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
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.