My name is Brian Buzzard and I was a national serviceman in 1967-1969 . My tour of Vietnam consisted of reinforcement holding unit (RHU) Jan 68 , 7th Battalion (7RAR) Feb-Aprl 68 & 1st Battalion (1RAR) Aprl-Jun 68. I rose to the rank of private and was in a MORTAR PLATOON . On the night of 12th May 1968 I happened to be on a M60 gun picquet when NVA soldiers appeared to our front: we blew some away. Two hours later some 500 NVA came back to do a 'job' on us with rockets ,mortars and all sorts of personal weapons and grenades . We were two sections of infantry (18 men) who were unable to fire a single shot of our own (4) mortars, because the NVA were on us and through us in a single human-wave attack to expose oneself in this situation was suicide. We fought out of our six inch shellscrapes even as we called artillery from 161 (NZ) Battery in on our own position. We also called for splintex to be fired directly at us from 102 Battery. 'Snoppy' rained down torrents of fire to our immediate front and helicopter gunships blasted away at retreating NVA. Of our brave 18 five were killed that night and eight were wounded. They literally replaced the whole lot except for the officer in charge and his signals op. Most of us WIAs ended up 'Dusted off' to 24th Evac Hosp in Long Bien until we found our way to 1st Field Hosp in Vung Tau and then the magic flight home on a C130 Medivac Herc to Australia then Perth. The memory is vivid even today.
Two years in the army and a lifetime of painful memories mixed with some good ones.