Photos Aussies and Kiwi's in Vietnam

Vietnam War. November 1967. Troops from 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (7RAR), move toward US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters (not in view) for the start of Operation Santa Fe, a search and destroy mission in Phuoc Tuy Province. Photo by Michael Coleridge. [AWM COL/67/1052/VN]

Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam. January 1971. Private (Pte) Tony Andriessen of Clovelly Park, SA, takes special care as he checks the working parts of his M60 machine gun. Pte Andriessen is a member of B Company, 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (7RAR), which is operating around the Horseshoe feature in Phuoc Tuy Province. #vietnamwarfootageandstories

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During Operation Atherton, 3794423 Private Raymond John Asmus of 1 Platoon, A Company, 8RAR, keeps his finger on the trigger of his L1A1 Self Loading Rifle (SLR) as he moves cautiously through the jungle undergrowth while on a patrol out from Fire Support Base (FSB) Peggy in Area of Operations (AO) Zulu. Operation Atherton, the battalion's first in Vietnam, is a reconnaissance and ambush operation in the northwest of the province.

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An Australian soldier is shown a sign pointing in the direction of an enemy mine. The sign was found by two Bushman Scouts on a track that an Australian patrol was about to use. One tracker (right) is holding an M16 machine gun and the other tracker (centre) is holding a 40mm M79 grenade launcher. #vietnamwarfootageandstories

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At the 8th Field Ambulance Dustoff Pad at Nui Dat, a wounded soldier is unloaded from an RAAF Iroquois chopper which has winched him out of the jungle. Identified, left to right: A19033 Leading Aircraftman (LAC) Kerin Williams of Newcastle NSW (carrying the plasma bottle above the stretcher); 43919 Private Charles Kerr Storie, 8th Field Ambulance, of SA; 4410808 Lance Corporal (L Cpl) Albertus Leonardus (Bert) Kuijpers, of the ACT; and 1411225 L Cpl Trevor Owen Skinner, 1st Australian Reinforcement Unit, of Redcliffe, Qld. This Dustoff Mission resulted from an enemy contact between a reinforced company of Viet Cong 274 Regiment and A Company, 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (7RAR), members at the battle of Suoi Chau Pha (Operation Ballarat) on 6 August 1967, in which five Australians were killed and 21 wounded, one later dying of his wounds.

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roquois crews of No 9 Squadron, gather around their Commanding Officer (CO), O33062 Wing Commander (Wing Cdr) Roy Stewart Royston, of Canberra, ACT (in centre, holding a pencil), for a briefing before the airborne assault in the initial stages of Operation Bribie. In one of the biggest Australian airborne assaults of the Vietnam War, the RAAF and United States (US) army helicopters flew men of the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), into attack against the hard core Viet Cong (VC) units about eight miles from the Task Force Base. Others shown are A33785 Sergeant (Sgt) James Henry (Jim) Roche (top left corner), O37553 Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) Geoffrey Alfred Banfield (partly obscured, sunglasses, behind Sgt Roche), A17445 Leading Aircraftman (LAC) John Alexander Henson (centre rear, next to Flt Lt Banfield), A21702 Sgt Gordon Dudley Buttriss, George Medal (GM) (arms folded, top right corner), A315814 LAC Paul Michael Covington (partly obscured, behind Sgt Buttriss), O310798 Flt Lt Philip Kenneth Cooke (face obscured, with hat, centre left), O43428 Flt Lt Bruce Ivan Lane (leaning, above Wng Cdr Royston), O214552 Flt Lt William John (Bill) Shepherd (face obscured, bottom left corner) and O216204 Flt Lt Francis Patrick (Frank) Riley (back of head, centre bottom).

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Six Australians were killed during the Battle of Suoi Chau Pha which took place on the 6th of August 1967 during the Vietnam War. The battle, which was part of Operation BALLARAT, is one of the defining battles of 7RAR’s history.

