dollar$, he was attached to 11 Platoon as a "Bushman Scout" .. the NVA Field Gendarmerie apprehended and brought to Court Martial and execution, at least some of his fellows!

    We went on operations after about nine days in country, to a place called the Courtney Rubber Plantation, twenty two K’s north of Nui Dat astride the border of Phoc Tuy and Long Khan provinces, it had been the scene of numerous Australian battles and fire fights, and our time there was to be no different.

    I was in Eleven Platoon D Company, we went into action about six days into the operation, bursts of weapons fire, laughter and the sound of digging had betrayed the place where an enemy unit was digging in, building bunkers in the forested area adjacent to the rubber plantation.

    Taking regular compass sightings on the weapons fire and the digging noise, one female comrade’s laughter carrying a long way, then we were ordered to meet up with Company HQ and another platoon and proceed to contact. Approaching the grid reference where there had been firing coming from, trees had been cut off maybe 300mm up from the ground, and a handful of dirt had been put on the raw stumps as camouflage, then you are real close…

    A burst of automatic fire breaks the tension, someone calls for a medic an engineer with Company HQ has a serious groin wound, he has taken the full burst upward, he had trodden into the entrance of an enemy bunker. The platoon in front of us went thru a contact drill and took two more hits, a machine gun group consisting of the gunner and his offsider both seriously wounded, their medic was using his skills with the two company medics trying to keep the engineer alive.

    Someone says have you guys got a medic down there, and Sgt Buckney tells me to attend to their wounded people, I follow our line up to the ten platoon men, and they tell me their men have taken hits, enemy fire is coming from numerous points in the jungle, Lt. from 10 platoon orders no firing unless you have a direct target,
    This provoked quite a bit of enemy fire and he says, “I told you not to fire,” to an MG group from 11 platoon, the gunner tells him, “tell him about it, he’s firing at me and Mac,” Privates Colgrave and McGarry.

    I find Corporal Weatherall from 10 pl, I tell him I was told he had men down, beside him is the body of Pte Wooley from Tasmania, his head is a mass of blood and mud and stuff like that, just then firing erupts from our front, I push Wooley’s body from his position behind a low anthill and he protests, I tell him, “..sorry mate, I thought you were dead.”


    The machine gunner Private Gould was dead, his body hung up in the jungle vines hit by now with repeated bursts of enemy fire. I get to work on Pte Wooley, he had a scalp wound that had caused a lot of bleeding, an AK47 round had creased the top of his head, firing was intermittently coming from the enemy positions, and Cpl Weatherall went forward without his weapon to recover Pte Gould’s body, he is a big guy and him crashing thru the bush alerted the defenders,

    Firing was from directly in front, I could see the exhaust coming from the enemy soldier’s weapon, and fired two short bursts from an AR15 at where I reckoned the firer’s head was, no more firing came from that position.

    So on and on, we pulled out of that position after recovering the body, stayed up late and put it on a chopper, another helicopter had arrived earlier on for the wounded, the pilot would not take a K, as we pulled out so did they, the enemy fire was coming from further away, they were firing back at us as they departed.

    Back into the enemy position in the morning, deserted except for the body of the man I had fired at, his weapon was splintered and pierced where the automatic rifle fire had struck, Command said Eleven Platoon should stay in situ and be ready and waiting for any enemy who might come along.

    On December 20 along comes a group of enemy, the Australian sentry fires at the first of a group who depart firing back as they did so, a clearing patrol found nothing, throughout the remainder of the day the sound of a man in pain alerted the defenders that a wounded man lay beyond our perimeter.

    On and thru the night his moans excited the pity of Pte Kennell who called for a medic to go forward to his aid, Lieutenant Lombardo refused, early in the morning he came personally to the Lieutenant, and said he would guide the medic to the man’s location that he had pinpointed thru the night.


    Sergeant Buckney who was grinning ear to ear, chewing gum elated at this opportunity to kill an injured man, made a motion toward his weapon as my attitude became insubordinate, expecting that he would fire upon me if my aggressive attitude persisted.

    It was then that a decision was made that he was to be shot, I was the medic, I grabbed my medical supplies and hurried to Pte Kennell and proceeded in the direction where the injured man lay.

    Buckney was chewing gum open mouthed, I told him I was gonna fix this man, and see to it that he was properly repatriated to hospital care, telling them I joined the Army to be a soldier not a fukken murderer and like it or fukken not, I was going to bring aid to this man.

    Buckney went for his M16 rifle, I thought he was gonna shoot me for insubordination in the field, so I stood mute while a group under Cpl Poulson assembled and went forth and murdered him ..Pte Goody shot at the man he missed then fired a second shot killing him, yeah I want to hang them .. Smirk now you ****!!!


    Pte Brennan killed Pte Goody and Pte Earl on the early morning of May 1 1970, he fired without warning upon both men during operations, I attended both injured men and Lt Lombardo after he was wounded in battle on Feb 18 1970.

    At about 11:00 pm the previous night while D Company was in situ at Nui Dat between operations, we were woken and ordered to get into our combat gear including helmets and flack jackets, while a troop of M113 Armored Personal Carriers had appeared to take us to the Dinh Co Monastery at the foot of the Long Hai hills, where a platoon from B Company, that had engaged a group of about ten enemy, that turned out to be the advance party of a much larger force, was under siege.

    We got there before daybreak and took up positions between the salt marsh and the hills near Firebase Isa, which guarded the south eastern access to the Firestone Trail, so named since the Firestone Tyre Company's failed attempt to establish rubber plantations in the area, which went past the monastery thence to well established enemy positions in the hills.

    The enemy abandoned the siege and dispersed when they smelled the diesel fumes from the 113's, and heard the engines of the Centurion tanks that sped to the scene, another company from 8 Battalion similarly mounted in tracks, had located itself at the north western approach between the hills and the sea, while another company of mounted infantry closed the road between the hill country and the Long Dien rice fields.

    Meant that a large force of enemy was at large in the sandy scrub country with nowhere to go, since the line at Dinh Co had held, and the mounds of enemy bodies there attested to their desperate attempts to get back to the hills.


    We started moving about 7:30 am in line abreast with tanks, enemy RPG fire and satchel charges took two M113's out of the line as we advanced across the formidable minefield that surrounded the enemy positions.

    There was an enormous explosion and the interior of the vehicle filled with dust, even as an M16 Jumping Jack mine, the type which which caused over 57 per cent of Australian casualties in Vietnam, exploded beneath our vehicle.


    Then forming up in line abreast, Sergeant Bill Hoban a mine clearance expert who had deemed an area safe, was guiding down a helicopter that had arrived to retrieve Trooper Carlyle's body and to convey the wounded to hospital, he stepped onto a mine and was killed instantly, the APC with the dead and wounded went over and dropped its ramp before retrieving Bill's body.

    During this part a series of explosions coming from an entirely unexpected quarter rocked the battlefield, a helicopter was sent to investigate, whence the pilot reported that a group of enemy had stumbled onto their own mines, in what appeared to be an attempt to escape to the hills, he reported seeing about eight dead with their weapons scattered all about - no attempt was made to recover the weapons or to land for fear of mines!

    By this time the cut and thrust had been going on since about 11:00 the previous night, the tracks needed to be refueled so we went the twenty or so clicks back to Nui Dat at high speed, before dropping the dead off at the morgue and the wounded at the hospital.
    We were not allowed to leave the vehicles, and as soon as they were refueled we sped back and took our position in the line while the next group went, until everyone was fuelled and ammo'd up, since there had been a considerable amount of firing thru the night continuing into the morning.

    About midday everyone was right to go, a couple of celebrities had turned up one was combat cameraman Neil Davis who was a "war junkie" from Tasmania, he was up on the back of an APC, a couple of our officers walked over and spoke to him - never mind we were in a minefield - he was polite at first then distant and aloof!

    Came the order to move and we advanced up the Firestone trail, straight away there was firing and rocket grenades from the enemy position, while hot spent shells rained down inside the vehicle as the crew commander responded with his twin thirty caliber machine guns.


    After about a kilometer the commander dropped his ramp, whence we were to get out and proceed on foot with the tanks, the carriers were to continue at high speed until they linked with the mounted company at the north western end of the redoubt, the vehicle I had been in was blown up whence the crew commander was killed.


    Proceeding on foot sure to walk where the tank treads were, the tanks they had brought in were called L5's which were Centurions with a bulldozer blade.


    The L5's simply graded a road as they went and bulldozed the enemy out of their bunkers, bodies rolling along with the dirt and stuff, to my right a Viet Cong officer and an enlisted man were peering thru a weapons slit at ground level, I leveled my L2A1 7.62 mm automatic rifle, then held fire as a fella from A Company stepped straight into my line of fire.

    Continuing on, another troop of M113 carriers arrived and we were told to get in, they took us further on and dropped us at the foot of one of the foothills leading up to the main range, whence we were to obtain the summit and dig in to prevent any enemy that might bug out from the camp reaching the spur.

    We proceeded under sporadic enemy rifle fire gaining the summit, securing the area by placing rifle and machine gun groups at various positions, Lieutenant Lombardo said we should cool off a bit, and since most of us had not had anything to eat since the day before, make a cuppa.

    I thought it was a good idea and shucked my gear off and got my bush stove going to brew tea, I heard Vietnamese voices - the radio op was with the Boss and the Sergeant having a confab about it all - we were on the rocky summit of a small hill overlooking the Firestone valley, everywhere was overgrown with bamboo.

    Taking a look I decided to take a better look and moved around the other side of a massive boulder, and found I was looking straight down at a hidden path that went the full length of the spur, they were well traveled and just a little further up, the flared snout of a 20 mm anti aircraft gun was poking thru the bamboo!

    I needed hand grenades, and I had two in the webbing I had taken off back where my tea water was bubbling merrily away about four meters around the other side of the boulders, that was when the sh*t hit the fan, so to speak!
    The plan re the enemy decamping from the bunkers where the tanks had plowed thru had been proven correct, however some infantry mounted the 113's that had closed in from the north west had spotted them and were chasing them thru the scrub and up our hill, whence the infantry and cavalry gunners were pouring devastating fire after them.

    Lombardo was on the radio screaming that we were under fire and in danger of being over run, when a MG slug caught him liketty split between the shoulder blades, he is a naturally swarthy individual and he turned a seasick shade of green, I removed his shirt and saw frothy blood bubbling thru a wound about thirty mm across, that the tissue beneath had almost closed.

    That is a sucking chest wound, I placed the palm of my hand flat over the wound, and was relieved when he took a clear breath in and his color improved dramatically, we were still under fire and I dragged him into a large bomb crater that was there.

    Removing the waterproof outer cover of a shell dressing with one hand and my teeth, being sure that no mouth material touched the inner sterile surface, placing it over the wound and taping the whole dressing over, then put another smaller dressing, Frank Sinatra style into his armpit for luck.
    Thus employed, tracer fire had set the bamboo on fire making the aforementioned hidden paths untenable, they took to the scub as it were and passed right by, I had dressings and bandages spread everywhere and was working hard.

    Movement caught my eye and two enemy soldiers who looked they were on a walk in the park stopped by, they seemed exited to see a combat medic hard at it, they were joined by a few more until there were about five watching, when one of their NCO's, who looked like the same dude I had seen in the enemy camp appeared, and told them to never mind what I was doing and to keep moving, they were all heavily armed and I just kept working.

    Trying to keep the airtight bandage in place ..the sticking plaster would not stick to his clammy skin, just then during a lull in the firing Corporal Colough appeared, he said he had a man down up ahead and I told him to bring him in.

    He said he was immobile and requested that I go to his aid, I applied a dry bandage over Lt Lombardo's airtight dressing and Private Van Herren bound it in place, while I went to see the guy that was down further up, rock hopping all the way because of mines, the gunners on the APC's in the valley below saw it all and opened fire.

