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

It lay southeast of the Horseshoe
A long ribbon of green
Its colour was more inviting than any
Other we could see

It stretched from Xuyen Moc in the east
To Dat Do in the west
Used by the enemy as a highway
And a good place for him to rest

From a distance it looked fresh and thick
A good place for one to hide
And indeed the past has told us
Of the forces who used this countryside

First there was the village guerrilla
A night time warrior it would seem
Sabotage terrorism intelligence and a guide
For the provincial and regular teams

The provincial forces were much better
Well trained equipped and armed
D445 Mobile Battalion was elusive relentless
And their courage caused much alarm

There were the regular forces
Regiments of the Viet Cong
274 and 275 with their latest gear and Chinese weapons
They thought they could do no wrong

The Long Green was their staging camp
For munitions food and other supplies
They could come and go along their north-eastern trail
Or to the west where the Mekong lies

Bunkers and tunnels caches and camps
The Long Green had kept them concealed
And then the Australian Task Force came and fought
And all was revealed

Although they had destroyed everything
The enemy had built
D445 was persistent in using the Long Green
But no more to the hilt

By the time of 1969 small elements were known
To come and go into Dat Do
And the patrols that were sent couldn’t find them
To deal their deadly blow

The Long Green kept its lustre
And the legends began to grow
It will always be the place of the enemy
Tread softly if you had to go

Its lustre turned to gloom when you
Patrolled its boundaries
And the extreme weather day and night
Only added to its mystery

It was as if the Long Green held regret
For what the ATF had done
The pleasure and company it held before
We came with our bombs and guns

And what of the Frenchman who roamed
Two pearl handle colts at his side
Maybe he was the ghostly protector
The Long Green had to hide

But I will always remember the Long Green
As I saw it that first day
Standing on the Horseshoe
Gazing out towards the bay

There was this ribbon of green
That stood above the rest
Its luscious green glistening taunting
Enter at your regret

Reference: 

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 Not to be published or reproduced without the permission of the copyright holder.

How to cite this page: 'The Long Green - Poem', URL: http://www.vietnamwar.govt.nz/memory/the-long-green, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 5-Sep-2013