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Tales From The Tiger


australian infantryman's combat badge
Thirsty Tigers

© By Barrie Taylor
C Coy
2nd Tour

Author: Barrie Taylor

 As you know the Aussie soldier finds humour even through disaster. Forty years has passed, names of many survivors cannot be remembered but the nick names and stories remain vivid.

I recall one of the few days we were back in 'The Dat' for a couple of days. We weren't allowed to have booze in the tent lines. The old trick of survival was immediately put into action. We need something to cool our booze and the plan to stop the Ice truck as it went through the company circle was put into action. We send one 'dig' to chat and delay the driver of the ice truck as we ripped two blocks of ice off the back and straight into the Tent Line. Slabs of booze purchased the night before went straight into two Hot box's pinched from the camp kitchen converted to Ice box's which we buried under the board walk though the centre of the tent.

A few hours later we are into the chilled cans and playing cards when all of a sudden an incoming mortar from the local VC comes in very close to our tent line. Within a minute Lieutenant Mead comes steaming through the tent with one foot straight into the Esky and at the same time commanding every man to the perimeter and stand to positions. Mead gives 'Snow' (His HQ Radio Operator) a 'burst' to meet him down at 7 Platoon HQ bunker. Well Snow takes off like a greyhound with the radio swinging off his back. As we take off after him, Snow disappears in front of our eyes—Yep straight down the old 44 gallon 'pisser!' (urinal). I dragged him out, (Phew) and last saw Snow heading down to the HQ bunker. After a short period we were given the OK to stand down and back to the lines. On my way back to our lines I passed the HQ bunker seeing Snow sitting outside the entrance, "Mate what are you doing out here". Good old 'Meadie' had given Snow the flick out of the bunker. He stank! Poor bugger spent the whole stand-to outside the Bunker. We then return to the lines and back into the cans. Well, we soon flicked Snow out of our tent lines telling him to go and have a shower. Five minutes later he returns to tell us the toilet & shower block were gone—direct hit by the mortar. (I slept well after knowing that that, was their best shot). Poor Snow had a very lonely night. Meadie never mentioned the missing Ice boxes, and the daily decoy of delaying the ice truck leaving Charlie Company continued.