    Glancing downward saw bright white and yellow tracer arcing upward, the guy who had been hit was on his own about fifty meters up range, his upper body was sheltered behind a low rock not his legs however which had taken multiple hits, he had lost some blood and his bones were shattered, that he had not by then bled to death meant he was salvageable!
    We waited until the fire storm abated a little, he was conscious and I told him I had a casualty clearing station up yonder and that was where we were going, he had no use of his legs and he looped both hands around my neck and I skull dragged him back to where we were going.

    Colgrave's Courage!!! During this process a big mouth inbred c*** called Ray Colgrave, who was recruited from Risdon Prison in Tasmania, whose only claim to fame was that he fell upon an injured man with his inbred mates and killed him, decided to give me advice - I wanna see how much courage he has when I put the noose around his neck!!

    Took the guy back in, left his boots and his strides on and just bound both legs all up, when the medivac chopper arrived placed him onto a stokes litter and saw him winched to safety, the same with Lt Lombardo and then another twelve or so walking wounded, I was hit in the left shoulder, back and legs with machine gun fire and shrapnel, and still have a 5.56 mm slug embedded in my right hand.

    01:00 hrs 1 May 1970, on military operations in Phoc Tuy province a burst of machine gun fire followed by a calls for the Medic split the night, the machine gunner had opened fire without warning wounding two men, seven rounds caught L/Cpl Goody in the left deltoid with a large exit wound between his left armpit and shoulder blade.

    The same burst ripped into Private Earle's abdomen causing massive bleeding, he died around twenty seconds later Corporal Goody's wound though serious appeared to be manageable, he was conscious and in good spirits when we put him on the chopper, he died later that day in hospital!
    While thus engaged, elsewhere on the battlefield mines had exploded and another nine Australians were killed.


    The Minefield at Dat Do - by Greg Lockhart

    The Reunion

    In 2002 a Lew Pattle who had been 11 Platoon radio operator in Vietnam for a short time, rang and invited me to a reunion, he said a number of 11 Pl. men would be attending and would likely afterwards go out to Bluey Brennan’s farm near Roma.

    I had not seen him or the others for thirty two years, he said the reunion was still some weeks away and said he would call a few days before, weeks later he called me on a cell phone and said I could catch up with them at Errol Weatherall’s house, he was driving at the time and passed the phone to Brennan who said to come on out to Weatherall’s place, I rang Weatherall, despite the fact that he reckons he has killed better men than me, who did not know of their approach.

    I went out to meet them -I had been having serious nightmares involving terribly burnt corpses encased in a glass case filled with snow… The snow began to melt revealing the burnt charred corpses, even as I gazed they began to stir and show life, their eyes alighted on me and a hostile grimace formed on one of the awakened corpses. I woke up screaming, days later my neighbor told me he was woken by my terrible scream.

    Thus in the club as I approached their table I recognized Bridges, Boyle, Brennan, Pattle and Weatherall as the figures from the nightmare, even as Weatherall fixed his demonic gaze upon me, they were on their way to Brennan’s farm at Roma five hours west of Brisbane, and had not asked me.

    Bridges is a dog whose body language at the time suggested that he was along for the ride, he thought he was going to have the opportunity to murder me, his best mate is a killer Jew psychiatrist Bevan Kant, who tortured Vietnam veterans to death in Ward 10 at the Townsville Hospital.


    In Vietnam toward the end of the tour thay had made me a Lance Corporal, Private Bluey Boyle was flying out the next day, we were in a very dangerous place goin' on nightfall between the road and the hills, he was goofing off shouting and hollering, I told him to "knock it off" whence he spun round on his heel and leveled a 40mm grenade launcher at my midriff ..I guess I always did have trouble with personal relationships.

    I was awarded a Vietnamese decoration after patching up the wounded under fire the day Lt Lombardo was hit, the men who knew this who I had not seen for thirty two years, and on whose behalf I had gone forward wounded, saw no reason to mention it, brings to mind the sh*t that you got off of other soldiers.
    Racism - Van Johnson is a black guy, I had a sweet black girlfriend, he takes it upon himself to warn me that if he ever heard me use racist language he would, “..beat me and I would not be getting’ up either," well I will take the matter up with the black c**t any time he wants.Pattle rang again March 2007, he said that another reunion was organized for Anzac Day at Monto, at the family seat of Phillip Goody, the soldier who had fired the fatal shot when the NVA soldier was murdered and did I want to attend, I replied that since I had not been invited to Roma and that no one saw fit to mention that I had gotten a medal,

    That Weatherall had told me he had killed better men than me, and Boyle who had threatened me when I gave my one and only order as Lance Corporal, and some black c**t reckons he was gonna beat me so bad I would not get up, I said that I was not certain of my personal safety, he got off the phone, Brennan rang abusive - If they gave medals for cowardice Pattle would have got a bagful.

    On that first operation, we were out the bush for about six weeks, a couple of days after we got back we went to Vung Tau for a midweek weekend, two nights in town at the Badcoe Club near the beach, I see Weatherall having a beer with one of the Company cooks, I greet him cordially and he goes off of his head and tells me he has killed better men than me, then I belt the **** out of him, I trace his attitude to the wounded soldier incident.


    I lost my job as leading hand Rigger/ Scaffolder with Transfield at Gordonstone Coal during construction in 1991, a revolting lazy creep asked me if I knew Red Brennan, he was a machine gunner in 11 platoon, I replied, “was that Dennis Brennan,” he snarled “it’s Red Brennan!”

    That guy turned on me at work, I lost my temper then lost my job, he had made repeated provocative and vicious attacks upon me, I say he relayed that he was working with me to his mate at Roma D Brennan, who poured scorn upon me emboldening him to attack me at work with his mates .. Brennan is a filthy dog **** and a murderer!!
    Me and Johnny Vann

    In Vung Tau I team up with Cpl Muller the head medic, he told me he was happy with the way I treated Pte Wooley, we arrive at a consensus that since we were in Viet Nam and in town, to really experience the Viet Nam experience we had better drink a little beer, smoke a little marijuana, and go to a brothel.

    So we have a smoke and a couple beers then head for the brothel, the chicks were nice people but not the fancies that were working as bar girls for instance, we pay the mama san and two chicks take us with them, in the rooting cubicle I decided that at nineteen years I could do a bit better,

    I had heard lurid tales of dreadful diseases and did not want to get one, I tell the chick I have changed my mind, I still have the MJ and she has a smoke with me and gets a couple of beers.

    Having a beer and she jumps up on the bed and looks over the partition, she is giggling uncontrollably and waves me up, looking over there’s Muller pounding away I could see the funny side, movement and noise indicated the cubicle on the opposite side had an occupant, the chick pushes the bed over and looks over, she has closed her mouth waves at me to join her.

    John Paul Vann

    A thin Caucasian male late forties was being served, civilian clothes neatly stacked, my girl giggles loudly then ducks her head, the guy having sex face up is an American says, “… say man, who the f--- are you anyway, “ I say, “sorry mate my girlfriend made me do it,” he tells his girl, “have you ever met a God damn Aussie, with good manners,” ..that was the first time I caused Johnny Vann liver shrinkage.

    The next time was in October 1970, I was a Lance Corporal and was combined medic and machine gunner, there were seven left in our platoon that had come over on the Sydney, most had rotated home their enlistment over, 11 platoon had suffered fourteen wounded in battle in the Long Hai hills in Eastern Phoc Tuy province in February, two of whom had been repatriated to Australia.


    Scottish soldier Ronnie Sharp, who shaved his mustache before we went on ops else an enemy sniper use it as an "aiming point," when the sniper's round hit him it was from side on .. we had lost two men killed in a friendly fire incident on 1 May, and a man had gone home wounded after a Regional Force soldier had sniped at us in September, the RF were armed and equipped by the Americans and were supposed to be our allies.

    I was asked to attend an Orders Group with some officers and NCO’s, they wanted to know how I liked it as a machine gunner, I smelled a rat.
    A Frenchman, the civilian manager of the Michelin Tire owned Rubber Company had been murdered in about August, an Australian SAS soldier was said to have rappelled from a helicopter into his front yard, entered his house and shot him dead, despite his pleas to be allowed to telephone the commander of 1 ATF at Nui Dat.

    He was a good guy, and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as I was concerned, I had seen him a couple of times driving a Renault thru the rubber plantations, he would wave .. They told us at the O Group, that intelligence had revealed a supply train was leaving the village of Long Dien that night and we would be placed to intercept them, our platoon had been split into two halves, and I would be point MG in a twelve man ambush.

    After being delivered by road we made our way across flooded rice fields and took up our positions in a cemetery, we had machine groups at two points of a triangular position, and a command radio group in rear protection, I would be the machine gunner right front.

    I sighted two banks of Claymore mines on a paddy bund and could deliver enfiladed fire across an arc of one hundred and twenty degrees, nightfall and the flooded fields became a myriad of lights, the villagers were chasing fish and crustaceans using candles and torches to find them, later in the night the fields were deserted and in my gun group I was the only one awake.


    We had been sent some guys who had been shelled by friendly artillery while still in the reinforcement unit, losing men killed on their first night in the bush, just a few hundred meters outside of the wire at Nui Dat, on July 20 that year, I let them sleep.

    South Vietnam July 20 1970: Around 9 PM two friendly artillery rounds fired from the New Zealand battery, crashed down close to the barbed wire perimeter of D Company Eighth Battalion, part of 1 Australian Task Force based at Nui Dat in Phoc Tuy province.

    Then the sound of a salvo of about four rounds, then a few seconds silence and as the echoes died away, a helicopter was heard even as another salvo crashed down, the sound of the chopper merging with the explosions of the 105mm artillery shells.

    Elements from 1 Australian Reinforcement Unit on a night exercise just a few hundred meters outside of the wire, had taken casualties from artillery fire, that had been relayed to the medivac people who had got a helicopter airborne and on its way to the scene, all without causing the artillery to stop firing. Lives were lost.

    Just who was giving orders, the Australian Government had about that time decided to reduce the commitment to the Vietnam war, and had said that when 8 Battalion rotated home in November it would not be replaced, might be that this was a going away present in response to the government’s decision, organized by Mr B52 himself master war criminal Johnny Vann, who was known to be active in the area.
    Some time maybe around eleven o'clock a beautiful Vietnamese girl comes along, she has a steam cooker of food in one hand and a bag of rice in the other, she had what looked like a WW2 Japanese rifle slung diagonally across her back, and looked exactly like a Vietnamese freedom fighter on a propaganda poster.

    I had a beautiful girlfriend I had met in Vung Tau, and just as I loved her I knew this girl was going to meet someone whom she loved, I showed her the correct path, and placing my finger up and down in front of my lips that she make no sound, saw her safely away from the militarized area.
    About midnight bursts of automatic rifle fire sprayed tracer across the rice, I lifted the M60 into position, mist had spread across the paddy fields, a group was moving out of the village in the dark and thru the mist finding their way with torches and candles, I leveled the gun it fires at a cyclic rate of five hundred and sixty rounds per minute, each fifth round tracer, I had twelve hundred rounds in a waterproof rucksack kept clean and free of dust.

    Navigating across rice paddies is a zigzag type of thing, as way is made along bunds and dykes, we were going to intercept them none the less since their way toward the Long Hai hills met up with our position in the cemetery, a couple of times they lined up with the sights, then I had them broadside as they tracked toward my position, I could see about seven lights, and as they drew closer saw some were lower down and closer to the ground than others, as though the person holding the torch had short legs.

    From about fifty meters downrange they got onto a bund that brought them walking in a line, directly toward my machine gun and into the field of fire from both banks of Claymores, for about twenty meters till they turned onto another bund, their lights dimming in the mist as they zigzagged toward the hills.

    Next day there is a hell of a stink, another O Group and some officer says you must have seen them, I tell him I saw them alright, he says well why didn’t you fire, and I told him that I much preferred that they remained unmolested, they get long faced because it was an operation organized by the Americans, Johnny Vann was in charge of intelligence just there, and was said to be right pissed off.


    Read more about J Vann in, A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan, the best book about the Viet Nam war.

