This clip looks at the settlement areas, both intact and destroyed by war, in what was then known as Phuoc Tuy Province of South Vietnam.
This clip contains footage of Ba Ria, Dat Do, the destroyed villages of Long Tan and Huoc Long, Binh Ba and Bin Gia. The aerials of Long Tan are particularly poignant for Australians as only a few months earlier the historic Battle of Long Tan had taken place there. 6RAR had defeated the Viet Cong on 18 August 1966. It was a costly battle with 18 Australians killed and 24 wounded, as well as more than 250 Viet Cong estimated to have lost their lives.
The final section of the clip is shot at the fortified village of Bin Gia, site of the 1964 battle between the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), backed by US advisors, and the Viet Cong. Binh Gia was part of the Strategic Hamlet Program, where the rural populace was compelled into identifying with the South Vietnamese government and taking an active counter-insurgent role in the war. Made up predominantly of Catholic Christians who’d fled North Vietnam in 1954, Binh Gia’s priest was reputedly in charge of the village militia. Even by the time this footage was shot, the Strategic Hamlet Program was largely thought to have failed and was being replaced by other policies.