Author Topic: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney)  (Read 10799 times)

Offline Mike C

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney)
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2015, 03:46:18 PM »
Diana .... good one, but not good to be giving me yet more ideas .... hmmmmm....  I wonder ..... sub title: 'Sustainment Shipping for Australian Force Vietnam'  by Carzee and Mike C??


Mike

Offline fc101

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney) Cargo
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2015, 06:34:47 PM »
Best photo of VTF vehicle cargo to date!


Noting the the hangar deck is nearly as large as the flight deck there would have been lots of other vehicles stored down there along with lots of equipment and stores and I guess accommodation modules.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 06:52:31 PM by garrycol »

Offline juddy

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney)
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2015, 10:46:43 PM »
Just need a picture of the hanger then? >:(
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Offline Tommy

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney)
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2015, 04:28:52 AM »
Just need a picture of the hanger then? >:(

(Click on photo to increase size)
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 04:30:36 AM by Tommy »

Offline Carzee

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney)
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2015, 11:54:38 PM »
Quote
John Carroll's recent book 'Out of Sight Out of Mind' states Sydney had 25 voyages, the last recorded as November 1972, well after the ground combat forces had left. The 24th voyage he has as Feb 1972. I had this as voyage 23, and the 'RAN In Vietnam' lists that February voyage as Sydney's 22nd!!  From 'proceedings', I counted the Nov 1972 voyage as the 24th .... so go figure!  Obviously more needs to be done to work out the exact number.

It can be accounted for by the fact that Carroll breaks voyage 5 into two voyages: Aust to SVN to Singapore as the 5th voyage, then Singapore to SVN to Sydney as the 6th voyage, whereas everyone else treats this as a single voyage (Aust to Aust - 8 April to 12 May 1967) as per RAN regulations - hence, he totals 25 whereas others  total 24 ..... except the RAN who say 23! Carroll has 5RAR embarking at Vungers on 30 April and disembarking in Sydney on 12 May 1967.

Most of the "VTF" voyages are straightforward when summing up the total of voyages to South Vietnam in support of the Australian Task Force in South Vietnam. But others are not so straightforward.

Quote
"HMAS Sydney was initially used for training and a single supply run in support of Malaysia's defence policy against Indonesia, but in 1965, she sailed on the first voyage to Vũng Tu, transporting soldiers and equipment to serve in the Vietnam War. 25 voyages to Vietnam were made between 1965 and 1972, earning the ship the nickname "Vung Tau Ferry"." (Wikipaedia)

Captions on some RAN photos in the AWM collection say 24 voyages. eg:
Quote
"During the Vietnam War, HMAS Sydney visited Vietnam on 24 occasions, transporting troops and equipment. She became affectionately known as the 'Vung Tau Ferry'." http://www.awm.gov.au/view/collection/item/NAVYM0621/20/

Here's a go at explaining the variety of totals mentioned in a variety of places regarding the passages of the "Vung Tau Ferry". As far as I can ascertain there are three HMAS Sydney voyages to Vung Tau that can be interpreted in different ways and contribute to the different totals:

(1) 20apr67 departed Vung Tau to go to Singapore then directly return to Vung Tau 30apr67. (So not a bona fide RTA passage.)

(2) mar71 passage from Adelaide to Vung Tau and return to Australia with a non-military cargo. It was Aid cargo arranged by the Dept of Foreign Affairs and the Australian Embassy Cambodia and the only part associated with the Australian Army was to help with the unloading at Vung Tau's pre-fab pier. (So this one is not a passage to Vung Tau "...transporting Australian Troops and Equipment".)

(3) nov71 passage from Australia to Vung Tau with a load of "Defence Equipment" and "Foreign Aid Supplies" and then off to Hong Kong and other RAN duties. Australian forces had not been in Vung Tau since the 1ATF and 1ALSG withdrawal was completed on 29feb72. (So this one is also not a passage to Vung Tau "...transporting Australian Troops and Equipment".)
I think that helps. But other info may further muddle the numbers.
I have modified my spreadsheet voyage count to reflect those 3 "extra" voyages.
It's possible to interpret that from the view of 1ATF there were 22 voyages but from the RAN point of view there were 25 voyages...
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 12:22:00 AM by Carzee »

Offline Carzee

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney)
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2015, 12:31:17 PM »
Here's a good one (which can be magnified on the AWM website link) and its from 27may65; 1RAR embarking.

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/FOR/65/0060/EC/


"Garden Island, NSW. 27 May 1965. Troops of 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), wait on Fitting Out wharf to board HMAS Sydney as it comes alongside. The troopship was loaded and ready to sail to South Vietnam during the night." [It departed at 0139hrs] A News blackout was in place. On this first voyage to SVN, HMAS Sydney was accompanied by RAN assets Duchess, Melbourne, Vampire, Parramatta, Supply (tkr) and RAAF surveillance as well. Perhaps there was a submarine presence somewhere in the story as well.

....
Up thread there was a post about the possibility of unknown or unseen vehicle cargo below the flight deck. I have looked over all the Stowage Plans at the AWM (for Sydney, Jeparit, others). The Stowage Plans are prepared by the RAN before the berthing of the ship as an SOP. On the diagram of the flight deck it lists the ARNs and vehicle make in nearly all cases (which is why I was looking at them carefully). Even if there is no ARN (such as a Red Cross vehicle) the vehicle is clearly noted as having no ARN. The Stowage Plan is sorted by a RAN officer or two (I assume) because its giving thought to the ship balance and superstructure stresses. I cannot recall seeing vehicles listed below decks on any off the plans.