    Dirt on the SAS - In Vietnam one evening late in the tour, I am Duty NCO in the D Company orderly room, a vehicle pulls up and two SAS men march in, they are looking for one of our company corporals who was formerly a Parachute Jump Instructor in the Airborne Platoon at Williamstown in NSW.

    I tell them that he is on R&R. One of the SAS men is a Corporal and has an M16 rifle with a 40mm grenade launcher built in, called an under and over, the other guy is a Lance Corporal who had an M16, so I told them the guy they wanted is not there, I ask if they are from the Sas, two stripes asks again, I say, "like are you from the Sas," he tells me it is the S.A.S.

    I thank him for his patience and tell him none the less, that should he and his mate like to leave their weapons in the orderly room locker, I would take them over to the wet mess where they can meet some of our people, and have a beer as well, the Corp says "where I go this goes," referring to his weapon, I tell him that in that case, he and it, and his mate, had better get off of the premises.

    Bridges and I in our Hippy gear

    The officer corps was in disarray, in Vung Tau myself and Private Jack Bridges had met two beautiful Vietnamese girls and were on a date with them at the Grand Hotel, Bridges was from South Carolina in the USA, his family had moved from there to Brisbane in the sixties and he joined the Australian Army in 1969.

    Our platoon commander had been wounded in battle, our new Lieutenant was an ex New South Wales policeman, he told us he used to get his kicks turning a fire hose on the prisoners in the cells in the Sydney watch house. Australian Military Police accosted us on our date, Bridges had left his leave pass behind so they took him into custody, our Platoon Commander Lt Matthew Faulkner heard he was in custody, then talked his way into the cells and turned the fire hose on Private Bridges.


    About September 1970, laying up at night on the Border of Phouc Tuy and Bien Hoa provinces, at the bottom left hand corner on the map, on the part that runs due north south.

    NVA T34 tanks in South Vietnam

    Around twenty two clicks south west of US Fire Support Base Black Horse, on a raised roadway, overgrown and inaccessible by wheeled vehicles, that could be as old as the ancient Vietnamese Kingdom .. 9:30 pm it had been raining, the Moon was disappearing between the rainclouds causing shine and shadow!

    There were troop movements about two hundred meters down, by 04:30 the following morning, about two and a half thousand enemy had passed across our front .. Around 11:00 pm that night, first the squeal of worn out bearings then the screech of un greased tracks, beside Corporal Kevin Poulson, I said "that's a effin tank," he grunted.

    I said come on man we gotta get after it, I turned inwards and spoke to the other groups, that we must be quick.. no one moved a muscle .. the tank climbed up on to the raised section, crossed over and went down the other side, the next night another one did the same thing going the same way, the troops were going left to right, the tanks were rollin' right to left, toward Saigon.

    On the second night, when the tank's engine was roaring about two hundred meters away, I told Lieutenant Matthew Faulkner, he turned the fire hose on one of our ppl in cells at Vung Tau weeks before, that we must deploy our M 72 light anti tank weapons, and blow the tank to pieces, that they were chicken the night before, and they have a perfect opportunity to redeem themselves!

    He grunted the same way Paulson had, who had gone forth in December the previous year, and killed a wounded enemy soldier I had wished to save .. Lieutenant Matthew "Firehose" Faulkner, Corporals Kevin Poulson and Malcolm Edwards, should have been put against a wall and shot, for cowardice in the face of the enemy!

  2. Me and David Duke



    I met David in a bar in Bangkok in early August 1970, we were both on R&R.


    I had been participating in Australian military operations, centered around fire support base Barbara, in the sand hills at the North Eastern end of the Long Hai peninsular, in South Vietnam .. departing Saigon for Bangkok!

    The other passengers were US Military personnel, who had just completed the successful invasion of Cambodia, and Thai soldiers returning home, General Colin Powell, commander of the Cambodian op, was on board the aircraft.

    In Bangkok I went to a bar, and ran into a couple of guys from the flight, they were all Americans and invited me to join them, one was David Duke, who was a l-e-g-e-n-d, he was a helicopter crew chief in the US Air Cavalry, and like the others he had just returned from Cambodia.

    He was a cool guy, and all the bar girls knew who he was, crew chief meant he was in combat ops every day, one of the others asked him why he kept on, his reply was, he liked "smoking dope and killing Gooks," he was to become Grand Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and to stand for the position of Governor of Louisiana.


    David's bio says, he was in the Peace Corps in Laos, during the most part of the conflict .. he was in the Peace Corps like Sylvia Sant was in the Chastity League!



  3. Maybe March 1970 in a vehicular convoy leaving the truce city of Vung Tau - the NVA took their in country leave there a well as Americans, Australians and New Zealanders - waiting for a helicopter gunship escort for the 30 K trip back to Nui Dat, that was required past a certain point, we were parked adjacent to a fortified fence, with a sentry box housing a US Navy man with a Shore Patrol armband, looked like Jesse Ventura!




  4. When the above scabbing took place at the BLF, the scab organizer was a dude who had been in the same tent as me in Vietnam, he was an ignorant prick then and still is, I clouted him in back of his head at Coles supermarket in New Farm Q a couple years ago .. nearly got banned .. I told him I am gonna spit on him next, then flog him into the ground and piss on him so he smells like a man!

  5. Murder on the Battlefield .. MT in Vietnam, its tough!



    I went to Vietnam as an Infantry Medic with 8th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment in November 1969, aboard HMAS Sydney, departing Brisbane 17 November, arriving Vung Tau harbor 28 November, my call sign was Starlight Grey Four Two.


    After a couple days of lectures we were told to prepare for a cross country jaunt with the Cavalry, we would be heading up country in M113 Armored Personnel Carriers, to rendezvous with another armored detachment that had tanks.


    Lance Corporal Normie Rowe, an Australian pop music man who sold plenty of records until he was drafted, was Commander of the vehicle I was in, he had about ten days hair on his face, and had gone to the trouble of lacing his boots from the outside in, he told us that he was on ‘happy pills,’ they were issued when a soldier had only fourteen days to go in country.

    We did not leave Nui Dat the main Australian base until about three in the afternoon, we traveled out of the main gate turning right on to a macadam road, the view was across about six kilometers of farmland.


    Then densely forested foothills and a jungle covered hill with a couple of summits and saddles, called Nui Dinh from the east, Nui Thi from the west, and the Nui Thi Vai’s in operational terms, known colloquially in Australian Army slang as The Warbies or Warburton Mountain, a large rocky outcrop visible from the road, was said to be used for target practice by artillery units.

    Going up the road it was great, we were sitting on top of the carriers in the breeze, civilian traffic was a logging truck with a big log hauler and a couple of motor bikes .. We only stayed on the road for about two K’s, then turning right took to the countryside, going right thru some undulating bush country, across someone’s coffee grove.

    The driver took out one complete row of coffee trees, Normie looked a bit pained, and the driver a tad sheepish… until we wiped out this guy’s coffee trees, we had been more or less well behaved, not that we had been there that long.

    We crashed thru some more bush land and caught up with the tanks, and another couple of tracked vehicles called AMC’s, which are M113 carriers minus turret with an 81mm mortar tube inside.

    The cavalry guys were laid back on camp chairs, the coffee pot was on and music was being played inside the AMC’s, three Centurion tanks were in triangular formation, each could fire across a one hundred and twenty degree arc, the AMC’s were situated between them.

    We were told to place Claymore mines in front of our positions, and to place our machine gun and rifle groups as per our Infantry training, by this time it was nearly dark, and by the time we had put our minefield out and sighted the guns, it was dark.

    The Cav said now that we were there they were knocking off, they told us that we did not have to provide a picket on our weaponry, and that the fifty caliber MG’s on the Tracks, as we called the Cav M113’s, were the only weapons to be manned round the clock, we asked about the tankies, what they were gonna do, and were told to keep out of other peoples business, barbecue’s out the bush is what.

    They had a barbecue going, I got a crash course in operating a .50 Cal from a cavalryman who seemed in on something.
    We were not allowed to cook up, or to light up our bush stoves to brew tea or coffee, muted laughter and the sfwit sound of ring pull cans, and the giveaway smell of the Barbie coming from the Armored Corps camp, mingled with the night in the forest.

    Grey and white long tailed monkeys were in the branches of the trees, barking lizards and fireflies, then at eleven o’clock I man the .50 Cal atop the AMC for a two hour picket, going off at one am, only just settling down to get a bit of sleep maybe when all hell broke loose.

    One of the tanks fired his 84mm turret gun, then for about a full minute tank and machine gun fire, we did not know what was going on, the cavalry were pouring fire into the jungle, they shouted at us to fire our Claymores, we told them we were reluctant to do so, since we had not seen any enemy, and after all the fuss we wanted them in case there was a counter attack.

    They had a man with a bit of rank with them, he said to fire them, so we fired them, then they said get a bit of sleep .. we went off their roster after that, in the morning they said not to do a clearing patrol, because of the danger of unexploded ammo from the night before, we just packed up and left, arriving back at the Aussie base in time for breakfast.


    We went on operations after about twelve days in country, to a place called the Courtney Rubber Plantation, twenty two K’s north of Nui Dat, astride the border of Phoc Tuy and Long Khan provinces, it had been the scene of numerous Australian battles and fire fights, and our time there was to be no different.

    I was in Eleven Platoon D Company, we went into action about six days into the operation, bursts of weapons fire, laughter and the sound of digging, had betrayed the place where an enemy unit was digging in, building bunkers in the forested area adjacent to the rubber plantation.
    Taking regular compass sightings on the weapons fire and the digging noise, one female comrade’s laughter carrying a long way, then we were ordered to meet up with Company HQ and another platoon and proceed to contact.

    Approaching the grid reference where there had been firing coming from, trees had been cut off maybe 300mm up from the ground and a handful of dirt had been put on the raw stumps as camouflage, then you are real close.

    A burst of automatic fire breaks the tension, someone calls for a medic, an engineer with Company HQ has a serious groin wound, he has taken the full burst upward, he had trodden into the entrance of an enemy bunker.

    The platoon in front of us went thru a contact drill and took two more hits, a machine gun group consisting of the gunner and his offsider both seriously wounded, their medic was using his skills with the two company medics trying to keep the engineer alive.
    Someone says have you guys got a medic down there, and Sgt Buckney tells me to attend to their wounded people, I follow our line up to the ten platoon men and they tell me their men have taken hits, enemy fire is coming from numerous points in the jungle.

    Lt. from 10 platoon orders no firing unless you have a direct target, this provoked quite a bit of enemy fire and he says, “I told you not to fire,” to an MG group from 11 platoon, the gunner tells him, “tell him about it, he’s firing at me and Mac,” Privates Colgrave and McGarry.

    I find Corporal Weatherall from 10 pl, I tell him I was told he had men down, beside him is the body of Pte Wooley from Tasmania, his head is a mass of blood and mud and stuff like that, just then firing erupts from our front, I push Wooley’s body from his position behind a low anthill and he protests .. I tell him, “… I’m sorry mate, I thought you were dead.”


    The machine gunner Private Gould was dead his body hung up in the jungle vines, hit by now with repeated bursts of enemy fire .. I get to work on Pte Wooley he had a scalp wound that had caused a lot of bleeding, an AK47 round had creased the top of his head, firing was intermittently coming from the enemy positions and Cpl Weatherall went forward without his weapon to recover Pte Gould’s body.

    He is a big guy and him crashing thru the bush alerted the defenders, firing was from directly in front, I could see the exhaust coming from the enemy soldier’s weapon and fired two short bursts from an AR15 at where I reckoned the firer’s head was, no more firing came from that position.

    So on and on, we pulled out of that position after recovering the body, stayed up late and put it on a chopper, another helicopter had arrived earlier on for the wounded, the pilot would not take a K, as we pulled out so did they, the enemy fire was coming from further away, they were firing back at us as they departed.

    Back into the enemy position in the morning, deserted except for the body of the man I had fired at, his weapon was splintered and pierced where the automatic rifle fire had struck.
    Command said Eleven Platoon should stay in situ and be ready and waiting for any enemy who might come along. On December 20 along comes a group of enemy, the Australian sentry fires at the first of a group who depart firing back as they did so, a clearing patrol found nothing, throughout the remainder of the day the sound of a man in pain alerted the defenders that a wounded man lay beyond our perimeter.

