9 Platoon, C Company,
How many C Company members, or for that matter
Battalion members, recall the infamous “Hoa Long
Dance”? And more importantly, how many fell for
As many veterans would recall, Hoa Long was an
actual Vietnamese village down the road from the
Task Force base. But what about the dance?
I first became acquainted with the Hoa Long
Dance on the Battalion Advance Party in 1969.
Our 1RAR hosts took great relish in describing
the dance which was reputedly held each Saturday
night in Hoa Long. And the description of the
dance was done with much conviction.
Now for those new in country, any diversion
would be a welcome one especially if it involved
a dance and women and especially being so
recently used to the social scene at home in
Australia. What else was a fit, young warrior
chomping at the bit to do on a Saturday night in
Phuoc Tuy Province?
I recall, the requirement was to get dressed in
civvies and assemble on the main road leading
into the Battalion area. At an appointed time, a
bus would reputedly come along to pick up the
assembled group, suitably attired in civvies,
and take them into Hoa Long for the dance. The
bus would then return to Hoa Long later that
evening and bring the group back to Nui Dat at
the conclusion of the dance.
Too good an opportunity to miss? Apparently so
as I’m told that those with ‘a few days and a
wakey’ took great delight in covertly watching
this group of newbies, dressed in civvies,
assemble at the appointed time and wait for the
bus for Hoa Long ― which of course, never came.
So let’s be honest guys ― how many fell for the
ploy? And no, for the record, I wasn’t one of
But ― and there’s always one of those ―
according to the attached sign, perhaps the
dance was not a figment of someone’s vivid
imagination? Hmmmm …
Then there was the “Dat Do Dogs” race meeting
but of course that’s a similar but other story.
TALES FROM THE TIGER