Colin F. Jones

INCIDENT AT WATTLE

The hedgehog of fire and light, a crown of flaming thorns,
Devastated the jungle trees with rampant destructive horns.
As the US Super-Sabre like a gnat whizzing through the sky,
Soared beyond the reach of those far below who died.
To wing around full circle to sweep low o’er the jungle trees,
Cannon blazing; spitting fire like a swarm of angry bees.
And they fell all wounded fourteen of ‘C’ Company’s best,
Friendly fire cutting deeply slashing bone and flesh.
They called in the dust-offs and all their lives were saved,
Caught in the enemy camp too long they had delayed.
And malaria hit them and the monsoon pelted down,
And the bullets around “Wattle” were zipping all around.
And we soon learned what fear was as we manned the bunds,
And blasted the 150 bunker complex with our arty guns.

Author’s Note: FSPB Wattle was established by 104 Fld Bty on Operation Hawksbury, 12-24 September 1968. 4 Aussies were killed and 25 wounded on this operation.