First cordon and search of Do Dat DPR/TV/685

Accession Number F03913
Collection type Film
Measurement 8 min 5 sec
Object type Actuality footage, Television news footage
Physical description 16mm/b&w/silent
Maker Coleridge, Michael
Place made Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province, Dat Do
Date made September 1967
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

[This is a black and white copy from the Kodachrome colour camera original AWM film F04182.] The first visit by Australian troops in large numbers to the town of Dat Do, four miles to the east of the 1st Australian Task Force at Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam, failed to find any significant sign of Viet Cong only smiles and friendliness. Troops from the Task Force arrived in giant United States Chinook helicopters and smaller Iroquois helicopters, in the early morning on the town outskirts. Because of the approaching national elections in the Republic of Vietnam, early next month, it is expected that Viet Cong will step up terrorist activities in villages and towns throughout the Province. In the town of 16,000 little propaganda material was found, but in some cases there was excess rice in some houses. Some military items able to help Viet Cong were found in several houses. They were confiscated by Vietnamese National and Field Police Forces, who were being helped by the Australians in the search for Viet Cong material. Householders allowed troops free access to search dwellings and belongings. In many cases they assisted in the search. After arriving by Chinook and Iroquois helicopters from their Nui Dat base Task Force troops were assembled before quickly moving into the village. 2nd Lieutenant Ian Cameron, of Kiama (NSW), of 7th Battalion, uses a radio to get his platoon on the way. With him on the left, is signalman Peter Balmer, of Morrabin (Vic.). Before the troops move out there has to be protection and it is machine gunners like Ptrivate John Roach, of Haberfield Sydney and Lance-Corporal John Devine, of Blacktown, Sydney who share the task. Before they search the market place troops are briefed by Sergeant Toni Bonavit, of Maidavale Perth, on the right. Ammunition is discovered by Corporal Doug Fieldhouse, of Darlinghurst, Sydney, in one house. He is helped to check it by a Vietnamese policeman. Family and wife of house owner look on, while interpreters, field Police and National Police come to check the find. The Houseowner looks on and is later taken away. Later the searching parties move to the market place. Lieutenant Douglas Clively, of Melbourne, picks up a lemon. There is a time for a drink and private Jim Malone of Cammoweal, Qld, has a drink with the National Policeman. Searching is hot work. But the search must go on, and more search plans are discussed over the radio. Lieutenant David Tresise, of Toorak, Melbourne, checks future moves. The Vietnamees just sit and sip their cool beers as patrolling Armoured Personnel Carriers rumble through the market place.

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