    On and thru the night his moans excited the pity of Pte Kennell who called for a medic to go forward to his aid, Lieutenant Lombardo refused, early in the morning he came personally to the Lieutenant, and said he would guide the medic to the man’s location that he had pinpointed thru the night.

    The DVA rejected my claim that I am totally stressed out, after I witnessed the murder of a wounded North Vietnamese soldier during combat operations on December 21 1969 .. I was a combat medic… I had pleaded for his life, during which process it looked as though I was gonna get shot myself.

    Sergeant Buckney who was grinning ear to ear, chewing gum elated at this opportunity to kill an injured man, made a motion toward his weapon as my attitude became insubordinate… expecting that he would fire upon me if my aggressive attitude persisted.
    It was then that a decision was made that he was to be shot, I was the medic, I grabbed my medical supplies and hurried to Pte Kennell and proceeded in the direction where the injured man lay, Sgt Buckney was chewing gum open mouthed.


    I told him I was gonna fix this man, and see to it that he was properly repatriated to hospital care, telling them I joined the Army to be a soldier not a fukken murderer and like it or fukken not, I was going to bring aid to this man.

    Buckney went for his M16 rifle, I thought he was gonna shoot me for insubordination in the field …a group under Cpl Poulson went out on a patrol and Pte Goody shot at the man, he missed then fired a second shot killing him, yeah I want to hang him, I'll give him a stick of chewing gum he can chaw on while I fix the noose around his neck, smirk now you c**t!


    L/Cpl Goody, and Pte Earl were killed early on the morning of May 1 1970, after Pte Brennan fired without warning upon both men during operations, I attended both, and Lt Lombardo after he was wounded in battle on Feb 18 1970.

    Their mate Bluey Boyle indicated he wanted to add to the count, when stern faced he rammed a M 79 grenade launcher into my midriff, the night before his departure in August that year .. He was goofing off cos he was flying out next day, I was a Lance Corp, and I told him to knock it off... it was a good Irish way to say good bye.

    That time I was in a two man group with another Irishman Bill Leabody, we were in heavy scrub, ambushing a track between an overgrown cultivation on one side, and jungle on the other, he and I were in rear protection, about two in the morning a burst of machine gun fire...

    I rolled over into a firing position and leveled my weapon, Leabody starts sinking his boot into my pack thinking he is kicking me in response to my reticence, unaware that I am in a firing position about eighteen inches to his right, three times in quick succession he kicks my pack.

    I sink my elbow into him and ask, "whattaya fukken doin'" he starts mumbling an apology, when Brennan calls, "Medic!!" ...three treacherous Irishmen... there ain't no other sort, I rise, knee drop onto Leabody's torso and give him a right fist to the face, as I rise with my medical supplies to go and see what was on Brennan's mind.

    Thats the Irishman, ever ready and at all times to turn against you, and they go for the boot ...the next day he apologizes, he says, "I thought you were still lyin' down." I tell him to get ****ed!
    Brennen's burst had caught Phil Goody in the left deltoid the six entry wounds in a group about forty mm across, they had traveled not so terribly far beneath the skin, and exited in a group between his left shoulder blade and his armpit, leaving a wound about sixty mm long and forty broad.

    The same burst had entered Phil Earle in his mid section rear, and exited thru his lower abdominal region, his intestines were protruding and he had lost most of his blood, he died about within twenty seconds.

    I rolled up a shell dressing and stuffed it gently into L/Cpl Goody's exit wound, then bound it all up with dressings and covered it all with sweat rags... Pte Mulready assisted this process... Sgt Buckney wanted to know how they were, I said take a look and tell me.

    I told him that Pte Earle had passed away, that Goody was serious but he was conscious, and we obviously needed medical evacuation, they told me a helicopter was on its way, what with everything I found the radio handset in my possession again and brought the chopper down.

    On the air to US Medevac, they say we are gonna be there in plus two minutes, I say ok look out for a flare... I ask if any of the M 79 gunners have a flare loaded, someone says yes, and I tell him to fire, Johnny Wales fired one, so did someone else so we got two parachute flares lighting up the night sky...

    I tell the pilot that there are two flares and that we fired both, just in case his gunner thought one was fired by the enemy trying to decoy him and started blasting!
    The pilot says ok he can see two flares, I say he would likely have to use his winch cos the whole place was overgrown with bamboo and banana trees .. he says no, he was gonna land, I tell him to look out for injuns in his outer side .. he says he did not think there were any injuns about .. I tell him there are, and all the fuss has woken them and got them interested.

    He turns his light on and brings his ship down... he used the rotors on the heli to cut his own LZ, and there are pieces of bamboo and bits of banana tree swirling in the downdraft, we load our men on, Phill Goody was conscious, while we were waitin' for the chopper he told me he wished it would effen hurry, I had wrapped Private Earl's body in a groundsheet and bound it up with rope!

    Hours later as the Sun was rising Brennan told everyone within earshot, got any more we'll kill them too," .. I don't see any reason why he should not be charged with culpable homicide!

    In 2002 a Lew Pattle who had been 11 Platoon radio operator in Vietnam for a short time, rang and invited me to a reunion, he said a number of 11 Pl. men would be attending and would likely afterwards go out to Bluey Brennan’s farm near Roma.
    I had not seen Pattle nor several of the others since VN, he said the reunion was still some weeks away and I asked him to call within a few days of the event, weeks later he called me on a cell phone, and said I could catch up with them at Errol Weatherall’s house.

    He was driving at the time and passed the phone to Brennan, who said to come on out to Weatherall’s joint, I rang Weatherall, despite the fact that he reckons he has killed better men than me, who did not know of their approach .. I went out to meet them.

    I had been having serious nightmares, involving terribly burnt corpses encased in a glass case filled with snow, the snow began to melt revealing the burnt charred corpses, even as I gazed they began to stir and show life, their eyes alighted on me and a hostile grimace formed on one of the awakened corpses .. I woke happy that it was only a dream!

    The next time I had the same dream, the corpses climbed out of the case and were stalking me grim faced .. I woke relieved to be safe at home, when I had the same dream again, the corpse men were in full flight after me.

    I escaped the building and fortuitously there was a taxi, I jumped in and told the driver to step on it, the corpse men were still there but the driver would not go, he ignored my protests saying wanted to find out what they wanted, he got out of the car and disappeared into the night.

    Then one of the corpse men appeared in the headlights, he was holding the driver's severed head by the hair ...I woke screaming, days later my neighbor told me he was woken by the terrible sound!
    Entering the club and approaching the table then recognizing Bridges, Boyle, Brennan, Pattle and Weatherall as the figures from the nightmare, then Weatherall gave me the evil eye, even as the figure in the dream had, I got away from them.

    They all had their bed rolls with them, called swags here, for their camping trip they made it equally clear that I would not be going out to Roma, which explained the gap in communication after Pattle had rung weeks before the event.

    It turns out that Bridges never rang at all, despite Pattle saying he and Boyle were going, so if he had rang, I would have said pick me up in Brisbane and when Bluey Boyle got here from Western Australia, he could go out with Brennan.

    That did not work, cos they had independently decided to have a bit if fun, to lure me out to the fukken club, where they could show me their clean pair of heels as they took off for Roma, and I went back home to the Brisbane suburb of New Farm.
    What are they gonna do next... the killed my fukken patient in fukken Vietnam... sure I hate myself, when Henry Kennell came to Platoon Headquarters and reported that there was definitely a wounded man beyond our perimeter.

    He requested permission to go to his aid, I s-h-o-u-l-d have put my hat on, left my weapon behind and despite orders and military protocols gone to his assistance... however it came down to firstly Kennell then me pleading, to the gum chewing scorn of Sergeant Buckney at least, no one at all did anything but look away.

    I took my bag up and that's when Buckney looked toward his weapon... should I have taken a burst in the guts for my trouble, they planned to murder one man already sure my death could be just as easily put down to a contact with the enemy .. They told me to get back and told Kennell to get back, and sent Corp Poulson who asked for volunteers and Goody shot him... he missed the first shot so he fired again.

    I run an anti abortion campaign am I supposed to throw myself in front of the doctors... I do what I can, sure I shoulda... then I woulda ...then maybe I coulda... I did fuk all except stand there while they killed my man... I always did have trouble with personal relationships.


    I was awarded a Vietnamese decoration after patching up the wounded under fire the day Lt Lombardo was hit, the men who knew this who I had not seen for thirty two years, and on whose behalf I had gone forward wounded, saw no reason to mention it.

    That occasion the platoon was "reacted" at about 11:10 pm, on the evening of the seventeenth February 1970, to go by Cavalry thus M113 transport, to the aid of another platoon from B Company Eighth Battalion, who had got into difficulties at the Dinh Co Monastery.

    A notorious hot spot on the equally notorious Firestone Trail, that lead directly to the enemy controlled Long Hai hills ...the US Firestone Tire Company had put in the track, when they had attempted to establish rubber plantations in the area, in more peaceful times.

    Roaring thru the night on the carriers we arrive at nearby Firebase Isa, at the foot of the main ridge, between the road and the tidal flats some time in the early hours, then at daybreak proceeded to the battle site.
    The Monastery is a natural rocky outcrop on sandy dry place between two spurs of the range, there is just one wall around three or four meters high, up to a stone platform about six meters by eight, the way up is via a natural stones staircase.

    The Australian platoon who occupied the place overnight engaged a small number of enemy, thought to be about five, who it turned out were scouting ahead of a much larger group thought to number about one hundred, they had a fire fight thru the night and at one stage lost communication.

    The sun was well up, and some other Cavalry vehicles and about three tanks had got there before us, there were about a dozen or so bodies under a tarpaulin, one only human foot sticking out from under the tarp, we had to stay on the tracks not dismounting for any reason because of mines.

    We spend the morning roaring around the place, listening to radio traffic inside the vehicle, a cavalry vehicle is in contact some distance away, the Crew Commander is giving a running commentary, describing a wounded enemy crawling across the battle zone and telling, "I just shot his head off," he was killed about an hour later.

    After that, maybe 9:30 am, someone has decided there is a battalion of hostiles camped in the redoubt between the hills, so we are gonna attack, we form a line in the sandy scrubby dirt, and await orders.

    Neil Davis famous combat cameraman has turned up from somewhere, and he is perched on the back of one of the tracked vehicles, a couple of officers, seemingly oblivious to the fact that we were in a mine field, walk over to talk to him, he is polite at first then distant and aloof... he seemed a trifle cynical to me.

    Another hundred fifty meters or so past him, an M 113 Armored Personnel Carrier moves toward a piece of open sand, a helicopter is hovering, then the chopper the track disappear in a plume of dust from a mine explosion... the helo was coming in to rendezvous with the APC that had Trooper Carlyle's body and some wounded.


    Bill Hoban Assault Pioneer Sergeant who was a mine clearance specialist, was killed when he trod on a mine as he was guiding the chopper down, they decided not to attempt another landing, and when the dust cleared the APC backed up to where Bill's body lay, dropped its rear ramp and they dragged it in.

    A pattern five or six heavy duty explosions went off some distance to the right front, no one had called for artillery or an air strike up there so they sent a chopper to take a look, he reported back that a group of about eight enemy had stumbled onto their own minefield, he said there were no signs of life, and that their weapons were strewn all about, they told him not to land and made no effort to recover the weapons.

    Mid morning and we go back to Nui Dat in an armored convoy, drop both bodies at the morgue, and the wounded at the hospital, then refuel the tracks ...we and are not allowed to leave the vehicles, and as soon as they are fueled up we head back out.

    The cut and chase was still going on, with cavalry units and mounted infantry chasing down bands of enemy... Ka-Boom we ran over a mine... thick dust filled the interior of the vehicle, the driver stopped, got out and made an inspection, then reported no damage to the dismayed commander.
    Eventually someone says get out and walk, only its straight thru the enemy camp, the tanks go first and we walk in the tread marks to avoid mines, to the left tanks with bulldozer blades cut thru enemy bunkers, there are body like objects being dozed along with the remnants of the bunkers.

