Geoff Hazel as former member of Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), interviewed by Michael Boyle

Accession Number AWM2016.46.35
Collection type Sound
Object type Oral history
Physical description digital audio file
Maker Boyle, Michael Dorrington
Hazel, Geoffrey Alan
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 3 August 2016
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Source credit to AWM Oral History Program
Description

Geoffrey Hazel served two tours in Vietnam; the first as an infantry soldier with the Task Force in Phouc Tuy Province and the second as a Corporal and member of the AATTV in a Mobile Advisory Training Team (MATT), also in Phouc Tuy Province.
In this interview he recollects many aspects of the MATT’s work including training, operations, life as a team member and working with Vietnamese Regional and Popular forces. His experience was extensive and his recollections are vivid and detailed. His work gave him opportunities to mix with and observe the Vietnamese that were not afforded him during his time with the Task Force. As a young soldier his insights are particularly valuable and pertinent.

He accompanied both regional and popular forces on operations, noting that the popular forces and self-defence groups in a nearby Catholic village were especially successful while those from non-Catholic communities were considerably less so, and he gives his explanation of the reasons why. One company of Regional forces that he spent considerable time with, No. 445 the same number as the Vietcong D 445 battalion that operated in the Province, was deserving of praise. He attributes their success to superior leadership and gives examples of how their Commanding Officer achieved this. Other regional force companies he dealt with were in his view less successful.

Through personal initiative he was able to accompany unofficially, as a temporary side gunner, 250 US helicopters on a major insertion into Cambodia.

Corporal Hazel has donated to the AWM his home movies of his second tour in Vietnam which successfully illustrate many aspects included in his interviews.

Corporal Hazel left the army as a sergeant and joined the ACT police and subsequently the AFP rising to senior rank. As an AFP officer he took part in several peace keeping operations including Cyprus, Timor and the Solomon Islands. He has given interviews of his experience on peace keeping operations aspects of which he mentions in his current interview.

  • Listen to Geoff Hazel as former member of Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), interviewed by Michael Boyle
  • Listen to Part 2 of Geoff Hazel as former member of Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), interviewed by Michael Boyle
  • Listen to Part 3 of Geoff Hazel as former member of Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), interviewed by Michael Boyle

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