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32 (The Royal) Skuadron 1916 - Dibentuk di Netheravon. 1940 - mengambil bagian dalam Pertempuran Inggris. 1995 - Menjadi Royal Squadron setelah melakukan penggabungan dengan Queens Flight. Pesawat dan Lokasi Saat Ini: Pesawat Saat Ini: link tidak tersedia. BAE 146 dan Agusta 109E Pertempuran Honours: Front Barat 1916-1918, Somme 1916-1918, Arras, Ypres 1917, Amiens, Prancis dan Negara-negara Rendah 193-1940, Pertempuran Inggris 1940, Pertahanan Rumah 1940-1942, Dieppe, Afrika Utara 1942 -1943, Italia 1943, Eropa Tenggara 1944-1945, Teluk 1991. (Tanda kehormatan ditandai dengan tanda bintang, dapat dicetak pada Standar Skadron) Sejarah Skuadron XXXII (TR): Skuadron No 32 (The Royal) merayakan seratus tahun di Januari 2016. 100 tahun terakhir pelayanan telah melihatnya mengoperasikan pesawat dari DH2 dalam Perang Dunia Pertama ke Badai dan Spitfire dalam Perang Dunia Kedua dan kemudian pembom ringan Vampire, Venom dan Canberra. Netheravon di Wiltshire adalah rumah pertama Skuadron yang dibentuk pada bulan Januari 1916 ketika secara resmi berdiri dengan armada DH2. Ini cepat dikirim ke garis depan di Prancis dengan Perwira Komandan Major L W B Rees dianugerahi Salib Victoria karena kegagahannya. Selama masa-masa awal Pertempuran Inggris, No 32 Squadron bertempur di langit di atas Inggris dengan menggunakan Badai legendaris. Ini mengalami kerugian besar dan ditarik dari garis depan sampai tahun 1942 tapi saat ini Skuadron telah mencetak lebih banyak pembunuhan daripada yang lainnya yang terlibat dalam Pertempuran. Skuadron kemudian berangkat ke Afrika Utara di mana ia bergabung dengan Angkatan Udara Gurun sebelum melakukan perdagangan Badai untuk Spitfires dan bergerak melalui Benua Eropa kemudian ke Italia dan Yunani. Pasca Perang Dunia II Skuadron menerbangkan Spitfires di Palestina dan Siprus sebelum memperbarui pesawat terpercaya ini ke Vampir dan kemudian Venom. Pada bulan April 1995, setelah penggabungan dengan The Queens Flight, Skuadron menjadi Skuadron No 32 (The Royal) dan mengoperasikan pesawat HS125, BAe146 dan Wessex, Gazelle, Twin Squirrel dan sekarang tipe Augusta 109 dalam peran Komunikasi. Selama lebih dari satu dekade 32 Skuadron telah melihat pesawatnya terus-menerus terlibat dalam mendukung operasi di bioskop seperti Balkan, Sierra Leone, Libya, Mali dan Somalia dengan pesawat yang digunakan selama Operasi TELIC dan HERRICK di Irak dan Afghanistan 32 (The Royal ) Peran skuadron8217 saat ini adalah Command Support Air Transport (CSAT) - pergerakan kelompok kecil dengan personil prioritas tinggi atau muatan melalui udara untuk memfasilitasi keterlibatan kepemimpinan kunci global dan pengaruh Inggris lebih lanjut. Skuadron bertugas untuk memberikan kemampuan CSAT yang aman, aman dan responsif untuk komandan militer senior, Menteri Pemerintah dan kadang-kadang Keluarga Kerajaan. Pada tahun 2012 dua varian BAe 146 QC dibeli sebagai bagian dari Kebutuhan Operasional Mendesak untuk menyediakan intra teater jarak jauh Taktis Air Transport untuk pasukan di Afghanistan. Berbasis di Kandahar Airfield, pesawat ini memenuhi peran ini selama dua tahun sebelum kembali ke Inggris saat Operation HERRICK berakhir pada bulan Desember 2014. HS125 telah pensiun dari layanan pada bulan April 2015 dan meninggalkan Skuadron dengan empat BAe146 dan satu helikopter Augusta A109E untuk memberikan peran utamanya. Dari CSAT. Kemampuan aset rotari dan sayap tetap saling melengkapi untuk memberi Inggris Pertahanan kemampuan yang mulus dan responsif memastikan bahwa orang yang tepat sampai pada tempat yang tepat pada saat mereka memilihnya.Story 53 - Tahun yang Aneh di Vietnam Selatan Oleh Gordon Taylor Januari 1968 (Vietnam) Saya naik HMAS Sydney (III), juga dikenal sebagai Feri Vung Tau, pada tanggal 17 Januari 1968 menuju Vietnam Selatan (SVN) bersama 319 tentara lainnya. Kapal itu berlabuh di Garden Island dan ada kontingen besar simpatisan dan beberapa media di sana untuk melihat kami pergi. Saya yakin bahwa kami tidak berlayar dengan batalyon, namun merupakan kelompok konglomerat yang terdiri dari berbagai korps untuk menggantikan tentara yang telah menyelesaikan masa tugas mereka, atau untuk meningkatkan ukuran korps khusus kami karena eskalasi perang. Ini adalah perjalanan kesembilan ke Vietnam yang dilakukan Sydney. Begitu kami naik dan menyimpan perlengkapan kami, kami dikeluarkan dengan sandal dan tempat tidur gantung. Tidak ada sepatu yang dipakai saat kami di kapal. Kami telah mengambil alih tempat pelaut dan mereka ditempatkan di dek gantung selama perjalanan berlangsung. Anggota lain 104 anggota Soderator Siri (104 Sig Sqn) juga berlayar di HMAS Sydney pada waktu yang sama, sebagai berikut: David Allen Alister Campbell Phillip Clohesy Henry Curtis Robert Ellis Desmond Godley Kenneth Greenwood Kenneth Harcoan Maxwell Hardy Terry Hunter Hugh Hutton Douglas Johnston Geoffrey Jonas John Koasache Scott Laycock Graham Lee Keith Oliver Ralph Schwer Gordon Taylor (diriku sendiri) Pengaturan tidurnya jarang dan kami menggantungkan tempat tidur gantung di mana pun kami berada di bawah dek dan hanya ada sedikit ruang untuk menyelundupkan perlengkapan kami. Udara di antara dek terasa mencekik siang dan malam, jadi Keith Oliver dan aku memutuskan untuk merangkai tempat tidur gantung kami di peramalan, yang berada tepat di bawah dek penerbangan tempat kami bisa mendapatkan udara segar. Pada malam pertama di Sydney kami menangkap ujung ekor Cyclone Brenda, sebuah topan kategori 2 yang menyebabkan beberapa kekhawatiran di antara banyak tentara. Ombak menerjang melalui serbuan tempat rantai jangkar berada di peramalan, dan air mengalir deras di atas dek. Meski begitu, tempat tidur gantung kami tetap ada dan tidur malam yang nyenyak seandainya kapal itu goyang dan berguling. Aku tidur di peramalan setiap malam kecuali untuk malam sebelum tiba dari Vung Tau. Tidak perlu waktu lama bagi tentara lain untuk menyadari bahwa tidurnya sulit didapat di bawah dek dan ruang di peramalan menjadi sulit ditemukan saat pelayaran berlangsung. Kami memiliki persinggahan di Pulau Manus dimana RAN memiliki basis. Saya pikir kami memiliki beberapa prajurit di pulau ini dan kami menurunkan beberapa orang dan persediaan. Begitu jangkar kami dijatuhkan, penduduk asli setempat mendekati kapal dengan kano kecil mereka mencoba menjual pernak-pernik kami. Kami berada di jangkar hanya selama beberapa jam, dan kemudian melanjutkan perjalanan kami. Ketika kami menyeberangi khatulistiwa kami mengadakan upacara penyeberangan. Ini adalah inisiasi yang memperingati pelaut pertama penyeberangan Khatulistiwa. Awalnya, tradisi tersebut dibuat sebagai ujian bagi pelaut berpengalaman untuk memastikan rekan-rekan baru mereka mampu menangani masa-masa sulit di laut. Upacara ekuivalen penyeberangan ini biasanya menampilkan King Neptune, yang menginisiasi orang-orang yang belum pernah melintasi garis khatulistiwa sebelumnya. Kami bertemu dengan HMAS Stuart (II) di Singapura pada tanggal 25 Januari dan kedua kapal tersebut berlayar ke Sattahip, Thailand tiba pada tanggal 31 Januari. Sydney menurunkan jip, truk, peralatan militer dan beberapa Sinyal pribadi. Mereka semua ditakdirkan untuk mengikuti latihan SEATO pada bulan Februari. Kedua kapal berangkat pada 1600 jam pada hari yang sama berangkat ke Vietnam, tiba di Vung Tau pada 3 Februari. Pelayaran tersebut memakan waktu 17 hari, selama waktu itu kami menghadiri kuliah tentang apa yang diharapkan saat tiba di SVN. Kami berlatih fisik setiap hari, kompetisi tarik-menarik dan tugas-tugas yang harus dilakukan, seperti bertugas di Petty Petugas Mess, bekerja di binatu, menggosok sekat dan dinding di dalam kapal dan umumnya membersihkannya. Kami juga memiliki detail yang mengatur untuk membawa ramuan grog harian dari pegangan, dan lain-lain. Saya yakin ada banyak hal lain yang kami lakukan tapi ingatan mengecewakan saya. Kami semua benar-benar menikmati paha yippee di atas buritan, mencoba menembak balon yang dikirim dari sisi yang dipenuhi air. Pada akhir setiap hari kami masing-masing diberi satu kaleng besar Fosters. Bagi mereka yang tidak minum, dan yang menginginkan lebih, sangat mudah untuk menukar beberapa batang rokok dengan kaleng lain. Selama bongkar muat sementara berlabuh Vung Tau, kru Sydneys siap untuk melawan serangan yang diluncurkan dari pantai. Para penyelam kapal melakukan patroli konstan, memeriksa lambung dan kabel sementara tentara bersenjata berdiri di dek dengan perintah untuk menembakkan gerakan yang mencurigakan di dalam air. Ternyata, baik Sydney maupun pendampingnya tidak terancam punah di perairan Vietnam. Tapi dia tampil dalam perannya dengan sangat efektif, dengan aman mengangkut ribuan tentara ke dan dari Vietnam bersama dengan ribuan ton barang dan peralatan. HMAS Sydney tiba di Vung Tau pada tanggal 3 Februari, dan berangkat pada hari yang sama untuk pulang, tiba kembali di Sydney pada tanggal 16 Februari. Kami