At 1000 on 6 August, A company 7RAR crossed the Suoi Chau Pha River in the eastern Hat Dich area, north-west of Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy province. After crossing the river and laying a successful quick ambush, 2 Platoon came under concentrated machine gun, rifle and RPG fire from what was later revealed to be a reinforced company from the Vietcong 3rd Battalion, 274th Regiment.
The Platoon suffered immediate casualties in the opening engagement, losing two section commanders and nine more wounded. Using fire and movement, the platoon closed with the enemy killing an enemy platoon commander and machine gunner whose bodies were recovered.
The battle progressed with neither side able to gain a distinct advantage at close quarters and in dense jungle amid a heavy monsoon rain, with casualties mounting on both sides. 2 Platoon was reinforced by the remainder of A Company, but were unable to overcome the greater firepower provided by the Vietcong’s seven machineguns and RPGs. At times, with only 30m separating the two forces, the fighting was brutal and intense.
As the Vietcong attacks intensified and threatened to overrun the forward Australian positions, the Australians began calling in artillery from Fire Support Base Giraffe at the 105mm howitzer’s maximum range, causing heavy casualties. In total, over 1,026 artillery rounds were fired during the fighting, along with a number of airstrikes. The Australian and American artillery proved to be decisive in defeating the Vietcong attack.
After a battle lasting several hours, the Vietcong were forced to withdraw, dragging many of their dead from the battlefield after having suffered crippling losses. The battle cost 7RAR five soldiers dead and 21 wounded, one of whom died from his wounds. The enemy casualties were much more severe, caused in the main by artillery fire.
To this day, on 6 August each year, 7RAR commemorates ‘Suoi Chau Pha Day.’
Today, we pause to remember the heroism of all the men involved in the battle that day, but also pay our respects to Corporals Donald Aylett and James Hayes, and Privates Edward Brophy, Barleif Harstad, David Milford, and John O’Connor who made the ultimate sacrifice whilst serving in Vietnam.
You can find portraits of the individuals here:
Lest we forget.


Carrying A Company's casualties from the Battle of Suoi Chau Pha from the Dustoff helicopter into 8 Field Company Ambulance. Identified, left to right: Dr Jack Bromley, 8th Field Ambulance, holding the plasma bottle, the crewman at the foot of the stretcher is Kerin Charles Williams, 9th Squadron, RAAF, medic Albertus Leonardus (Bert) Kuijpers, 8th Field Ambulance (long trousers, no shirt), and 7RAR medic Trevor Owen Skinner (shorts, no shirt). The name of the casualty on the stretcher is unknown.


Australian infantry and men of 1 Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron rest momentarily on a group of M113A1 APCs. Identified in the image are 16666 Trooper (Tpr) William Gordon (Bill) Gelhaar (front right, helmet), 14574 Tpr Noel Lowes (hands on head) and 214560 Sergeant Francis Alan (Frank) Graham (wearing black beret), all of 1 Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron.

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Vietnam. 1966-08-19. Private Brian Wood of Toowoomba, Qld, carrying an M60 machine gun, was among soldiers of the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), who decimated and pursued the Viet Cong after a bitter battle at Long Tan, in Phuoc Tuy Province, part of Operation Smithfield. In follow-up sweeps the Diggers discovered graves and signs of a hasty retreat by the large Viet Cong force.

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Vietnam. 1966-03-11. Finger talk signals plan of action as Private (Pte) Graham Lobb of Reservoir, Vic, sends back a visual message to other members of an Australian patrol in the jungles of War Zone D, South Vietnam, during Operation Silver City. Pte Lobb is serving with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR).

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A long refreshing drink from a water bottle as Private (Pte) Paul Large, 12 Platoon, D Company, 6 RAR, of Coolah, NSW, pauses during digging in on Operation Enoggera, the first mission by the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), against the Viet Cong. Pte Large was later killed in action on 18 August 1966 at Long Tan.

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Vietnam. 1966-10. 2/7758 Warrant Officer 2 John William 'Jack' Kirby, Company Sergeant Major (CSM) D Company, 6th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) of Windsor, Brisbane, Qld, (left), and Major Harry Smith of Ashgrove, Brisbane, Qld, Officer Commanding D Company 6RAR, test firing the Goryunov SG43 7.62 x 54mmR Soviet made Chinese communist heavy machine gun captured at the battle of Long Tan. Smith and Kirby distinguished themselves at the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966. Smith was awarded the Military Cross (MC) and Kirby the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM). On 6 February 1967, whilst participating in Operation Tamborine, Kirby was fatally wounded by artillery fire from the 161st Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery (RNZA), when 12 105mm rounds accidentally fell on and around the D Coy Headquarters. This friendly fire incident killed four Australians (including Kirby) and wounded 13 others.

The Company Sergeant Major of D Company, the 9th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (9RAR), 24105 Warrant Officer Class 2 Sydney Mervyn (Syd) Webster of Chermside, Qld, checks captured Viet Cong (VC) ammunition found in a large enemy bunker complex in the north west of Phuoc Tuy Province during Operation Goodwood.

