Andris 'Andy' Lapins
Helicopter Crewman
No. 9 Squadron, RAAF
Vung Tau
May 1968 - May 1969

I applied and was accepted for helicopter crewman training in January 1968. I left for Vietnam with 50 hours’ flying experience. I was posted to No. 9 Squadron in May that year. Flying operations included company troop and SAS inserts and extractions, resupply, medical and Dustoff missions. It also involved defoliant spraying, ‘recon’ missions, rescue winch hoisting and gunner training. We also conducted ‘sniffer missions’, treetop-level flying over the jungle with equipment on board to measure and locate human residue. Areas with high readings were plotted and mapped for later troop investigation or assault. I flew 1100 hours during my tour.

Service No. A218801