semua seharusnya dibawa oleh helikopter pertama di pagi hari ke-3, tapi karena TET ofensif, yang sedang dalam ayunan penuh saat ini, hanya dua Chinook (Helikopter Angkatan Darat AS-47) yang muncul. Kami semua berbaris dalam kelompok (kapur). Saya cukup beruntung untuk mendapatkan kapur pertama. Yang lainnya dibawa oleh kapal pendarat di kemudian hari. Layanan dari Skycrane (Helikopter Angkatan Darat AS Sikorsky CH-54 Helikopter) digunakan untuk mengangkut kendaraan dari kapal ke darat dan juga untuk mengembalikan kontainer laut kosong dan kendaraan yang tidak dapat dioperasikan ke kapal. Setelah menyelesaikan tugas, kru Skycrane mengklaim sebuah rekor dunia untuk tonase yang diangkat oleh satu helikopter dalam satu hari. (Dari HMAS SYDNEY - Laporan Prosiding Februari 1968) Kami tidak memiliki pengetahuan mengenai TET, dengan kami diisolasi selama pelayaran kami. Kami diberitahu bahwa VC sangat aktif antara Vung Tau dan Nui Dat dan bahwa jalan itu terputus di tiga tempat dan sangat berbahaya untuk membawa kami ke jalan saat ini. Kami menghabiskan beberapa jam mendinginkan tumit kami di pantai belakang di Vung Tau sebelum dibawa ke Nui Dat. Beberapa tentara benar-benar terbang ke Dat Nui namun ada kekurangan penerbangan karena operasi sedang berlangsung. Saat menjelang malam ketika tiba di 104 Sig Sqn. Kami dikeluarkan dengan senapan dan 60 ronde, ditunjukkan ke tenda dan lubang mortir kami. Kami juga diberi penilaian singkat tentang gambaran keseluruhan tentang TET, operasi saat ini dan aktivitas VC. Saya menghabiskan minggu pertama saya di kamp yang melakukan pekerjaan aneh dan membiasakan diri dengan lingkungan sekitar dan perlengkapan yang akan kami gunakan. WO2 Ron Still, Sersan Skuadron Mayor (SSM) mengirim kami berdua ke Pangkalan Patroli Pemadam Kebakaran (FSPB) Andersen pada tanggal 12 Februari. Tugas kami adalah memonitor jaring radio dan memberikan cek radio sesuai kebutuhan. Februari 1968 (Operasi Coburg) Penyerahan pertama Satuan Tugas pada tahun 1968 sedang dalam Operasi COBURG. Markas Tugas (HQ) telah didirikan di FSPB Andersen di dekat perkebunan karet di Highway 1, mengangkangi rute musuh yang terkenal dan mudah diamati oleh Viet Cong pada siang hari. Sepanjang operasi, jaring komunikasi Task Force yang biasa didirikan termasuk Komando VHF Net dan berbagai tautan ke basis Task Force di Nui Dat dan perintah operasional yang lebih tinggi, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), II Field Force Vietnam (II FFV) Di Long Binh ditambah unit lain yang berdampingan. Sinyal AS memberi hubungan Radio Relay (RR) ke Long Binh dan Nui Dat namun mengalami banyak kerusakan peralatan dan tampaknya hanya memiliki teknisi dan operator berpengalaman. Setelah empat hari, Petugas Sinyal Satuan Tugas, Mayor Norm Munro (OC, 104 Sig Sqn) merekomendasikan agar RR Australia (ANMRC-69) ditempatkan. Shelter RR 110 Sig Sqn tiba di bawah Chinook AS. Efek awal dari downdraft helikopter rotor kembar saat menempatkan tempat penampungan itu ke gesper yang disiapkan merupakan pelajaran baru bagi semua. Ini menghancurkan pusat sinyal (memindahkan papan switch SB-86 tiga kaki dan melepaskan banyak garis, menaiki sebuah meja dan memecahkan sebuah teletypewriter), meniup tenda Task Force RAP sejauh 40 kaki dan meninggalkan petugas medis yang duduk bingung dengan goresan terbuka di tengahnya. Menghancurkan botol, dan menghancurkan tenda 104 Sig Sqn OCs. Pos Komando (CP) tetap utuh hanya karena setiap SoldierOfficer yang tersedia menahan tenda. Pemandangan kemudian menyerupai akibat Tornado dan menjadi sangat penting bahwa RR Australia menyediakan layanan yang telah dijanjikan oleh Sinyal. Pelajaran 1: Chinook penyebaran peralatan komunikasi harus dilakukan sebelum fasilitas lainnya disiapkan. Pelajaran 2: Hindari penggunaan Jaringan Angkatan Darat AS untuk komunikasi internal Australia untuk memastikan kontrol atas prioritas pemulihan. FSPB Andersen terletak di YT 208128, di War Zone D, 22 km di sebelah timur Bien Hoa, dua km N dari QL-1 (Highway 1) dan tujuh km SE dari FSPB Harrison. FSPB sengaja ditempatkan di sebuah bukit banteng rendah yang bertebaran di jalan komunikasi utama VC. Itu diserang tiga kali selama Tet 68 sebagai hasilnya. Pada tanggal 18 Februari, setelah rentetan mortir 150 putaran, dua gelombang VC menyerang pangkalan tersebut, menghasilkan delapan orang Australia KIA dan 22 WIA. Pangkalannya juga diserang pada tanggal 20 dan 28 Februari. Kekalahan musuh adalah: 167 KIA (Body Count), 7 KIA (Possible), 27 WIA, 5 POW. Bahan ditangkap. 9 awak menggunakan senjata, 94 senjata kecil, 10 peluncur RPG2, 3 peluncur RPG7, 5 radio pemancar, 2 kompas, 3500 lbs beras hancur. 49 roket RPG2, 8 roket HPG7, 9 rumpun RCL, 13 ranjau darat, 99 granat juga ditemukan. Aku hanya berada di Andersen selama beberapa jam dan baru saja masuk ke CP sebelum diberi tahu untuk membawa helikopter ke Brigade Infanteri ke-199 di Long Binh di mana satu Signalman diminta. Saya tidak segera datang dan diberi tahu apa pekerjaan saya saat saya memesan untuk pindah ke Bien Hoa karena yang ke 199 tidak lagi memiliki pasukan di wilayah kami. Saya dipindahkan ke Bien Hoa dengan kendaraan, di mana saya bertemu dengan Liaison Officer (LO). Kami bertiga melakukan shift kerja, enam jam dan 12 jam libur. Kami menggunakan ANPRC-25, Radio VHF dan jalur darat untuk komunikasi. Kami juga memiliki akses ke pesawat radio Amerika (524) dan perangkat HF ​​yang menggunakan CW dan suara untuk komunikasi dengan Nui Dat dan FSPB. Peran saya adalah mengelola pesan retrans, kode dan referensi grid uncode dll, antara elemen FSPB dan Nui Dat. Pada satu tahap di tahun 1968 Bien Hoa adalah bandara yang sibuk di dunia. Saya bekerja di Hurricane, Tactical Operations Center (TOC). Bien Hoa adalah rumah dari area HQ II FFV, II Field Forces yang bertanggung jawab adalah Zona Taktis Korps III yang termasuk Satuan Tugas 1 Australia (TF). TOC ditutupi oleh dinding sekitar 30 karung pasir yang setara dengan 30 kaki atau sembilan meter tingginya. Saya ditempatkan di garis Lintas Udara ke-101. Lihat foto yang tepat - Tiang utama udara di Bien Hoa berukuran besar dan dikemas (Foto disediakan oleh Gordon Taylor) Malam pertama saya berada di sana sebuah tempat pembuangan amunisi besar diserang. Kerang masuk, dll meledak sepanjang malam, menyebabkan ledakan besar yang menerangi langit. Pada saat saya tidak memiliki petunjuk apa yang sedang terjadi dan karena saya tidak termasuk dalam unit tertentu, tidak ada yang memberi tahu saya (mungkin mereka juga tidak tahu keduanya). Kami tidak pernah diberitahu apakah ada VC yang mendekati perimeter kami, tapi kami berdiri sepanjang malam. Selama Tet juga ada pasukan NVA di daerah tersebut. Bagian Bien Hoa dan Long Binh telah dikuasai oleh VCNVA pada awal Serangan Tet. Saya ingat bahwa pada malam kedua saya berada di Bien Hoa, tidak benar-benar tahu di mana saya berada dan betapa amannya kami, orang Amerika menyebut peringatan oranye, yang berarti mereka semua mengambil senjata mereka dari gudang senjata dalam kesiapan untuk menyerang. Mereka segera menembaki senapan mereka ke udara. Sepertinya tidak ada disiplin sama sekali. Dalam membaca beberapa informasi tentang malam ini dari pencarian web ada ribuan tentara AS di sekitarnya saat ini. Ketika 8 Mobile Guns (M110) melepaskan sebuah misi tanah dipindahkan Lihat foto kanan - M110 8 (203mm) Self Propelled Howitzer di Bien Hoa. Kopral yang sedang saya tangani, Bill Whitehead, mengatakan kepada saya bahwa saya akan dipromosikan menjadi Lance Kopral ketika saya dikirim kembali ke Nui Dat, karena dia ditugaskan sebagai Korps Sinyal Royal Australia (RASigs ) Anggota ke Artileri Resimen Lapangan Keempat dan saat kembali ke Australia dalam beberapa hari, saya secara otomatis akan mengambil alih perannya. Promosi ini berarti bahwa saya tidak perlu melaksanakan tugas piquet atau bekerja dalam kekacauan saat kembali di 104 Sig Sqn. Saya kembali ke Nui Dat pada tanggal 1 Maret dan ditugaskan ke Resimen Lapangan ke 4 pada tanggal 4 Maret. Promosi saya sampai pada awal bulan April dan saya menerima uang saku Vietnam saya (1,55 per hari). Ini mengambil penghasilan saya dua minggu menjadi 109,85. Maret sampai Juli 1968 (Pertempuran Karang dan Toan Thang II) Saya dilampirkan ke Perusahaan HQ, Resimen Lapangan ke 4 dan bekerja di Posko Komando (CP), menjalankan switchboard Enterprise SB-22. Ebony adalah alamat switchboard untuk CP di markas besar Task Force. Enterprise adalah alamat HQ Artileri CP. Sebagian besar lalu lintas antara Ebony dan Enterprise, namun ada 19 Switchboard Designators dalam 1ATF yang berarti sepanjang hari, lalu lintas sangat berat. Resimen Lapangan ke-4 digantikan oleh Resimen Lapangan ke-12 (12 Fd Regt) pada bulan April dan resimentasi memburuk. Parade diadakan setiap hari, bahkan jika Anda sedang dalam shift malam. Saya kira ini terjadi dengan unit baru saat dibutuhkan dan mencoba untuk tetap sama seperti saat kembali ke Australia. Karena kebanyakan penggali