Australians protect United States land clearing DPR/TV/1161

Accession Number F04373
Collection type Film
Measurement 3 min 45 sec
Object type Actuality footage, Television news footage
Physical description 16mm/b&w/silent
Maker Bellis, Christopher John
Place made Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province
Date made 5 August 1969
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

US Army engineers have joined with Australian infantry in an operation in the north of Phuoc Tuy Province to flatten thousands of acres of jungle to stop the enemy using it as supply and operational routes. Two hundred engineers and 30 D7 dozers from the 501st Engineer Coy will clear 20,000 acres by the end of August. They are being protected by two companies of the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, while a third company conducts reconnaissance-in-force. The Australian element is boosted by a troop of tanks from B Squadron, 1st Armoured Regiment, a troop of armoured personnel carriers from B Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, and a combat engineer team from the 1st Field Squadron to look after mine incidents. Known as Operation Camden, it is an area which has served as a Vietcong logistics base for many years and, along with border areas of Tay Ninh Province, one of the worst areas under enemy control during the French-Indo-China war. Task Force operations in the area in recent years has given it an extensive knowledge of the enemy and his activities, but still he operates in the area. The land clearing is expected to hit the enemy hard, denuding base camp areas and hidden trails, and possibly exposing important tunnel areas and caches. Enemy reaction is expected to be violent and already the protecting infantry companys have had contacts. The American engineers, assisting as Australian land clearing plant is engaged on a larger task in the south, are clearing the jungle at a rate between 500 and 1500 square metres a day. Already 3,300 sq metres has been cleared. While the clearing goes on, the tanks and APCS give close protection for the dozers. One of the infantry companies stays there too and the other patrols the depths of the perimeter. The patrolling company sweeps ahead as the dozers progress in clearing the jungle. Each night the dozers and the protection come together in a defensive position and this also allows the engineers time to maintain and repair their vehicles ready for the next days quota of jungle clearing. Identified: 176 Air Despatch Coy, Pte Andy Clarke of Rockhampton, Qld; Pte Ken Carter of Palm Beach, NSW.