Cordon of Xuyen Moc DPR/TV/1238

Accession Number F04422
Collection type Film
Measurement 6 min 54 sec
Object type Actuality footage, Television news footage
Physical description 16mm/b&w/silent
Maker Fairley, John Geoffrey
Place made Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province, Dat Do, Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province, Xuyen Moc
Date made 23 January 1970-25 January 1970
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

The Brisbane-based 8th Battalion of The Royal Australian Regiment recently carried out its first cordon and search operation since its arrival in South Vietnam, two months ago. Operations of this type are carried out periodically by troops of the three battalions of the 1st Australian Task Force in villages and hamlets throughout Phuoc Tuy Province - the Australians area of responsibility in South Vietnam. Their purpose is to isolate Viet Cong suspects from among the villagers and locate hidden arms caches. The first village checked out by the 8th Battalion was Xuyen Moc (SWAN MOC), 20 miles east of the Task Force base at Nui Dat. The diggers, taking with them psychological and civil affairs experts, moved from their lines in the biggest Australian road deployment in Vietnam for about two years. More than 80 vehicles took the troops down the long, dusty road to Xuyen Moc, past the picturesque bullock carts of the Vietnamese peasants and through the large village of Dat Do. The cordon was established at night, to prevent the villagers from leaving, and the search began at dawn. Loudspeaker vans toured the roads, instructing the villagers to remain in their homes until told to leave. Later, the villagers were moved into a compound set up on an airstrip near the village. Their identification was checked and they were passed into a waiting area, while their homes were searched. Packets of food were handed out and the children were given drinks. While this was happening, search plans were finalised and the layout of the hamlets studied. Orders were given and the troops began the sweep. Every building was checked, straw probed and bunkers searched for Viet Cong arms or food caches. In one pit, the soldiers found lengths of detonating cord and batteries - useful items for sapper groups bent on sabotage. In this operation, little of significance was found, but interrogation teams checking documents detained nine people and handed them over to civil authorities for further questioning. Also identified: Major N. T. Williams of Brisbane, Qld, operations officer; Private (Pte) Peter McBain of Frankston, Vic, machine gunner; Pte G. Wilson of Inala, Qld; 2nd Lieutenant Ken Jones of Perth, WA; Comd 1 ATF Brigadier S. P. Weir of Braddon, ACT; CO Lieutenant Colonel Keith O'Neill of Alderley, Qld; Pte Ian Dales of Gosford, NSW.

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