Photos Aussies and Kiwi's in Vietnam

5 Dec 1966. This Australian Cessna 180 observation and utility aircraft was one of the first aircraft from the 161 Independant Reconnaissance Flight (161 Flight), Australian Army, to touch down on the newly opened Luscombe Field airstrip at the 1st Australian Task Force Base (1ATF) at Nui Dat. The airstrip was built by the 1st Field Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) and was named after Temporary Captain Bryan Luscombe who was the first Australian Army pilot to die on operational duty, during the Korean War. Aircraft from 161Flight, operated from Bien Hoa from 28 September 1965 - 12 May 1966 supporting 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), then transferring operations to Vung Tau on 13 May 1966 to support 1ATF. Although Luscombe Field was opened on 5 December 1966 the flight, did not officially relocate to Nui Dat until 22-24 March 1967, remaining there until 1ATF returned to Australia in late 1971.

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1967. NUI DAT, VIETNAM. 1967. ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE (RMC) CLASS OF 1953 REUNION BROUGHT TOGETHER BY THE SECOND IN CHARGE (2IC) OF 2ND BATTALION, ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT (2RAR), MAJOR (MAJ) DAVID SMITH. LEFT TO RIGHT: MAJ F. WASKO (AN AMERICAN WHO ATTENDED STAFF COLLEGE AT QUEENSCLIFF), STAFF OFFICER ON FREE WORLD HEADQUARTERS; MAJ D. SMITH; MAJ M. HULSE, GENERAL STAFF OFFICER 2 (GSO2) AT 1 AUSTRALIAN LOGISTIC SUPPORT GROUP (VN); MAJ G. LAWRENCE, OFFICER COMMANDING (OC), 104TH SIGNAL SQUADRON; MAJ N. MCGUIRE, DEPUTY ASSISTANT QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL ON HQ AUSTRALIAN FORCES VIETNAM (AFV); LIEUTENANT COLONEL B. SMITH (INSTRUCTOR AT RMC DURING THE 1953 ERA), COMMANDER OF THE NEW ZEALAND FORCE IN VIETNAM; MAJ P. COLE, DEPUTY ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL (DAAG) AT 1 AUSTRALIAN TASK FORCE; MAJ I.R. (BLUE) HODGKINSON, STAFF OFFICER 2 OPERATIONS (SO2 OPS) AT 1 AUSTRALIAN TASK FORCE; MAJ J.A. MACE, ROYAL NEW ZEALAND INFANTRY REGIMENT, OFFICER COMMANDING V OR W COMPANY 2RAR/NZ (ANZAC); MAJ SALOM, 2 IC, 4TH FIELD REGIMENT; MAJ C. GOYNE, DAAG AT HQ AFV; MAJ (DOC) KEPPER, GSO2 AT HQ AFV.

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June 1970. Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province. An M113A1 armoured personnel carrier (APC) with the call sign 21A (two one Alpha), and army registration number (ARN) 134262, which was severely damaged by a mine blast on 14 June 1970. 1735424 Sapper (Spr) Ian Neil Scott, 1 Field Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) was killed, and three men were wounded: 44947 Trooper Roy Davies, B Squadron, 3 Cavalry Regiment (the driver of the APC); 218844 Corporal Ray Piper, B Squadron, 3 Cavalry Regiment (the crew commander of the APC); and 3795969 Private Bruce Flockhart, 7 Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (7RAR). The vehicle was pronounced beyond economic repair (BER) and was written off in September 1970.

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"SCOTT Ian N, 21, of Charleville, Queensland, was a sapper who volunteered for Vietnam after his call up on April 22, 1969. On June 15, 1970 during his time with 2 Troop, 1 Field Squadron, near Long Phuoc Hia, the APC in which he was travelling struck an enemy mine, killing him and injuring three other crewmen."

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Nui Dat, South Vietnam. August 1970. Commander of the Australian Force in Vietnam (COMAFV), Major General C. A. E. Fraser, talks to 8 Platoon, 8th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (8RAR). Maj Gen Fraser flew from Saigon specially to speak to the platoon after it ambushed a re-supply party of fifty Viet Cong (VC), killing seventeen.

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8RAR did a lot of ambushing, figured it was easier to wait for the VC to come into the villages than to go looking for them in the scrub. Highly effective.

VIETNAM. 1966-08-19. TROOPS OF 6TH BATTALION, ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT (6RAR) ON BOARD ARMOURED PERSONNEL CARRIERS (APC'S) OF NO 1 APC SQUADRON WAITING TO RETURN TO BASE AT NUI DAT AFTER THE LONG TAN BATTLE DURING OPERATION SMITHFIELD.

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55 years later and some of those M113s are probably still in service with 6RAR...

Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam. May 1970. The Special Air Services (SAS) men return to the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) base at Nui Dat. Leading from the chopper (helicopter) is patrol commander Sergeant John O'Keefe of Balga, WA.

