Viet Cong webbing belt with attached dressing : 2 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Operation Coburg

Accession Number REL/01565.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Physical description Brass, Cotton, Cotton webbing, Rubber, Vinyl
Maker Unknown
alpha lithograph
Place made Vietnam
Date made c 1967 - 1968
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975

Khaki cotton webbing belt with nine rows of lengthwise reinforcing stitching overlaid with a diamond pattern. Supplied with brass tongue and loop clip buckles. The adjustable belt sliders have been improvised from fencing wire. A cotton bandage roll has been wrapped in black vinyl and lashed to the proper left front of the belt with a long strip of black rubber. There is staining to the rear of the belt.

History / Summary

Webbing belt with improvised bandage storage and belt sliders. Captured by members of A Company, 2 Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) on 3 February 1968 during Operation Coburg. Operation Coburg was the defensive reaction to the impending Viet Cong Tet Offensive, where elements of the Australian Task Force moved from Phuoc Tuy to Bien Hoa Province to operate alongside American forces preparing to block any thrust against the vast complex of military installations around Bien Hoa city and adjoining Long Binh, located some 25 kilometres north-east of Saigon. The task force included the bulk of 2 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) and 7RAR, along with supporting armour, artillery and engineers. In the late afternoon of 3 February, some 12 Viet Cong were engaged by 3 Platoon, A Company, 2 RAR over the period of 60 minutes, resulting in three enemy deaths and two wounded, with one wounded captured. The prisoner revealed that he had been involved in the attack on Bien Hoa airbase. Besides the personal equipment (see REL/1565.001 to .006) six weapons were also captured. The improvised nature of the belt's accessories illustrates the Viet Cong's ability to adapt under conditions of poor supply.