The first New Zealand infantrymen to fight in the Vietnam war flew into Vung Tau, about 40 miles (60 kms) Southeast of Saigon, on Thursday (11 May) to join a New zealand artillery battery and a medical team.
LV Troops marching towards ceremony site
MV Embassy official in suit with Lt. Col. Smith (on right)
MV Troops line up
MV Maj. Mace being garlanded by girls
MV PAN. Ceremony site
MV Lt. Gen. Tran greets troops
MV Tran greets Mace and salutes
CU Troops march off (2 shots)
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Background: The first New Zealand infantrymen to fight in the Vietnam war flew into Vung Tau, about 40 miles (60 kms) Southeast of Saigon, on Thursday (11 May) to join a New zealand artillery battery and a medical team. The sixty-two men are an advance party of a 200-strong company which will operated from the Australian task force headquarters at Nui Dat.
The troops, who have undergone a rigorous training in guerilla warfare, were given a ceremonial welcome. Among those present to greet them were the commander of New Zealand forces in Vietnam, Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson Smith, and a South Vietnamese army officer, Lieutenant-General Tran Ngoc Tham.
A feminine touch was provided by South Vietnamese girls who were on hand to present the troops with garlands of flowers.
The troops are members of the fifth company, Royal New Zealand Regiment, under the command of Major John Mace.
The New Zealand artillery battery has been in South Vietnam since July 1965, and the medical team since last Sunday.