di Dat Nui, kita semua menghabiskan beberapa waktu mengisi dan mengumpulkan karung pasir dari lubang Pasir Baria. Anak-anak muda Vietnam akan berkeliaran mencari selebaran. Saya pikir mereka juga dibantu dalam pengisian tas, tapi tidak secepat atau penuh seperti yang kita lakukan. Pada awal Mei saya merasa bahwa saya tidak benar-benar melakukan apa yang telah saya latih. (Pekerjaan menjadi sangat berulang dan saya merasa bahwa keahlian saya tidak digunakan untuk potensi penuh mereka.) Saya dapat mengunjungi 104 Sig Sqn beberapa kali dan saya terus-menerus menggagalkan Staf Sersan Max Hardy untuk segera kembali ke Skuadron, Tapi tidak berhasil Ada juga saat kami dihibur oleh penyanyi Australia di Luscombe Bowl. Peristiwa ini selalu populer dan seluruh area penuh dengan penggali. Banyak serigala serigala terdengar saat penyanyi wanita memikat barang mereka. Pertempuran Karang Pada tanggal 12 Mei 1968, elemen utama dari 1 ATF diterbangkan ke daerah utara Saigon yang kemudian dikenal sebagai Coral FSPB. Ini untuk mencegat pergerakan 7 Divisi NVA ke Saigon dan memotong penarikannya. Pesta awal HQ 1 ATF termasuk Mayor Norm Munro, OC 104 Sig Sqn dan lima peringkat lainnya dari Skuadron. Panti depan HQ TF ini harus membentuk area markas satuan tugas. Pesta itu mendarat sekitar 1500 meter dari lokasi markas yang diusulkan dan oleh karena itu elemen sinyal kecil harus mengemas peralatannya yang awalnya beroperasi sebagai gardu pada komando gugus tugas. Ini bukan tugas yang pasti karena peralatan tersebut termasuk radio RT-524 (receiver transmiter dari peralatan VHF ANVRC-12 series kendaraan bermotor), baterai 150 amp hour, charger 300 watt, antena RC-292, unit remote control ANGRA-39 dan Sebuah radio ANPRC-25. Itu adalah usaha untuk membuktikan bahwa itu bermanfaat. Pada pagi hari tanggal 13 Mei 1968, pangkalan tersebut diserang oleh mortar musuh, roket dan tembakan senjata ringan, yang menyebabkan korban menjadi korban bagi pria dan peralatan (termasuk antena RC-292). Perbaikan sementara memungkinkan stasiun radio tetap beroperasi dan itu adalah sarana yang digunakan Spooky (pesawat DC3 dengan iluminasi dan enam miniguns) dan helikopter tempur (Light Fire Teams) dipanggil untuk mendukung unit yang diserang. Karang FSPB sebagian diliputi oleh musuh selama aksi ini. Signalman Rowan Gamble adalah WIA selama pertempuran. Pada 0240 jam pada tanggal 16 Mei 1968 sebuah serangan resimen NVA diluncurkan melawan Karang FSPB. Ini dimulai dengan 50 menit mortir dan roket yang termasuk area sinyal dan diikuti oleh serangan darat, satu partai musuh masuk dalam jarak 50 meter dari perimeter sinyal yang secara langsung melindungi pos komando task force. Musuh akhirnya putus kontak pukul 0645. Signalman Alex Young adalah KIA selama aksi ini dan dua orang Signalmen lainnya (John Koosache dan Ian Crosthwaite) adalah WIA. John datang ke Vietnam di Vung Ferry dengan saya Dari surat Ken Coxs pulang: Pada malam hari tanggal 28 saya diberitahu untuk pergi ke luar CP dan menyelidiki sumber cahaya yang bisa membahayakan posisi kami. Kolonel Donald Dunstan, Komandan Satuan Tugas bertindak menempatkan tangan paternalis di bahu saya dan berkata, Jauhkan kepala Anda dari bawah anak saat saya keluar dari CP. Wakil Komandan 1 ATF saat itu menulisnya nanti. Untuk jangka waktu sekitar tiga minggu, gugus tugas terkena beberapa pertempuran terberat yang dilihat oleh orang Australia di Vietnam. Sepanjang pertunangan ini dan sejumlah serangan berikutnya oleh api, skuadron sinyal tidak hanya bertahan namun terus mempertahankan komunikasi. Pada bulan Mei beberapa penembak dari Lapangan ke-12 Field Regt HQ Battery (Bty) dikirim ke Coral FSPB untuk membantu operasi. Gunners Ian Scott dan Christopher Sawtell terbunuh pada malam pertama mereka di markas (15 Mei). Mereka hanya berada di negara selama beberapa hari, tinggal di tenda yang sama dengan saya di Nui Dat, dan ini adalah perampokan pertama mereka di luar pangkalan. Mereka dikirim ke titik maju dalam FSPB, yang diserbu pada malam hari sehingga mengakibatkan kematian mereka. Saya sangat senang karena saya tidak dikirim bersama mereka. Saya sangat ingin keluar ke Karang tapi karena saya adalah seorang supernumerary (terikat pada Regd 12th) mereka tidak memiliki wewenang untuk mengirim saya keluar. Selama waktu saya bersama 12 Fd Regt, saya berhasil terlibat dengan Unit Urusan Sipil 1 Australia (1ACAU) yang bekerja sebagai operator radio di lapangan. Mereka sangat terlibat dalam membangun akomodasi dan sekolah untuk penduduk lokal. Saya juga berhasil beberapa perjalanan ke Vung Tau, mengejar Sig Alex Shepherd (110 Sqn) dalam satu perjalanan. Dia adalah bagian dari kursus OKA 15A di Balcombe. Di lain perjalanan ini saya cukup beruntung untuk dapat menghabiskan beberapa waktu di depan pantai ski air. Aku perlu membuat bingkai baru untuk kacamata yang berarti perjalanan ke Vung Tau. Itu seharusnya perjalanan satu hari, helikopter ke sana dan kembali, tapi tidak ada tempat di salah satu helikopter yang kembali ke Nui Dat siang itu, jadi saya harus bermalam. Ketika saya kembali ke unit keesokan paginya saya diangkut di depan Rott Bty RSM dan membaca tindakan kerusuhan tersebut. Dia berpikir bahwa saya telah pergi AWOL. Kurasa seharusnya aku meneleponnya. Selama beberapa waktu luang saya, saya berhasil mendekati dan akrab dengan Artileri A Bty 2nd35th (AS) yang, bersama dengan 12 senjata Fd Regts, melaksanakan misi Pelecehan dan Interupsi Malam (HampI) malam, yang seharusnya menjaga VC tetap Jari kaki mereka Untuk beberapa malam pertama di Nui Dat aku melompat setiap kali salah satu senjata ini dipecat, tapi tidak butuh waktu lama untuk benar-benar mengabaikannya. Baterai AS lebih dikenal dengan Husky Alpha. Mereka memiliki armada trek yang dipasang 155mm senjata. Karena kami bekerja bergeser, saya memiliki cukup banyak waktu luang yang saya gunakan baik di Sigma Sqn yang mengejar teman, atau meminjam sebuah jip dan berkendara ke The Hill untuk mengejar ketinggalan dengan orang-orang yang ditugaskan di sana. Saya ingat banyak percakapan dengan Sig Ken Cox tentang cahaya di ujung terowongan. Saya juga menghabiskan beberapa minggu untuk meletakkan saluran telepon baru, baik di bawah tanah maupun di tiang telegraf dari masing-masing baterai pistol ke switchboard Enterprise dan kemudian ke Arty Tac. (Arty Tac mengendalikan tembakan artileri dari basis 1ATF.) Saya juga bekerja di kantin HQ Coy saat saya tidak bergeser, hanya untuk membuat diri saya sibuk. Saya pikir saya juga berhasil mendapatkan beberapa minuman gratis juga. Saya meninggalkan Nui Dat melalui jalan darat dengan 12 partai Fd Regts QMs pada tanggal 12 Juni sebagai bagian dari 1ATF TOAN THANG II (13 Juni-18 Juli 1968). Detail Penerapan: A Sqn 3 Cav Regt. 3 Tp pindah melalui jalan darat ke FSPB KIAMA untuk mendukung 1 operasi RAR: Lokasi: A Sqn (-) 1 ATF Base 3 Tp FSPB KIAMA YT0914. Fd Bty dikerahkan melalui udara ke FSPB KIAMA untuk mendukung 1 operasi RAR. Lokasi: 12 Fd Regt (-) dan A Bty 235 Arty (AS) 1 ATF Base 102 Fd Bty FSPB KIAMA di YT0914. 1 RAR dikerahkan melalui udara ke AO BIRDSVILLE (MODIFIED) Pusat massa YT1216, Dengan asumsi tanggung jawab untuk wilayah tersebut dari 1200H. Lokasi: Bn HQ dan C Coy FSPB KIAMA YT094145, A Coy YT106184, B Coy YT138157, D Coy YT083140. Ada operasi yang dilakukan sekitar sepuluh kilometer dari Long Binh (tidak jauh dari tempat saya dikirim saat pertama kali tiba di Vietnam). Pekerjaan saya dengan tiga orang lainnya (bukan 104 Sig Sqn) adalah komunikasi radio untuk jaring Artileri 24 jam per hari. Kami juga ditugaskan untuk melakukan pengadaan peralatan makanan dan peralatan untuk Battery Field 102 di Kiama FSPB, yang mendukung operasi di AO Birdsville. Rincian Deployment: 3 Juli 1968 - 3 RAR meringankan 1 RAR di OP Toan Thang (Tahap 2) di Wilayah Operasi (AO) Birdsville. FSPB Kiama - YT 09-14 10 km ENE dari Bien Hoa, 5 km WNW dari FSB Kerry, 2 km dari QL- 1. 