Australians battle Viet Cong in the Long Hais DPR/TV/1250

Accession Number F04428
Collection type Film
Measurement 8 min 6 sec
Object type Actuality footage, Television news footage
Physical description 16mm/b&w/silent
Maker Fairley, John Geoffrey
Place made Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province, Long Hai Hills
Date made 21 February 1970
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

Australian troops in Vietnam returned on Saturday to the scene of Wednesday's battle - the biggest for six months - to sweep the area. For two days the area had been plastered with artillery and air strikes, culminating in a strike by the giant US B-52 bombers at dawn on Saturday. The battle took place in the foothills of the Long Hai mountains, 10 miles south of the Task Force base at Nui Dat. For six-and-a-half hours elements of 8th Battalion clashed with about 50 enemy, one company of the hardcore D445 VC Battalion. The Australians took light casualties and also had one APC destroyed and two APCs and two tanks damaged by the enemies' rocket propelled grenades. Battalion Commander, 1122 Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Keith John O'Neill of Alderley, Qld, controlled the battle from a miniature fire base on the western side of the mountains. Mortars based there fired across the range in support of the troops. After the battle the troops were withdrawn to enable air and artillery to be brought in on known and suspected enemy bunker systems. At dawn on Saturday - two days after softening up - the troops returned to the scene with armoured vehicles. They moved at first light. This time they were prepared for the enemy's rocket propelled grenades. They were wearing flak jackets and steel helmets. Once in position the area of the original battle, two platoons and a troop of tanks swept through. The tanks fired their 20-pounder guns into bunker systems and gunships flew overhead to give additional fire support if required. Once part of the battle area was cleared of any enemy Lt Col O'Neill flew in to talk to the Company Commander, 13527 Major David Rankine MC, MID of Keperra, Qld, and to look at the bunker and tunnel systems found. Little resistance was encountered in this area as the fighter bombers had done their task well. Many enemy bodies are in the rubble and debris, but no estimate of their casualties has been made. Australians Task Force troops sweep the scene of last Wednesday's big battle. Also identified: Platoon Commander 57087 Lieutenant Michael Ian (Mick) Carr, 23, of Fremantle, WA; Sapper (Spr) 1735031 Trevor Darral Hughes, 23, of Beenleigh, Qld; 2791094 Spr Colin Geoffrey Heley, 23, of Liverpool, NSW; 2276539 Private (Pte) Kevin James Barry, 19, of Goulburn, NSW; 2791797 Pte Martyn Brian Pryce-Jones, Mortar Platoon.

Film order form
  • Video of Australians battle Viet Cong in the Long Hais DPR/TV/1250 (video)