Daryl Bristowe - Flying to Saigon

Running time
2 min 14 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


I went with Qantas. Seven... I had never flown in my life with airport planes cause I was a country boy, a real bumpkin, you know, quite naive and everything. And when I did my Singleton training, after five weeks, we had the opportunity to have been put in buses, taken to Sydney airport and they flew us to Melbourne. 'Cause I wasn't, I had an FB Holden and I'd taken that up to Singleton from Puckapunyal.

And you know, after, when you get to like 50 miles an hour... rattle. So I took the option of coming back by plane. We had to pay for the plane. It was TAA or Ansett, A and A and I always preferred TAA to see the parents, but I thought a 727, with the motors at the back and one in the tail area connected where the fin goes up. I thought, "Well, gee, that's big". But when I arrived at Saigon, I walked out, Pan Am 747, white with blue Pan Am on it. And I'm thinking, "How in the bloody hell would that fly?" It was huge, but we all looked at it.

When we were flying, we started off in Sydney with the 707 stopped in Townsville to pick up people. It stopped in Darwin to pick up people. And then it landed in Singapore to get us breakfast. Scrambled eggs, fancy me remembering that 50 years ago, scrambled eggs and something. And it was extremely hot. We then waited for the time to refuel the flight because it was definitely a Qantas flight because it had air hostesses onboard and we were talking to them. When it landed in Saigon, I'm going to call it Saigon because Tan Son Nhat, we had never seen Americans, you know, other than on TV.

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