THE VIETNAM WAR: Final. The battle of Long Khan and Operation Overlord

BOB FRESHFIELD

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

TANKS WERE READY FOR THE ASSAULT.

THE MAIN ENEMY POSITION IDENTIFIED, BUT THEY APPEARED TO BE AVOIDING OPEN COMBAT WITH THE AUSTRALIANS.

B Company landed about 1000 metres into their designated landing zone and took firing from nearly in front of A Company’s position.

The firing eased after a short while, allowing the remainder of the 3 RAR force to land.

Aggressive patrolling and a company sized sweep of the area led to the discovery that 3 RAR had been dropped to within 500 metres of a major enemy bunker system.

It became apparent that there was a strong presence of large Viet Cong and NVA troops moving away from 3 RAR, and a few contacts had been reported by the blocking forces.

The enemy, it appeared, seemed to be avoiding open combat with the Australians.

The main enemy position had been identified by nightfall on June 6; and at dawn on June 7 a heavy Artillery bombardment began for almost an hour.

Then 5 Platoon, B Company (3RAR), began to advance – but had only gone 100 metres. It was pinned down by volleys of firing from its front and both flanks.

They had stumbled onto the edge of well concealed and strongly defended bunkers, and called in helicopter gunships rather that run the risk of receiving more casualties by withdrawing.

With the rest of B Company trying to link up with its beleaguered 5 Platoon, D Company, with tanks and APCs, began an assault to what was thought to be the rear and flank of the bunker system.

However, they began to realise that the system was much larger anyone expected. The tanks were forced to halt while the infantry troops were brought up to begin an assault.

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GREAT AUSSIE FIRST...
IN 1933, DOROTHY JORDON BECAME THE FIRST WOMAN RADIO ANNOUNCER IN AUSTRALIA. JORDON TOLD HOUSEWIFE MAGAZINE: “I DIDN’T KNOW HOW IT WOULD TURN OUT FOR ME. BUT IT TURNED OUT TRUMPS”. –FM.
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By mid-afternoon, the B Company had stabilised its position with 5 Platoon survivors; and D Company had been repositioned to commence another assault.

Pushing through the dense jungle from the north-east, with Centurion tanks in close support, it was slow going.

Each bunker, at first located by troops was then crushed by the tanks, along with any occupants.

Therefore, D Company painstakingly searched each bunker systematically. It was later found that the area of bunkers covered almost a square kilometre.

During this final assault, C Company, which had been deployed to the south, located and captured a second bunker system that had been hastily abandoned with weapons and ammunition left behind by the fleeing Viet Cong.

Australia lost 3 killed and six wounded. Although official records show that only 5 bodies of the Viet Cong and NVA regulars were recovered; it is believe that many more lay in the crushed bunkers.

American Pioneers and Australian Engineers later demolished both bunkers sites, depriving the Viet Cong of a major resource.

SOURCES: Adapted from The Vietnam Veterans Federation, March 2017. Written by Bob Freshfield.

Next: The Vietnam War: By 1972, all Australian combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam, the “unwinnable” war.

Below: Ready for the occasion.

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ON ITS WAY …
MEN’S HEALTH: YOU’RE STILL EMBARRASSED ABOUT GOING TO THE FAMILY DOCTOR? WHAT OLDER MEN SHOULD CONSIDER IS THAT EMBARRASSMENT CAN KILL OLDER AND WELL AS YOUNGER MEN. SOON.
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Great Aussie First: Good heavens, Doctor Balmain!

FRANK MORRIS

TRANSPORTER ALEXANDER ON WHICH BALMAIN SERVED.

DR BALMAIN WAS AN ASSISTANT SURGEON IN THE FIRST FLEET. HE WAS ALSO A NORFOLK ISLAND MAGISTRATE.

The Russians sold Alaska to the Americans; the Indians sold most of the land on which New York stands. They were both regrettable transactions, to be sure.

But Dr William Balmain’s bizarre land sale in 1801 is certainly one for the books.

Balmain was an assistant surgeon in the First Fleet transporter, Alexander. He served the colony in this role for three years. The proficient Balmain soon got transferred to Norfolk Island to take charge of medical services there, under the administration of Lieut-Governor Philip King.

Balmain also served as the island’s magistrate. As such, in 1793, he signed a proclamation by King “fixing prices for labour and foods, and providing the duty on spirits to be spent on schools.”

Indeed, it was a landmark edict for, not only Norfolk Island but for Australia. As one historian pointed out: “This was the first case of price-fixing … and the first time public money was devoted to education.”

Two years later Balmain returned to Sydney as principal surgeon. Aside from his medical responsibilities, he also continued in his position as a magistrate.

In 1800, he donned a naval uniform and was appointed registrar of imports and exports. He did the job expected of him, and for that was rewarded handsomely.

That year, Balmain was given several grants of prime land by Governor Hunter – 172 hectares at Field of Mars (now Marsfield), 110 hectares at Windsor and 222 hectares at what is now Balmain.

It is said that apart from conferring his name upon the district, his connection with the latter “was slight.” Located on a peninsular west of Sydney, this area was one of the earliest settled sections of the colony.

