14 May 2015 at 21:50 #964John RemynseParticipant
I have searched but cannot find a record of a contact we had in Saigon at the start of the Tet Offensive. A group of us were on Saigon Guard when the Tet Offensive broke. During one of the first nights we had a contact resulting in at least one VC KIA – from memory shot by a cook from Admin Coy with the heavy-barrel SLR (L2A1 AR I think it was called) Right out the front of the Canberra. Some of us also fired from the roof during and immediately after that initial contact and put quite a few rounds into the picture theatre across the road! We may well have been the only Australians who fired in Anger in Saigon during that time!29 May 2015 at 09:13 #1060George Arthur CooperParticipant
That incident has been in my memory forever! On the night I was asleep on the 5th floor of the Canberra BEQ (My room opened onto the balcony) when I heard automatic fire! I thought “that sounds like an AR (Automatic Rifle L2A1), the cook on guard at the front door of the hotel has an AR, the cook on the front door is firing his AR!!!!!!!!”
After rolling out of bed, I grabbed my M2 carbine and .38 revolver (why I had these unauthorised weapons is a story for another time!) and headed out onto the balcony.
Lying flat on my belly I looked around and saw that the floor was covered in Sigs, all trying to peer under the balestrade to see what was going on? The AR was still popping off so a couple of us decided to have a quick look over the balastade, just as we started there was a SWOOSH BANG! as an RPG, fired from across the street, hit the barrels of concrete in front of the hotel and bounced up off the anti-grenade netting on the lower floors and exploded sending a rush of hot gases up the front of the hotel!
A CPL said “right, only people with weapons can stay on the balcony”, nobody moved, all 10 Sigs had their private, illegal weapons in their shaky sweaty hands!
As true brave warriors we left it up to Infantry guards to continue and went back to bed!!2 June 2015 at 14:41 #1105Luke JohnstonParticipant
you guys will have seen this image (half way down, click on the left hand side of the filmstrip’) there’s a member of 7RAR on a saigon rooftop during tet. Link: http://vietnam-war.commemoration.gov.au/tet-offensive/3 June 2015 at 10:52 #1108George Arthur CooperParticipant
It’s great to see photos of TET, in the photo from the Free World building it shows the rifle position on the first floor where I sat with quaking knees. The photo showwing the rooftop guard was also the location of the only casualty taken at the Canberra, A group of Sigs were on the roof watching the progress of ARVN down Nguyen Trai street that runs beside the BEQ, there was a serious firefight very closeby in buildings to the northeast (there is film evidense of the severity of the fighting on nearby rooftops available) while taking cover the troops noticed one of their group was missing! Looking around they found one member laid out on the ground, wounded!! Time to go! With their wounded comrade they left the fighting to see to their injured.19 June 2015 at 15:45 #1222John RemynseParticipant
Thanks for posting those photos. Can’t recognise the individuals but we were drawn from all over the battalion for those Saigon Guards. Sure brings back a lot of memories. We did 24 hrs on, then 24 off. Sure glad we got that first free night in safely before the proverbial hit the fan!
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