Poem by Richard Hamon, Whiskey 2 Company 1RNZIR, 1968-1969.

One day in the late afternoon the enemy hit us hard
With no shell scrapes
We hugged the earth fighting furiously
We never gave an inch let alone a yard

White and green tracer filled the air
The enemy was using a heavy machine gun
Rocket propelled grenades bursting all around
They were throwing everything at us trying to make us run

McKenzie our grenadier made good use of his M79
Firing a round every second
He lopped them over the trees in front of us
He must have got a few, well that's what we reckon

The lull that came gave me time to gather more ammo
The extra each man had to carry
Then it was on for young and old again - more tracer, RPGs
So ferocious the onslaught, it was heavy

We lay flat on the ground trying to dig a hole
For a little bit of cover
No shovels just bayonets - dig, shoot, shoot, dig
We had to hurry before it got rougher

The artillery started shelling thank goodness
We were getting support at last
They pounded the area all around us
The night was rolling in fast

Pine Tree and I lay in a small depression
The hole I tried to dig
We were thankful for all the support we were got
It stopped the enemy their number must have been big

We waited for the enemy to attack again
But alas it did not come
I slowly began to dig while Pine Tree
Lay ready with his gun

We took turns to sleep that night
But with one eye open we were always at the ready
At dusk the next morning we all stood to
Waiting for that strike by the enemy

In the light of day we saw the effort each man made
Trying to dig that hole
Deep ones, shallow ones, wide ones, narrow ones
Trenches all in a crooked row

Dustoff came and took all our wounded home
Thank goodness nobody had died
Much later we were all choppered out
And with great relief we gave a big sigh

Oh how glorious it was to see a dozen or more choppers
Coming to take us back to the Dat
Within seconds of landing we were up and away
Such magnificence with exhaustion we sat

Reference: 

© Richard William Hamon. Not to be published or reproduced without the permission of the copyright holder.

How to cite this page: 'One Day - Poem', URL: http://www.vietnamwar.govt.nz/memory/one-day, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 5-Sep-2013