A Diggers viewpoint of being at the sharp end. Gained while serving with 3 Platoon - 'A' Company -7 Battalion (Infantry) Royal Australian Regiment, as a Rifleman in Australia's longest ever war - fought in South Vietnam.  

Chapter 1 - Page 4 - Updated October 2013 - Next Page:- Viet Nam Books 5/35

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memorial 8



intro to oink 9

 oink a digger 10

  7 battalion 11

 platoon set up 12



Why a site about the Vietnam War?

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  • Vietnam History
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Oink at NDP BRIGED in 1970



This site is about the Vietnam WAR. It contains images, story lines and language of soldiers which is very graphic due to the nature of War. Students who have questions on the Vietnam War for assignments are generally assisted if the Author is able and he is given an outline of what is required.

It is a requirement of this site, if you are 16 years of age or under, you will need to show you have one of your parent's permission to enter the site and or correspond with Author, Thank You.

First of all I would like to Welcome all those who have visited A GRUNTS VIEW before and have encouraged me to keep working on the subject!

As the Counter on this site went missing at 8,000 visitors? I have moved the counter from the old Grunts View site as together with this site, my visitors have now reached 100,000 over six years. So some time ago I started a new counter.


In 2011 a Complete re-design and overhaul of the Site was undertaken. Many pages have added Text and more Images. So if the images are taking a little time to load I would ask you hang around and have a look? . I am now on broad band so I hope that my visitors also enjoy that advantage. Although I will still endevor to keep the pages 'cut down' so the will load as quickly as they did on dial up?

The site has been expanded to 35 pages. Thats an extra 10 pages. With I hope new interesting information and images? While some are not Vietnam 'specific', as such; they examine other subjects associated with the Australian Army and Australian War History.

I have still have MANY pages of notes from the Tour that I am going to add to the site! Some pages will now have a full list list of site LINKS to the left many will not. This will be covered in two ways.

The site has been divided in to SIX Chapters which not only divide the site in to workable areas but divide my story in to areas that should be a lot easier to Navigate than the old site? First each Page in its own Chapter will have a set of links at the top for the pages in that Chapter and the FIRST page of each Chapter.

Then at the bottom of the page there will be other Links enabling you to move about the site very quickly. Of course each page will enable you to return to the SITE Map, if you wish to check on a subject or story you are looking for?


Many pages have images of Vietnam in 1970-71. All effort has been made to cut them as small as possible.

So far the flowing pages have been re-designed, cleaned-up and checked in 2001:-CHAPTER ONE: Index/Site Map 1/Site Introduction 2/ Orderly Room 3/ Announcements 4/Viet Nam Books 5/Student Page 6/ANZAC legend 7/Memorial Page 8/

CHAPTER TWO:Introduction to Oink 9/Oink a Digger 10/Seven Battalion the Pigs 11/ Platoon Set Up 12/CHAPTER THREE:Arrival in Viet Nam 13/Contact Wait Out 14/Enemy 15/Odd Angry Shot 16/Advance To Contact 17/CHAPTER FOUR: Bunker Battle 18/Night Move 19/Mine Incident 20/ Ambush Australian Style 21/CHAPTER FIVE:End of Viet NamTour 22/My post Viet Nam Service23/       My disability Case 24/PTSD 25/

WHY a Site about the Vietnam War which ended many years ago?

Everone has an ego of some sort and of course I am no exception. Over the years I was in despair thinking if in fact I was insane? I came to identify that although I had been out of the Army for many years, I was still thinking and acting like a soldier. This does not go down to well with your family, friends if you are lucky to have any, or your work collegues. I will not call them workmates as you tend to keep people at arms length for many reasons and they rarely become 'mates'.

I had to face the fact that the Vietnam War was different from those that preceded it; and what people thought it was. In the 1990s I knew that I could not ignore my part in it any longer. I had done so successfully I thought? Many people I knew did not know I had been in the Army, let alone been to Vietnam. I even took it off my resume when I applied for jobs.

Also what was it about the Vietnam War that ordinary and mostly decent Australians thought then and as some do today; they could denigrate and insult the soldier who only served their country? This did happen to me one day when I was hitch-hiking around Wollongong. A young woman who was a teacher gave me a lift. Of course since I was doing so in uniform may have given her a clue? She wanted to know if I had just returned from Vietnam. When I confirmed that I had, she called me a 'baby killer'. Why on earth would someone who did not know me, or what I did in Vietnam, think it was ok to call me a 'baby killer' without thought as to how that would effect me? I got out of the car as quickly as I could! Thanks Bitch!

