National Serviceman. Trained at 2RTB Puckapunyal from September 1969 to December 1969. Trained at SME Casula (Basic Field Engineer course, then Plant Operator Course), January 1970 to July 1970.
Arriving in SVN September 3rd 1970, I served with 17 Construction Squadron (Plant Troop) as a Plant Operator. I worked at NDP Helen (later FSB Helen) clearing large areas of the Jungle with the Cat D8H’s of the Land Clearing Team (which comprised 4 x D8H’s). I worked on the reconstruction of Route 2 North from Nui Dat to the Long Khanh/Phuoc Tuy border, driving Euclid S-7 scrapers, IH TD-15 dozers, Cat D7E dozer and various rollers. Operated Cat 966B’s, 966C and D8H’s in the Quarry in Nui Dat, producing and loading basalt into a fleet of MKV tippers of 85 and 86 Tpt Platoons, for road upgrades. I operated the Jacques crushers in the Nui Dat quarry. I worked at NDP Garth (later FSB Garth) as a plant operator. I contracted a serious case of gastro-enteritis from rats in the field kitchen at NDP Garth and spent 4 days in hospital, extremely sick. I operated Case 310 dozer/backhoe on civil works improvements in Ba Ria village market area.
I extracted sand from the beach at Long Hai with a Cat 966B loader, loading a fleet of MKV tippers of 85 and 86 Tpt Platoons, for concreting works in Nui Dat. Operated forklifts (Cat 966 and Case W7) around Nui Dat and Vung Tau, loading bricks for ARVN housing in Ba Ria. Assisted in unloading stores from the Jeparit in Vung Tau. Operated numerous other items of plant and equipment on various jobs around Nui Dat, and Ba Ria. Was promoted to L/Cpl on the recommendation of the Sqdn W02, “Max” Wood.
Left SVN on 12th August 1971, as Australian military activities were commencing to wind down, and much equipment was being prepared for RTA (Return to Australia).