    To the right I see right into an enemy bunker, an enemy officer is sticking to his guns as he and his mate watch us go by .. W-i-m-p you are all saying ...why didn't you grease him like you were bein' paid to do.


    Answer: Because a bloke from A company got between me and the two enemy, I had my 7.62 Caliber L1A2 automatic rifle on full auto, and was about to blow the both of them to ****, when suddenly about five A Company blokes were in the line of fire... had to keep goin'!

    Thru the enemy camp and they say to get back into the carriers... they take us, under heavy fire the crew commander was firing twin thirty caliber MGs, and the hot spent cartridges were spilling all around the inside of the vehicle!


    To a place where we have to get out and climb to the top of one of the foothills, Eleven Platoon was in two carriers both of which took hits after we got out .. goin' up the hill under rifle fire, crack .. crakkkk, and get to the first summit of a saddle that will take us up to the top of the main ridge.

    The scout is about halfway up when the Lt calls him back, we regroup and take a rest - Lt tells us to have something to eat and make a cuppa, it is very tense and the feeling of detachment, like here we were rock hoppin' around the desert peninsular in a foreign land... surely they had the right to resist.

    There were tall standing boulders about ten feet high, right where the Lieutenant said to establish Platoon HQ, reasoning that such a prominent place would surely be an enemy post, and deciding to take a real look, because we had been moving fast none of the terrain had been checked.

    There was bamboo growing in thickets between the boulders and a hidden pathway went between the boulders and the bamboo, it was well trodden and looked like it had been used within the last minute or two, a sheet of plastic of the type used by NVA units as well a few camp items, lay in a canebreak only meters from our position.
    The path went straight up onto the main ridge on the left of the saddle, so that anyone who wanted to go that way just had to stay on the path, which was clearly defined as long as you were on it, though nearly invisible from anywhere else, and for the fact that it wound between the rocks, meant that whoever used it avoided being on the skyline, which could have been our undoing.

    Thinkin' about where to most usefully deploy a hand grenade, when the sh*t hit the fan so to speak .. The military activity at ground level had induced numbers of enemy to seek the comparative safety of the main ridge, and a troop of cavalry were chasing them... they were using the hidden pathways to get up the hill, and the cavalry machine gunners were pouring fire onto them not knowing that we were there!!

    As soon as the firing started, one went to ground and took up ones weapon seeking where to return fire, Lt Lombardo was on the radio explaining that we were under heavy fire, and telling the other end we needed air support, he was to my left and even as he was speaking into the radio he went forward hit.

    He slumped over and the hand set fell from his hand, behind both of us was a bomb crater left over from previous military sorties in the area, I took up my bag of medical supplies and rolled into the crater and dragged him legs first down with me, there was profuse bleeding and his shirt was soaked with blood.
    The wound was about thirty mm across, frothy blood was bubbling through where fatty tissue had mostly closed the hole, there was no exit wound, his skin had a greenish hue and he was barely conscious.

    I placed the inner surface of a sterile shell dressing against the wound, then stuck it down with an airtight sheet of waterproof surgical material, putting a roll of crepe bandage into his armpit for luck, like Frank Sinatra did in the movie Von Ryan's Express.

    Then bound him up triangular bandage and sweat rag, which is a broad military toweling like material .. he could breath albeit shallowly, and his color had improved dramatically .. The radio handset he had dropped lay there, so I jumped on the phone and told whoever was there that we were in deep ****, and that the boss was down, and by the sound of the yelpin' that was goin on there were plenty of others.

    Someone said the lead scout was down up ahead and was in serious bother... I had not quite done with the Boss, and told them to bring him in .. then Corp Colough says, "we have a man down, are you gonna take a look," his body language said he was gonna use reticence in the face of fire against me, and sensing a set up I handed Lt Lombardo over to Pte Van Herren, grabbed my medical bag and went after their man.

    Moving up the line thru the bamboo, still rock hoppin' since there were mines everywhere, the whole place was on fire from spent tracer rounds and grenades, by now it was obvious we were under friendly fire, and looking down into the valley below could see the troop of cavalry pourin' machine gun fire on, their tracer rounds arcing high into the sky.
    The guy that was hit, had been moving across the skyline from the perspective of the dudes in the tracked vehicles... he was nearly sixty meters further on, way out in front, he was semi conscious, both his legs were shattered and had multiple bullet wounds, the fact that he was partly behind a low boulder saved his upper body, he had lost a lot of blood, and was going to die in a couple of minutes unless the blood flow was staunched.

    There was very little room to move, since it was very open on the ridge of the saddle and visible from below, checking that there was no fire directed onto us at that time, the cavalry gunners were still firing intermittent bursts.

    Timing my run that would bring he and I back to the casualty clearing station I had established to arrive before the spotters on the cav vehicles had time to react.

    I put both hands under his armpits, and dragged him to the bomb crater where I had established the clearing station, then slit up both his trouser legs, and applied as many shell dressings as covered the wounds pressure binding them on, and using local timber splinted both legs.

    Ray Colgrave starts mouthing off... yells out, "dont go running around," next time the big mouthed c**t wants to talk, he can tell the judge what his movements were when a wounded man was murdered. This inbred c**t, they recruited from Risdon Prison in Tasmania, will be for the gallows along with Buckney, Lombardo and Paulson.
    The firing went on for a full twenty minutes by which time we had about fourteen men down, I had my medical supplies all over the place and had two serious casualties, and a couple less serious ones, I looked up and there were two enemy, NVA call them .. Viet Cong, or who ever they were looking on, and even as I looked back about another five or six passed thru, I just kept working!

    Then someone got the helicopters, fixed wing jets were bombing, helicopter gunships were doing strafing runs just meters above our heads, Lombardo and the guy with the leg wounds got lifted out with a Stokes Litter, which takes prone patients by winch, the rest of the wounded were winched out by sling two at a time, I had taken a couple shrapnel wounds, and an M 16 slug was and still is, in my right hand!

    The chopper pilot did not wanna hover around all over the place, so as soon as the slings were loaded he flew away, my weapon and pack were loaded as well, and since I had an armpit wound and had no feeling, I thought I was gonna fall out of the sling, flying over the battle zone, hanging under a helicopter on a wire rope, was nearly the best time I had in Vietnam .. till I met this great chick!!!


    Sergeant Baker and seven other members of 1 Platoon A Company died in multiple mine explosions, Sapper Hubble was being winched down for mine clearing after an initial blast had claimed lives, while he was suspended on the helicopter's winch cable, another mine detonated killing him and more men on the ground!

    By then someone decided the ground assault had cost too many lives, and decided the best way would be to bomb... so they ordered an Arc Light, which is military jargon for a B 52 strike, for the twenty n-i-n-t-h of February.

    On the twenty eighth the battalion pulled back, or gave it away and sent the bombers in ...or retreated ...or found sum'pin better to do ...or became disinterested, to a safe distance so as not to be in the way, in case any of the B 52's hardware accidentally fell on them!

    By the time someone told them there was no 29 Feb that year, it was the first of March anyway so the battalion had a day off, the B 52's eventually blasted the empty enemy positions in an Earth shattering roar on the early morning of 2 March!
    Racism, the sh*t had hit the fan racially before we left Brisbane, after completing military exercises in Tin Can bay, and Shoalwater bay in Queensland, not long before we left we had an informal gathering in a pub in Brisbane, we had a couple of colored guys both from North Queensland, it was gonna be a great opportunity to get to know both guys!

    Before I got to the bar, and before I had ordered a drink or sat down, Van Johnson who is a black guy who was seated there before I arrived, takes it upon himself to warn me that if he ever heard me use racist language he would, “..beat me, and I would not be getting up either,” I had a sweet black girlfriend.

    For the sake of not wanting to go down for manslaughter, the pub had a hard tile floor and plenty men defending themselves against verbal assault, such as I had suffered here, have gone down for MS before this, when their abuser got hit in the chin, then hit his head on the floor and died!!

    Which is why he did not get hammered there and then, and for the sake of not allowing a brawl to get in the way of my good military record, I more or less laughed his sh*t off, I said, "my girl has never let race become an issue, I wanna keep it that way," that was then this is now.

    I will take the matter up with the black c**t any time he wants, in fact I'm gonna give this black c**t a whoppin' any how, just for bein black!! get fuked nigga!
    Pattle rang again March 2007, he said that another reunion was organized for Anzac Day at Monto, at the family seat of Phillip Goody the soldier who had fired the fatal shot when the NVA soldier was murdered, and did I want to attend.

    I have different priorities than attending a service for an inbred dog, who brutally murdered an injured man!! And it's a good thing Brennan killed the c**t... one less I have to hang... when I snap the Carolina man's neck, then I know I will have done a good job!! then Brennan can face capital homicide charges, for both the murder of the wounded soldier, and for the killing of Goody and Private Earl.

    I will be bringing homicide charges, against all eleven platoon members that were there, except for Private Henry Kennell, who risked being shot, like I risked being shot, by a homicidal maniac named Peter Buckney, when firstly Kennell then I, pleaded for this man's life... Henry Kennell is a kind, gentle black man, originally from the Torres Strait Islands!!

    I replied that since I had not been invited to Roma and that no one saw fit to mention that I had gotten a medal, and that Weatherall had told me he had killed better men than me, and Boyle who had threatened me when I gave my one and only order as Lance Corporal, and some black c**t reckons he was gonna beat me so bad I would not get up, I said that I was not certain of my personal safety,

    Pattle took off running like he did in Vietnam, and got off the phone, if they gave medals for cowardice he would have gotten a bag full!! Brennan rang abusive. On that first operation, we were out the bush for about six weeks, a couple of days after we got back we went to Vung Tau for a midweek weekend, two nights in town, at the Badcoe Club near the beach at Vung Tau. I see Weatherall having a beer with one of the Company cooks.

    I hope to get a free beer… he goes off of his head and tells me he has killed better men than me, and I belt the **** out of him... I trace his attitude to the wounded soldier incident.


    Similarly when I lost my job as leading hand Rigger/ Scaffolder with Transfield at Gordonstone Coal during construction in 1991, a revolting lazy creep asked me if I knew Red Brennan, he was a machine gunner in 11 platoon, I replied, “was that Dennis Brennan,” he snarled “it’s Red Brennan.”

    That guy turned on me at work during which I lost my temper, and subsequently lost my job, after repeated provocative and vicious attacks upon me, I say he relayed that he was working with me to his mate at Roma, D Brennan who poured scorn upon me, emboldening him to attack me at work with his mates.
    In Vung Tau I team up with Cpl Muller the head medic, he told me he was happy with the way I treated Pte Wooley, we arrive at a consensus that since we were in Viet Nam and in town, to really experience the Viet Nam experience we had better drink a little beer, smoke a little marijuana, and go to a brothel.

    So we have a smoke and a couple beers then head for the brothel, the chicks were nice people but not the fancies that were working as bar girls for instance, we pay the mama san and two chicks take us with them.
    In the rooting cubicle I decided that at nineteen years I could do a bit better, I had heard lurid tales of dreadful diseases and did not want to get one, I tell the chick I have changed my mind, I still have the MJ and she has a smoke with me and gets a couple of beers.

    Having a beer and she jumps up on the bed and looks over the partition, she is giggling uncontrollably and waves me up, looking over there’s Muller pounding away, movement and noise indicated the cubicle on the opposite side had an occupant, the chick pushes the bed across and looks over, she has one hand over her mouth and waves me to join her.

    John Paul Vann

    A thin Caucasian male late forties was being served, civilian clothes neatly stacked, my girl giggles loudly then ducks her head.

    The guy having sex face up is an American says, “say man, who the f--- are you anyway," I say, “sorry mate my girlfriend made me do it,” he tells his girl, “have you ever met a God damn Aussie, with good manners,” .. That was the first time I caused Johnny Vann liver shrinkage.

