5RAR Tiger Logo Men of the 5RAR Battalion

Private Colin Illman of 5RAR

Private Colin Illman 1st Tour

Private Colin Illman, 10 Platoon D Company During Operation 'Sydney1', is seen here before going into the cordon prior to the search of the village of Duc My. Captain Robert O'Neill, the battalions' intelligence officer, summarises the cordon and search of the village of Duc My thus:
     The cordon of Duc My was important also as it brought the soldiers of the Fifth Battalion close to the Vietnamese people for the first time and provided an opportunity to practice the many aspects of civil relations which had formed a large portion of the battalion's training. This opportunity had been looked forward to by most because of the general belief that this was a war for people, rather than for territory. Of particular interest was the attention paid to the two Viet Cong who tried to break through C Company's cordon. Members opened fire at two charging figures, killing one and wounding the other. The wounded man jumped into a nearby bunker. Colonel Warr ordered that he was to be taken alive if it were possible without endangering our men and Lieutenant Rainer's platoon was given the task. It would have been simple to kill the Viet Cong by lobbing a high explosive grenade into the bunker, but instead a tear gas grenade was thrown through the narrow entrance. A sapper, wearing a gas mask, then took the risk of going into the bunker after the fugitive. All was well, for the gas had overcome the Viet Cong and he was carried out into the open air and resuscitated by Tony White. The episode was swiftly circulated among the villagers and by the end of the day our soldiers were getting along very amicably with many of the inhabitants of this former Viet Cong village.