Why for many years after the war were so many Veterans left in a sort of "conventry" that is a state were by they were ignored by the rest of the community? This has led to many many Veterans unable to move on in their lives and some to even kill themselves over the years. I still get annoyed when some person of the Viet Nam era, perhaps then a student, in a media interview holds up their record of 'marching against the Vietnam War'. That is AGAINST the DIGGER!

It is still a slap in the face for me when I hear that expression and I want to do just that - to the person who has said it? Which is stange as I don't believe in violence?

Sometime about 1997 I fell out of my tree, as I was unprepared to face the overwhelming return of sounds, smells, feelings, guilt feelings, of what I did or did not do during my Tour. That anguish pulled me deeper in to the Vietnam I once knew; until it dominated my every waking hour and my sleeping hours. At least now it had a name; that of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Did than mean I was not really nuts and just ill?

Hard as it was I had to go for help as I knew I could not deal with it by myself. I had to face the prospect of putting my thoughts and feelings in the hands of a physiatrist and perhaps time in a hospital that deals with disturbed Veterans. But why should I? I was normal; look at how hard I was working at my place of employment. A member of the Training Committee, the Consultative Committee, going to TAFE twice a week studying, working shift work, all on over drive. In fact I just managed to complete my TAFE efforts and was awarded an Advanced Dipolma in Human Resource Management.

When I did end up in a mental ward of a special hospital I was encouraged to write about my experiences, but many events were just too painful to face at that time. Some years later when I penned a couple of stories, I realised I had a story to tell. The first two stories were about when John and I were wounded; another time when the Platoon carried out a five day ambush on the Long Hai Mountains. It occurred to me when I had a good response to the stories; that perhaps other people would be interested in a Diggers eye view of what really went on during the Vietnam War years?

I thought that perhaps that I could add a little from the point of view of those I served with; how during the years after the war; had little voice in the general community. Even when I served in the Army Reserve in the late 1970s I was told by a soldier "you can't tell me that Viet Nam was that bad"?

I felt he had punched me in the guts! If a bloke does some soldering over years and shoots on the range, handles weapons and carries out small arms tactics BUT could not see that Vietnam was every bit as 'bad' as he thought? Then what hope would the great unwashed who had never pulled on a uniform for their country have to understand war and what went on in Viet Nam?

Now in the 21st Century when schools actually study aspects of the Vietnam War I hope that this view point from my experiences as a Grunt, can inform those who want to know what it was like to go away as a kid and come home an old man?

At least the Australian National Library thinks so! For a few years now they have been kind enough to 'capture' my site and list it on their on line archive called Pandora. http://pandora.nla.gov.au

One major change this year that will effect the site is that I am committed to is to place the Viet Nam War in to what I see as its 'place' in history. I used to say that this site would not touch on the 'politics' surrounding the Vietnam War. Yet I now believe that as many have been born many years after the end of the Viet Nam War would have no knowledge o fthe state of the World in the 1960's.

This I feel gives a false impression to the students of today. Or to anyone interested in the Vietnam War who are too young to know about the world situation at that time. The reason being; that so much has changed since the 1960s that they are not able to see the war in context of that era.

Can they imagine the Cold War with the President of the USSR threatening to bury the Free West, or the capitalist running dogs, as we were called? While behind the Iron Curtain there was a race to build more and better nuclear missiles. Only matched in this madness was the US who not only need more and more missiles but they had their air force in the air 24/7 armed with nuclear bombs just in case the USSR started an attack on the Free West. In those days that was me a kid and my family; as I lived in England which was a part of the Free West.

Students would not know of the days surrounding what is known as the Cuban Missile when the USA found out about missiles bases being built on the door step of the US in Cuba, sponsored by the USSR (Russia)? President Kennedy then faced down this threat with the rest of the world watching in horror as the dead line given to the USSR drew near.

They don't know about black and white TVs, nuclear arms race, the shooting in Dallas Texas of the President of the United States of America, John F Kennedy. Or the race wars or Martin Luther King? They have never known a world with out colour TVs, 24 hour programing, CDs, DVDs, mobile phones, cable TV, X-boxes, play stations, designer sports wear, desk top computers connected to the Internet.

Which in fact was set up in case of Nuclear war? There were no Muslim terrorists only communist insurgents. That the world was worried about communism would take over the world as we knew it then, while in the end it was commercialism and people power that brought down the iron curtain not missiles.

The whole world and technology has changed in so many ways, that trying to understand the Vietnam War based on what kids can see in the world today will not make sense, so I hope on the student page to provide an overview of the events that saw another major war so soon after World War Two.  