161 Bty, RNZA (Hitchings Bty 14Apr68-18Mar69) di bawah sini yang berada di sini tanggal 3-18 Juli. Bien Hoa Prov, III Corps. Kami ditempatkan di dalam kompleks Long Binh yang berdekatan dengan salah satu lapangan terbang utama. Pada siang hari setidaknya ada dua puluh pesawat di udara pada satu waktu, dari helikopter sampai pesawat pengebom jet terbaru. Kami terletak tepat di samping pad helikopter yang menciptakan sejumlah besar suara dengan helikopter lepas landas dan mendarat di semua jam, yang paling membingungkan saat mencoba mengirim dan menerima pesan. Setelah sekitar seminggu atau lebih, di sana kami menghabiskan tiga hari untuk menggali lubang mortir setinggi tiga kaki dan panjang lima belas kaki untuk memberi kami perlindungan. Kami sudah mulai melapisinya dengan karung pasir sehingga kami bisa meletakkan penutup atas lubang itu. Tanahnya begitu keras dan alat yang kami miliki sangat tidak memadai. Kami hampir selesai saat kami diberitahu untuk tidak melanjutkan karena mereka akan melakukan survei di wilayah tersebut dan mengatasinya dan memasang drainase yang tepat. Usulan tersebut membuatnya seperti perkemahan semi permanen sehingga sewaktu-waktu kami melakukan operasi di bidang ini, kami dapat segera menyiapkan persediaan dengan mudah. Betapa buang waktu dan tenaga. Tentara Khas Kami tidak pernah mendapatkan lubang mortir kami. Pada salah satu perjalanan kelayakan, saya bisa bertemu dengan Sig Keith Oliver, yang ditempatkan di FSPB Kiama (YT095145), sekitar sepuluh kilometer timur timur Long Binh. 102 Bty, 12 Fd Regt berbasis di sana. Selama waktu kita di Long Binh, saya berteman dengan beberapa tentara AS dan menghabiskan beberapa waktu luang saya berenang di kolam renang mereka dan mengunjungi klub ir. Jadi hidup itu cukup beradab selama kami tinggal. Kami juga melakukan sedikit perdagangan barang (jas hujan, celana pendek, dll). Kami menyukai liner poncho dan ransel mereka dan beberapa di antaranya diperdagangkan. Meskipun saya tidak memiliki lisensi, saya banyak melakukan perjalanan di sekitar perkemahan Long Binh. Jika ada kebutuhan untuk pekerjaan yang harus dilakukan dan tidak ada supir yang tersedia maka saya dengan cepat menjadi sukarelawan. Hal ini memungkinkan saya untuk melihat banyak kompleks Long Binh. Pada awal Juli saya juga berkesempatan membawa persediaan ke FSPB Concord (YT034174). FSPB didirikan bersebelahan dengan Sungai Dong Nai, barat barat laut Bien Hoa. 104 Bty 12th Field Regt berbasis di sana dengan 4 RAR. Sebelum akhir bulan, kami memiliki sekitar dua ratus orang Aussies di Long Binh. Kamp kami disebut 1ATF Forward Long Binh. Kamp AS Long Binh adalah 55 mil persegi di daerah. Tidak ada kebutuhan untuk transmisi radio dari wilayah kami sekarang karena ada begitu banyak orang di sini, jadi saya menghabiskan waktuku untuk memasok ulang FSPB setiap hari. Tentu saja lebih banyak pasukan yang berarti lebih disiplin dan kita memiliki parade dan senapan setiap hari dan inspeksi tenda. Hidup lebih mudah kembali ke The Dat. Pada tahap tur tugas saya, saya berharap untuk beristirahat dan memulihkan diri (R amp R) pergi dan menghabiskan beberapa waktu dan uang di Hong Kong. Pilihan kami untuk R amp R adalah Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok dan Australia. Hawaii juga ada dalam daftar tapi saya pikir itu mungkin hanya untuk tentara AS. Saya terbang kembali ke Nui Dat di Caribou (RAAF de Havilland Canada DHC-4) pada tanggal 12 Juli. Saya menghabiskan beberapa hari dengan 12 Fd Regt sebelum kembali terhubung ke 104 Sig Sqn lagi. Banyak diskusi saya dengan Staf Sersan Hardy akhirnya berhasil terbayar. Pada saat ini gaji saya meningkat 4 per dua minggu. Dalam membaca Laporan Komandan untuk 104 Sig Sqn selalu ada kekurangan personil Radio Troop, jadi saya rasa akhirnya mereka membawa saya kembali dari 12 Fd Regt karena Staf Sersan Hardy menyadari bahwa dia bisa membawa saya kembali ke Skuadron daripada menjadi Ditugaskan di mana saya tidak benar-benar dibutuhkan. Saya tidak berpikir bahwa posisi saya diganti, setidaknya tidak dalam jangka pendek. Saya pergi ke Hong Kong di RampR pada tanggal 15 Juli. Saya telah mencoba untuk waktu saya R amp R dengan Geoff Morgan dan Ken Cox, tapi ini tidak mungkin. Setibanya di Hong Kong kami semua memesan ke berbagai hotel kami. Seperti biasa, perwira pertama, yang diberi akomodasi terbaik dan keledai punses mendapatkan apa yang tersisa. Namun setelah tinggal di semak dan tenda selama enam bulan, apapun dengan atap, air panas dan dingin sangat bagus. Saya memungut kutu perut sementara di R amp R. Saya pasti sudah minum terlalu banyak air lokal dan tidak cukup minum bir, jadi saya diberi tugas ringan saat saya kembali selama seminggu sementara saya sembuh dari serangga apa pun yang saya miliki. Agustus 1968 (Operasi Lyrebird) Pada tanggal 30 Juli saya terlepas dari Skuadron Konstruksi ke-17, bersama Sig Marty Pandelus dan Sig Gordon Sanderson, dalam persiapan untuk Operasi Lyrebird. Kami adalah bagian dari program Land Clearing (Operasi Lyrebird) di AO Warburton. Operasi yang kami lakukan dirancang untuk menghalangi pergerakan musuh tanpa terlihat. Ini memungkinkan kita untuk memindahkan APC, tank, artileri dan pasukan dengan mudah ke daerah tersebut. Tahap pertama operasi ini adalah dengan memadamkan jalan sepanjang 200 meter dan sepanjang 14.000 meter sepanjang lembah di antara pegunungan sekitar 17 kilometer sebelah barat Dat Nui. Jejak yang akan dibersihkan adalah antara Nui Thai Vais dan Nui Dinhs di AO Warburton, terbentang dari Route 15 ke utara. Peran kami adalah mengelola komunikasi antara unit infanteri di sekitar FSPB dan juga Artileri di Nui Dat, penerbangan helikopter masuk, seperti suplai makanan, air dan bahan bakar bersamaan dengan kekosongan dan pergerakan pasukan. Kami meninggalkan Nui Dat pada tanggal 1 Agustus dengan tujuh bulldozer D8 di atas truk. Kami dikawal oleh pasukan APC (A Troop, A Sqn, 3 Cav Regt). Kami juga memiliki beberapa dukungan udara mengingat bahwa kami bepergian dari Nui Dat ke Baria dan kemudian menyusuri rute utama (Q15) menuju Phu My dan Saigon untuk beberapa klik sebelum berbelok langsung ke semak-semak. Kami memiliki perusahaan infanteri bersama kami (Whisky Company, 4RARNZ). APC dan infanteri pindah ke semak-semak sekitar 4.000 meter dan membersihkan daerah itu sebelum kami pindah sekitar tiga jam kemudian. Selama pembentukan FSPB salah satu dozer dilanda granat roket yang dipacu roket. Ada juga api semi otomatis yang masuk ke FSPB. Pengemudi buldoser terluka dan dievakuasi. D8 ditemukan kembali dan kembali ke Nui Dat. The enemy reacted vigorously to this operation causing severe damage to two bulldozers by RPG fire and one APC by mines, and the land clearing teams were subjected to considerable harassment during the first few days, after which there was minor contact with the enemy. On the 4th August there was a contact on the perimeter of FSPB Hague about 50 metres from our position. Several VC had sneaked in close to the perimeter and fired automatic weapons and rockets at sentries on the perimeter and into the FSPB. Two bulldozers were badly damaged. One of the bulldozers was buried to extinguish the fire. We all stood to (grab your rifle and head for your mortar pit) in our case there was no mortar pit so we ran to the nearest berm, fully expecting to see some Viet Cong on the other side. During this contact one of the infantrymen was wounded and medevacd out. The Platoon Commander was also slightly wounded in the head. Another D8 was mined during the recovery operation of one of the rocketed D8s. Two dozer operators were wounded at this time and were evacuated. They were both eventually casevaced to Australia. On the 12th August a platoon on patrol made contact with five Viet Cong who quickly withdrew. On the follow up an enemy camp was located which contained a large quantity of ammunition and supplies hidden deep in a tunnel system. During the search of the camp two enemy walked in, one was killed and the other escaped. Although many signs of the enemy presence were picked up and trails followed, it was not until 29th August that an estimated ten enemy were sighted and engaged with artillery and mortar fire with unknown results. Also on the 29th an enemy hutted camp of fourteen huts and cookhouse was located and destroyed. There were several reports received from Intelligence to say that the local VC division (D445 Provincial Mobile Force Battalion) was likely to pass through our area during the time that we were there, so we were on high alert and for this reason we had another company (B Coy, 3RAR) sent out to protect us. Our CP took some time to set up and establish all radio communications. This was the beginning of the rainy season and everything was total ly drenched, certainly the floor of the CP was flooded. The three of us were working five-hour shifts with a two-hour shift at night, which seemed to be the best way to provide 24-hour coverage. In the middle of our camp we had a cleared area where the dozers and APCs have to move through and park. It didnt take long with the chu r ning up of the dirt to turn the whole area into a mud heap. We had to cross through this quagmire every meal time and consequently end up with mud up to our knees. We were not able to send a convoy out from Nui Dat with water and clothing because it was deemed still to be too dangerous to send anything by road due to the recent attacks and general enemy activity in the area. The CP became very hectic at times as we have seven radio networks in operation, as well as a switchboard which allowed us to communicate with the perimeter. See Photo Right - Gordon Sanderson . 