Bill Black - Psychological warfare
Normally your packs come over your back and there was a strap come across the front and you pull like, I would say a ripcord. So then you could just throw your shoulders back. It was that heavy you couldn't stand up. We walked around bent over the whole time, you couldn't stand upright or you'd go over. But the moment you pulled that and you straightened up, it was off in a flash.
Your webbing was on you, so my... I can't remember how the medical kit was attached to me, but it was with me all the time. So again, you had your pouches full of ammo, you had water, had your two grenades, your smoke grenades.
So you'd drop your pack, you'd hit the deck, you'd roll, because if they had you in their sights if you drop they've got you, but if you drop and roll, which we were trained to do... But you very rarely saw them. Shooting would start but you rarely saw them. They just blended into that jungle. And I think, again what I remember being told, that they were working on morally wrecking us.
Shooting would start, you might have someone hit, you might not, but you'd still been in a contact so you knew they were there. You rarely saw them if you did. So again, they were playing on you. And you knew if there was one shot you'd think “Have they got the bloody tailender?”.
And we got told that as well, they'll work on knocking one of you off so they rattle the rest of you. So it was constantly... I suppose day by day you're getting put into another, I don't know how you describe it, another zone of bloody mental unbalance perhaps. Although you were functioning within that, you were still that killing machine and you functioned.