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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 April, 2005, 01:25 GMT 02:25 UK
In pictures: A year in Vietnam
A Vietnamese mother and daughter come out of their shelter
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The war in Vietnam was the first "television war" where events were seen worldwide within 24 hours. These pictures are by Fred Adler, a cameraman covering the war with the Royal Australian Air Force.
Australian soldiers in Vietnam
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The American war in Vietnam drew journalists from around the world and Australia was no exception. With nearly 60,000 Australian soldiers serving in Vietnam the appetite for news was as acute as that in the US.
Australian APC in Vietnam
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Fred Adler was a cameraman for the Australian Broadcasting Commission when he saw an advertisement in a Melbourne newspaper that offered "numerous advantages" to anyone willing to work as a cameraman in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in Vietnam.
RAAF helicopter pilot
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Wanting to leave the country for personal reasons Adler says "the advertisement was made for me." After many exams and physical tests, including establishing his political view on the conflict, he was fitted with combat gear and packed off to 'Nam.
Troops in the Mekong Delta
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This was not the first conflict Adler had covered; indeed his main problem was not how to survive the war, but finding ways to dodge the military police who kept fining him for wearing his cap backwards, not for fashion reasons, just practical ones.
RAAF over Vietnam
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Adler's day began with a briefing on the events of the previous night and with his commanding officer they would decide what to film. With a helicopter at their disposal getting around was not an issue.
Recovering a downed helicopter
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"Each day was different" says Adler, "a training operation for South Vietnamese soldiers, a helicopter retrieval operation...
Medical aid provided by the Australian Army to a village in Vietnam
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...a medical evacuation or covering the work of doctors in remote villages." This was a guerrilla war without any frontlines where reporters were permitted to roam freely.
Street scene
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At times it was quiet and you could turn your attention to everyday life, but not always.
Clearing the canal system
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One tough assignment was a joint operation with US forces. The task was to remove obstacles placed in the canals by the Viet Cong to disrupt supply lines. The countryside was unforgiving and with the threat of ambush made for a tense time.
Vang Tau Airbase
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By late afternoon a Hercules aircraft would take their film to Canberra for distribution by the RAAF to television stations worldwide.
Entertainment for the troops
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It wasn't all work - a few times a month the entertainers would visit the base in Vang Tau. Upcoming stars would visit the troops, and there were social events for troops who were eager to enjoy their free time.




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