104 Sig Sqn at FSPB Hague. (Photo supplied by Gordon Taylor) Things seem to have settled down in camp into an orderly routine. We have three patrols out at all times. They have come across a lot of VC and a lot of food and ammunition and documents, but they have only killed one VC so far. The other night one of our patrols started shooting, only to find out that they were shooting one of their own fellows. Nobody knows how this happened but apparently this fellow wandered away from his post and somebody opened up on him. He was very lucky only getting shot in the leg. A bore was sunk to provide additional water for showering, much to everyones relief, as we have not had any water or change of clothes flown in. I received another rise in my pay and was now earn ing 113.96 per fortnight. One day we were out on a jeep travelling along the cleared area, I have no recollection of why we were there or where we were going to or from. We were about two kilometres from camp when our jeep became bogged in the ruts caused by the D8s. A photo I have shows that my companions were Gordon Sanderson and Marty Pandelus. I cant recall any other details except that we were very exposed if any enemy had been in the area at the time. We radioed for assistance and thankfully managed to get rescued before nightfall. We spent three weeks at FSPB Hague before moving to FSPB Hokanui as the dozers have to move too far from camp each day. Our move was carried out in typical Army style. We had half packed up the day before to ensure a smooth start to the move early the next day. We spent most of the morning waiting for trucks to arrive from Nui Dat. When we finally got started it took five hours to move five kilometres. We had been experiencing some torrential rain and all of our vehicles got bogged at some stage of the journey and had to be towed by the bulldozers or the APCs. The CP was set up very quickly and we managed to hack out a place in the scrub to put up our tent. We had so much rain that the CP became flooded and we ended up abandoning it about 8:30pm and set ourselves up in the makeshift kitchen. The next morning the CP had five feet of water in it. We dug a new one the following day and then spent two days in trying to make it waterproof. We are working in well with the Infantry as far as Signals work goes and we take it in turns to man all of the radios. It is good experience for me because I hadnt worked any really busy networks before, and with seven networks going at once and sometimes only one man to handle them, things get a bit hectic from time to time. An additional Signalman was required to go out on a day patrol. I volunteered to go out (dont they tell you never to volunteer) The platoon already had an infantry sig attached but for some reason the y wanted an additional radio op. We came across a huge B52 bomb crater half full of water during our patrol. Thankfully there were no incidents during the day. I spent a couple of days working on the chopper pad, communicating with the pilots and guiding them in. It was interesting carrying out the process of throwing smoke and calling them in. Whisky Company (NZ) was extracted from the FSBP during that time. We have both Chinook and Iroquois helicopters landing here. Actually the Chinooks only land if they are ferrying troops. They are also delivering bladders of diesel fuel for the bulldozers and the Iroquois bring in food and other supplies. On the radio network the Chinooks are called Hillclimbers and the Iroquois are called Albatross. Each bulldozer uses 10 gallons of diesel per working hour. Therefore we need around 1,000 gallons of fuel per day. The diesel contained in 500 gallon bladders are flown in by Chinook with the bladders slung underneath. I was choppered back to Nui Dat on the 8th September. I believe that Gordon Sanderson and Marty Pandelus stayed on until the end of the operation. I was back in camp after five weeks out in the bush. I spent ten days at 104 Sig Sqn before being choppered out to Blackhorse on the 18th September at the start of another operation. September 1968 (Operation Hawkesbury) One day a group of us was supposed to be carrying out a protection party run down to Vung Tau and we were given copious instructions outlining what our tasks were. In the middle of this all going on Geoff Morgan and I were told to report to the OC Radio Troop regarding an assignment ASAP. We were told that we were going out on a liaison job with the Yanks. Geoff was going to the Thai Regiment, Bearcat and I am going to the 11th Armoured Cavalry Regiment (11 ACR) at Blackhorse. I was there from the 15th to the 24th September. The operation was Hawkesbury and 4RARNZ carried out a reconnaissance in AO Tuggerah. The battalion moved into blocking positions east of Route 2 on the western edge of the enemy zone known as the Thua Tich. They also carried out operations in AO Canowindra. Two fire support bases were used, FSPB Gabo and FSPB Wattle. The first near Ap Ngai and the other on the Firestone Trail near the junction with the Blackstone Trail. A Military Cross and a Distinguished Conduct Medal were awarded to two members of 7 Platoon, C Company as a result of their actions during the operation. The 11 ACR is a lot different from the other American units I have been with. They are a lot more rough and ready, but still nice guys. The yanks that I was working with had not come across Australian soldiers in their unit before and we were treated as a bit of a novelty, being shouted free beers, etc. Many of them had no idea where Australia was or that we had been deployed to SVN. Their geographic knowledge of the world seemed to start in Los Angeles and end in New York. Blackhorse was the base of the US Army 11 ACR. Their motto Find the bastards - then pile on. During 1968 the 11 ACR was commanded by Brigadier General George S Patton Jnr. the son of old Blood and Guts Patton from WW2. Quote from the History of 547 Sig Tp from 1968: George Patton Jnr arrived at the 547 Sig Tp Compound - Nui Dat (within the lines of 104 Sig Sqn) in full battle order - steel helmet, grenades strapped on this belt, an M16 in this hand, a low slung pistol on this right side and a mean looking Colt Cobra in a shoulder holster. Squatting in front of the big wall map he chewed on an unlit cigar as he received the usual briefing from Steve Zagon (Capt). On conclusion of the briefing he jumped up and slapping Steve squarely on the back barked in a heavy drawl Thats great stuff fellas Keep it up Remember, you find em and Ill kill em With that he strode off, grenades and guns slapping against his sides, leaving the operations staff rolling with uncontrollable laughter. The yanks are all a bit trigger happy. I was travelling somewhere in a jeep with them during my stay at Blackhorse when one of them asked if he could fire off a few rounds from my rifle as he hadnt used a 7.62mm rifle before. He fired several rounds into the bush and looked very happy with himself before handing it back to me. Bearcat, where Geoff Morgan and Peter Menagh were based, about 20 kilometres from Blackhorse, seemed to be a bit of a hot spot. They had been mortared a couple of times over the past few days. Bearcat was the base for the Royal Thai Army Volunteer Forces. I heard Geoff on the radio quite often as we were working the same channels. I was listening to him on e day, when I heard him say quite nonchalantly over the network We have mortars landing just outside our perimeter. He sounded so casual about the whole incident. I returned to Nui Dat on the 25th September. October 1968 (Operation Windsor) I was only back in Nui Dat for a few days before being deployed on Operation Windsor to manage a re-trans station for the Artillery net. Keith Oliver, Pete Menagh and I were sent over to the 161 Bty RZNA on the 1st October and we flew out in Chinooks the next day to FSPB Cedar. FSPB Cedar: YS 29-89 25 km NW of Nui Dat, 3 km NE of FSB Diggers Rest and 17 km W of the Courtenay Rubber Plantation. Described as a Tight and dirty location where 161 was put back-to- back with an Australian Bty, separated by a fallen windrow of trees. 161 Bty, RNZA (Hitchings Bty 14 Apr 68-18 Mar 69) firebase set here 28 Sep-12 Oct 68. Bien Hoa Prov, III Corps. We were supported by A Coy, 3 RAR. We had to set up comms for two stations, both of whom were several thousand metres to our west and our role was to re-broadcast their transmissions back to Nui Dat. The first tasks on our list were to pitch our own tent, set up our equipment and each dig our own pit. We were plagued with trouble right from the start. Everywhere we put our gear down someone wanted to pitch a tent, or dig a hole or the guns wanted to fire in that direction. It poured with rain all that afternoon and every time a Chinook came in with a load we had to hang onto our tent and gear to stop it from being blown away. A Chinook creates a wind comparable to a 90-mile an hour gale. All our codes, signal instructions and secret papers were scattered over the place. Once we were set up we realized that we couldnt get comms for some inexplicable reason, no matter how we tried. We gave up for the night and first thing in the morning reviewed the situation by recharging our batteries and resiting our aerials. We had just finished this process when Major Munro (our OC) arrived to see what was going on. In the end they decided that we were too far away from Nui Dat for the equipment that we had been supplied and we were airlifted back the next day. LCpl Bob Parkyns, Sig Morgan and Sig Abraham were sent out to act as a retrans station during this operation. They were stationed at Blackhorse, the same LO that I was on a few days earlier. Abraham was able to get a ride in a chopper and while they were flying around carrying out some testing of equipment they were shot down by enemy ground fire. Unfortunately there were no survivors. I believe that Geoff was also offered a ride but he was rostered on duty, so had to decline. 