Videos

Interview 5 Second Lieutenant David Sabben 12 Platoon, D Company, 6RAR Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.2585

'National Service was the making of me'. Second Lieutenant David Sabben discusses the positive impact of National Service on his life.

Interview Sabine Erika Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.2529

Sabine Erika grew up with refugees from Nazi Germany and explains that she was strongly opposed to Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War.

Conscripted Gunner John Kinsela Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.2454

Conscripted Gunner John Kinsela, 106 Battery. 4 Field Regiment, served in Vietnam between 11 June 1970 and 4 February 1971. After his discharge from the Army, he competed with the Australian Olympic wrestling team in Munich in 1972. He discovered that at one function in Sydney, his Returned Serviceman's Badge excited more interest than the Olympic Blazer he had worn during the Munich Olympic Games.

Bird Dog

This film focuses on Wing Commander Anthony Powell as he flies a United States Air Force Cessna O-1 ‘Bird Dog’ on a 1967 mission. In this sequence he fuels the aircraft and loads ammunition before taking off. In flight he marks a target and watches as two jets fly in low to bomb the area. [AWM F02719]

No. 2 Squadron RAAF bomber strike in Vietnam

During the Vietnam War No. 2 Squadron gained a reputation for accuracy, lost two aircraft and two men and flew more than 11,500 sorties. The squadron’s contribution was recognised with awards from both the Republic of Vietnam and United States Governments. [AWM F02746]

Dust off, interview with Pilot Officer

'Dust off', interview with Pilot Officer Michael Haxell who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for two emergency extractions of Australian troops in the face of heavy enemy fire in August 1967. [AWM F04725]

Pilot Officer Michael Haxell was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for two emergency extractions of Australian troops in the face of heavy enemy fire in August 1967. Aged 24 when he began his ten month tour of Vietnam, Haxell was, at the time, 9 Squadron’s youngest pilot. In this clip he speaks to an interviewer about flying casualty evacuations, known as ‘dust-offs’, during 1967. Footage of such operations complement the interview.

Operation Hawkesbury

RAAF helicopter support for Operation ‘Hawkesbury’ In September 1968 No. 9 Squadron helicopters airlifted members of the 1st and 4th Battalions, Royal Australian Regiment (1 & 4 RAR) to an area north of the Task Force base at Nui Dat for Operation Hawkesbury. [AWM F02737]

In September 1968 No. 9 Squadron helicopters airlifted members of the 1st and 4th Battalions, Royal Australian Regiment (1 & 4 RAR) to an area north of the Task Force base at Nui Dat for Operation Hawkesbury. This film shows the assembled infantry running to board the helicopters for the flight to their landing zone and includes interesting shots of the aircraft in flight over the jungle. Iroquois such as these were the workhorses of the Vietnam War, their value in moving troops to and from operations is well documented. In this operation, carried out amidst thick vegetation in which landing zones were few, the infantry were told resupply would be kept to a minimum. Each man carried four days rations, an emergency ration, four full waterbottles and ammunition.

Interview 1 David Williams Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.2362

Ship’s diver David Williams who served on HMAS Vampire.

Interview 5 John O'Callaghan Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.0673

Leading Engineering Mechanic (LEM), John O’Callaghan, RAN, served twice on the gunline as a member of HMAS Hobart’s crew.

Interview 4 John O'Callaghan Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.0673

Leading Engineering Mechanic (LME), John O’Callaghan, RAN, was on board HMAS Sydney for two voyages to Vietnam during 1965. During this interview he discusses the technical aspects of troop carrying, the trip to Vietnam, the crew’s interaction with the troops at sea and the vulnerability of Sydney at anchor in Vung Tau harbour.

Interview 3 John O'Callaghan Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.0673

Leading Engineering Mechanic (LME), John O’Callaghan, RAN, was on board HMAS Sydney for two voyages to Vietnam during 1965. During this interview he discusses the technical aspects of troop carrying, the trip to Vietnam, the crew’s interaction with the troops at sea and the vulnerability of Sydney at anchor in Vung Tau harbour.

Interview 2 John O'Callaghan Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.0673

Leading Engineering Mechanic (LME), John O’Callaghan, RAN, was on board HMAS Sydney for two voyages to Vietnam during 1965. During this interview he discusses the technical aspects of troop carrying, the trip to Vietnam, the crew’s interaction with the troops at sea and the vulnerability of Sydney at anchor in Vung Tau harbour.

