8 Field Ambulance South Vietnam 1968-1969

Accession Number F04904
Collection type Film
Measurement 48 min 2 sec
Object type Home movie
Physical description 8mm super/colour (Ektachrome)/silent
Maker Tod, Malcolm Adrian
Place made Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province, Nui Dat
Date made 1968-1969
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Shield designed for 8 Field Ambulance RAAMC by 216803 Malcolm Adrian Tod and others. Shows shield outside original hospital site. 2905036 Major William Brian ‘Digger’ James 8 Field Ambulance Commanding Officer. Front door/casualty entrance to the hospital. United States 45th Air Ambulance came up every day to do Dust off (casualty evacuation) missions. Malcolm Tod standing and driver 1732631 David Alexander ‘Scottie’ Scott. Visit by Mrs Gorton whilst Prime Minister Gorton visited Administrators at Nui Dat. The gravel driveway was laid specially for the visit. We had wanted it some time to cover the mud. Front entrance to unit aid station, flag and steel unit store, canteen, tent and kitchen (iron roof) and tented sleeping quarters. Low key Dust off mission to Nui Dinh. Sight of Nui Dat on leaving. Smoke thrown and in for pick up. Over the jungle on way back to Nui Dat. Luscombe field, Kangaroo Pad. Back to 8 Field Ambulance. American Dust off.Thanh Phao-Lo Catholic orphanage in Phuoc Le (Baria) captial of Phuoc Tuy Province. Malcolm Tod with nun and children. The nuns grew their own vegetables and kept ducks for eggs. Medic from SAS Squadron did regular Medcaps to the orphanage. Malcolm Tod went along on this occasion only. SAS Medic treating first then Malcolm Tod treating patients. Mainly skin lesions. School attached to orphanage the children only attended half a day. Nun with ducks. Children going home at midday. Chinook CH47B medium helicopter. Phuoc Le shops. Malcolm Tod in the street, food market. Horse and cart taxi, three wheel Lambretta taxi. The Peter Badcoe Club Vung Tau where troops went for rest and recreation after being out in the jungle for long periods. Lights from white tower and building in background first scene from HMAS Sydney when arrived off Vung Tau – above concert stage. Vung Tau camp surf beach. Accommodation at the Badcoe club. Village of Hoa Long just south of Nui Dat and well know as Viet Cong sympathetic village. MACV soldier stationed at Hoa Long. Malcolm Tod and others arrived to do Medcap in Hoa Long once a week. A potentially dangerous room along an enclosed verandah. A very poor village. “Scottie” the driver. Hoa Long market building and houses. Outpost at Hoa Long. Soldiers live at outpost (ARVN) in tin roof humpies. 175mm shell cases filled with concrete to form bunker protection. UH1D Iroquois troop carrier helicopters (US nickname ‘Slicks’) fly in 2 rows of 15 helicopters and supported by UH1B gunships flying each flank. Leaving Kangaroo Pad, Nui Dat. Main refueling point for helicopters. Fixed wing fly post and small Observation helicopter OH6A Cayuse. Chinook landing at Kangaroo Pad to refuel. Helicopters did not switch off so there was always a danger of explosion. Visiting performers from Australia. Stage at end of Luscombe field during the latter part of 1968. New 8 Field Ambulance site next to Kangaroo Pad. Old site was too small and difficult for pilots to land amongst trees and it was not possible to land at night. Buildings left of frame contain aide post, X Ray, pharmacy, pathology, hospital, administration office and room closest end for Dust off crew – two pilots, one medic and one mechanic. Middle of frame shows Hospital ward for minor cases and medical disease recuperation. Right of frame shows main emergency centre for major casualties. Before gravelling took place. Dust off room. Dust off arriving from Vung Tau for daily visit. Slicks leaving Kangaroo Pad. Gunships heavily loaded with ammunition took time to take off and get height. AH1G Huey Cobra helicopter gunship at Kangaroo Pad. Vietcong casualty – held by us till evacuated to US hospital in Vung Tau. CH54A Tarhe Sikorsky Skycrane at Kangaroo Pad. A huge flying motor – note size of man to wheel struts and hook hanging in front of wheels from body. Carries a 10 ton payload. Chinook at Kangaroo Pad. M60 machine-gun from front side window. View inside from rear and take-off. ARVN fort Christmas 1968. MEDCAP with US Medic and ARVN medic at Phuoc Hoa on Highway One. Rice or corn drying in the sun. In village of Phuoc Hoa. Christmas at the ARVN outpost. Crew of outpost plus some Admin support platoon from FSB Julia. Highway One the main highway from Nui Dat to Saigon. Fire Support Base Julia south of Phuoc Hoa and Highway One approximately November 1968 to February 1969. Tapes are to follow at night so you don’t fall down a foxhole pit as no lights were allowed after dark unless completely concealed. Main administration command area. Armoured personnel carriers. Medical aid post in tent. Fold up wooden tables for workbench. Medical bunker mainly for sleeping. Only one medic for the whole FSB. Malcolm Tod was there for six weeks over Christmas 1968. 38559 William Alvin “Bill” Belcher who Malcolm Tod replaced. He returned to Nui Dat. Shower bags on poles near top of dirt stairs. Centurion tanks returning to FSB Julia each night after day out on support operation to infantry. Ammunition for tanks. Holes dug for tank to drive into when in FSB. Serves as a protection from attacks as well as positioning the tank’s armament just above ground level against infantry attacks. Captain in command of Support Platoon. Rubber trees of FSB Julia. American Army support truck for convoys. The rear guns were .50 caliber heavy machine guns. ‘Charlie’ meaning Viet Cong. US Army M107 175mm Self Propelled Gun. Space only for driver so the rest of the crew had to ride on top. Note dozer blade on back. This is used to help take the recoil of the gun on firing. US Army M109 155mm Self Propelled Gun. Centurion tanks. M-113 armoured personnel carriers. FSB Julia. Showers. Village of Tiht Thien on Highway One south of FSB Julia. Banana plants, the village. Villagers burning wood in clay kiln to make charcoal for sale. House with bunker on the left for the family’s protection. Clay kilns. Religious altar and pineapple. Family cutting up fish, notice the large knife. Malcolm Tod did a Medcap there on a few occasions and was accompanied by ARVN soldiers and members of our Civil Affairs Unit. Malcolm Tod treating villagers. Children would follow you every where. Last day in the village before leaving. The boy shown on the vehicle would watch Malcolm Tod’s supplies to stop them being stolen. Leaving village for the last time. Highway One.

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  • Video of 8 Field Ambulance South Vietnam 1968-1969 (video)
  • Video of 8 Field Ambulance South Vietnam 1968-1969 (video)
  • Video of 8 Field Ambulance South Vietnam 1968-1969 (video)