29 September - From Geoff Morgan letters home:- Denis Abe Abraham missing. A b e and I met a helicopter crewman in the canteen last night. Abe took up the offer of a short flight this morning while they tested their guns and made a visual reconnaissance of a designated area. Shortly after taking off no more was heard of the chopper. Bob delayed informing Nui Dat until late this afternoon in the hope that he would turn up. 30 September - Wreckage of helicopter discovered. Although a search was quickly started, it was not until today that the wreckage was discovered. Abes fate is not yet known. Neither is it known whether the helicopter was shot down or crashed through mechanical failure. The last report I heard was that two bodies have been recovered, but as yet have not been identified. Abes body was brought in today and Bob had the unenviable job of identifying it. Naturally this has hit us pretty hard as he was a good friend to all of us. It leaves me rather bewildered when I realised that I wont be able to enjoy the company again of a fellow who had the ability to get the most out of life. The irony of it is that every person who comes to Vietnam aims to have as many helicopter rides as possible and therefore takes every opportunity to get up in one. Then something like this happens Its been ascertained that as the chopper was flying low on its visual reconnaissance an unknown number of VC took shots at it with their rifles. The pilot was shot in the head and being so low the co-pilot didnt have time to take over the controls. It ploughed into a creek bank at well over a hundred miles per hour. I suppose, in one way, one can be thankful that they were all killed instantly as I dare say the VC went in to inspect their work and any injured would have been in for an unpleasant time, to say the least. Initially I was going to go on the flight but swapped with Abe when we realised that it was me who was on duty the next morning. PHU MY (Operation Harvest) Deployment Details: 25 Oct 68- 2 Nov 68. Allied Units Involved: C Coy, 3RAR Objective of Operation: reconnaissance in force and interdiction operation FSB Nelson - YS 21-81 On QL-15, 18 km WNW of NUI DAT, 10 km SE of FSB Archer, 38 km NNW of Vung Tau. 161 Bty RNZA (Hitchings Bty 14Apr68- 18Mar69) firebase set here 27Oct-2Nov68 (right section). Phuoc Tuy Prov, III Corps. After a respite of a couple of weeks back at the squadron and being completely bored cutting grass, filling sandbags, etc Keith Oliver and I were informed late in the afternoon that we were going out with C Coy 3RAR the next day, 25th October, on Operation Harvest. We spent the rest of the day putting all of our equipment together for the operation. We were to be stationed at Phu My, several clicks north west of Baria on Route 15. Our role was to liaise with the ARVN, Thais, Yanks, along with elements of 3RAR during the operation. Ken Cox was sent to Xa Bang, an ARVN outpost, as part of this operation. We had to be ready at 0700 hours on the 27th October to move out with C Coy, 3RAR and A Sqn, 3 Cav Regt. This was my first ride in an APC. We had it to ourselves given that we had about 1000lbs of gear to carry, (Wet cell batteries, generator, fuel, aerials, radios, and all the usual paraphernalia.) The APCs dropped us off at Phu My and then continued north up the road to AO Everglade to set up HQ at FSPB Nelson. We were stationed with the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN) 655 Regional Forces Company at YS 237772. Their main, and only, armaments were 2 x 105mm field guns (which I never saw). We had no sooner set up our communications channels when some Yanks came into the compound to ask for help. There had been a smash not far up the road. When they tried to go back to their base for help they had their way blocked by a contact on the road. We spent quite a bit of time trying to communicate with our contacts in Vung Tau to ask for assistance (by land line) with their unit. They ended up staying with us overnight until some tow trucks were sent up from Vung Tau late the next day to take them away. Phu My is also the area HQ for smaller outposts nearby. From here, patrols go out every night to an ambush position, but I have my doubts as to whether they do much good or not. The soldiers live here with their families in nothing more than hovels which are dug out of the mound of earth which surrounds the camp. There are several tin buildings inside the camp and it is inside one of these that we are operating from. Keith and I are working long hours with the radios. We are each working eight hour shifts. I am glad I am out on this job for a couple of reasons. This is one of the few assignments I have been on where I have felt a sense of achievement. It is also the first time that I have worked with the Vietnamese. Their life is so much different to ours in many ways, and while we are stationed here, we have to live more or less the way that they do. The children are generally very well behaved and we get on very well with then, and the adults, even though neither of us can understand what the other is saying. On one occasion the LO from 3RAR, who was working with us, and I went over to the Vietnamese quarters for a few drinks with the CO and some of his fellow officers. We had to take off our boots and socks before we entered the building. We were seated on the floor with our legs crossed and a bowl of rice and a few bowls of meat and sauces placed in the middle of the circle. Chopsticks were the order of the day and I had a hell of a job trying to eat with them. We did talk about the different sorts of cuisines that we ate. I dont know if they were having us on or not but a cooked cockroach turned up on one of the plates. I had finished eating by that time, thank goodness. The Vietnamese had a great laugh when we refused the offer to eat the cockroach. I suspect that they had carried this out in jest as we had been talking earlier about eating rats, mice, cockroaches, etc. The LO is driving us round the bend. He is a young 2nd Lieutenant from the infantry we are working with, and in my opinion is very immature. He just makes a fool of himself all the time, trying to impress everyone and impressing no-one. He was actually two years younger than me. He got dragged over the coals by his CO the other night after ordering me to call up 3RAR Company HQ and advising them contact, wait, out when we thought that the compound had been hit by a rocket, when in actual fact it was actually a rocket that was attached to the perimeter facing outwards that had been fired. No-one knows why it went off. He got a bollocking because he hadnt gotten the facts straight before making a call and giving the whole Company, which was stationed in the bush, a scare. We returned from Phu My on the 4th November. It was a great experience working with the Vietnamese. Keith and I felt that the 2nd Lieutenant was a complete idiot and we were left to do all the work and we made most of the decisions. One of the most played songs on American Forces Vietnam Network (AFVN) radio station at this time was Jennie C Rileys Harper Valley PTA. I can remember thinking that it was absolutely fantastic. AFVN also played Chickenman every morning. It was a fairly stupid take off of a superhero. One morning someone in the Sig Centre played an episode straight off the radio and broadcast it over the taskforce network. I dont believe that anyone was charged with this, but it certainly caused a ruckus at HQ. AFVN Radio was run by the American Military you may remember the movie Good Morning Vietnam They played fairly tame music but from time to time they would play the top hit parade songs. Their ads were really targeted at the lower level, less educated troops with simple ads about keeping your mosquito repellent on, or how to purchase government bonds, or pushing the re-enlistment barrow which was incentivised towards having troops re-enlist or extend their tour of duty. November 1968 (Operation Capital II) The day after we returned to Nui Dat there was another operation starting up but I was too late to get a job on it, so I just h ung round the 104 Sig Sqn lines trying