Interview 1 John O'Callaghan Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.0673

Leading Engineering Mechanic (LME), John O’Callaghan, RAN, was on board HMAS Sydney for two voyages to Vietnam during 1965. During this interview he discusses the technical aspects of troop carrying, the trip to Vietnam, the crew’s interaction with the troops at sea and the vulnerability of Sydney at anchor in Vung Tau harbour.

Interview 6 John O'Callaghan Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.0673

During John O’Callaghan’s trip to Vietnam, HMAS Sydney called in at the US Naval Base at Subic Bay in the Philippines. Leading Engineering Mechanic O’Callaghan, RAN, provides a vivid description of the unofficial exchanges of uniform between Australian soldiers and sailors and the US servicemen at Subic Bay.

Artillerymen setting up a fire support base.

Artillerymen setting up a fire support base as they erect shelters and manhandle guns into position. Included in the film is an excellent aerial shot of the guns in action. [AWM F04332]

108 Field Battery in action during Operation Paddington in July 1967. [AWM F03896]

This film depicts elements of 108 Field Battery in action during Operation Paddington in July 1967, a ‘hammer and anvil’ operation conducted in conjunction with United States forces aimed at destroying the 274th Viet Cong Regiment. Despite this being the largest operation so far conducted by the Australian Task Force, the Viet Cong managed to slip away into the May Tao hills. The video depicts shirtless gunners in action as they receive target instructions and makes clear the strenuous nature of their work.

Engineers: Vietnam Mine Patrol [AWM F03782]

This brief film shows Australians engaged in the dangerous task of searching for mines on a South Vietnamese road. Engineers sitting on the front of a jeep, one operating a mine detector and the other holding a weapon, eyes rarely straying from the road, check for explosive devices while an APC follows at a safe distance.

Armoured Personnel Carrier damaged by mine [AWM F04272]

This film was taken on Operation Kinghit during December 1968 during which an APC was damaged by a mine dug into a dirt road. The film shows wounded Australians, one being helped into another APC before returning to the Task Force Base for treatment. At the scene of the explosion, Australians study the damage to the APC while others make sure that no other mines are in the vicinity.

Tanks in Operation [AWM F04245]

This piece of footage was shot on Operation Track Duster in October 1968 and shows APCs and tanks moving into ambush positions across sodden fields. The film gives an impression of some of the country over which Australian armoured vehicles operated.

Tanks in Vietnam

Armoured Personnel Carriers and a mine incident. [AWM F04330]

Despite the title, this film focuses mostly on APCs and appears to cover a mine incident during which at least one Australian was wounded. Several men search the ground using mine detectors before calling in a helicopter to land in the mine-free area and evacuate the wounded man.

Rebuilding Binh Ba [AWM F04344]

Almost as soon as the fighting in Binh Ba came to an end, Australian civil affairs workers and engineers moved in to begin rebuilding the shattered village. Members of the 17th Construction Squadron are shown repairing some buildings while others knock down those that were beyond fixing. The film points to the importance of the ‘hearts and minds’ aspects of the war and shows the Australians to have made a considerable effort to repair battle-damaged homes in the aftermath of a vicious battle.

Battle of Binh Ba [AWM F04342]

This brief film covers a number of aspects of the battle of Binh Ba. In some scenes we see Australians working their way through Binh Ba’s ruined houses - the damage inflicted on the village during the battle is made very clear. Later the cameraman focus on the awful scene that followed the battle, a village square in which lie the bodies of a large number of dead enemy troops. We see also a line of Australians, supported by armour, moving towards Duc Trung on the second day of the battle. Taken together these few moments from a battle that lasted several days manage to convey a sense of the terrible fighting that took place in Binh Ba and the cost of that battle to the North Vietnamese, the Viet Cong and villagers.

RAAF Supplies Fire Support Base Coral [AWM F02729]

This film shows a RAAF helicopter resupplying Fire Support Base Coral on 30 May 1968. As the helicopter flies into and out of the base viewers can see something of how Coral appeared at the height of the fighting in the area. The helicopter's second pilot, sporting a full beard, appears to be a member of the Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight Vietnam.

