David Moles
Helicopter Crewman, Leading Aircraftman
No. 9 Squadron, RAAF
Nui Dat, Vung Tau
Jan 1969 - Dec 1969

We got a call that the North Vietnam Army and the Viet Cong had taken over the village of Binh Ba. On 6th June 1969, the Australian Task Force had sent a Company of diggers plus armoured personnel carriers and some tanks. We arrived overhead. Three gunships from No. 9 Squadron, Bushranger 71, 72 and 73. I was in Bushranger 71, the lead gunship. We were told that all villagers had been evacuated from the houses and only enemy were inside. We did a low-level fly-past to make sure, and saw Viet Cong running from house to house, under the guns of tanks. Our next pass over the houses was live with rockets, a minigun and M60 fire. As we broke from this pass, an RPG was fired at us, missing us by yards. On the next pass, I noticed we were quite low. A tile from the roof of a house came through the windscreen, missing the pilot and landing in the back of the chopper. It was from the blast of the last rocket. We did several more runs and then went back to the Dat to refuel and re-arm. When we returned, the grunts had entered and cleared the village. All in a day’s work for the Aussie Task Force.

Service No. A613704