    The next time was in October 1970, I was a Lance Corporal and was combined medic and machine gunner, there were seven left in our platoon that had come over on the Sydney, most had rotated home their enlistment over, 11 platoon had suffered fourteen wounded in battle in the Long Hai hills in Eastern Phoc Tuy province in February,
    Two of whom had been repatriated to Australia, lost two men killed in a friendly fire incident on 1 May, and a man had gone home wounded after a Regional Force soldier had sniped at us in September, the RF were armed and equipped by the Americans and were supposed to be our allies.

    I was asked to attend an Orders Group with some officers and NCO’s, they wanted to know how I liked it as a machine gunner, I smelled a rat, a Frenchman, the civilian manager of the Michelin Tire owned Rubber Company had been murdered in about August.

    An SAS soldier was said to have rappelled from a helicopter into his front yard, entered his house and shot him dead, despite his pleas to be allowed to telephone the commander of 1 ATF at Nui Dat.

    He was a good guy and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as I was concerned, I had seen him a couple of times driving a Renault thru the rubber plantations, he would wave.
    They told us at the O Group that intelligence had revealed a supply train was leaving the village of Long Dien that night and we would be placed to intercept them, our platoon had been split into two halves and I would be point MG in a twelve man ambush, when we camped we had machine groups at two points of a triangular position and a command radio group in rear protection.

    I would be the machine gunner right front .. See these ****s looking away, the prick in the middle was good at murderin' an injured man, but he didn't have the comic cuts to go after the tanks!! Up yours ****faces. A right killer the c**t was, only thing he like the rest of his dog mates, killing an injured man is the high point of their lives.

    He was recruited from Pentridge Prison, and he should have stayed in the dog yard, and the only problem I have is that he died with his guts rotted out with cancer before I could hang him .. Not so the other murderers of a wounded man, while I am alive I will be striving to get them to the gallows!


    We were delivered to a roadway and made our way across flooded rice fields, I sighted two banks of Claymore mines on a paddy bund and could deliver enfiladed fire across an arc of one hundred and twenty degrees.

    Nightfall and the flooded fields became a myriad of lights, the villagers were chasing fish and crustaceans using candles and torches to find them, later in the night the fields were deserted and in my gun group I was the only one awake.

    We had been sent some guys who had been shelled by friendly artillery while still in the reinforcement unit, losing men killed on their first night in the bush, just a few hundred meters outside of the wire at Nui Dat, on July 20 that year.

    I let them sleep - Some time maybe around eleven o'clock a beautiful Vietnamese girl comes along, she has a steam cooker of food in one hand and a bag of rice in the other, she had what looked like a WW2 Japanese rifle slung diagonally across her back, and looked exactly like a Vietnamese freedom fighter on a propaganda poster.

    I had a beautiful girlfriend I had met in Vung Tau, and just as I loved her I knew this girl was going to meet someone whom she loved, I showed her the correct path, and placing my finger up and down in front of my lips that she make no sound, saw her safely away from the militarized area.
    About midnight bursts of automatic rifle fire sprayed tracer across the rice, I lifted the M60 into position, mist had spread across the paddy fields, a group was moving out of the village in the dark and thru the mist finding their way with torches and candles, I leveled the gun it fires at a cyclic rate of five hundred and sixty rounds per minute, each fifth round tracer, I had twelve hundred rounds in a waterproof rucksack kept clean and free of dust.

    Navigating across rice paddies is a zigzag type of thing, as way is made along bunds and dykes, we were going to intercept them none the less since their way toward the Long Hai hills met up with our position in the cemetery, a couple of times they lined up with the sights.

    Then I had them broadside as they tracked toward my position, I could see about seven lights, and as they drew closer saw some were lower down and closer to the ground than others, as though the person holding the torch had short legs.

    From about fifty meters downrange they got onto a bund that brought them walking in a line, directly toward my machine gun and into the field of fire from both banks of Claymores, for about twenty meters till they turned onto another bund, their lights dimming in the mist as they zigzagged toward the hills.

    Next day there is a hell of a stink, another O Group and some officer says you must have seen them, he was bleary eyed and half pissed, while I had been out overnight they had had a "brown eye" party in the combined Officers Sergeants mess .. The punchline at a brown eye party, is the recipients down their trou and spread the cheeks of their arse, their asshole is said to resemble the BE indeed.

    I tell him I saw them alright, he says well why didn’t you fire, and I told him that I much preferred that they remained unmolested, they get long faced because it was an operation organized by the Americans, Johnny Vann was in charge of intelligence just there, and was said to be right pissed off.


    Read more about J Vann in, A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan, the best book about the Vietnam war.


    July 20 1970: Around 9 PM two friendly artillery rounds fired from the New Zealand battery, crashed down close to the barbed wire perimeter of D Company Eighth Battalion, part of 1 Australian Task Force based at Nui Dat in Phoc Tuy province.

    Then the sound of a salvo of about four rounds, then a few seconds silence and as the echoes died away, a helicopter was heard even as another salvo crashed down, the sound of the chopper merging with the explosions of the 105mm artillery shells.

    Elements from 1 Australian Reinforcement Unit on a night exercise just a few hundred meters outside of the wire, had taken casualties from artillery fire, that had been relayed to the medivac people who had got a helicopter airborne and on its way to the scene, all without causing the artillery to stop firing .. Lives were lost.

    Just who was giving orders, the Australian Government had about that time decided to reduce the commitment to the Vietnam war, and had said that when 8 Battalion rotated home in November it would not be replaced .. Might be that this was a going away present in response to the government’s decision, organized by Mr B52 himself master war criminal Johnny Vann, who was known to be active in the area.

    In August a Frenchman, the civilian manager of the Michelin Tire owned Rubber Company at Binh Ba, in Phoc Tuy province in South Vietnam, was murdered by the SAS in about August 1970. The war was essentially over, and we had well and truly lost, Australian troops had been there since 1962, the powers that were accused him of colluding with the Viet Cong, ie the local village people.
    A Special Air Service soldier rappelled from a helicopter into his front yard, entered his house and shot him dead, despite his pleas to be allowed to telephone the commander of 1 ATF at Nui Dat. The Australian Digger who carried out the murder is said to be a basket case, totally and permanently incapacitated, not because of wounds received in battle but because he committed murder.

    Late in the tour, I was Duty NCO in the D Company orderly room, a vehicle pulled up and two SAS men marched in, they were looking for Colin Colough, one of our company corporals who was formerly a Parachute Jump Instructor in the Airborne, at Williamstown in NSW.

    I told them he was on R&R, one was a Corporal who had an M16 rifle with a 40mm grenade launcher built in, called an under and over, the other guy was a Lance Corporal who had an M16 .. I told them the guy they wanted was not there, I asked if they are from the Sas, two stripes asks again, I said, " like are you from the Sas," he tells me it is the S.A.S.

    I thank him for his patience and tell him none the less, that should he and his mate like to leave their weapons in the orderly room locker, I would take them over to the wet mess where they can meet some of our people, and have a beer as well, the Corp says, "where I go, this goes," referring to his weapon, I told him that in that case, "he and it, and his mate had better get off of the premises."


    The officer corps was in disarray, in Vung Tau myself and Private Jack Bridges .. that's me and Bridges in our Hippy gear, not the chicks .. had met two beautiful Vietnamese girls and were on a date with them at the Grand Hotel, Bridges was from South Carolina in the USA, his family had moved from there to Brisbane in the sixties and he joined the Australian Army in 1969.

    Another one of the "Braves," who piled onto an injured man and killed him, yeah you fukken dog.... their cowardice was demonstrated when tanks rolled across our front two nights running in August... the first night the one that went across you could hear it OK, the second one the next night, was very loud, when he was on the roadway the noise of the engine and the tracks and worn bearings, was loud the dogs that killed my man stayed cowed and afraid.

    Faulkner you fukken chicken**** copper c**t, you were brave enough to turn the fire hose on a man. But did not have the balls to go after enemy tanks!!

    Our platoon commander had been wounded in battle, our new Lieutenant was an ex New South Wales policeman, he told us he used to get his kicks turning a fire hose on the prisoners in the cells in the Sydney watch house.
    Australian Military Police accosted us on our date, Bridges had left his leave pass behind so they took him into custody, our Platoon Commander Lt Matthew Faulkner heard he was in custody, then talked his way into the cells and turned the fire hose on Private Bridges.

    Bridges and I met the girls in a bar the previous night, we were drinking a little number 33 Ba mi Ba, the local beer, when the barman puts an Australian beer in front of me... there were a couple chicks in the bar, he told me that one of them had paid for it... most bars had girls who would drink Saigon Tea, while war weary soldiers negotiated their "pillow price."

    This babe was a hunk .. like I mean beautiful, she was a hardbelly with n-o fat, she was round where she shoulda been round, and firm where she shoulda been firm, and she had just bought lil' ol' me a beer, it was the start of one of the major love affairs of my life!

    She says where you gonna stay tonight... it was late and Military Police patrols were arresting everyone out after 11 pm... she tells me I have to stay upstairs in the bar girls quarters and Bridges as well... up we go, Papa san who owned the place charged us for the night... there was to be no hanky-panky, and we were to be out by 7:00 am.

    The girls are doin girl stuff showering and washing underwear... Bridges and I were supposed to be gettin' a little sleep, when the cat came among the pigeons... the girls went into a tizzy, Bridges and me were hustled inside a wardrobe, and thru a crack I saw two White Mice, South Vietnamese police check that everyone was ok.

    After they left, everyone breathed a sigh of relief, it was late by then and at nineteen years she and I discovered we were the same age, I was kinda stressed out from war service and she kindly held me in her arms till I felt better.

    Next day she has a day off and takes me to the beach, at Vung Tau there was a freight ship run aground on rocks, and to see her beautiful lithe figure climbing up the anchor chain, and getting up on deck thru the hause pipe, made me know why her people are such effective pirates!!!
    That evening after we had our meal at the hotel, a subdued affair without Jack, despite I was with two beautiful girls!! We go back to her place a nice apartment in a block of about six, with a high wall and a concrete courtyard... she has her key and she opens the lock.

    A Master Sergeant in the US Air Force was seated outside on the wall partition, he was an old guy maybe fifty with close cropped hair and heavily built, as was the custom when meeting allied servicemen, the exchanges are convivial and well meaning, this was no different... "Hi ya Aussie," from him, "Hi Sarge," from me.

    My baby lets us in, and her and her girlfriend get into a serious card game, I take a shower and am wearing a pair of silk pants she bought me, I am lying down a dozing off maybe, when there is a commotion... a girl with blood streaming down her face has rushed into my girlfriend's apartment... she can not speak English, and the girls tell me to go outside and talk to a madman loose in the courtyard.

    I go out and the same airman is going wild in the courtyard, he has everyone else including a Papa san figure and a couple chicks bailed up, there is a knife with a blade about three inches long in his right hand, and he lunges at me when he catches sight of me, when I open the door.

    I say, "hey Man let's calm down a little here..." he makes a sweeping slash at my midriff, firstly on the forehand then on the backhand, like Jimmy Connors at Flushing Meadow, I keep clear of the weapon and while he is after me, Papa san has unlocked the courtyard gate.

    He had formed an infatuation with a girl who lived there, that was fine as long as he paid for her favors .. This time he did not have any money and she sent him away... he asked for some money for a taxi back to the airbase, and she refused.

    He took some money from her purse, so she hit him with a Coca-Cola bottle, the resultant furor was after he hit her in response, hence the blood streaming from her face, the other residents all ganged up on him in response, so he produced the knife as a weapon and brandished it, however he never cut anyone.

    I pleaded with him to abandon his plans of slicing me open, and he put the weapon away... he gave me a hug, and thru the gate he goes and disappears into the night... he did not get far!!
    The ruckus roused a number of street hoodlums, they exist in every city in the world, here they were deserters from either Vietnamese army, North or South, disaffected citizens or plain hoodlums, in any case, he went down about half a block, and was J walking across the street when a mob of about twenty "Cowboys," as the Vietnamese hoodlums are called, jumped him.