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Bien Hoa, South Vietnam. January 1968. Sergeant (Sgt) Tom Birnie (right), Platoon Sergeant of 4 Platoon, D Company, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) and an unidentified soldier on patrol in typical jungle during Operation Coburg. Operation Coburg took the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) out of Phuoc Tuy to the border area between Bien Hoa and Long Khanh provinces to protect the Bien Hoa and Long Binh bases from Viet Cong (VC) and North Vietnamese attack during the anticipated Tet Offensive. Sgt Birnie served in Vietnam for a second time with 2RAR in 1970-71 and was accidentally shot by a sentry while re-entering his own platoon area after a reconnaissance patrol. He died of wounds at 1 Australian Field Hospital on 25 March 1971.

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During Operation Atherton, 3794423 Private Raymond John Asmus of 1 Platoon, A Company, 8RAR, keeps his finger on the trigger of his L1A1 Self Loading Rifle (SLR) as he moves cautiously through the jungle undergrowth

View attachment 244031

I'd have thought that was exactly what he wasn't doing. Probably should get onto the AWM and get the caption corrected.

Gordon Dudley Buttriss, George Medal

Reading his citation, he probably should have got the George Cross...

News of the award of the George Medal to A21702 Sergeant (Sgt) Gordon Dudley Buttriss, of Sefton, NSW, was announced to his comrades in No 9 Squadron, at a parade in the squadron's hangar at Vung Tau airfield. On 18 October 1966, a No 9 Squadron, Iroquois helicopter, A2-1018, was on a routine Army co-operation task named Operation Queanbeyan, when it crashed in difficult terrain on Nui Thi Vai Mountain, 12 miles north of Vung Tau, South Vietnam. On impact the Iroquois burst into flames - burning slowly. On board was 200 pounds of TNT and detonators, four crew members and two Army passengers. Sgt Buttriss, found himself unhurt after the crash and he quickly helped the two Army men, who both had broken legs, to safety. The only other person remaining in the wreckage was the co-pilot O33192 Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) Peter Montague Middleton, Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal (US) of Black Rock, Vic. The Iroquois had come to rest with a two foot tree between Flt Lt Middleton's knees wedging him to the seat. In spite of the burning aircraft and the danger of the TNT exploding, Sgt Buttriss went to the aid of the co-pilot. Having torn the door of the aircraft off he was unable to move the seat back to free the co-pilot. Australian troops had seen the Iroquois crash and had fought their way through 300 yards of dense jungle to get to the wreckage. Sgt Buttriss and the troops tore away the twisted metal and were able to release Flt Lt Middleton and take him to the shelter of nearby boulders. The wreckage was then engulfed in flames and the fuel tanks exploded, igniting the TNT. Sgt Buttriss was awarded the George Medal (GM) on 16 February 1967 for his efforts. After the parade Sgt Buttriss (left) is being congratulated by O33113 Group Captain (Gp Capt) Peter Frank Raw, DFC, AFC, Poland Croix de Vaillants, (later awarded DSO) of Ipswich, Qld, Officer Commanding RAAF component at Vung Tau (centre) and O33062 Wing Commander (Wing Cdr) Roy Stewart Royston, of Canberra, ACT (right).

Discussing differences in training methods at Special Forces Headquarters are Warrant Officer Allan Seal of Thornlie, WA, a member of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), and Sergeant Bill Smith of North Carolina, USA.

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View attachment 244079

AATTV and SASR going by those wings. Got the harry high pants going too.

A group of 15 Vietnam veterans from all over Australia commemorated Anzac Day 2016 in Kurri, the service included the unveiling of a Vietnam War memorial.
The memorial includes the names of 19 Newcastle and Hunter servicemen who were killed in action in South Vietnam.
Vietnam War. Phuoc Tuy Province. August 1971. Sapper John Schofield of Yorkshire, UK (left), holds a charge against an unexploded RPG while Sapper Brian Peters of Portland, NSW, tapes down the explosive. Both are members of the 1st Field Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers (RAE), based at Nui Dat, headquarters of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF). Photo by Philip John Errington. [AWM PJE/71/0415/VN]

Vietnam War. Saigon. 30 January 1968. Private Mike Grech of 5 Platoon, B Company, 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (7RAR), stands on the roof of an Australian billet, thought to be the Hotel Canberra. Smoke is rising in the background as a result of the Tet Offensive. [AWM P01582.001]


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