 Index of ALL pages & stories built on new site map page. {Complete}

  1. Change all Title frames on ALL pages to new design {Complete}
  2. Build the Student Page with history of the Vietnam era. To Be completed when?
  3. Write the history of the RAR - To Be completed by?
  4. Put ANZAC Diggers on every page:- To Be completed by?
  5. Each Page has its number and place on the site Listed in the Title area! {Complete}
  6. The site has been divided up in to SIX Chapters! {Complete}


 © "Tony (oink) Blake"


This site is dedicated to a number of Soldiers. The Memorial Page contains the a dedication to my father Ken Blake. It contains the Honour Role of the 7RAR War Dead from the Vietnam War.

Use the Memorial Image of the RAR Cross; to move to the page from any page. Or use the Memorial page link in the site map! Tragical Australia has lost a some Diggers in recent operations they will be added to the Memorial Page!



When Completed each page on the site will be Dedicated to a Digger who served on a Battlefield in the Service of this Country. In the Wars and conflicts this Nation has been involved with since World War One.

Each Diggers information and will be listed at the bottom of every page with his exploits. The ANZAC page will explain how the different events originated to up the ANZAC legend.

Also as that area is worked on the site will have a list of books - on the Book Page, recommended reading for subjects about the ANZAC Legend, Battles that Australia has taken part in and about the Diggers and their Battlefield Commanders who made the Legend.  

 Dr John Laffin: Guide to Australian Battlefields of the Western Front.



To enable me to ensure that the details of each Digger is correct including the description of his action against the enemy and the Award of a bravery medal, I have been granted permission by the family of Dr John Laffin to use information from his book listed on the left. When his work is used, to ensure that his work is correctly identified all listings and notes from the book will have the following:- Copyright sign. © DJL 


© "Tony (oink) Blake"


INFORMATION for the Vietnam War Memorial the

CHERRY TREE WALK is now off-line.



All Stories and photographs unless stated otherwise, are the work of:- "Tony (oink) Blake". None of the stories are drawn from any other Vet or Story, Book etc they are completely from my memory of my tour assisted by some letters I sent to my Wife in Australia. They are copyrighted. Most images are "tagged" with the following identification. © "Tony (oink) Blake"

Use of images, concepts and story lines is not permitted, in ANY form of publication, for any reason. Publication includes but not restricted to:- "print format" such as stories or assignments.

"Electrical" includes web sites, blogg sites or copied to CD ROM without the express permission of the owner and author of this site: www.gruntsview.org

People wishing to use any story line and or images should in the first instance direct their enquiry to the Author via the email below.

© DJL Dr John Laffin: Guide to Australian Battlefields of the Western Front.

VIETNAM HISTORY on Information Page

From time to time I get requests from Students and others who want to discuss aspects of the Vietnam War in relation to my service and the effect on Australian Society and the Diggers when they returned home from the war. While I seek to assist were I can, each request is subject to my own activities and time frame. People seeking such help can as a start read some of my stories including the one that details my life after the war.

On the old site I used to have a commitment to the effect that my story was based on my own experiences and would not deal with the political issues. I feel now that is the wrong approach. As the years pass it is pleasing to see that the Vietnam War is a subject in schools.

However I fear that without a balance the students may receive a distorted viewpoint about that era. I have decided to use the "info page" and try to place the Viet Nam War in to the context of what was occurring in the world at that time.

 I hope this will allow students to see some of the reasons Australia became involved in that war? Everyone sees history a little different but as I lived through those times and was effected by events great and small, I feel with out that context the site is not balanced! oink, January 2008.


1 Page

TO add to the visual appreciation of the difficulties of active service in Vietnam I will place a page that contain images taken of the Province from the air.

I was traveling from Nui Dat to Saigon and was able to take many images of the areas that the Battalions operated in. They will be linked from the "Enemy in Phouc Tuy Province" page 15.







1st BATTALION AIF. Section Commander.

On 4th May the 1st Battalion moved in to a new position on the 6th May sent an urgent message to HQ to say that the Battalion on the right flank was pulling out. In the resulting attack by the Germans Howell jumped out of his trench on to the open parapet.

Then he raced along it fully exposed throwing bombs on to the Germans. As they retreated in panic Howell followed and when he ran out of bombs he jabbed down with his bayonet at the enemy. Shot in several places he fell back in to the German trench. But his mates inspired by his example and in fierce close-quarter fighting re-took all they ground lost on other days.

Howell survived his wounds and was awarded the VC. © DJL

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