Village search for Viet Cong DPR/TV/570

Accession Number F03847
Collection type Film
Measurement 11 min
Object type Actuality footage, Television news footage
Physical description 16mm/b&w/silent
Maker Coleridge, Michael
Place made Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province
Date made 1967
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

Split second timing is needed when troops go into action in Viet Nam, and many hours of planning and preparation often precede a battalion move. This scale model of a small village and its surrounding area gives these officers of the Fifth Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, a miniature picture of the area into which they will shortly be leading their men. The briefing is given by the commanding officer of the Fifth Battalion Lieutenant Colonel J.A. Warr, of Sydney and the battalion intelligence officer, Captain R.J. O'Neill of Liverpool, NSW. Final briefing over, the battalion moves out in armoured personnel carriers of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. Sappers Peter Wieden of Gin Gin, Queensland and Lyndsay Morris of Brisbane, are among several engineers who are attached to the battalion for tunnel search and demolition work. A close look at the terrain is taken by platoon commander Lieutenant Jack Carruthers, of Melbourne. Some miles from the final destination, the troops disembark to prepare for a night long march to surround a small village believed to be harbouring Viet Cong. Ahead of them, Australian artillery blasts a small mountain range which the enemy has been using as a hideout...At dawn, the companies are in position and begin to close in on the small village of An Nhut, five miles south east of Task Force base. Almost immediately there are casualties from booby traps. Within minutes, RAAF helicopters arrive and these wounded men will be in hospital at Vung Tau within thirty minutes. In the village a Viet Cong suspect who was caught after a half mile chase across paddy fields is brought in for questioning by national police and government officials... In a compound area set up for interrogation of villagers, captured and surrendered Viet Cong distribute literature, explaining South Vietnamese aims to the people... In one compound, a group of thirty five men who surrendered to Viet Nam troops await questioning. Some are confirmed Viet Cong and the rest are draft dodgers. While the questioning of the people by national police and government officials continues, Task Force units hand out food and clothing to the women and children. All questioning is left to the South Viet Nam government and no attempt at interrogation is made by Australian troops. As a long day draws to an end with the checking of more than five hundred people, troops relax with an impromptu game of cricket in the village... In this village, where Viet Cong terrorists murdered the villager chief last year, Australian troops have helped bring closer the day when there will be freedom from fear. [Attn. DPR 1. Three officers whose faces probably recognisable in opening shots of briefing were killed next day in booby trap explosion (Dust off scenes shown as wounded flown out)]

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