My Vietnam War Diary

Bruce 2

I was conscripted into the Australian Army when I was twenty and served in Vietnam from 1969 – 1970 as a National Serviceman.

Apart from my marriage with my lovely wife Jill and raising our two great kids, David & Cathy, my experience in Vietnam was one of the most significant experiences in  my life. Whilst there, I maintained a diary of my daily activities which I have just published in full. I wanted people to be able to read about an ordinary soldiers life at war.

You can read it (although it may take you some time) by clicking on the links in the menu bar to the left, or here Bruce’s Vietnam War Diary

Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts and views.

4 comments

  1. Samantha Arnold · ·

    did you ever connect and work with anyone in the 161 flight of the Australian Task force that served with the 128 Reconnacance ?
    if you know any of the men in that flight could you list them in your reply if possible cause i know someone that was in that flight and im interested to see if ur diary is able to be linked to his story for a school related interest.
    thank you very much

  2. I’m sorry Samantha, but I can’t help you with this one.

    In Vietnam, we really only had close contact with those in our own unit. Perhaps, unlike other wars, one’s own unit defined the boundaries of our contacts, friendships and support.

    Unless we knew a particular individual from a previous encounter such as recruit training, specialist training or through some other form of contact, there was very little reason to be in touch with those in other uits. We got to know people in our own unit very intimately, but we just had no contact with other units at all.

    Remember that over the time of the war, 50,000 Australians seved in Vietnam. This was a lot of people to ever get to know.

    Sorry if this disappoints you,

    Bruce

  3. Bruce Cameron · ·

    Hi Bruce,

    As someone writing a book on Vietnam (the history of Australian tank operations) I can say that your diary is one of the few which has survived. The Australian War Memorial would be very interested in holding it in their collection if you were inclined to donate. (You can put all sorts of caveats on copyright etc.) You can see the extent of their holdings at http://www.awm.gov.au ,then go to: collections database, then: collections search. If you type in ‘diary’ this should provide some idea (ie. not many)…though they’ve got an enormous photo collection and other holdings.

    From my perspective, I was interested to read of your efforts to gather PSP in 14 Dec 69. The circumstances in which the tanks became bogged make a story in themselves. Anyway, if you would like to speak to someone from the AWM…let me know and I’ll get the appropriate person to contact you.

    Regards, Bruce Cameron

  4. Bruce Cameron,

    I appreciate, and agree with, your view that my diary should be held in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. I did donate it in the early 1990’s, along with a copy of all the letters that I wrote home to my parents. You will find it in the The AWM’s collection ID No. PR00064 where 135 individual items of mine can be located.

    My diary on this site has been compiled from a combination of that diary and those original letters.

    Bruce (Wilson)