Colin F. Jones


~ 1 ~

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: Awarded: June 28, 2005
Awarded: Awarded: June 28, 2005
The Song Dong Nai meanders below,
With glistening shades of silver flow,
Passed the deserted village of Xom-tan Thanh,
Where a skirmish the other night began.
The sand bagged walls in front of the gun,
Are being rebuilt, a task almost done,
But the plagues of rats still eat our stores,
And scorpions are rife with great big claws.
We can see for miles from on this Hill,
Moral is high and we have the will,
To take on anything that comes,
Flying in over the sandbagged bunds.
‘Tis “Rocket Alley” this place is named,
But I guess for this we are well trained.

~ 2 ~

We are here to stop the rockets being fired,
Into the Long Bien complex if required,
And to defend the approaches to Bien Hoa,
Where the American supplies mostly are.
It is a complex seventy-five miles square,
And craters from rockets are everywhere.
US 2/35th Battery B is here,
But they are high on drugs and goad and cheer,
Each night as we stand to our routine drill,
And send out patrols around the hill.
They don’t seem to care if they live or die,
And we don’t understand the reason why.
Though they treat us well and their mobile guns,
Give us great support from behind their bunds.

~ 3 ~

All night we fire and all day we work,
We get two hours sleep if we don’t shirk,
Digging in bunkers underground,
And fighting pits in the soil surround.
We have machine guns set up everywhere,
Boxes of grenades that all can share,
And claymore mines rigged down the hill,
Where we set our flares a daily drill.
The sun is merciless at night we sweat,
There’s always a mozzie inside your net.
Our ammo bays are filled with rounds,
Replaced every mission when the Howitzers pound.
But it is all a part of what we do,
And we are the best I’m telling you.

~ 4 ~

The A.P.C.s are going out,
With the infantry troops to seek and scout,
There’s 18,000 troops in our AO,
And that’s a lot of soldiers don’t you know,
But there’s a hell-of-a-lot-more enemy troops,
And there is always contacts with scouting groups.
Spooky’s out there, and Playboy 17,
Supported a D Company contact routine.
Last night they patrolled the Song Dong Nai,
In smart little boats just floatin’ on by…
Our Radar tower has been finally built,
Picking up base-plates, even in silt,
That counter rocket bombardment we fire all the time,
Destroying their intentions with a pattern of rhyme.

~ 5 ~

Patrolling has kept the enemy at bay,
No rockets have been fired from our area hey,
Long Binh is all quiet – Bein Hoa is the same,
Those yanks are sleeping some energy to gain.
But I dedicate this poem to the Soldier who died,
The first Battalion casualty whose life was denied.
Private Barnett of 12 Platoon a D company man,
Who died in the fighting in South Vietnam
God keep you my friend for your family I pray,
There is nothing much more a soldier can say.
But the memories live on and the sound of the guns
Still echo at night in the hearts of the sons,
Of Australia’s founders, who loyal and brave,
Made a small contribution that a life they might save.