    Down the road in the other direction was a MACV, which stands for Military Assistance Command Vietnam, post, which is an American sponsored policing type operation, knowing that going to his direct aid would only guarantee my own murder.

    I went in the direction of the MACV place and past a guard out the front with an M1 Carbine, who refused my entreaty that he fire, past him was an officer at a desk, he dialed the number and gave me the phone, I told US Military Police to get there right away, before I had put the phone down I heard sirens, and by the time I went back they were there ...the sergeant was dead!!

    An African American MP Sergeant said to get off the street, because the Aussie MP's are aware an Australian is involved and will be, "huntin' yo ass," I took his advice, and me and my baby locked up and went inside!

  6. Enemy Tanks..

    Late August 1970, we were in position on the North South section of the border between Bien Hoa and Phuc Tuy provinces, not far south of the border with Long Khan province, around twelve clicks south west of US Fire Support Base Black Horse.


    That part of the border has a raised roadway overgrown and inaccessible by road, Corporal Kev Poulson rouses one about 9:30 pm, and wants to know if I could see anything on the raised roadway ...it had been raining, and the Moon was appearing between the rainclouds causing shine and shadows.

    He said he was sure there were troop movements about two hundred meters down, as I looked the matter was put beyond all doubt when one of the moving figures lit up a smoke, that night we reckon about two and a half thousand enemy passed across our front, the stragglers were still crossing at 04:30 the following morning.

    That night standing picket on an M 60 machine gun at about two am, and the unmistakable sound of a tank, the squeal of worn out bearings and ungreased tracks.

    This time I woke Poulson, he and I listened as it climbed up on to the raised section crossed over and went down the other side, he was uncommunicative ...he grunted when I said, "that's a effen tank," at daybreak I told Lieutenant fire hose Faulkner, he did not want to know either, that night another one went the same way we let it go as well.

    I guess we had stumbled onto the fabled Ho Chi Minh Trail, the troop movements were from left to right, while the tanks were going from right to left... maybe we were placed there by someone who wanted to test our mettle, I wanted to get after the tanks ...no one else was interested.

    NVA T34 tanks in South Vietnam

    Update: The photographer from the Melbourne Age, who accompanied 11 Platoon on operations early in January 1970, who took the shot of Peter Buckney above, appears to have taken the same shot above of the NVA tanks!

    Some time before the same tank incident described, we were told we would be going on a top secret mission, in scrub country, between the South Vietnamese villages of Dat Do and Xuan Moc .. along that track there is a creek crossing, that appears to be the same one visible in the shot above.

    When we drove thru down and across the creek, there were tracks where a tracked vehicle had left the road, and proceeded into the bush parallel to the creek, about where the last tank in the shot above is turning onto the road .. the tread marks were different than the Cavalry M113's, and Centurion tanks the Australians had, nor were they bulldozer tracks!

    Which meant, they had to be either from an American tracked vehicle, however due to the tactical contingencies, US armor was seldom deployed near the Australian area of operations, or be from an enemy tracked vehicle, a tank!

    I immediately alerted my superior officer, one chicken**** dog **** in Cpl Edwards, a pretty boy who a a lance Cpl, had mounted a coup against his Corporal superior, one Richard Young..

    Young was the guard commander overnite, they set him up at daybreak, and gave him a job, which meant he had not disarmed the claymore mines along the wire at Nui Dat, later, when he went to do so, they had already made a complaint, so pretty boy Edwards got his job, and went up to full corporal, while poor Richard's services were dispensed with, and he left the platoon!


    Three c*nts I call coward lookin' away from the camera, Malcolm Edwards pictured in the middle, George Mulready at the left and Lindsey at right, who walked past me smirking and glancing with John Glennon, another reluctant tank buster.

    When I stood on my own in the wet mess at D Company with the medal pinned on my shirt, who turned their backs and walked away from me, and who hatched a plot to throw me overboard from HMAS Sydney, on the way back to Australia in November 1970!

    They swarmed around me on a pert of the ship forward of the Island, as they attracted my attention at the front. Ernie New another reluctant hero, crouched down behind me so any thrust from the front would have sent me over backwards .. I was too nimble footed for them ..
    Edwards pooh poohed it all, in his normal arrogant manner, he had learnt off of the lifers in Pentridge Prison, when we stopped I approached Lt "Firehose" Faulkner with the same story, that it appeared there was an enemy tank in the bush along the creek, he grunted and left it at that!

    Further along into the scrub, and the same log hauling truck, we had seen on the first foray outside the wire ten months before, was burnt and abandoned, they told us that both loggers were killed, we had been ordered to approach no closer than about one hundred meters, from the burnt vehicle .. Maybe to prevent us from observing that it had been hit by a tank round.

    On nite ops near Dat Do at around the same time, a loudspeaker in the village was broadcasting, what was subsequently identified as enemy propaganda, well into the late hours, there were engine sounds as well, so the tanks were likely in the district for some time!

    The fact that it was declared "top secret," aroused my suspicions at the time, while if the same Melbourne Age photographer took both shots, as I believe he did, it opens up an entirely new can of worms, including treason and treachery at the highest levels!
    Encountering NVA tanks in August 1970, on the border of Bien Hoa and Phoc Tuy provinces in South Vietnam, the tracks were very noisy though their mufflers were ok, when the drivers gunned the engines to get up an incline to go over a raised road, the sound was a throaty roar, like the engine of a large crane!

    The two tanks that went across our front in 1970, would almost certainly be from a propaganda unit, like the one pictured with the T 34's, or they could as easily have been the M 24's, either way they were makin' plenty of noise!

    Understand that air, and even satellite mounted heat seeking systems, were in use at that time ...a tank makes a lot of heat... reports post 1975 say, there were long sections of the HCM trail that were virtually undamaged.

    Means the whole show was contrived, and that the tanks were being tracked by satellite from the minute they left Hanoi .. Poulson is for the gallows as a murderer of the wounded man in December 1969!


    Scottish soldier Ronnie Sharp from 4 Section 11 Platoon was wounded by sniper fire in September, we were in a day position lying up in a clump of undergrowth.

    Along comes a Regional Force man, he was armed with an M 16, and was hunting for game in the grasslands between the village of Long Dien and the Long Hai hills, the RF were armed and equipped by the Americans, and were supposed to be our allies.

    Gerry Van Herren the machine gunner shooed him away when he came too close, he had not seen them even after he had walked into their mine field... he apologized, and nodding and smiling went back the way he had come, as soon as he had gone over the skyline, he went round a bit and took an aimed shot that hit Ronnie in the mouth.

    Before we left Brisbane he had shaved his mustache off, reasoning that a sniper would use it as an "aiming point," only trouble is the sniper got him from side on, his round going in one side of Ronnie's mouth, taking teeth and part of his tongue, then teeth again before exiting his cheek the other side!
    So that was Vietnam then, two years on August 1972, and working in Brisbane as a boilermakers offsider at an engineering firm, I buy a ticket and attend a pub sponsored function at the Greek Club in Brisbane.

    I wear a nice jacket and for the sake of it all put a returned soldiers badge in the lapel buttonhole, you got a free feed with the ticket so I was tucking in when a voice comes on line, I look about and don't see anyone I know in the immediate vicinity, except the bloke from the pub I was sitting with, and it was not him.

    So back to work on the food, and the same voice louder this time says, "you been there, ay!!" and I look up again, and there is this dude with shoulder length red hair down about three stands, on the other side of the eating table, I say, "you talking to me," he is agro and says where did you get the RS badge,

    I tell him I tell him I served in VN and "in any case what the f**k is it to ya," he asks me if I knew Weatherall... yeah I did he says he's killed better men than me... I tell this dude I did then he wants to know if I knew Jock Jamieson I knew him too, and he comes back with a gob full of slander!

    I go around the table to bring the matter home to him and his right fist sends me sprawling, then his boot leather catches me full in the face, and the blood vessels in my nose explode and crimson blood floods down onto my pretty clothes, his next boot crashes into my head, I am climbing and clawing my way to my feet... he's ready for that, and slams me into the wall whence I crash back down onto the canvas.

    The Greek proprietor and his sons arrive and restore order, the assailants name is Tommy Nailor, his pretty wife was with him the whole time, that's how this pair of ****s get their kicks I guess.

    He was the replacement machine gunner in 10 Platoon after Private Gould was killed, him and Weatherall, and Brennan and his chickensh*t dog mates are warned away from me at all times, and to keep their fukken hands to themselves, because I am not shaking hands wth any of them!
    Endtimetruther says: Why these troops are not turning their guns on the officers their I dont know ...in VietNam they called it fragging, we need some ****ing fragging there ****ing now.

    Robert T. Convery

    Lieutenant Bobby Convery 22, was "fragged " by a grenade being thrown into his tent at the Australian base at Nui Dat , at midnight November 23 1969, five days before he was due to return home and 17 days before his 23rd birthday. A private soldier from an Australian Battalion was sentenced to life imprisonment for his murder.



  7. This man says he killed several hundred civilians, 6 June 1969 in the village of Binh Ba, when he fired a tank round into a building where they had sought shelter.


    After that Australians went thru what was left of the village, murdering civilians that could be found, who had been sheltering for nearly two days .. He remained hospitalized in Vung Tau Australian Military Hospital with remorse, well into the following year.

    Is that why we went to war, to intrude upon the lives of the Vietnamese people, and to commit atrocity and crime, cos some trash who wants to hose you with a fire hose, or drop his strides at a men only party, or some ratbag politician says it is the correct way to go eff you!
    If there has been murder, there should be prosecutions, then executions .. For that reason I intend to hang the ones who killed my patient, there were twenty four men there, two, myself and another man pleaded for his life, to the scorn and contempt of everyone else... makes twenty two bodies hangin' by their necks dead!!

    Sergeant Buckney who was grinning ear to ear, chewing gum elated at this opportunity to kill an injured man, made a motion toward his weapon as my attitude became insubordinate… expecting that he would fire upon me if my aggressive attitude persisted," I got a lynchin' in mind for him .. after a fair trial of course, is that a kangaroo court, the only way to deal with the problem of a murderer walkin' about free, is to hang him .. that's the way it has to be!

  8. In the Australian Infantry about September 1970, laying up at night on the Border of Phouc Tuy and Bien Hoa provinces in South Vietnam, at the bottom left hand corner on the map, on the part that runs due north south.


    Around twenty two clicks south west of US Fire Support Base Black Horse, on a raised roadway, overgrown and inaccessible by wheeled vehicles, that could be as old as the ancient Vietnamese Kingdom .. 9:30 pm it had been raining, the Moon was disappearing between the rainclouds causing shine and shadow!

    There were troop movements about two hundred meters down, by 04:30 the following morning, about two and a half thousand enemy had passed across our front .. Around 11:00 pm that night, first the squeal of worn out bearings then the screech of un greased tracks, beside Corporal Kevin Poulson, I said "that's a effin tank," he grunted.

    I said come on man we gotta get after it, I turned inwards and spoke to the other groups, that we must be quick.. no one moved a muscle .. the tank climbed up on to the raised section, crossed over and went down the other side, the next night another one did the same thing going the same way, the troops were going left to right, the tanks were rollin' right to left, toward Saigon.

    On the second night, when the tank's engine was roaring about two hundred meters away, I told Lieutenant Matthew Faulkner, he turned the fire hose on one of our ppl in cells at Vung Tau weeks before, that we must deploy our M 72 light anti tank weapons, and blow the tank to pieces, they were chicken the night before, and they have a perfect opportunity to redeem themselves!

    He grunted the same way Paulson had, who had gone forth in December the previous year, and killed a wounded enemy soldier I had wished to save .. Lieutenant Matthew "Firehose" Faulkner, Corporals Kevin Poulson and Malcolm Edwards, should have been put against a wall and shot, for cowardice in the face of the enemy!

