Poetry - Tiger Battalion

Long Hais, 21st February 1967

They ride into the scrub, with their jokes and a jeer,
Because we have to hump it, and lug all our gear;
We hate every ones guts, but it's just that we're jealous,
This time round were doing the "Palace".

A roaring bang, like a clap of thunder,
It's much too loud, that's all I wonder;
An A.P.C. six foot in the air,
Just for a second I stand and stare.

With disbelief, that's what I see,
They're all good mates, and it could have been me;
Five hundred pounds of TNT.
Makes a hell of a mess of an A.P.C.

And they're my friends, that are hitching a ride,
Some sitting on top, and others inside;
Clarkie and Poole and "Ganger" Green,
The others all faces, that I have seen.

The silence once more, it lasts just a "mite",
Then action takes hold and my body turns tight;
Straight into position, there's nothing to be done,
We all watch our front, for it may have begun.

Another explosion, that familiar loud crack,
I've heard it too often, - A JUMPING JACK;
The radio crackles with that same desperate sound,
So many wounded and there's mines all around.

Then the CASEVAC's come, racing low overhead,
Aiding the wounded, removing the dead;
Is it just "Booby Traps" the poor bastards have hit?
Or this time round are we right in the shit?

There's nothing else for it, but wait and see,
Prepared to hit back at what ever might be;
As the hour slowly passes, we know it's all over,
Somewhere in that time, I wish I weren't sober.

While the darkness comes down, we remain where we lay,
Hutch up for the night, so end one more day;
Just an "Odd Angry Shot”, some Australians have said,
Only thirty-one wounded,; plus seven dead.


© Terry Tommasi
C Company Vietnam 1st Tour

Scroll to Top