VIETNAM WAR: Part 1. The battle of Long Tan, Viet Cong hotspot

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

BOB FRESHFIELD

WHILE THE MONSOON RAIN PELTED DOWN, THE FIGTHING CONTINUED.

ENEMY’S WEAPON PITS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY FOUND BY AUSTRALIAN D COMPANY.

Australian radio signallers had tracked 275 Viet Cong Regiment transmissions as they moved west to a position just north of the old Long Tan village site. But earlier patrols by the Australians had failed to locate the Viet Cong unit.

On the morning of August 18, 1966, B Company, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), departed Nui Dat to locate the firing points and the direction of the Viet Cong withdrawal.

A number of weapon pits were subsequently found, as were the positions of the mortars and RCLs.
Around midday, D company 6RAR took over from B Company and began an active pursuit of a Viet Cong squad that had withdrawn in the late afternoon.

MONSOON

One of D Company’s platoons were then engaged by small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire. Numbering only 108 men, D Company was facing a much larger force, and they were pinned down.

Then, D Company, called for artillery support as a monsoon rain began, reducing visibility.
In all, heavy fighting ensued.

The attacking battalions of the Viet Cong 257th Regiment attempted to encircle and destroy the Australians. After several hours D Company was nearly out of ammunition, when 2 ‘Hueys’ from No 9 Sqandron RAAF arrived overhead to resupply D Company.

DARKNESS FELL

Heavily outnumbered, but supported by very close, accurate artillery fire, D Company held off a regimental assault before a relief force of APCs from 3 Troop 1 APC Squadron, carrying Infantry from A Company 6RAR fought their way through as darkness fell.

This forced the Viet Cong to withdraw just as they appeared to be preparing for a final assault.

Withdrawing to establish a landing zone to evacuate their casualties, the Australians formed a defensive position overnight.

Below: Machine gun operators keep their eyes peel.

Next week: Final! The part that the American, New Zealand, Australian Artillery and RAAF played should “not be forgotten”.

Source: Part of Vietnam War from an Australian perspective; Bob Freshfield; Vietnam Veterans Federation, March 2017.


YOUR DOG: Gemini just loves the fresh air -- night and day!

FRANK MORRIS

AGNO DOING HIS STUFF.

There’s nothing better than rolling hills and a lake, and clean fresh air. My name is, wait for it, Agno, and I am head of sheep dogs at Weatherly Property out west.

You know, there nothing in a horoscope that says anything about a dog’s name. Pity.

When there is nothing in my way, I head for ‘rolling’ hills and plateaus out where we reside. That is where Gemini get their restless nature from.

After a solid chasing of bloody sheep, non-Gemini animals just eat their tucker and go to sleep. Some Geminis come alive.

But hold on. They’re classic watch-dogs, too. Like me. We take on a non-animalist attitude when it comes to a bout. When there are two and three of the blighters, well, be prepared for the outcome.   

Anyway, back to rolling hills.

GODDAMM!

Gemini are like me. We tend to see it and want it as soon we see it! I wanted to explore that territory from the day I opened my eyes. Dream. Dream.

I go to the base of the hill and just gaze at it; I go to the top and just look at it -- I like rolling in it; I go asleep on it; I do anything with it – I admire their picturesque presence that much.

When the boss-man is not rounding up sheep, he and the Mrs motor out to the second paddock and together they play archery. They love the game.

An arrow spiralling in the air. Then splat. The arrow hits the target. At the end of day, they both hold each other, look at each deeply, and kiss. It’s great fun!

On the radio, they both play different kinds of music. As head sheep dog, l jump into the utility and listen to the soft drawl of country music.

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ON ITS WAY …
SHARK ATTACK! SWIMMERS SWARMED ASHORE LEAVING YOUNG COUGHLAN WITH A SHARK IN FULL MODE. NEXT.

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Mrs boss-lady does the same – her music is mostly an orchestra – big or small -- or a concert. Goddamm! It’s an exciting sound.

Really, I wish I could talk more about a Gemini sheep dog. But we are all the same, really. To wrap up I am going say I’m clever, I’m versatile and I’m expressive. I know these traits. I could go on. Ding! Ding! Ding!

There’s the afternoon sheep called. I’d better skedaddle. (May 20-June 2l).

Below: Agno, in full glary, walking on the sheep’s back.


FLASHBACK: Aussie actor Judith Anderson becomes a “great tragedian” on stage, in films!

FRANK MORRIS

JUDITH ANDERSON IN MACBETH.

THE STAGE AND SCREEN WERE RADIATED BY BEAUTIFUL WOMEN. “AH, WHAT THE HECK”, SAID JUDITH.

In 1918, a young Australian actor packed her suitcase and sailed for America. Her name was Francee Anderson. Francee was to make her name as “a great tragedian,” Judith Anderson.

In 1960, she was made a Dame of the British Empire.

