Shots taken while a member of MATT II in South Vietnam during 1970-1971

Accession Number F00460
Collection type Film
Object type Home movie
Physical description 8mm super/colour (Kodachrome)/silent
Maker Hazel, Geoffrey Alan
Place made Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province, Hoa Long, Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province, Phuoc Le, Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province, Van Kiep
Date made 1970-1971
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Water tower in Baria – open area is the ‘old’ market area destroyed in Tet Offensive in 1968 – rebuilt elsewhere; portable (mobile) shops and other shopping area near former markets Baria; small food shop where they sold rolls that became commonly known as ‘hepatitis’ rolls; Buddhist temple – village of Hoa Long; fishing for frogs in rice paddy – like many locals did not understand movie camera and so they “posed” as if for a still photo; fishing and transport boat – just to the east of road between Baria and Vung Tau; moving the produce by ox cart – Phuoc Tuy Province, with 1 ATF Land Rover in the background; local sign writer Hoa Long village; Hoa Long covered market; water buffalo near Hoa Long market; carrying market purchases home; proprietor of coffee shop frequented by advisors, Australia and USA, in Hoa Long; local children inside district HQ Hoa Long but just outside advisor compound; moving the cattle out of village at start of working day; fishing boats with SVN Patrol Boat – overfly by Australian helicopter flying from Nui Dat to Vung Tau: we paid a visit to beachside hotels on eastern side of Long Hais – formerly very popular holiday area for French; still used by the few French still in the country and wealthy Vietnamese; whole area out of bounds to 1 ATF as the Long Hais were less than a kilometre away; same area near Long Hai mountains this time a nearby temple rarely seen by Australians due to travel restrictions – two members of Matt II; talking to local farmer; building is storage area in compound of 445 RF company (yes same unit designation number as VC 445 Battalion); camp was north of Baria on Route 15; this was one of the units advised by Matt II; vehicle was returning from day’s work to Hoa Long – taking some locals as far as nearest village – driver CPL Chadwick (Infantry) passenger WO II D ‘Squizzy’ Taylor, ordinance corps (because it let him go to Vietnam more often); dog was mascot – building was later to be third home of Matt 11; travelling with PF Platoon south along route 15 to the Van Kiep training centre ranges – these were just east of Baria at the base of the Nui Dinh Mountains. Training being conducted with M60 machine guns – this was senior NCOs of the platoon and instructional staff; mortar training of a different platoon being conducted adjacent to our training; training of Senior NCOs in M79 Grenade launcher; members of Matt 11 and interpreter at back of filming mound, WOII Taylor, Cpl Chadwick and 1st Medic attached to team; Cpl Geoff Hazel with M60 – Butt of gun held into groin to show Vietnamese that the “kick” was not a problem – actions after firing indicate that better than a woman – used more than once when training or assisting with training on this weapon as Vietnamese troops with no previous experience on the weapon had a little hesitation because of concern about the ‘kick’ of such a large weapon. This was because of their earlier experience with WW II American weapons; M72 rocker launcher; heavy machinery SVN army at Van Kiep Range; PF Platoon members waiting with transport; this platoon was based just outside village that was settled by ex-North Vietnamese Catholics after partition; 445 company – ‘Smiley’ wife of one of sergeants – became housemaid for MATT II when we moved to company base; fist move of MATT II – new team hut under construction at the company base attached the Van Kiep firing ranges – very good troops; this area became cooking, dining and office; first MATT II team leader – WOII (forgot name and still trying to find out) –
always very well dressed; engineer Cpl “Max” in the team shower; team members in Van Kiep company arena; the two infantry Cpls Chadwick (M79) and Hazel (M60) at the range; extending the team house – living quarters; provided were 11 x 11 tents everything else was scrounged – members learnt new skills – carpentry, electrician. Cpl Chadwick painting team number on roof for helicopter recognition (taken from company watch tower); local troops taking advantage of partly completed house and ‘posing’ for movie camera; collecting sand for filling of sandbags to protect team house and build a fighting bunker. WOII Taylor, Cpl Chadwick and interpreter – back at base getting bags ready – included 2nd medic; painting ‘patches’ on canvas put up as ‘blackout’ protection; team leader during painting Cpl Chadwick watching Squizzy getting water and Max – a visitor – helps with painting; also a shot of me with cigarette; entrance to Van Kiep firing ranges being worked on; some of; accommodation for married range staff personnel – just outside of camp; Christmas decorations; single men’s barracks and Officers’ quarters – Van Kiep range; view of company compound from observation tower – volleyball court, mortar pit, Catholic Shrine, northern edge of Province capital Baria across the paddy. Other side – ranges and Nui Dinhs; mortar section from 2RAR who set up in compound to support a 2 RAR operation; more later; range repair shop; inside compound – Catholic Shrine company HQ bunker; Christmas decorations; Christmas grotto with two soldiers
