Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size
Login

Military Photos




Vietnam It began with a bit of a buzz over the mortaring the night before and the normal scuttle butt as information slowly emerged as to damage and casualties. Willie and I where a bit hung over we had a party in our tent the night before when the mess closed, and had a few over the prescribed 2 cans per day (so did the company HQ radio ops who where with us).

When the word came though to move out it was a bit of a shambles, and as I was not packed I decided to use a pack that Chris Cooper had left behind when he went home. About one hour into the patrol I found out why he had left it behind as the straps where rotten and one broke and I spent the next hour or so, trying to fix it gave up and made a shoulder strap from my toggle rope (I have often wondered how I would have coped if the battle had not occured and we had to patrol for two or three days).

First couple of hours where uneventful I used up about half my water as I was not fit and also hung over. Then a small VC patrol was sighted in a clearing heading up into the rubber plantation. We followed them, then the first shots where fired and the radios reported a contact...and shortly after there was an enormous burst of fire and it was all on.

The next three hours are still a blur with very few clear recollections of what happened ... to myself, Willy, or Morrie.

Memories

Harry Smith's batman and myself trying to dig a slit trench to act as coy HQ, and giving up as the rain water filled it faster than we could dig.

The tracers floating through the position like lazy fireflies that suddenly accelerated and crack past among the rubber trees.

Standing up to try and get a clear veiw to direct the fire from the HQ machine guns and sitting down again very quickly when the rubber tree I was standing next to suddenly shredded just above me.

Helping Buddy Lea back to the Aid post and realising that this was for real as the wounded lay in the shelter of the hollow just behind the HQ group.

The sight of a VC being lifted off the ground and standing out in the glow of a 105-mm explosion about 100 metres from our position.

Willie crouched against the base of a rubber tree relaying Morrie orders without any mistakes and writing the fireorders down with the rain pouring down throwing up a splash mist off the ground that almost hid him.

The roar of the APCs that seemed to go on forever; then they suddenly appeared slewing past the rubber trees.

The movement out of the Rubber then forming the hollow square of APCs to light the LZ for the dustoffs.

The slow realisation and shock that set in as we sat around like stunned mullet on the beach (excuse the pun from a fish merchant) ... realising that so very many had died during the battle and we were still alive.

Somebody offering me a cigarette which for the first and only time in my life I smoked.

Climbing into an APC to rest and dropping into a deep sleep for about four hours then waking with a jolt and wondering where the hell I was.

There are other memories that keep coming back as time goes by ...

Like not knowing up until about 10 years ago what day the battle actually took place, or realising very great historic significance that is now placed on it by historians.

Cheers
Enough for me on this subject

Note: by Murray Broomhall, Delta Company 6 RAR


Comments

Display Order
Only logged in users are allowed to comment. register/log in
Related Links
Military History
Forum Posts

Military Polls

Have the Iraqi Security Forces received adequate training and equipment from the U.S. military?

[ Results | Polls ]

Votes: 187

This Day in History
1587: In France, Huguenot Henri de Navarre routs Duke de Joyeuses larger Catholic force at Coutras.

1709: Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy take Mons in the Netherlands.

1805: Austrian general Karl Mac surrenders to Napoleons army at the battle of Ulm.

1870: The Summer Palace in Beijing, China, is burnt to the ground by a Franco-British expeditionary force.

1940: German troops reach the approaches to Moscow.

1944: After advancing island by island across the Pacific Ocean, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur wades ashore onto the Philippine island of Leyte, fulfilling his promise to return to the area he was forced to flee in 1942.

1950: In the first airborne operation of the war, 2,860 paratroopers of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team jumped between Sukchon and Sunchon, 25 miles north of Pyongyang. Far East Air Force C-119s and C-47s transported the assault force and F-80 and F-51 fighters provided air cover.

1952: The destroyer escort Lewis was hit by shore fire off the West Coast of Korea. Seven sailors were killed and one wounded.

1964: Relations between Cambodia, South Vietnam, and the United States reach a low point as Cambodia becomes a sanctuary for Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces.

480: Greeks defeat the Persians in a naval battle at Salamis.