To mark National Serviceman’s Day (14 February), we’ve posted an article titled ‘Gallup Polls #1 – National Service’. The article graphs the level of public support for the National Service Scheme, according to Gallup Polls, between 1961 and 1972. It shows that support for the scheme never fell below 50%, but support for deployment of National Servicemen to a war zone was less strongly supported.
Also recently posted is an article by Ian Ahearn, about the first battle of Coral. Titled ‘The Real Story: First battle of Coral’, the article details the confusion and rushed preparations of the FSPB and how these led to problems in the defence of the base. The article points out misinterpretations of events in the description of the battle in the Official History.
The ‘Hoa Long Dance’ was a practical joke that would be known to many Vietnam veterans. But in 1970, new arrivals at the Australian Reinforcement Unit hoping to go to the Hoa Long dance, found themselves in great danger. In ‘Hoa Long Dance gone wrong’, Derrill de Heer explains how the practical joke got out of hand.
Regarding the Battle of Coral, see also Ernie Chamberlain’s comment – appended to COL (Retd) Ian Ahearn’s 2012 article, that clarifies confusion about the pre-battle intelligence that was briefed at the 1 ATF OGp at the Bearcat base on 10 May 1968 (and the subsequent INTSUM to units) – ie that noted the North Vietnamese units in the AO.
Regards, Ernie Chamberlain