“It has always been a mixed community, with the early merchants’ and industrialists’ mansions on the foreshore and their workers’ cottages behind,” says The Oxford Literary Guide.

About twelve months after receiving the grants he sold up everything and headed back to England.

The land at Balmain was sold to a friend for a “token” amount of five shillings ($1)! There were no questions asked; no reasons given. When he left Sydney, Balmain was wracked by failing health.

He died in London in 1803.

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ON THE WAY …
IN 1937, THE MYSTERY OF AMELIA EARHART DEEPENED! LEADING SEARCHERS COVERED A GREAT PORTION OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN THEIR EFFORT TO TRACK THE WHERE-ABOUTS OF THE PIONEER PILOT AND HER CREW MEMBER. SOON.
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SOURCE: Grand Years, 2008.

Below: Dr William Balmain.


IN THE 1970s: The call for plastic film to replace glass, metal in packaging

FRANK MORRIS

THE PRINTING OF FLEXIBLE FILM DID REPLACE OTHER MATERIALS IN PACKAGING.

AUSTRALIA WILL ALSO BE CONSCIOUS OF THE PACKAGING APPEAL OF PLASTIC!, SAID DON AUSTIN.

“It is not science fiction,” said Don Austin, “to predict that by the end of the century plastic flexible films may have eventually replaced glass and metal in packaging.”

This is the way Austin, an expert on flexible film production, penned the article in GO Creative in Packaging, a newspaper which ear-marked a well-known packaging companies on how they would tackle the 70s.

Austin said that this will be brought about by “development of other versatile plastic films with suitable physical and chemical properties to meet the demands of the food processing industries throughout the world”.

He pointed out that the extension of the range of plastic films “will lend far more scope to pouches, packs and containers”.

He stressed that the permeability of a certain pack can be varied … according to the type of product it contains and its intended life”.

Austin said that a unique breakthrough for the 1970s “will be the ‘cook in pouch’ packaging concept for pre-cooked meals if it can be economically produced!”

He said its ideal for Australia conditions and will almost certainly find its own level of consumer acceptance.

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ON ITS WAY …
JOHN FROST COLLECTS NEWSPAPER WHICH WILL BECOME HISTORY. HIS NEWSPAPERS RECORD EVERYTHING LIKE WHEN A COMEDIAN WAS ACCUSED OF EATING A HAMSTER TO THE DEATH OF KINGS AND QUEENS. SOON.
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“It is understandable that the flexible packaging industry in Australia will never be able to use all the flexible materials on the market today.

“This, in my opinion, suggests that we must be more selective … always conscious of product protection and package sales appeal.”

He said this will allow the producer “to main a sensible pricing structure”.

Frank Morris comments: Mr Don Austin knew the flexible packaging industry when it comes down to plastic film. I know his name and that his reputation spread far and wide. His article explains all the things that were to happen – from glass bottles, dishes, and other utensils, to pouches, packs, straws and containers and plastic bags. Now, fifty years later, we’re endeavouring to REPLACE plastic. It might be cheaper BUT notable scientist are concerned about the environment. Plus, it is menacing our wide-spread oceans too.

Below: Go Creative in Packaging newspaper.


BACKTRACK: Plastic in peril or perils of plastic – the 1962 and 2010 special reports

FRANK MORRIS and TIME MAGAZINE

In Plastic Retailer, a trade magazine, in the 1961 edition, I wrote an article titled “plastic in peril”. It read in part: “Housewives are using plastic for a variety of reasons and grossly over-estimating their durability.

“For instance, pouring boiling fat into a plastic bowl; or putting hubby’s dinner on a plastic plate and putting it into the oven to heat it up were unexaggerated examples, which aptly illustrated the maltreatment of plastics’ houseware.

“Consumer plastics are in dire peril. Someone is slipping.”

In 2010, TIME had to say in a Special Report on the ‘peril of plastic’: Chemicals in plastics and other products seem

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GREAT AUSSIE FIRST …
LOLA MONTEZ, WHO HAD BEEN MISTRESS TO COMPOSER FRANZ LISZT, AND THE NOVELIST ALEXANDRE DUMAS AND OTHERS, WAS THE FIRST TO PERFORM THE SPIDER DANCE IN AUSTRALIA IN 1856. MINERS WERE THRILLED.
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harmless, but mounting evidence links them to health problems – and Washington lacks the power to protect us.

Recycling codes can help to identify problematic chemicals.

Some examples … reports TIME, were shampoo bottles, cups, containers and water bottles.

Type of plastic used was PVC, among others.

SOURCE: Plastic Retailer, August 1961.

Below: The Plastic Retailer magazine which a story the maltreatment of plastic homewares. Those were the days!


ON ITS WAY …
CCCCCCCCCRASH CRISES! TWO IMPORTAN INSTANT PROBLEMS THAT CAUSE CAR CRASHES ARE COMPLACENCY AND DRIVER DISTRACTION. PEOPLE WHO HAVE DEMENTIA – ARE THEY FIT TO DRIVE. SOON.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 12 July 19

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