Extract from interview with Carol Dawber, 18 March 2008
Reproduced with permission of Robert Upton
I'd lost a hell of a lot of weight, was run down. The tension's there all the time. You never knew – tomorrow might be the last - if not for you, for somebody else. So you started looking forward to it. You even got to the stage where you'd think, Bugger it, it's 3 o'clock. Let's stop for the day, rather than go on for a little bit longer.
I can remember getting quite close to the end of the tour we got a, got some intelligence that came and told us that there was a large group of enemy, allegedly enemy located at a particular location, and we were to go and check it out. Nobody was the slightest bit interested in going and checking it out, I must say. And so, and this again was Evan [Torrence] – I had a good Company commander – and really it probably only should have been a platoon go down. We got ordered to go and do this, and that's ultimately what we were – we made every excuse: we were too far away, we needed a re-supply of rations – things that wouldn't have worried us, we would have just gone on. If you didn't get re-supplied today, you got re-supplied tomorrow, and you always had enough, spare [can?] lying around in the bottom of your bag to get through to the next morning. A packet of cigarettes if there was nothing to eat.
And Evan said, he brought the whole company together, and we went up there as a company, so you always felt that it was so much better because everybody was there. And nobody – we knew there was nobody in the province that could take on a company, or take on our company, and have any chance, sort of thing. We went up very, very, very, very cautiously, incredibly cautious
Vietnam War Oral History Project, Manatu Taonga Ministry for Culture & Heritage