They Brought The Relief Watch from Kyson to Cho Lon
to the guy who wrote "How they brought the News from Ghent to Aix.")
morning of the Tet Offensive, Saigon, South Vietnam. 1968.*
Smith jumped in the Rover,
and Garwood and me,
They scrambled, I scrambled, we scrambled all three,
And up in the front with his gripped knuckles white,
Was Phillips the driver his face pale with fright.
"The shit's hit the fan,"
he called back as he put,
The gas to the floor with a stamp of his foot,
"VC's in the city, all over the place",
And the rover was swaying, we rocked on apace.
The houses a blur as we
sped through the streets,
Over pot-holes and gutters we bounced on the seats,
Our rifles held tightly 'tween knees now rubbed raw,
Young soldiers scared shitless at first sight of war.
We bumped 'round a corner,
a squeal of the brakes,
The Rover slid sideways, blue smoke in its wake,
We sideswiped a truck which was bristling with Yanks,
Then back in a straight line, I offered up thanks.
We came to a roadblock
of wood stakes and wire,
And screeched to a halt lest the guards opened fire,
They all cocked their rifles and gazed down the sights,
At four ANZAC soldiers all shitting blue lights.
We managed to to tell them
in bad Vietnamese,
That we were all 'good guys' and could they all please,
Just let us go through, we had places to be,
The ANZAC Comms Centre and then on to MACVee.
They motioned us through
and we sped off again,
The crackle of gunfire got louder, and then,
We rocketed on through the gates of HQ
To relative safety and then straight to the loo!
Sgt Peter Earsman RNZSigs
Cpl Keith Garwood RNZSigs
And two unknown Aussie Gunners by the name of Phillips and Smith.
110 Signals Squadron
Royal Australian Army
Copyright Peter Earsman