to keep out of everyones way. For the two weeks I was in camp I learned to make myself seem to be invisible during the day. I ha d my bed in the same tent as Cpl Richard Christiansen, Sig Tom Richardson and one other. I dont have any sheets, pillow, etc. I just have a poncho that I use as a sheetblanket. Each morning I would fold up the poncho and hide it in my trunk under the bed. This mean t that I d id nt have to have any tent inspections as there is no evidence of anyone sleeping there. There were no roll calls and because people were moving in and out all of the time there was no double checking of numbers. I am sure that Cpl Alan Lohrisch and a few others knew that I was in camp, but didnt really know how to find me, so I could sort of please myself so to how I spent my day. When I had the opportunity I volunteered to drive whomever, usually officers around the base, managing to take a few photos of interesting things. We are now in the middle of November and t here is still no definite word on when we will be going home. It could be a week before Christmas or two weeks after. Life has been quite dull the past few days, although I have spent a few hours driving around the place delivering mail, equipment and officers who want to move around the camp, still with no licence, and with over half of our unit out on operations the place is very quiet. Our beer ration was lifted last week, most units have unlimited supplies but we are now on four cans a day, instead of two as it was before. Shirts are still on and we wont be back into shorts for a while yet. Somewhere around this time I was involved in a mission to go to a Vietnamese village and arrest a VC suspect. As best as I can recall I was the radio operator for the group. Travelling in two land rovers we arrived in the village just on dusk (I guess when most of the villagers would be cooking their evening meal) and pushed our way into one of the houses to arrest a person who was suspected of being a VC sympathiser. As we were taking him away the wife and children were screaming at us (along with some neighbours). The woman was so distraught that she would not let go of her husband and in the end we took her with us back to Nui Dat and delivered them to the gaol. This was the first time that I had been up close and personal in a confrontation where we were dealing with the grass roots villagers and I must confess that I found it most disconcerting. I never did find out whether he was involved with the VC. Operation Capital II On the 11 November, Keith Oliver and I were choppered out to Suoi Cat, via FSPB Lion, several kilometres east of Xuan Loc. We were working with the 43rd Regt, 18th ARVN Division at FSPB Penny. Our callsign on the network was Bridle Shaker. There were quite a few Americans in the FSPB who obviously are running the show. There was a Task Force operation on, called Operation Capital II and it involved the ARVN, American and Australians all working in conjunction with each other in more or less the same area trying to find and destroy a suspected VC Battalion. The first deployment of the HQ 1 ATF Main using Armoured Command Vehicles (ACV) for Operation and Signal CPs, was on Op Capitol at FSPB Lion in early November 1968. This allowed communications and other functions to be set up immediately instead of building a bunker Comment: At Fire Support Patrol Base (FSPB) Coral in May 1968, the deployed Australians along with its Task Force HQ and supporting Signals came within an ace of being wiped out by the North Vietnamese Army. The HQ was most vulnerable and the complete command, control and communications had to be dug underground in bunkers. This took a number of days which was handicapped by enemy action, limited defence stores and poor weather. The ACV callsigns and functions were as follows: Callsign 85 (ARN 134469) Operations Command Post Callsign 85A (ARN 134470) Air Support Command Post Callsign 85B (ARN 134465) Artillery Fire Support Coordination Centre Callsign 85C (ARN 134457) Signal Centre (104 Sig Sqn) Our job was to liaise between 18th ARVN, FSPB Lion and other troops in adjacent AOs to ensure that there were no friendly troops in any areas that were likely to be attacked by artillery fire or air strikes. During our second day there we had an incoming artillery shell fired, presumably from a nearby ARVN FSPB, into the middle of our FSPB. I was on duty in the CP which at this stage was a tent in the middle of the compound which was sandbagged up to around five feet, so that I was shielded from the explosion. I am glad that I was sitting down at this time otherwise I would have certainly been wounded. There were several ARVN soldiers killed and wounded and dustoffs were called in to take them to hospitals. We never did find out who or what caused this to happen. A couple of days later a couple of Aussies turned up out of nowhere. They had been out with the ARVN Artillery for several days and one of them was from our unit (Cpl Phil Denton). So now we are working two nets, carrying out liaison for Artillery and ground troops in the surrounding areas. I had my camera stolen while on duty. I am not too worried about the camera. It is the photos that were in the camera shots of Phu My and here. (With no photos to remind me of people, places, etc it makes it more difficult to recall what happened during this period.) An email from Keith Oliver 6th Sept 2007 I will check out my slides to see if there are any from our time at Phu My and at that FSPB with the Mighty Anvil. I can still remember those delta fox-trots dropping around the perimeter followed by an enormous bang when the drop-short hit us very close by. Before this event we had been sleeping in tents with the ARVN soldiers. In no time flat the Yanks had commandeered a bob-cat and created a huge scrape in the ground. It was least three metres deep and was soon ready for us to move into. We were able to walk down the gradient until it flattened out where we laid out our bedding and gear. We slept a little more soundly after this although we had no roof. We we re working in with the American advisors and we also have an American Artillery battery at the FSPB. We g o t fresh rations and the food was better than we g o t back at Nui Dat. Washing was the problem. We ha d to go down to a muddy stream and paddle around in there and do our washing as well. In typical American fashion the food at the FSPB was top notch. Here we were, out in the bush and we could order our eggs in a number of ways, scrambled, over easy, fried ice cream was available for lunch and dinner, a far cry from the C-rations which was normally what we would have when out in the bush with our own troops. On some occasions we would have had, from time to time, hotboxes delivered in the FSPB when with our own troops otherwise it was C-rations. There was always a bartering process that went on with C-rations lima beans were the least liked and were very hard to trade. There was a river close by and it provided us with the opportunity to bathe and carry out our laundry. There were four of us in the stream one day when all of a sudden a snake about four feet long, came swimming down towards us. I dont know if it was venomous or not but it took us about two seconds to get out of the water. These are the hazards of washing in a Vietnamese stream. Stand to at dusk was an interesting experience with the Americans. Instead of sending out patrols from the FSPB at dusk, they all congregate d along the perimeter and fire d their weapons into the bush. This was called the Mad Minute. Not sure what this achieved, other than to tell the enemy exactly where we were. No doubt they already kn e w this anyway. One of the Americans was very keen to fire a few rounds with my rifle at one of these events. The 18th ARVN Div HQ came in out of the bush after ten days and now we were attached to the US Army LO team from MACV HQ. We live d in one compound and work ed in another (about two clicks apart). The shifts wer e, morning (one Sig) afternoon (one Sig) eveningnight 1730 until 0730 hours (two Sigs). Movement was restricted after 1800 hours hence the need to have two on during this time. Keith Oliver was sent back to Nui Dat and Ken Cox and Marty Pandelus were sent up from Nui Dat to work with me with the LO team from MACV HQ. We returned to Nui Dat on the 30th November after spending five days in Xuan Loc. I was fairly confident that this w ould be my last job with only a short time left to go. Ken Cox and Geoff Morgan were going home on the 10th December and there are more flights on the 17th and 23rd. There was a mortar attack one night somewhere between our two compounds. I didnt hear it, I can be a deep sleeper, and was only informed when I came on duty in the morning. (Ken Coxs notes say that there were five mortars fired into an ARVN base not far from our compound.) December 1968 (Xuan Loc. Return to Austraila) I was back in Nui Dat for three days before being sent back up to Xuan Loc with Keith Oliver because another operation was about to start in the same area (FSPB Julia). Sig Jeff Fewson, from Balcombe days, came up to Xuan Loc a few days after us. Jeff arrived in Vietnam on the 3rd December. He managed to get hold of a revolver from somewhere in Xuan Loc and fired a round from it. Upon my return to 104 Sig Sqn, I was paraded in front of Captain Arnold, 2IC, 104 Sig Sqn to explain what had happened. I only knew that the incident had occurred but had no knowledge of the exact details. He will be reprimanded when he returns to Nui Dat. Hurray I have heard through the grapevine that I will be Returning to Australia (RTA) on the 7th January. 