Sunpak GX14 camera flash unit : Private D M O'Shea, 7 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment

Accession Number REL43566
Collection type Technology
Object type Technology
Physical description Acrylic, Metal, Plastic, Vinyl
Maker Sunpak Company Ltd
Place made Japan
Date made c 1968
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975

Small rectangular black plastic cased flash unit with hot shoe fitting to base. Provided with battery case and an integral plug and lead. Table of exposures printed on reverse. Stored in original zippered soft vinyl case with cotton lining and original instruction pamphlet.

History / Summary

Raised at Puckapunyal, Victoria on 1 September 1965, 7 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (7 RAR) served two tours in Phouc Tuy Province, South Vietnam. The owner of this camera, 3789406 Private Dennis Michael O'Shea served during the battalion's first tour, from 8 April 1967 to 26 April 1968. 7RAR travelled to Vietnam aboard HMAS Sydney III. It relieved 5 RAR at 1 Australian Task Force (1 ATF) in Phouc Tuy Province.

Over the space of a year, 7 RAR were involved in 26 major operations, patrolling and resettlement activities in the Xa Bang and Nui Dat areas, as well as the Xuyen Moc Operation, Operation Ballarat and the subsequent Battle of Suoi Chau Pha (August 1967) and Operation Santa Fe (May Tao Zone, October 1967). In December 1967 1 ATF was expanded when 3 RAR and elements of the Armoured Corps joined 7 RAR in Phouc Tuy. The battalion's final major operation was support of Operation Coburg during January to March 1968, along the Bien Hoa -Long Khanh border during the Tet Offensive. It was during this operation that Private O'Shea was photographed helping to secure a wounded Viet Cong defector after an ambush in February during Operation Coburg. O'Shea appears to have had a degree of affinity with the South Vietnamese troops serving with his unit, as one of his souvenir photograph albums contains a high percentage of images depicting them in casual poses at 1 ATF.