Born Margaret Frances Anderson in Adelaide, February 10, 1898, the stage struck Francee played ingénues in dozens of amateur productions. She was 17 when she made her professional debut opposite the matinee idol of the day, Julius Knight, in A Royal Divorce at Sydney Theatre Royal.

Over the next five years Francee appeared with her mentor, Knight, in several plays, including The Silver King, all of which were “favourably received”.

The perceptive drama critic of the Lone Hand Magazine, Zora Cross, wrote in 1918 that “Francee Anderson was graceful, dainty and pink with youth, had made much progress … and was still improving.”

Later that year she turned down the lead role in Turn to the Right and headed for New York.

Wrote Australian playwright and theatre historian, Hal Porter: “She … cold-bloodedly broke the pattern, usual to even exquisitely beautiful, intelligent and gifted young actresses.

FACIAL IMPERFECTIONS

Although Sydney critics described Francee in her ingénue days as “pretty”, she was not beautiful. Her nose was long and not straight, her eyes too small.

“I wish I had a beautiful face,” Judith Anderson said after she had begun to make some headway in New York. “An ugly woman has to work doubly hard.”

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ON ITS WAY …
WALTZING MATILDA, THE MOVIE THAT WAS NEVER MADE. THE EPIC STORY THAT FOUNDED A NATION. EXCLUSIVE. JUNE.

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But she made up for her facial imperfections in other ways: she was fearless to the point of being callous, gifted and shrewd.

In New York she failed several times to gain the interest of American producer, David Belasco. She had to survive months of hardship and despair “on very little money.” By the time she returned to Australia for the first time in 1927 aged 29, Judith Anderson was “hard-boiled and famous.”

For her roles in theatre, particularly in Medea and Lady Macbeth, television and movies, she has been acclaimed all over the world.

“Her Medea … maybe the greatest tragic performance by an actress of out time,” wrote American critic, Cecil Smith in 1961.

Although she has played some memorable roles in movies and television plays, her first and last love is the stage – “I seem to be always looking for a play.”

Anderson said: “Movies are so cold, so cold, and so is television. Indeed, the warmth of an audience keeps the play going.

“I want to delineate them all. I want to portray the unfolding of one woman’s entire life with the whole gamut of emotions. I love emotional roles. Lady Macbeth is my favourite part.”

Dame Judith Anderson proved her greatness over and over again – for decades -- even though the stages were crowded with radiantly beautiful women.

She was the most industrious actor of her day. Although she prefers plays – “I can’t get enough of them” – she starred in many films, including Rebecca, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and NBC soap opera, Santa Barbara.

Judith Anderson died in 1992, aged 93.

[Judith Anderson was a syndicated story back in 1988.]

 

Below: Judith Anderson out of usual garb.

SOURCE: Grand Hotel, 2014.


Famous Movie Stars: Felix was modelled on Charlie Chaplin!

FRANK MORRIS

FELIX THE CAT IN HIS TAKE-0FF OF CHAPLIN.

ONCE WAS A LITTLE CAT, WITH A TUMMY NICE AND FAT, AND HE HAD NO NAME; FELIX WAS HIS NAME.

Michael Anglo, the author of many books, says the cinema’s animated cartoons and documentaries made their debut in place of the popularity of the stage and music hall.

In his book, Nostalgia: Spotlight on the Twenties, “my mother said that the first cartoons I saw were based on Aesop’s Fables.” He remembers them “only vaguely”.

Later came Felix the Cat cartoon, which was to achieve world-wide popularity. He writes: “Anybody who had a black cat … called its Felix. I know at home, over the years, one Felix succeeded another.

FELIX WAS AN AUSSIE

“Our female cat had a litter of three kittens, which we kept. When we called ‘Felix’ all four cats used to come running.”

The cartoon, Felix the Cat, was created by Australian animator, Pat Sullivan, who was the world’s cartoon celebrity – long before Mickey Mouse hit the movie screens.

Felix’s mannerisms as well as his general behaviour was modelled on Charlie Chaplin. In fact, by 1926, Felix was recognised to be as popular as Chaplin.

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ON ITS WAY …
GIVE ME A HUG. SAYS AUTHOR KATHLEEN KEATING, HUGGING IS A JOYFUL AND LOVING INSTINCT. COMING.

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Australian veteran film-maker, Ken Hall, said Felix’s animation was better than anything that been done previously anywhere on this globe.

Born in Sydney in 1887, Sullivan, a former prize-fighter, worked in London as a commercial artist before settling in America. Once there, he received further training from the renowned craftsman and animator Raoul Barre.

Sullivan died a millionaire in 1933 of pneumonia.

Below: Pat Sullivan and Felix the Cat.


QUEEN: Meeting the 11 Presidents of the United States

The Queen, chatting away with President George H. W. Bush.

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VALE: ACTOR DORIS DAY, AGED 97, WAS THE CHEERY FRECKLED-FACE PERSONALITY OF HER TIME. SHE BECAME A THE TOP- BOX OFFICE ATTRACTION FOR YEARS.

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Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 17 May 19

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