Land clearing operations DPR/TV/820

Accession Number F03993
Collection type Film
Measurement 2 min 41 sec
Object type Actuality footage, Television news footage
Physical description 16mm/b&w/silent
Maker Thurgar, Kevin Denham
Place made Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province, Long Hai Hills
Date made April 1968
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

At the foot of the rugged Long Hai Hills in Vietnam's Phuoc Tuy Province, a team of Australian engineers is cutting a swathe through heavy jungle in an attempt to curb Viet Cong movement in the area. For years, the mountains and their foothills have been a Viet Cong haven, but since Operation Pinnaroo numerous base camps and fortifications have been found and destroyed. The task given to the land clearance team was to complete a series of trails on a two hundred metre front to isolate the mountains from the foothills. This would enable Australian troops to spot enemy movement in the area and also to prevent them from returning and reconstructing their tunnels and camps. Using eight bulldozers and five Rome ploughs, the engineers of 17 Construction Squadron and 1 Field Squadron cleared an average of forty acres a day in the first ten days of the operation in a bid to beat the imminent wet season in Phuoc Tuy Province. Forty-two Australian and fifteen American engineers have been employed on the mission. They have been given protection by a company of infantry, and a troop of armoured personnel carriers (APC) from 'A' Squadron 3 Cavalry Regiment. In the first few days of the operation, heavy equipment hit three M16 mines and one clustered bomb unit. Two mines exploded under the blades and the third under the track. However, no casualties or damage resulted. (Identified: APC Commander, 311415 Sergeant James MacDonald (Jim) Douglas of Seymour, Vic; 37793 Corporal Mervyn (Merv) John Wilson of Seymour, Vic)

Film order form
  • Video of Land clearing operations DPR/TV/820 (video)