Army small ships DPR/TV/431

Accession Number F03789
Collection type Film
Measurement 8 min 53 sec
Object type Actuality footage, Television news footage
Physical description 16mm/b&w/silent
Maker Defence Public Relations (DPR)
Place made Vietnam: Vung Tau Special Zone, Vung Tau
Date made 1966
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

In Vietnam the army's sea going sailors are keeping open the vital supply lines between the base area at Vung Tau and the Australian Task Force, 20 miles away at Nui Dat. In the twisting Saigon River, the 1,000 ton landing ship Clive Steele, easily identified by a large red kangaroo, the Vietnamese words for Australia painted on her superstructure, makes the hazardous run to Vung Tau from the forward area. The ship's crew takes no chances. The mate, Lieutenant Charles Deane, of Sydney, points to suspicious movement on the far bank. The ship's master, Captain Alan Webber, of Sydney and second mate Warrant Officer Jim Fletcher, of Perth gives instructions to gun crews. The crew race to action stations, manning the fifty calibre guns in the bow and stern. Other soldiers crouch behind the bulwarks with their rifles. In the engines room, Sapper Ross McMurray, of Bankstown, New South Wales, stands by controls as the telegraph signals messages from the bridge. Ship's engineer, Lieutentant Bruce Reilly of Wollongong, New South Wales, and Sergeant Jack Peel, of Newcastle, NSW, keep a close watch on the engines which have been driving the ship continually for seven months. At Vung Tau, the Clive Steele ties alongside another Australian Army ship, the John Monash, which is on her second voyage to Vietnam. In time honoured custom, duties in port include never-ending chipping of rust. Sergeant Arthur Jackson, of Sydney, Sapper Colin Barker, of Gosford and Sapper Maurice Roberts of Grafton, work on the stern of the vessel. Amidships, Sapper Peter Tierney of Northbridge, NSW and Sapper Garry Carne of Yarraglen Vic., stand on a lighter between ships to chip rust. Fresh water from the John Monash is pumped into the Clive Steele's tanks. A cargo of timber from the John Monash is lifted form the hold and swung onto a landing barge moored between the vessels. Barb wire is also unloaded. Vung Tau is a crowded port and is often clogged with local small craft and ships of allied nations. Lance Corporal Glenn Daly, of Greenacre NSW and Lance Corporal Peter Radford of Ashgrove Queensland watch three women in a Vietnamese boat. On shore, stores from another lighter are off loaded onto waiting trucks for transport to a base area. After her cargo is discharged, the Clive Steele leaves her anchorage alongside the John Monash and runs ashore in the river for small repairs before another journey up stream.

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