Welcome guide produced for Allied troops stationed in Bien Hoa province, circa 1964-1965.
This copy was given to Sergeant Peter Foster, who served with the New Zealand Army Detachment Vietnam (NEWZAD) in Vietnam.
NEWZAD was New Zealand's first military contribution in Vietnam. The 25-strong team of engineers arrived in Saigon in June 1964. Based in Thu Dau Mot (about 34 kilometres north of Saigon), the capital of Binh Duong province, the New Zealanders spent the next year working on civil reconstruction and development projects. They built and repaired bridges, fixed roads, and constructed new schools, playgrounds, and medical facilities. These projects were designed to help win the support of the local populace; part of a South Vietnamese government strategy to weaken the influence of the Viet Cong in the provinces surrounding Saigon.
In June 1965 the decision was made to recall the NEWZAD team to New Zealand. The New Zealand government had earlier announced that it was sending a combat unit - 161 Battery - to Vietnam, and there was concern this development would increase the security risk to the engineers. After finishing up existing projects around Thu Dau Mot the team were sent to Bien Hoa, where they spent a frustrating month carrying out odd jobs for the newly arrived Australian infantry battalion. At the end of that month, the detachment was disbanded and the men returned home.
Welcome guide courtesy Peter Foster