• 29 May 2015 at 15:43 #1073
    Laurens Wildeboer
    I was on rotation as a baggy arse LAD member from the Armoured Regt to guard the Australian Accommodation in Saigon in late 68 and the day we arrived we were told that the front of the building which had a very high grenade fence with a small side gate (behind which was a 4ft high concrete culvert with surrounding sand bags)  and  the roof top were our main area of interest.
    We were told that the previous group had one member wounded in the neck when he looked over the side of the building to see what had been happening below so to be cautious about sticking our head out.
    It was shortly after we arrived that all hell broke loose in the surrounding area… The Cholon area appeared to be under attack by what appeared to be VC. We got little information about what was going on but the constant gun fire, tanks and dead and wounded being carried out of the area behind and the lane almost immediately beside  our building was enough … It was unsettling to be on guard at the front and see Vietnamese troops moving down the lane almost beside our building shooting as they went only to be later followed by tanks which were also firing. Much later on there were Vietnamese vehicles sent down that same lane and they bought bodies of Vietnamese stacked in the back of vehicles. The vehicles drove out with their legs hanging out of the rear of the vehicles…
    It was a surreal situation because one night we were sitting inside and we were watching the movie Bonny and Clyde and it was sometimes hard to tell if the shooting we could hear was on the movie or going on at rear of our building..
    Our time on the roof top was as individuals and you could see only some of what was going on without sticking the head over the side… At one stage there must have been a fierce battle going on at the rear of the building or very nearby because as I sat there (not looking over the side) a gun ship came in almost at my height guns blazing in an attempt to dislodge whoever was creating havoc behind our building…. Just after he flew off I observed 3 men clad in black pyjamas clambering along a roof top some distance from where I was crouched and I figured they were up to no good. I knew i didn’t have time to ask permission to shoot so I lined up the person in the middle and fired 2 quick shots before they disappeared from site…  My next concern was having to account for the ammunition and trying to explain if asked… I never was…
    Shortly after that I was on the roof and watched a Vietnamese soldier standing on the roof of a nearby building firing an M79 into surrounding buildings. He stood there for some time, after we acknowledged one another, firing into buildings and trying hard to lob the grenades into the windows of the higher surrounding buildings… I was surprised at his accuracy…
    One morning I was on guard duty on the front of the building when a Vietnamese soldier walked in and after a feeble attempt at chatting with him he showed us a huge scar across his belly which he tells us was made by an American weapon…I got the basics of what he was trying to tell us but not the detail..
    27 June 2015 at 16:19 #1231
    Ern Marshall

    I have some pics of the old Canberra Hotel, But at this time haven’t worked out how to put them up
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    1 December 2019 at 17:36 #35109
    Laurens Wildeboer

    Gawd mate, I wish I could help you. Is the ‘help’ on this site of any use?

    sorry about the late reply..

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