range side entrance bunker; view from range side entrance bunker – includes troops undergoing live fire training – crawling under barbed wire while live M60 fire overhead and smoke grenades; lunch time at the range – local food suppliers including wives of company personnel, allowed in to sell food to trainers; volleyball – 2RAR mortar section vs SVN camp members of MATT II joined SVN so that 2RAR had some chance of winning; the local team was very good; in the end they still won every game against 2RAR personnel; the 2RAR personnel also offered to provide training to SVN troops on the motors; this result in a substantial bet on which motor crew would be the quickest to get effective rounds on the ground in the event of an attack against the compound or a nearby incident; nearby incidents, in the adjacent area of Baria, occurred at least twice weekly; the very night of the bet there was such an incident; the MATT 11 members had great pleasure in collecting money from the losing 2RAR personnel the next morning – they then learnt from the SVN troops; inside the team living area and bunker wallpaper by Playboy – this was while I was part of MATT 3, commanded by Major Simon Hearder, I was moved there after the death of Cpl Blackhurst – this was one of the RF Company Bases of RF Battalion 302 – this base was on Route 44 south of Dat Do; [sic] the Abolutions in new base; province helicopter (recon) returning team leader; kitchen – probably the worst we had – and sleeping quarters – much less comfort at this base; shower set up; MATT 3 was later to move to the Horseshoe feature with 302 RF Battalion HQ after they took over from Australian units; we obtained a .50cm machine gun – sighted it on Long Hai Mountains – no shirt is US Staff Sgt forward artillery observer attached to the RF Battalion; you can see why we had no trouble scrounging this particular gun, we never did get it to be fully dependable; helicopter flights over the Long Hais – arranged so that we could practise artillery control from the air. Rules said helicopters should be 1500 feet above sea level; ship on the horizon is what we were told was the USS Missouri, however my later research found that the ship did not serve in SVN and there were no battleship in theatre at that time. Likely to be a US heavy cruiser. Fire support was still spectacular to see; we took fire from the ground (27 holes in the helicopter and the pilot only had a ‘wake up’ to go before returning to the ‘world’.– 155 Battery and naval vessel provided fire support; our patrol base on top of Mountains, one RF Platoon and two advisors at a time; due to danger from VC no helicopter change over or re supply was possible; every week a new group climbed the mountains to do a changeover; on average one in every three of these changeovers contacted the enemy before reaching the patrol base; on one of these I was injured (knee injury and broken ribs after a fall while under fire); Medivac was by carrying me back down the mountain to a safe area for ‘Dust Off’ to land; grey spot marks site where helicopter shot down and Cpl Blackhurst killed; our company base as we returned; South Vietnamese paratroop training from Van Kiep; back with MATT 11 – so a bit out of order, but put together that was because of the show that followed on this reel. Getting ready for another move – this time to route 15 and 445 RF company – some of the company children; helicopter training for RF Company Cobra flies overhead; back at 445 Company – the kids and WOII Taylor in his ‘VC’ blacks; show from the Philippines put on at the advisor HQ at Van Kiep camp; Chinook Flying overhead with a slung damaged Huey; inside the new team accommodation at 445 RF Coy base. “Smiley” with the kids; behind the wall is Coy grain store (lots of rats) – on one night the team members were a little ‘happy’ and started a competition – while lying on your back and using only a .45 you had to try and shoot rats – about the only result was a lot of holes in the roof that had to be repaired the next morning before the daily afternoon rain; my bed and the ammunition; Max doing the new outhouse; TV antenna – the TV set had been “obtained” from USA units in exchange for items of Australian uniform. We could have got a helicopter and APC for our Land Rover – but it had been signed for; our bunker in the foreground; Smiley; Max and the Doc – building outhouse; Philippino show at American 155 Artillery fire support base – located on route 15 north of Nui Tai Vai mountains and just south of Bien Hoa province boarder. Footage taken with camera in one hand and bottle of Bacardi in other; after the show – the whole group returned with us to 445 RF Coy where they put on a show that night – minus the stripper – we provided drinks, food and a free place to sleep; American 155mm at site of show.

Film order form
  • Part 1 Video of Shots taken while a member of MATT II in South Vietnam during 1970-1971 (video)
  • Part 2 Video of Shots taken while a member of MATT II in South Vietnam during 1970-1971 (video)