Viet Cong water bottle : 2 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Operation Coburg

Accession Number REL/01565.006
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Aluminium, Cotton, Plastic
Maker Unknown
Place made Vietnam
Date made c 1967-1968
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975

Olive green painted aluminium water bottle with a screw cap and separate band around the neck of the bottle with a ring for suspension. The bottle is contained in fabric cover composed of a double layer of lightweight khaki canvas whose upper edges are bound with cream cotton. The back of the cover has a self fabric slide to allow the bottle to be carried on a belt, and two fold over shoulders which meet at the centre front of the cover and are secured to a small brown plastic toggle by means of two cotton loops.

History / Summary

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.