104 Sig Sqn Radio Operators having a drink on Christmas Day at FSPB Julia (1968) L-R Jeff Fewson, Bruce OBrien, Keith Oliver, Bob Vallance, Unknown and Peter Quinlan (Photo supplied by Gordon Taylor) On Christmas Day the Sigs that were out on LOs in our area were flown into FSPB Julia, where Task Force HQ Forward was based and provided with a Christmas lunch, served by the senior NCOs and officers. We were also given a few small Christmas presents. I flew back to Nui Dat from Xuan Loc on New Years Day. I spent the last week in camp getting prepared to depart, handing in rifles and other bits and pieces and making sure that our dress uniforms were neat and clean. We spent a couple of days driving around Nui Dat having a last look around. January 1969 (Return to Australia) We had a big farewell party on the evening of the 6th as there where quite a few of us going home. I think that we all ended up with sore heads the next morning. I spent almost six months out of Nui Dat on operations and only two months in camp with 104 Sig Sqn. The rest of my time was spent with 4th Field and 12th Field Regiments. Last look at Nui Dat before returning to Australia L-R Richard Christiansen, Robert Lyons (110 Sig Sqn), Keith Oliver, David Tiernan and Unknown (Jan 1969) (Photo supplied by Gordon Taylor) A whole group of us flew by Hercules to Ton Son Nhut at about 0730 hours on the 7th January, 1969 and boarded a Qantas 707 around midday, arriving at Mascot around 2230 hours (in the dead of night when the airport was closed). There was no official ceremony upon arrival, certainly no welcome home parade. Only parents and friends of those coming home were at the airport to welcome us. There was no one there to welcome us home and or to say thanks for your efforts. As an aside, of the nineteen 104 Sig Sqn who sailed to Vietnam on the HMAS Sydney, Terry (Tab) Hunter, Keith Oliver and I were the only three who flew home on the 7th January. The others had already completed their tour of duty. The other three Sigs who came home with us were Richard Christiansen, Glenn Sweet and Dave Tiernan. Conclusion The first week back was very strange. Coming straight from a war zone to civilian life took some adjusting. Even walking down the street and looking out for traffic as you crossed the road was difficult. Any strange noises certainly had you on your toes. I wore my uniform a couple of times and on one occasion was spat on and called a child killer. Not a very nice welcome home message. I went to South Head military barracks a couple of times to fill out paperwork and have a medical prior to discharge before being officially discharged on the 31st January 1969. I travelled to Melbourne to meet with Gordon Sanderson, Keith Oliver and Ken Cox, Geoff Morgan and some others who we knew from Balcombe or Nui Dat in mid February. Ken was getting married, Gordon and I were arranging a trip overseas in October (and I wanted to catch up with Keith as I had spent a great deal of time with him in various operations). Gordon Sanderson and I sailed to the UK on the SS Iberia and spent 12 months together working in London and travelling all over Europe. In gathering information for this story I found that the detail recorded in the 104 Sig Sqn operational documents from AWM War Diaries quite sparse. It is a pity that documents outlining the various operations and LOs along with the names of those who were sent out were not recorded. A lot of information relating to operations during 1968 can be gleaned from Infantry and Artillery War Diaries on the AWM website. My wife and I took a three-week trip to Vietnam in 1999, during the Asian Meltdown. At that time there had been very little western money spent redeveloping the country, so we saw it in a somewhat similar way as it was in 1968. I did not travel to Vung Tau or Nui Dat, but did see many places in both the old north and South Vietnam and talked to many men who had served in the ARVN during the war who had since spent years in re-education camps. I have to say that I found the Vietnamese to be a very gentle and friendly race.X-Run Update X-Run is now even better with several improvements and awesome additions to the gamemode New Stats System Better Arena Selection System New Scoreboard Leaderboards on our Website Spectating Mode- Right click your compass to watch a game already going on Added New Arena: RIVER New Game-Mode: Speed UHC Speed UHC is similar to normal Ultra Hardcore Mode, but sped up so everything happens faster and games are finished more quickly Games last a maximum of 25 minutes . with PvP beginning at 5 minutes and Deathmatch at 15 minutes. Constant Speed II effect Fast Enchanted Tools When you craft a wooden tool, you will receive an enchanted stone version. Animals drop cooked food. Mined ores drop smelted ingots. Just mine away Increased Drop Rates for mobs. For example, skeletons are more likely to drop bows and arrows when killed. And more UHC is Back with some New Features New Scoreboard Added 20 New Kits Warrior 8211 Start with a stone sword, and a full set of leather armor Archer 8211 Start with a bow, 4 arrows and 4 feathers Trader 8211 Start with 15 emeralds to trade with villagers Acrobat 8211 Start with a pair of Feather Falling X diamond boots And Several More New Stats System New Team System- Right click the name tag and select a wool color to choose your team New Lobby Bug Fixes and Performance Fixes We hope you enjoy all these new updates The Happy Hunger Games Staff It8217s been a while since the last time we posted here so we decided to do it more periodically (Sorry). The latest months, a lot of things have been going on in the Network, many new updates have been done which we are going to specify below, but by far the most important thing is the release of a BRAND NEW GAME-MODE X-RUN If you like to Parkour, then this new mini-game is perfect for you Hop on the server and challenge other players in intensive high-speed parkour races, and see who is the best Parkourer out there There are more than 20 INITIAL MAPS to check out, and more being added with time Check out X-RUN and upgrade your Parkour experience to a new level Have Fun Furthermore, here are some of the biggest changes and updates that have been done in the network the latest months: Hub and Creative: MAJOR COSMETICS UPDATE New Feature Treasure Hunter More information HERE New Currency HHG Tokens More information HERE New Gadgets New Pets New Mounts New Particles New Disguises New Cosmetic Hats New Cosmetic Wardrobe New Cosmetic Emotes New Feature Speed It8217s Halloween time Brand new Ha lloween Lobby Super Craft Bros: Bug Fixes New Scoreboard and game interfaces New Arena Dream Land New Arena Rubik New Arena Icy Crater New Arena Islands New Lobby New Arena Gladiator New Arena France New Arena Italian New Arena The Maze MAJOR UPDATE For more info do update Bug Fixes You can now write signs with colors New custom island creation system Huge performance Improvements New Commands and features New Scoreboard New Warping system New Challenges New Skyblock PvP arena Brand new Skyblock Spawn New words added to draw New Lobby New Parkour Dreams New Parkour Frozen Valley New Parkour Sprint New Parkour Reppord New Parkour Tutorial New Parkour Islands New Parkour Wipeout New Parkour Ice New Parkour Enchanted Forest New and better Duelling system Kit selection and more New Scoreboard New Feature Kit Previews New Feature Health Indicators New Feature Teams New Feature 2vs2 duels New Feature 3vs3 duels New duel arenas New Stats and Leader-board 6 New Kits EnderMage, Flash, Link, Tho r, Aang and Herobrine New Arena Islands New Arena Desert New Arena WinterHold New Arena Castle Square New Arena ShipWreck New Arena Jade Prominence New Arena Volcanic New Arena Frozen Tundra New Arena Magic New Arena Abandoned New Arena Nightmare New Arena Treasure Island Survival Games and Solo Survival Games: Bug Fixes New Better spectators tools New Deathmatch arena Definitely a lot has been going on Make sure to check all the new features out if you haven8217t already Enjoy 8211 The Happy Hunger Games Network Staff
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