Australian officer served as pilot with 161 Independent Reconnaissance Flight in Vietnam, 1967-1968
REEL 1 Background in Fremantle, Australia, 1940-1957: family; family's career with Royal Australian Air Force during Second World War; membership of cadet corps; awareness of post-war conflicts including Vietnam.
REEL 2 Continues: role of Australian Army Training Team in Vietnam. Aspects of enlistment, training and service with Australian Army, 1957-1967: background to enlistment; attitude to training; posting to artillery; background to applying for army flying; pattern of flying training; helicopter training; lack of interest in politics and personal motivation.
REEL 3 Continues: Recollections of operations as pilot with 161 Independent Reconnaissance Flight in Vietnam, 1967-1968: lectures on Vietnam; attitude to service in Vietnam and Americans; contrast between American and Australian approach to military service in Vietnam; opinion of National Servicemen; effect of inoculations; voyage to Vietnam; initial impressions of Vietnam; first flight from Vung Tau to Nui Dat.
REEL 4 Continues: description of terrain flown over; accommodation and living conditions; character of daily operations; memories of fellow officers and comradeships; playing music whilst flying; monthly flying hours.
REEL 5 Continues: reaction to being shot at by small arms fire; incident of having rocket propelled grenade fired at his helicopter; familiarisation with terrain and helicopter; sight of Boeing B52 bombing; low level character of operations; question of treatment of downed pilots; personnel weapons carried; occasion when he was escorted by American gunship after problems with engine; attachment to American; contrast between American and Australian tactics.
REEL 6 Continues: story of Viet Cong attack on hill fort; flying night-time 'firefly' operations with Americans; description of operating during Tet Offensive, 1/1968; nature of Tet Offensive, 1/1968; effects of union activity in Australia on serving troops; reaction to abuse received in street on leave in Australia; amusing story of call sign used.
REEL 7 Continues: story of his helicopter being brought by small arms fire south of Nui Dat; nature of injuries received; effects of adrenaline during missions; background to attachment to American 334 Helicopter Unit; question of lack of evidence of drugs and torture of prisoners; attitude to decision to fire on villages; contrast in behaviour between Westerners and Asians; opinion of Australian abilities in jungle warfare; opinion of 'body count' policy; belief in hearts and mind policy.
REEL 8 Continues: Boeing B52 strikes; character of Ho Chi Minh trail; opinion of defoliation policy; attitude to service in Vietnam; reaction to death of George Constable; unit morale; concert parties; playing music from helicopter; story of attaching smoke bombs to helicopter to celebrate Christmas, 12/1967; camaraderie amongst fighting troops and their attitude to headquarters staff.
REEL 9 Continues: amusing story of picking up Chinese recoilless rifle with helicopter; attitude towards potential court martial; story of playing rugby match in Vietnamese town; mess games; psychological effects of falling into ditch containing bloated bodies; attitude towards civilian culture on return from Vietnam; question of psychological effects of service on veterans.
REEL 10 Continues: reaction to North Vietnamese victory, 1975; change in attitude towards Vietnam veterans; attitude towards his children joining armed forces; opinion of Vietnam War.