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Reckon you'd need to be tooled up like that to be safe in Balga these days... Rough neighbourhood.

Nui Dat, Vietnam. 1967-10. Television personality, Patti McGrath speaks by radio with gunners of 131st Divisional Locating Battery, Royal Australian Artillery (RAA), who were stationed at outposts away from the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) base. Patti and fellow Melbourne entertainers Denise Drysdale and The Strangers were part of a Government sponsored concert party which toured all Australian bases entertaining the troops. Assisting Patti with the radio is Bombardier Vic Danko of Newcastle, NSW. (Black and white version held as CAM/67/0894/VN)

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She looks like her daughter Lauren. Splitting image. Lauren married Olympian Matt Welsh who was the 50m butterfly record holder at one point and had 6 kids.
 
Bien Hoa Province. 1965. WO2 John Currie (Left) and RSM WO1 Don McKay MM of 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), discuss the progress of an operation in War Zone D.
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Don Mackay got his MM at Kokoda with the 39th Battalion. A pivotal action in one of the most important battles of our war. He got a retrospective DSM for his work in Vietnam in the first lot of post war reviews in 1998.

Don McKay was a 17-year-old looking for adventure when he put his age up to volunteer for the Citizen Military Force, or militia, in October 1940. Don was posted to the 39th Battalion, which completed its infantry training in Victoria before shipping out to Port Moresby in January 1942.

The company reached the forward positions at Deniki and took part in the brief recapture of Kokoda on 8-9 August. On the morning of 9 August, when the Japanese counter-attacked, Don led his section forward to bolster the defences, coming under heavy machine-gun and mortar fire. His section was reduced by casualties to just three men occupying three posts, and Don moved from post to post under fire to bolster their defence. When ordered to retreat, his section was the last to leave the village. Don received the Military Medal for his actions.
 
VIETNAM. 19 AUGUST 1966. MAJOR (MAJ) HARRY SMITH OF BRISBANE, QLD (EXTREME LEFT), OFFICER COMMANDING DELTA COMPANY, 6TH BATTALION, ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT (6RAR), HOLDS A BRIEFING IN THE FIELD SHORTLY BEFORE HIS COMPANY RETURNED TO LONG TAN, THE SCENE OF THEIR EPIC LONE STAND AGAINST A CRACK NORTH VIETNAM REGIMENT. LEFT TO RIGHT: MAJ HARRY SMITH; SECOND LIEUTENANT (2LT) DAVID SABBEN, OC 12 PLATOON; CORPORAL PHIL DOBSON, COMPANY MEDIC; 2LT GEOFF KENDALL, OC 10 PLATOON; SERGEANT BOB BUICK (OBSCURED BY KENDALL); SGT JACK THOMPSON, COMPANY MORTAR FIRE CONTROLLER; CAPTAIN MORRIE STANLEY OF NZ, THE FORWARD OBSERVATION OFFICER OF 161 (NZ) FORWARD BATTERY; PTE BILL "YANK" AKELL, REGIMENTAL SIGNALLER; LANCE CORPORAL GRAHAM SMITH, REGIMENTAL SIGNALLER (WITH BACK TO CAMERA).

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VIETNAM. 19 AUGUST 1966. AUSTRALIAN TASK FORCE COMMANDER, BRIGADIER O.D. JACKSON, TALKS WITH THE MEN OF DELTA COMPANY, 6TH BATTALION, THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT (6RAR), AFTER THE COMPANY'S HEROIC LONE STAND AT LONG TAN AGAINST A CRACK NORTH VIETNAMESE REGIMENT. PICTURED, LEFT TO RIGHT: UNKNOWN; BRIGADIER JACKSON; PRIVATE (PTE) R. D. BROWN; PTE PETER DETTMAN OF TINGHA, NSW, (HAND TO FACE); LANCE CORPORAL PETER SLACK-SMITH, AND PTE TERRY BURSTALL OF BALLARAT, VIC
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VIETNAM. 19 AUGUST 1966. AFTER THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN - WEARY MEN OF DELTA COMPANY, 6TH BATTALION, ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT (6RAR), GATHER ON A LANDING ZONE TO EAT A QUICK MEAL OF RATIONS, BEFORE RETURNING TO THE BATTLEFIELD. THE COMPANY FOUGHT IN AN EPIC LONE STAND AGAINST A CRACK NORTH VIETNAM REGIMENT. MORE THAN 200 VIET CONG DEAD WERE LATER COUNTED. KNOWN TO BE IN THE GROUP ON THE RIGHT, LEFT TO RIGHT: PRIVATE (PTE) TERRY BURSTALL OF BALLARAT, VIC; PTE A. L. PARR; LANCE CORPORAL PETER SLACK-SMITH; PTE R. D. BROWN (SITTING); PTE PETER DETTMAN OF GINGHA, NSW (PARTLY OBSCURED), AND PTE T. NEWALL.

