A US 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer at Fire Support Base Coral
howitzersRoyal Australian Regiment (RAR)
Gunner Fred Bowden, Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery, 12th Field Regiment, astride a US 155mm self-propelled howitzer at Fire Support Base Coral, 1968. Some US artillery was seconded to the Australians at Coral. [Image courtesy of Fred Bowden] We were all overwhelmed by the sheer size of the American effort. We had an army of 35,000, we had no idea that that’s the size of just one of their manoeuvre units! They would do tremendous feats of logistics, like they actually made the highway from Vung Tau to the main road of Saigon. They had flotillas of machine that just laid down asphalt on basically sand, you know, and did it well. They had squadrons of boats coming over with goods. They had whole supermarkets dotted around the country that held stationery items and hygiene equipment and stuff that units need to operate, and you wouldn’t need to sign for anything. You’d just walk through with a shopping trolley and take what you needed. Of course most Australians would sign ‘E. Kelly’ and the bills never, ever got back to Canberra… The effort and the logistics were just incredible and a day didn’t go by that we weren’t gobsmacked by yet another American excess.
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Original version: Collection with various creators donated by Bernie Weisz; Archival digital version: SLCC Digital Archives. CREATIVE COMMONS Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License.
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