5RAR Tiger Logo Men of the Battalion


Operation Esso

In June and July 1969, as part of Operation Esso, elements of 5RAR were deployed to the village of Dat Do located south-east of our Nui Dat base and immediately south of Horseshoe Hill. The main roles were to protect and assist the Australian Army engineers from 1 Field Squadron in the erection of windmills and construction of wire defences and bunkers for the South Vietnamese ARVN and PF/RF forces. Pacification and winning the hearts and minds of the local population were essential aspects of the operation.

With children of Dat Do watching, members of 11 Platoon, D Company, pose with South Vietnamese soldiers, two of whom were VC defectors or Hoi Chanh.

From left: Pte Eric Minton, a Hoi Chanh, Pte Bill Moore, Cpl John "Blue" Burridge, Pte Steve Naish, a Hoi Chanh (in tiger suit), South Vietnamese adviser (kneeling), Pte Ashley Weymouth, Pte Kevin Mooney (with mine detector), Pte Max Gardner and Pte John Sturla.