Geoff Hazel - Bayonet charge
So this is all in the 68. Sixty-seven we were basically waiting for the battalion to arrive and we did that first little battalion sized operation. The Tet Offensive, well, at that stage, well, it was supposed to be a truce for four days. 2 Battalion and 7 Battalion were both somewhere in Bien Hoa. Charlie company 3RAR was the fire support base protection for 2 Battalion. Delta Company was out somewhere in the west of the province by themselves. Bravo, I’m not sure where they were, but they were not in base.
Alpha Company 3RAR was the only infantry company in Nui Dat when the Tet Offensive hit and they were obviously the ready reaction company. The call for that was, the company was to go, well, to Baria to defend the province headquarters, the South Vietnamese province headquarters in Baria, being the capital of the province. There was six APCs, so not enough to take a full company. So we loaded up, and at that stage I was lent to them as an extra radio operator because there was a lot going on and the boss figured he wasn't going anywhere.
He was sitting in a command post with radio operators all around him. Actually, none was an extra because the radio operator that was there was due to go home five days later, he was one of the national servicemen so I was lent to them so that he could come out and not go walking into something when he's only got five days to go. Horrie Howard was company commander and as we're traveling down the highway in these APCs we got about 400 metres from the start of the town and he said, "Stop everybody out of the APCs".
Now, he said that because while we were in the APC, the second lieutenant from the Armoured Corps was in command, the minute we got out of the APCs, Horrie Howard was in command. Turned out to be one of the best moves ever made. We hadn't gone 60 metres and the first three APCs were hit by our RPGs. The town had already been captured by D445 VC Battalion. But probably the advantage we had, because what, there was 60 of us, was that they'd already captured it and were spread out throughout the town.
So we just progressively over the next three and a half days took it back. There was one stage where, and I was still carrying the radio then, an American voice came over and asking If there was anything they could do to help us and, "Who the hell are you?". He said, "Look up". And there were a pair of phantoms sitting up there. "Righto, Yes, I’ll ask the boss." They said, "The picture theatre there. There's a bunch of them. We don't know how many, but there’s just too many for us".. So they just came in and put a few in. Well, the first one they missed, went straight over the top and landed in what was the laundry where they did all the Task Force greens.
So there were greens everywhere for a while. Then they hit it with rockets. and that just finished it. Peter Fraser from two platoon and there were 18 of us, I was down there with him, we were on the street and all of a sudden there were women and kids being pushed directly towards us with Charlie right behind them. And Peter got known as Goldilocks, he was about six foot four and he had the real blond hair.
He jumped up and it looked like it was straight out of the movies, "Fix bayonets. Follow me". Okay, so everybody just fixed bayonets, all 18 of us and went through. Yeah. They couldn't shoot because what they wanted us to do was shoot the civilians so they got a