W3 Company - History and Illustrations  Tāhuhu kōrero

 

"Kia whakatomuri te haere ki mua"
"look to the past in order to stride into the future"

W3 remembrance  Whakamaharatanga

index of Company photos  Whakaahua

index of Service stories  Kōrero (nō te) pakanga

Family / Whanau stories  Kōrero whānau  

W3 Company written record  Mauhanga

W3 Company honours  Kahurangi

All New Zealanders killed in Vietnam

political background on New Zealand involvement
in Vietnam War
and map of region

Australian paper on New Zealand involvement
in Vietnam war

political background on Australian involvement
in Vietnam War

1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment [1RNZIR] now based in Wellington Lines Linton Military Camp New Zealand

6RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Battalion sign - Bn HQ location Nui DatRoyal Australian Regiment cap badge alongside the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment cap badge on the sign outside Battalion HQ in Nui Dat 1970

email your stories, poems, pictures or other
contributions here or post them here


VIETNAM REALITY

To understand the history you need to understand the environment experienced by the infantry deployed to Vietnam.  Medical professionals and welfare agencies often don't realise the conditions infantry experienced during their 12 month tour in Vietnam. 

More jungle time.  Most soldiers had already spent 6 months in Malaysia in realistic jungle training for service in Vietnam.  After the Vietnam tour and return to Malaysia/Singapore most would be on exercise and training replacement troops for their tour in Vietnam. 

Twelve month tour of duty in Vietnam. Operations lasting from one to six weeks.  Soldiers well trained and extremely fit but 12 months on operations under the following conditions took a huge toll on even physically and mentally fit minds and bodies.

Hot and dry November to May.  Fine red laterite dust everywhere.  Hot sun and no sunscreen.  Hot and wet May to November.  Red laterite mud everywhere. Continually wet and suffering from tinea usually from toes to crutch plus boils and other skin problems.  Prickly heat rash.

Living on ration packs with limited water supply.  Cigarette issue.  No ability to wash properly.  No real personal hygiene.  Experiencing drastic weight losses while on operations.

The heavy weights carried.  Eighty to one hundred pound packs and webbing.  Jumping out of choppers with 80 -100lb packs on shoulders.  Damage to knees, ankles, hips, necks and backs.

Operating in areas known to have been sprayed with Agent Orange.  Drinking water from streams in those areas.  Breathing dust from chopper downdrafts in those areas.

Antimalarial precautions taken for two years.  Paludrin twice a day.  In bad areas paludrin and chloroquin every day.  On leaving Vietnam a 10 day course of Paludrin, Primaquin and chloroquine.  Literally covering oneself in insect repellent every day.

Intestinal parasitic worms, Round and Hook etc.  Amoebic dysentery, run of the mill dysentery.  Aggressive insect life, leeches, mosquitoes, scorpions, ticks, red ants, hairy caterpillars, foot long centipedes, hornets, spiders, termites plus snakes etc.

Mental and psychological harm that was/is often unrecognised, undiagnosed and not understood.  This harm is mainly due to the presence of mines and booby traps, close call contacts etc.

Not all ailments and illnesses suffered in the field were reported or noted on a soldiers file.  Only if a Dust Off was required.  Only if it was reported while in Nui Dat and was serious enough for the MO to see them.  Company medics didnít keep a note of treatments to individuals in the field.

There was also the Viet Cong and NVA - please read on... index top right

The role of the infantry is to seek out and close with the enemy, to kill or capture him, to seize and to hold ground, to repel attack, by night and day, regardless of season, weather or terrain.

living a common bond for something greater than ourselves,
walking willingly together into harm's way

the writer Samuel Johnson once said "every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier"