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Australia's Battlefields in Viet Nam: A Traveller's Guide by Gary McKay

By Gary McKay

A traveller's advisor to the Australian battlefields and cemeteries in Viet Nam written for individuals really holidaying in Viet Nam in addition to the "wannabes" who imagine they could visit Viet Nam.

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Prices have to be haggled down here as the vendors play on the visiting sucker looking for something to take home. In my opinion the stallholders ask far too much for some of the equipment. And it takes a fair amount of foraging if you want to get what you are after. Potential buyers are better off going in a small group (watching each other’s back and bags) and working their way methodically through the heaps of memorabilia. Remember that the authenticity of anything in this market is subject to question.

7mm anti-aircraft heavy machine gun, including the tripod and sights . 6 This was the first systematic attempt by the Allies to clear and then destroy a tunnel system. First they flushed the tunnels with smoke and CS gas (a tear gas) using US air compressors. After this forced out the VC hiding below, a sapper would go down wearing a gas mask. 7 The work was very dangerous and, as Wilson explains, sometimes fatal: We then had to start the tedious task of clearing the complex and this was not made any easier by over-zealous grunts tossing smoke canisters and CS gas canisters in each and every hole that they suspected belonged to the system.

The Allied headquarters building has been knocked down. The US Ambassador’s residence and embassy now house the War Remnants Museum. Tan Son Nhut international airport From 1966 on, within 14 hours of departing Sydney’s Mascot airport a soldier or airman could find himself in Saigon, smack in the middle of the war zone. In that year Australia’s national airline Qantas was chartered to take many of the reinforcement and replacement personnel to South Viet Nam. This provided a flexible and additional means of moving the increasing numbers of support troops to and from the war zone (see also Chapter 3, re transport of troops).

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