  9. http://thevietnamesewar.blogspot.com...-chi-minh.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Venezuela
    [HCM].. loved to fly kites and go fishing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho_Chi_Minh


    Sodd him .. NVA units failed to intercept Australian platoons that sallied forth from Nui Dat from 1965 until 1972, whence the kill ratio of approximately 1,000 "enemy" dead per battalion, meant the three infantry battalions in situ accounted for a total of around 24,000 South Vietnamese dead .. The old fart musta been flyin' kites .. sure he was a traitor!

    The Vietnam war was as choreographed as the first and second world wars, as the American Civil War, and the campaigns of Napoleon and Cromwell, history records Zionists started those conflicts to serve their own ends, Zionist atrocity perped against the Palestinian, Egyptian and Lebanese people, at the height of the VN war in 1967 & 1968 went unreported, while VN war news hogged the headlines!

    Ho Chi Minh was a willing player in the near elimination of the VC infrastructure, in the Southern provinces of Annam and Cochin, in the 1968 Tet Offensive, while the Northerners from Tonkin, herinafter the NVA or North Vietnamese Army, refused to deploy the forces they had at their disposal.

    Who later claimed to have won the war, who only used their main combat tank and infantry units at the end, against the ARVN, or Army of the Republic of Vietnam, the South Vietnamese conscripts who were left holding the kitty, after the Yankees had Gone Home!


    If the NVA had deployed their forces, when the Australian battalions were being changed over, and HMAS Sydney was anchored in Vung Tau Harbor, like it was up to three times per year for seven yrs, they would have sunk the ship and inflicted thousands of casualties, which would have spelled the end of Australia's commitment to the war .. they never lifted a finger or fired a shot!

    The Australian base at Nui Dat was over looked by a jungle covered hill, with a number of summits and saddles called Nui Dinh, it would have been small beer to locate mortar tubes and artillery, to give the Australians the full Dien Ben Phu treatment, the year I was there from November 1969, not one enemy round came over the wire!

    NVA units failed to intercept Australian platoons, that sallied forth from Nui Dat from 1965 until 1972, whence the kill ratio of approximately 1,000 "enemy" per battalion, meant the three infantry battalions in situ, accounted for a total of around 24,000 South Vietnamese dead.

    http://cmtk3.webring.org/l/rd?ring=v...e-minefield%2F

    Australia's Defense Minister had in 1967, spurned the advice of a Sandhurst trained Colonel with the Australian Engineers, and allowed some twenty thousand M16 Jumping Jack land mines, to be laid across an eleven kilometer swathe, of the best farming and grazing land in Phuoc Tuy province! The mines were laid in daylight by the Australians,

    Allegedly there after to be located and removed by the Viet Cong after nightfall, who allegedly relaid them to cause 57% of Australia's 508 fatalities in Vietnam. The Colonel was removed from his post in Vietnam, where after he took his case directly to the Australian Parliament, and was left standing alone in the rain outside of Parliament House in Canberra ..

    Edit: A soldier with the Australian Engineers, who had been flown home from Vietnam under arrest, asserted Engineers from 1 Australian Task Force at Nui Dat were continuing to lay mines, even after the government had ordered the cessation of mine laying ops, he said in 1968 those same mines were killing and maiming Australians!

  10. "The Path Which Led Me To Leninism" by Ho Chi Minh (1960)



    Outlaw Kelly 31 March 2013

    Ho Chi Minh was a tool ..

    The Vietnam war was as choreographed as the first and second world wars, as the American Civil War, and the campaigns of Napoleon and Cromwell.
    History records Zionists started those conflicts to serve their own ends, Zionist atrocity perped against the Palestinian, Egyptian and Lebanese people, at the height of the VN war in 1967 & 1968 went unreported, while VN war news hogged the headlines!

    Ho Chi Minh was a willing player in the near elimination of the VC infrastructure, in the Southern provinces of Annam and Cochin in the 1968 Tet Offensive, while the Northerners from Tonkin herinafter the NVA or North Vietnamese Army, refused to deploy the forces they had at their disposal.

    Who later claimed to have won the war, who only used their main combat tank and infantry units at the end, against the ARVN, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam conscripts who were left holding the kitty, after the Yankees had Gone Home!
    If the NVA had deployed their forces when the Australian battalions were being changed over, and HMAS Sydney was a "sitting duck" in Vung Tau Harbor, like it was up to three times per year for seven yrs..
    They would have sunk the ship and inflicted thousands of casualties, which would have spelled the end of Australia's commitment to the war, they never lifted a finger or fired a shot!
    http://s019.radikal.ru/i601/1206/65/db28b8939204.jpg
    The Australian base at Nui Dat was over looked by a jungle covered hill, with a number of summits and saddles called Nui Dinh, it would have been small beer to locate mortar tubes and artillery, to give the Australians the full Dien Ben Phu treatment, the year I was there from November 1969, not one enemy round came over the wire!

    NVA units failed to intercept Australian platoons, that sallied forth from Nui Dat from 1965 until 1972, while the kill ratio of approximately 1,000 "enemy" per battalion per year, meant the three infantry battalions in situ accounted for a total of around 24,000 Vietnamese dead.

    Australia's Defense Minister had in 1967, spurned the advice of a Sandhurst trained Colonel with the Australian Engineers, and allowed some twenty thousand M16 Jumping Jack land mines, to be laid across an eleven kilometer swathe, of the best farming and grazing land in Phuoc Tuy province!
    The mines were laid in daylight by the Australians, there after to be located and removed by the Viet Cong after nightfall, who relaid them to cause 57% of Australia's 508 fatalities in Vietnam!
    The Colonel was removed from his post in Vietnam, who there after took his case directly to the Australian Parliament, and was left standing alone in the rain outside of Parliament House in Canberra.
    Edit: The story the mines were being dug up and replanted by VC units is bullsh*t .. an Australian private from the Engineers, who was sent home from Vietnam under arrest in 1968, asserted his unit was continuing to lay mines.

    Even after the Government had ordered the cessation of mine laying activities, and those very same mines that had been surreptitiously laid by Australians, were blowing other Australians to pieces! MT in Vietnam
    Teh j00z did it! Teh j00z started Nam



    Willie Tango Foxx 31 December 2012

    Thanks for the intro friends, John Paul Vann was an American patriot who became the highest ranking US civilian in Vietnam .. he was killed in 1972 when the helicopter ferrying him from a visit to a brothel, crashed on the way back to his operational headquarters..

    Me and Johnny Vann - After military ops in the Courtney Rubber Plantation, and adjacent forested areas thru December into January 1970, taking a rest break in Vung Tau .. dude I was with suggested that if we were to really experience the Viet Nam experience, we should drink a little beer, smoke a little marijuana and go to a brothel.
    We have a smoke and a couple beers then head up town, we pay mama san and two chicks take us with them, in the rooting cubicle I decided that at nineteen years I could do a bit better, I had heard lurid tales of dreadful diseases and did not want to get one, I tell the chick I have changed my mind, I still have the MJ .. she has a smoke with me and gets a couple beers.

    Having a beer movement and noise indicated the cubicle on the opposite side had an occupant, the chick pushes the bed over and looks across, she has closed her mouth waves at me to join her, a thin Caucasian male late forties was being served, civilian clothes neatly stacked.

    My girl giggles loudly then ducks her head, the guy having sex face up is an American says, “… say man who the f--- are you anyway, “ I say “sorry mate my girlfriend made me do it,” he tells his girl “have you ever met a God damn Aussie with good manners,” ..that was the first time I caused Johnny Vann liver shrinkage.
    The next time was in October 1970 I was a Lance Corporal machine gunner, I was asked to attend an Orders Group .. intelligence said a supply train was leaving the village of Long Dien that night, I would be point MG in a twelve man ambush placed to intercept them.
    After being delivered by road, we made our way across flooded rice fields and took up positions in a cemetery, we had machine groups at two points of a triangular position, and a command radio group in rear protection, I would be the machine gunner right front.

    I sighted two banks of Claymore mines on a paddy bund, and could deliver enfiladed fire across an arc of one hundred and twenty degrees, nightfall and the flooded fields became a myriad of lights, the villagers were chasing fish and crustaceans with candles and torches, later in the night the fields were deserted, and in my gun group I was the only one awake.

    We had been sent some guys who had been shelled by the New Zealand artillery, losing two men killed just a few hundred meters outside of the wire at Nui Dat, July 20 that year .. I let them sleep, the Australian Government had decided to reduce the commitment to the Vietnam war, and said when the Battalion rotated home in November, it would not be replaced,
    Might be this was a going away present, in response to the government’s decision, organized by Mr B52 himself, master war criminal John Paul Vann who was known to be active in the area.
    Around eleven o'clock a beautiful Vietnamese girl comes along, she has a steam cooker of food in one hand and a bag of rice in the other, she had a WW2 Japanese rifle slung across her back, and looked like she had stepped straight out of a propaganda poster.

    I had met a beautiful girl in Vung Tau and just as I loved her, I knew this beautiful girl was going to meet someone she loved .. standing up and placing my finger in front of my lips that she make no sound, I showed her the correct path and saw her safely away from the militarized area.

    About midnight bursts of automatic rifle fire sprayed tracer across the rice, I lifted the M60 into position .. mist had spread across the paddy fields, a group was moving out of the village in the dark and thru the mist, finding their way with torches and candles,
    I leveled the gun, it fires at a cyclic rate of five hundred and sixty rounds per minute, I had twelve hundred rounds in a waterproof rucksack, each fifth round tracer, kept clean and free of dust.
    Navigating across flooded rice paddies is a zigzag type of thing, as way is made along bunds and dykes, we were going to intercept them none the less, since their way toward the Long Hai hills met up with our position in the cemetery,

    A couple of times they lined up with the sights, then I had them broadside on as they tracked toward my position, I could see about seven lights, and as they drew closer saw some were lower down and closer to the ground than others, as though the person holding the torch had short legs.

    From about fifty meters downrange, they got onto a bund that brought them walking in a line directly toward my machine gun, and into the field of fire from both banks of Claymores, for about twenty meters till they turned onto another bund, their lights dimming in the mist as they zigzagged toward the hills.
    Next day there is a hell of a problem, another O Group and some officer says, "..you must have seen them," I tell him I saw them alright, he says well why didn’t you fire,
    I told him that I much preferred they went their way unmolested, they get long faced because it was an operation organized by the Americans, Johnny Vann was in charge of intelligence just there, and was said to be right p*ssed off.
    Australian SAS in Vietnam



    Willie Tango Foxx 7 April 2013

    Dirt on the SAS - In about August 1970 a Frenchman, the civilian manager of the Michelin Tire owned Rubber Company at Binh Ba, in Phoc Tuy province in South Vietnam, was murdered by the Australian SAS.
    The war was essentially over and we had well and truly lost, Australian troops had been there since 1962, the powers that were accused him of colluding with the Viet Cong, ie the local village people .. the dude that murdered him is said to be a basket case!

    The story goes the Frenchman pleaded to be able to phone the commander of 1 Australian Task Force at Nui Dat, before he was shot .. needs a war crimes trial to get it all sorted out .. try and execute the soldier who fired the shot killed him, and the powers sent him on his mission!

    One evening in Vietnam when I was Duty NCO in the Company orderly room, a vehicle pulled up and two SAS men marched in, they were looking for one of our company corporals, who was formerly a Parachute Jump Instructor in the Airborne Platoon at Williamstown in NSW.

    I told them that he was on R&R .. one of the SAS men was a Corporal, he had an M16 rifle with a 40mm grenade launcher built in, called an under and over, the other one was a Lance Corporal who had an M16 .. so I told them the dude they wanted was not there, I asked if they are from the Sas,

    Two stripes asks again, I say "like are you guys from the Sas," he tells me it is the S.A.S.
    I thank him for his patience and tell him none the less, that should he and his mate like to leave their weapons in the orderly room locker, I would take them over to the wet mess where they can meet some of our people, and have a beer as well.

    The Corp says "where I go this goes" referring to his weapon, I tell him that in that case he and it, and his mate had better get off of the premises .. turned my guts, the whole lot of them! MT in Vietnam










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