Clumsy Communist Plagiarism

The History of the Armed Forces of Châu Duc District (1945-2014), 2014 – is a very professional and glossy publication. It includes several photographs – however some are “mislabelled” – such as below:

“Australian troops recovering the body of a comrade”


That photograph however is a “cropped” copy of the renown US “Agony of War” photograph.  ie of US troops (4th Battalion/503rd Regiment/173d Airborne Brigade) taken on 14 August 1966 by PFC Paul Epley during Operation Toledo south of Gia Ray in Long Khánh Province (vic YS 791932). The “un-cropped” photograph is below:

US “Agony of War” (full photograph) – 173d Airborne Brigade14 August 1966 

Right to left: SP4 Ruediger Richter, PFC Daryl R. Corfman (in the poncho/body-bag), and SGT D.E. Spencer. (see the 173d Airborne Brigade Operation Toledo report at US Defense Technical

Information Centre – Report AD510789).

Note however, that the photograph is correctly captioned by communist historians: as “173d Airborne Brigade” troops in Trần Văn Khánh (et al/đtg) and: Ban Chấp Hành Đảng bộ tỉnh Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu (Executive Committee of the Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Party), Lịch sử Đảng bộ tỉnh Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu 1930 – 1975 (The History of the Party in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province 1930-1975), Nhà Xuất bản Chính trị Quốc gia (National Political Publishing House), Hà Nội, 2000.


 The VC Châu Đức District covered the “western-half”- and some of the north-eastern part, of the Saigon 

Government’s Phước Tuy Province. If readers would like a complimentary copy of the research note: 

“Communist Views of the 1st Australian Task Force (2020, 2023) – 101 pages with maps and photographs, 

email Ernie Chamberlain @ [email protected]. 


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  • Kenneth Ronald Taylor November 17, 2023   Reply →

    What would one expect when dealing with the Losers of all the stoushes they got into with us. Whilst I was visiting Vietnam and the country around Nui Dat with a Guide who had completed a University Degree in Tourism Guidance. He asked me if I had known anyone on the ship that the communist had sunk off Vung Tau, which went to the bottom of a very deep trench and there were no survivors. He informed my friends and myself that the ships name was H.M.A.S. Sydney and that is why we no longer have it. I told him I did not know anyone on board. He was very boastful about the abilities of the Local Vietnamese Military Units and their Great Victories against the Americans and their Allies, stating that the Vietnamese never lost one battle. We had to shut our traps as the driver we had was a card carrying communist worshiper. The Party had assisted him to purchase a new vehicle so he could carry on his work with tourists and reporting back on their movements.

    • Ernest Chamberlain November 18, 2023   Reply →

      Hi Ken, Your comment was quite interesting. A Vietnamese linguist, I have had correspondence over the years with several Vietnamese historians and met with several – and almost all are very respectful. Some “hard-line” Party members however are dismissive of the Australian involvement – but I’ve never come across a tale of HMAS Sydney being sunk being sunk off Vung Tau. Interestingly, the Chau Duc District History does not mention the “Battle of Long Tan” at all. However, the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Party is currently completing a historical review of the war in Phuoc Tuy – noting the necessity of : “formal review of the history of the War published in 1995″ – “as there were “identified aspects that were not uniform and require amendment and supplementation in the account of the Battle of Long Tân.” I expect such will be completed shortly. Their earlier 1995 version of their “Long Tan” incorrectly cites the 274th VC Regiment as the principal VC element at Long Tan – I expect that such will be corrected to the 275th VC Regiment (who are not mentioned). Some Australian writers have also incorrectly cited the 274th as present – but the recovered note book/diary of the 275th Regiment’s quartermaster (recovered in early 1967 by 2 RAR) is perhaps the seminal document on such detail. Best wishes.
      PS. Dr Bob Hall (ex-8RAR Vietnam), ADFA/UNSW has had close contacts with Vietnamese officials on aspects of the War over several years – including the recovery of remains.

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