[104 Signals Squadron Vietnam] / Rowan Gamble

Accession Number F03434
Collection type Film
Measurement 32 min 13 sec
Object type Home movie
Physical description 1 inch video/Colour/silent
Maker Gamble, Rowan
Place made China: Hong Kong, Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province, Nui Dat, Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province, Phuoc Le, Vietnam: South Vietnam, Saigon, Vietnam: Vung Tau Special Zone, Vung Tau
Date made February 1968-August 1968
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975

Item copyright: External copyright


We have just taken off from Luscombe airfield at Nui Dat enroute to Vung Tau. Seen below are some of about 20 perimeter fences, to slow down an enemy attack. These are the tent line of 104 Signal Squadron February 1968 (note that sand bagging of tents is not yet completed, as are the mortar pits, dug but not finished). Out the back of 104 Signals Squadrons is Kangaroo Pad. The landing ground at Nui Dat for the helicopters. Seen on the far side of Kangaroo Pad is the quarry for blue metal, behind that is Nui Dat Hill itself. Next is a squadron of APC's leaving in muddy condtions. A view from Nui Dat Hill of an incoming convoy from Vung Tau. The zoomed close up is of a small vehicle parked on the side of all our perimeter fences. The close up of the hill taken through entangled wire is a hill called Ap Suoi Nghe, which I believe was devastated by gun fire from artillery. After they were supplied with cordite which was faulty. So they blasted it away on Suoi Nghe for gunnery practice. Prior to 1968. Next is a view of a Centurion tank high on Nui Dat Hill, taken from a lower position, near our signals post. Then a sweeping view from the end of Luscombe near the PX store. The close up of the chopper is near the ammunition point, then hovering around to the refueling point. The quarry can be seen with 104 Signals just to the right. Back at 104 Signals, choppers, numbering about 30 arrived to take out one of the battalions. The film taken into the sun about 10am. A Chinook came in to refuel. Some of the choppers returning for more of the battalion. Seen is the wire entanglement to the rear of 104 Sigs to Kangaroo pad. A Caribou which has just taken off Luscombe swings away, while more of the choppers return, some breaking off to refuel. A semi-trailer carrying ammunition for the guns moved too close to the edge of the road sinking deep in mud and tipping on to the embankment. A crane was used to try and right the semi. A series of explosions around the back perimeter, behind one of the regiments. A tracked carrier racing along the road from luscombe to the front gate from Vung Tau. A vehicle, just arrived through the front gate. A general view looking across the main road in, and further out, at water from a monsoon, from Nui Dat Hill. Looking down on a cavalry of APC's. The road in runs across the front and down the side of the cavalry. Another sweeping view back towards the PX, then around the side of Nui Dat Hill. Some shots of American 155mm mobile guns firing. The percussion rocked me even while sitting down taking the film. I was told, they were firing about 15 miles, a shot of three tanks going to their positions on nui Dat hill. Close up of one tank coming up near the Signals outpost. A Caribou making a slow approach to Luscombe, landing well down the runway leaving little room to stop. Take off was the reverse, with the Caribou leaving the runway after 300 metres, then taking off behind Nui Dat Hills. Looking down on from a Caribou on its way to Vung Tau, looking at the patchwork of paddies. An American patrol boat speeding down the river. Looking at a landing at Vung Tau. A sweeping view of Vung Tau. A scene of the very dirty beach front at Vung Tau. Some street scenes. The Vietnamese were always wanting to pose on film. A sweeping view of Vung Tau from a slight rise. I believe this next sequence is of a Vietnamese funeral. A view up and down the road near our R & C (Rest and Convalesence) Centre at Vung Tau. Cable running up the hill to what I believe to be a radar dish. The R & C Centre Vung Tau. One of the groups that came over to Vietnam to perform for the troops, which the guys really looked forward to. Looking down between the wires between Kangaroo Pad and the road, from the front gate to Luscombe. A Caribou streaks out from behind Nui Dat Hill and a big tree. A signalman whose name escapes me using a mine-detector to find some of our buried cable (50 pair of wires) then myself having a go. After finding it we have to dig down and locate the fault and repair it. A shot of Luscombe from the PX area. Street scene at Baria. We were assigned to lift the telephone wires higher across the street to enable the tanks and bridge builder to pass through. The tanks and APC's rolling through Baria. One tank gunner levels the gun near us and keeps it tracking while the tank is moving past. Last to come through was the bridge builder with Mick Evans (signalman) on top to unhook any lines that get caught. The tank convoy stops to let a truck convoy to pass on its way to Vung Tau. The generator set-up on Nui Dat Hill caught fire destroying the equipment, but also two signals junction boxes, that were close by. I had the job of getting all the lines working again. The hill was very steep at this point where the signal lines come up from Luscombe road. The jungle was taking over very quickly. This next scene is looking from the front of signals to Headquarters. Prime Minister John Gorton, high ranking officers and the press, taking a look around Nui Dat. the next sequences are shot at Tan Son Nhuit Airport at Saigon, while we were waiting for Pan Am 707 to take us to Hong Kong for R & R (Rest and Recreation). then aerial shots flying to Hong Kong. Scenes of shanty town then the Tiger Balm Gardens. General scenes of Hong Kong island, also of boat people and the floating resturants. Taking a cable car up to Victoria Peak at about 45 degree angle. From the top of Victoria Peak looking down on Hong Kong city and harbour. Our tour guides and drivers of Mercedes cars. Back at Nui Dat Lucsombe field where they are building a new apron off the runway for the Hercules aircraft to park on. One loader slipped over the side of the bank while the others and the dozer work around it. This was to be my last piece of film in Vietnam as I was shot and wounded for the second time just after this and eventually medivaced home. Rowan E. Gamble.

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