Extract from an interview with Claire Hall, 20 & 23 November 2008
Reproduced with permission of Frank Wydur
The VC had opened up on them, there had been a bit of a contact. Apparently they had wounded one of the VC and the rest had scarpered, but they were following one guy who had actually picked up the wounded bloke and was carrying him. And we must have been right on his trail because we came to a sandy area, that had been a dry river bed and the track was that fresh you could see the moisture in the sand, so the bloke was obviously only a half a minute, or a minute ahead of us but the jungle, there was quite a big thick dense part of jungle ahead of us where he'd gone.
Anyway, I was right behind a tracking team. Ben Morunga and that were just, almost beside me and we followed the track into the jungle, it sort of did a right turn and then there was this dead straight stretch - like a road right in the middle of the jungle. I mean right out of the jungle out of sight. But it would have been as wide as the road outside here. Dead straight for about 300 yards - a perfect killing zone. And of course as soon as we walked into it, because I was right behind a tracking team, we all just stopped out and looked at each other, ‘Uh Oh' and we backed out. And that's when the VC opened up. You could see the leaves coming down off the trees because the bullets were going over the top. We had three companies of Yanks behind us and of course they all opened up because the bullets that were going past us were going their way. So we ended up in bit of a cross-fire.
Interview extract from Memories of West Auckland at War exhibition held at Waitakere Central Library, 12 April - 21 May 2010