Attack repulsed at Australian Base [AWM F04671]

On the morning after an assault against Fire Support Base Coral an Australian cameraman filmed infantrymen clearing the battlefield. Dead bodies lie where they fell and equipment and weapons are strewn about, testament to the ferocity of the attack and the weight of defensive fire. Later, some Australians study the enemy weapons while another considers a bullet or shrapnel hole in his drinking mug.

Interview 2 Second Lieutenant David Sabben , 12 Platoon, D Company, 6RAR Australians at War Film Archive Interview No.2585.

Searching the enemy bodies.

Interview 3 Second Lieutenant David Sabben, 12 Platoon, D Company, 6RAR Australians at War Film Archive Interview No.2585.

The impact of the huge losses on D Company.

Interview 4 Second Lieutenant David Sabben, 12 Platoon, D Company, 6RAR Australians at War Film Archive Interview No.2585.

The long-term effects of the battle on the veterans.

Prime Minister Presents Unit Citation [AWM F04223]

This citation, the highest US award, was presented to Delta Company 6RAR at a parade in Townsville on 18 August 1968, two years after the Battle of Long Tan. The Australian Prime Minister, Mr John Gorton pinned the citation ribbon to 6RAR's regimental colours and congratulated D Company on its award. Present at the ceremony were the Minister for the Army, Mr Phillip Lynch, his wife, and the new American Ambassador to Australia, Mr William Crook with Mrs Crook. Also present were members of D company including Major Harry Smith, MC of NSW and Sergeant Bob Buick, MM, of WA.

Military Cross Presentation [AWM F03833]

Gallantry awards, including a Military Cross, a Distinguished Service Medal, three Military Medals and six Mentions in Despatches were presented to 11 Australian soldiers in a ceremony at Nui Dat, South Vietnam, in January 1967. Among them were nine officers and men of Delta Company 6RAR receiving recognition for their bravery at Long Tan in August 1966.

The former Australian Task Force Commander, Brigadier Oliver Jackson, accompanied by his successor, Brigadier Stewart Graham, presented the awards. Also present was the Task Force's senior RAAF officer, Group Captain Peter Raw. Major Harry Smith, CO of Delta Company, received the Military Cross for his 'leadership, calmness and determination and disregard for personal safety' which inspired his soldiers to fend off much larger enemy forces.

Operation Smithfield (Long Tan) [AWM F03784]

On 19 August 1966, soldiers of Delta Company 6RAR, await reinforcements before returning to the battlefield. Some of their damaged weapons are examined by Private Bryan Reilly of Qld. The men move back into the battle area on armoured personnel carriers and almost immediately find two wounded Australians. On the alert for booby traps and unexploded grenades, the Australians treat wounded enemy soldiers and salvage enemy weapons.

Interview 4 Sergeant Bob Buick Australians at War Film Archive. Interview No.2181

Sergeant Bob Buick, 6RAR, served with 11 Platoon D Company during the Battle of Long Tan. In this section of his interview he recalls his memories of being under enemy fire and, at the same time, explains the difficulty of conveying the personal reality of battle to anyone who wasn't involved.

'30 Viet Cong tunnels' [AWM F04222]

Using a special detector, Australian troops found more than 30 Viet Cong tunnels and underground hides in an area about 4 kilometres south of the Task Force base at Nui Dat. The detector, a radar screen, was pulled over the ground and ‘tunnel rats’ from the Ist Field Squadron Royal Australian Engineers, had the unenviable job of exploring the subterranean chambers. Twenty-five tunnels were blown up during the sweep on 14 August, 1968.

Interview 6 Lieutenant Peter Aspinall Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.1972

Lieutenant Peter Aspinall, 1st Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, 5RAR, who served in Vietnam from 14 May 1966 until 7 February 1967, discusses routines for night patrols.

The destruction of enemy camps in Phuoc Tuy Province [AWM F04363]

5 RAR troops under their Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Colin Khan, find and destroy three large permanent enemy camps and staging areas.

Viet Cong Camp discovered DPR/TV/983 [AWM F04268]

Troops of C Company, 4RAR, find a recently occupied Viet Cong base camp in the forest about 30 Kilometres from Nui Dat. The camp, capable of holding up to 400 troops, was searched and then destroyed.

Vietnamese and Australians on joint operation [AWM F04403]

A seven-week joint operation between Delta Company, 6RAR, and the 3rd Battalion, 52nd Regiment of the 18th Army of the Republic of Vietnam Division, ended with a five-day operation in the Nui Thi Vai hills north-west of the Task Force base at Nui Dat, November 1969. Major Mick Gill from Qld commanded Delta Company; Captain Tan was the ARVN Battalion Commander.