Offline fc101

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney)
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2015, 01:52:51 PM »
Carzee re the hangar deck cargo I am sure your research is correct and in some respects makes sense but in others not quite so.  Clearly the vehicles could sustain bad weather better than pallets of breakfast soggies but the vehicles would have still been quite vulnerable.

I have been on Sydney's sister ship Melbourne when there were 6' foot high waves rolling down the flight deck and had it happened on Sydney on a VT run would have caused a few problems.  Certainly Sydney had aircraft washed overboard when she was still an aircraft carrier in bad weather in the Korean War.

Great research which I have followed with interest.  Has it shown up any issues with vehicles being washed overboard in heavy weather.  Deck cargo on merchant ships in many respects is protected by the raised bow but in carriers with the flight deck the same height as the top of the bow, waves tend to roll down the deck in heavy weather.

Cheers

Garry

Offline Carzee

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney)
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2015, 02:15:23 PM »
Its interesting that we only have a few bad weather damage or similar documented notes from 2AOD Vung Tau amongst all the documents for the VTF and the Jeparit too. One memorable one was water damage to the insides of a Cent as the turret leaked. Others in another thread mention some vehicels were not prepped for the voyage as per SOP and needed replacement parts on misc items such as indicator lenses as I recall.

It was a lot of freight and a lot of ocean miles when you look at 1965-1972 in summary. Its a wonder there wasn't more L & D.

I do have a copy of the post-SVN-task Logistic Study somewhere here at home. Had it 20 years. I wonder if L & D even rates a mention.

See the other thread hereabouts regarding HMAS Sydney and 1ATF: http://remlr.com/forum/index.php?topic=206.0
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 02:44:39 PM by Carzee »

Offline DennisM

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney)
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2015, 05:26:10 PM »
'Chloe' 112-501 is amongst that lot somewhere cheers Dennis :)

Offline Carzee

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney)
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2015, 06:41:32 PM »
'Chloe' 112-501 is amongst that lot somewhere cheers Dennis :)

That's 50 years ago (in around ten weeks or so)! The ship sailed to South Vietnam on the night of 27 May 1965.
Chloe was probably in top nick - 2 years old back then. Then she got soaked in sea spray on the deck of the VTF for 10 days or so...

All the anniversaries..
The ROPs of the VTF mention that 120 RAN crew from HMAS Sydney (berthed at Garden Is) took part in Commemoration Services for the 50th Anniversary of the ANZAC Landings (25 April 1965).

And now we're seeing the run up toward the 100th Anniversary of the ANZAC landings next month.

There's something about all these Anniversaries that prompt certain things that need doing: plaques, monuments, books, gifts, etc.

Which leads me to this: Major-General Ferguson (retired) has made an appeal to bring home some of our War Dead buried in Malaya: "The Terendak Garrison Cemetery is deteriorating and for security reasons is exceptionally difficult to access". (quoted from the article in the Dec 2014 issue of Official Journal Of The Vietnam veterans Association Of Australia). Terendak is not a Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and not in good condition. Twenty-four Australian servicemen are buried there, including Mjr Peter Badcoe VC.

On a personal note, one of the others buried there is Pte. Chris Clark (KIA at Op. Crimp, 8 January 1966). 50 years since that last leave and an Easter egg hunt.

Wouldn't that be a great gesture, to be brought home after 50 years.

Offline GGG

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney)
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2015, 07:37:07 PM »
I know nothing about Sydney but vehicles were RTA below decks on Jeparit in Dec 70. I seem to remember a vehicle in amongst the pallets of liquid refreshment for the trip back. There were a lot of vehicles on the hatch covers. A very polite Leading Seaman apologised for re lashing them after we had finished. "No offence but I have chased trucks around the deck in a storm before and I don't want to do it again."
As for L & D I would suggest that a bit of that happened whilst the ship was alongside in Sydney but one shouldn't tell tales.
Geoff.

Offline Mike C

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney)
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2015, 01:19:52 AM »
Yes, Jeparit routinely carried vehicles below decks as well as on the main deck & hatches.

On a slightly different note, I see the Army Newspaper has recently published a 'special' about the M113A1 APC, written by Bill Houston and Paul Handel. Doesn't break any new ground, but some interesting 'facts' emerge, including that five (5) M113A1 APCs went to Vietnam on that first voyage that left Oz on 27 May. The authors clearly didn't take a look at this thread and count the number on the deck of Sydney for that first voyage.

Can't say I always get it right, either, but I think in this case, the facts are well known, so some disappointing errors. 

Mike


Offline AGAS 5

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney) 112-501 being unloaded.
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2015, 09:03:49 PM »
'Chloe' 112-501 is amongst that lot somewhere cheers Dennis :)

Hey Dennis, have you seen this AWM video:

112-501 is being unloaded at 06:02:53:20

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/F10736/

Screenshot is attached.

Cheers.
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Offline AGAS 5

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney)
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2015, 02:59:24 PM »
lol  I found the answer myself  ::)

http://remlr.com/forum/index.php?topic=1496.0

Nice one Stuart  :)
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Offline DennisM

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Re: Vung Tau Ferry (HMAS Sydney)
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2015, 04:09:27 PM »
As you have said LOL, Stuart found it some time ago, cheers Dennis