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VIETNAM. 19 AUGUST 1966. AFTER THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN - WEARY MEN OF DELTA COMPANY, 6TH BATTALION, ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT (6RAR), GATHER ON A LANDING ZONE FOR A QUICK MEAL OF RATIONS, BEFORE RETURNING TO THE BATTLEFIELD. THE COMPANY FOUGHT AN EPIC LONE STAND AGAINST A CRACK NORTH VIETNAM REGIMENT. MORE THAN 200 VIET CONG DEAD WERE LATER COUNTED. PICTURED, LEFT TO RIGHT: PRIVATE (PTE) PETER DOYLE; PTE HARRY ESLER; UNKNOWN; PTE IAN CAMPBELL; NEXT FOUR UNKNOWN; PTE NEIL BEXTRAM; NEXT TWO UNKNOWN.

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Vietnam. 19 August 1966. The morning after the Battle of Long Tan and Corporal (Cpl) Ross McDonald of Redcliffe, Qld (left) and Cpl Laurie Drinkwater of Bankstown, NSW, take time out to eat some rations. Both men belong to Delta Company, the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), which fought a heroic lone stand against a crack North Vietnamese Regiment.

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Vietnam. 19 August 1966. Second Lieutenant David Sabben, Officer Commanding 12 Platoon and of St Ives, NSW, with his damaged Armalite rifle after Delta Company, the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), fought in their epic lone stand at Long Tan against a crack North Vietnam Regiment. Also known to be: Possibly Private Brian Halls (extreme left), and Private Ian Campbell (third from left).

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Vietnam. 1966-08-19. Private (Pte) Neil Baker of Mayfield, Newcastle, NSW (right) and Pte Mark Minell of Moree, NSW. Both are members of the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), which was joined by artillery and armoured personnel carrier fire to destroy 250 Viet Cong at Long Tan, in Phuoc Tuy Province, during Operation Smithfield.

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VIETNAM. 19 AUGUST 1966. AFTER THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN - WEARY MEN OF DELTA COMPANY, 6TH BATTALION, THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT (6RAR), GATHER ON A LANDING ZONE TO EAT A QUICK MEAL OF RATIONS, BEFORE RETURNING TO THE BATTLEFIELD. THE COMPANY FOUGHT IN AN EPIC LONE STAND AGAINST A CRACK NORTH VIETNAM REGIMENT. MORE THAN 200 VIET CONG DEAD WERE LATER COUNTED. PICTURED, LEFT TO RIGHT: CORPORAL (CPL) ROSS MCDONALD; CPL K. T. (CHICKO) MILLER; AN ABORIGINAL SERVICEMAN; NEXT THREE UNKNOWN, PRIVATE IAN CAMPBELL?.VIETNAM. 19 AUGUST 1966. AFTER THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN - WEARY MEN OF DELTA COMPANY, 6TH BATTALION, THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT (6RAR), GATHER ON A LANDING ZONE TO EAT A QUICK MEAL OF RATIONS, BEFORE RETURNING TO THE BATTLEFIELD. THE COMPANY FOUGHT IN AN EPIC LONE STAND AGAINST A CRACK NORTH VIETNAM BATTALION. MORE THAN 200 VIET CONG DEAD WERE LATER COUNTED. PICTURED, LEFT TO RIGHT: CORPORAL (CPL) ROSS MCDONALD; CPL K. T. (CHICKO) MILLER; AN ABORIGINAL SERVICEMAN; NEXT THREE UNKNOWN, PRIVATE IAN CAMPBELL?.

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LONG TAN, VIETNAM. 1966-08-19. BACK ON THE BATTLEFIELD AFTER THE HEROIC ACTION BY DELTA COMPANY OF THE 6TH BATTALION, ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT (6RAR), IN WHICH THEY KILLED MORE THAN 200 VIET CONG (VC), SECOND LIEUTENANT DAVID SABBEN, OFFICER COMMANDING 12 PLATOON, AND OF ST IVES, NSW, ADVANCES CAUTIOUSLY THROUGH THE RUBBER PLANTATION PAST BODIES OF DEAD VC NEAR A CHICOM 7.62MM HEAVY MACHINE-GUN.

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Vietnam. 19 August 1966. Lance Corporal Georgie Richardson, (left), D Company medic, and Sergeant Bob Buick, Platoon Sergeant, 11 Platoon, D Company, apply first aid to Private Jim Richmond, 11 Platoon, one of two Australian wounded found by Delta Company of the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), on its return, twelve hours after the Long Tan battle. He was shot twice through the chest and lay all night, face down, at his section post.

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Vietnam. 19 August 1966. Lance Corporal Georgie Richardson, (left), D Company medic, and Sergeant Bob Buick, Platoon Sergeant, 11 Platoon, D Company, apply first aid to Private Jim Richmond, 11 Platoon, one of two Australian wounded found by Delta Company the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) on its return, twelve hours after the Long Tan battle. He was shot twice through the chest and lay all night, face down, at his section post.

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