'Return to Long Tan' [AWM F03877]

Troops of Charlie Company, 6RAR, completed their last operation in Vietnam, Operation Bowen, in May 1967, when they re-visited the village of Long Tan on a search and destroy mission.

Interview 1 Second Lieutenant David Sabben, 12 Platoon, D Company, 6RAR

The realities of battlefield casualties. Australians at War Film Archive Interview No.2585

Interview Second Lieutenant Robert Hannam Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.2161

Second Lieutenant Robert Hannam served with the 1st Australian Civil Affairs Unit between 1 October 1970 and 9 September 1971.

Interview 2 Lieutenant Barry Smith Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.2144

Lieutenant Barry Smith, 1st Australian Civil Affairs Unit, describes some of the Civil Affairs Unit’s successes and failures.

Interview 1 Lieutenant Barry Smith Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.2144

Lieutenant Barry Smith served with the 1st Australian Civil Affairs Unit between 18 June 1969 and 18 June 1970. In his interview he discusses the aims of the Civil Affairs Unit.

Civilian entertainer

Patricia (Little Pattie) Thompson as an entertainer interviewed by Greg Swanborough for the Sharp End [AWM F10648]

Civilian entertainer Patricia (Little Pattie) Thompson who was part of a NSW Concert Party visiting Vietnam in August 1966, shares her memories of her performance at Nui Dat on 18 August. She was interviewed by Greg Swanborough for 'The Sharp End', a documentary produced by The Motion Picture Company Pty Limited.

Interview 4 Lieutenant Peter Aspinall Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.1972

Lieutenant Peter Aspinall, 1st Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, 5RAR, describes the early days of setting up the new Task Force base at Nui Dat.

Interview 3 Sgt Bob Buick Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.2181

Sergeant Bob Buick, 6RAR, describing the destruction of local villages to make way for the new base at Nui Dat as well as his platoon’s first operations in Vietnam.

Interview 1 Sgt Bob Buick Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.2181

Sergeant Bob Buick, 6RAR, describing his arrival at Nui Dat.

Interview 5 Lieutenant Peter Aspinall Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.1972

Lieutenant Peter Aspinall, 1st Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, 5RAR, describes the early days of setting up the new Task Force base at Nui Dat.

Interview 2 Sergeant Bob Buick Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.2181

Sergeant Bob Buick, 6RAR, describing the battalion’s arrival in Phuoc Tuy Province.

Interview 3 Lieutenant Peter Aspinall, 5RAR, Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.1972

Lieutenant Peter Aspinall, 1st Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, 5RAR, describes his departure from Australia and arrival at Saigon’s Tan Son Nhut airport and then Vung Tau in May 1966. Aspinall served in Vietnam from 14 May 1966 until 7 February 1967.

Interview 2 Lieutenant Peter Aspinall Lieutenant Peter Aspinall, 5RAR, Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.1972

Lieutenant Peter Aspinall, 1st Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, 5RAR, describes his departure from Australia and arrival at Saigon’s Tan Son Nhut airport and then Vung Tau in May 1966. Aspinall served in Vietnam from 14 May 1966 until 7 February 1967.

Interview 1 Lieutenant Peter Aspinall Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.1972

Lieutenant Peter Aspinall, 5RAR, 1st Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, 5RAR, describes his feelings about being posted to Vietnam, his departure from Australia and arrival at Saigon’s Tan Son Nhut airport and then Vung Tau in May 1966. Aspinall served in Vietnam from 14 May 1966 until 7 February 1967.

Vietnam Scene [AWM F03412]

This excerpt from a longer Defence Public Relations film shows scenes of Vietnamese people going about their daily lives apparently in peace, despite the presence of military vehicles in some shots. Helping to establish this peace, says the films narrator, are the Australians whose bases at Vung Tau and Nui Dat appear in the film which also shows Australian soldiers carrying out their routine duties.

Captain Anthony Williams, Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, 7 RAR interview Australians at War Film Archive, Interview No.1751

Captain Anthony Williams, RMO, 7RAR, served in Vietnam between 8 April 1967 and 9 January 1968. He was asked whether he had ever treated any enemy soldiers during his service in Vietnam.

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