The last of the Australian and New Zealand forces in South Vietnam are preparing for the final withdrawal.
The last of the Australian and New Zealand forces in South Vietnam are preparing for the final withdrawal. The Australian Government has said that, apart from a few military advisers, all Australian troops will be home by Christmas. The New Zealanders are expected to leave at the same time.
Already the Australians have abandoned their main base at Nui Dat, south-east of Saigon, and moved to the nearby coastal town of Vung Tau where they maintain a supplies base.
Now those supplies are being packed up for the journey back to Australia. The guns are silent, the trucks getting a hose-down and the soldiers shopping for souvenirs of the country and its war they are leaving behind.
Yesterday (Wednesday) one thousand Australian and New Zealand troops staged a farewell parade across the helicopter pad at Vung Tau.
General Creighton Abrams, the commander of American forces in South Vietnam, reviewed the final march-past. Senior Australian and New Zealand officers were decorated with South Vietnamese awards.
General Abrams had nothing but praise for the performance of the ANZAC troops in Vietnam. He said he had never known them to exhibit anything other than the greatest professional skill in their actions.