I finally arrived at Lang Co for my rest day tomorrow, knowing that a days rest will be just what I need to recoup before climbing the Hai Van pass the following day, which is a gruelling 2 hour climb in my lowest possible granny gear before a leisurely cruise downhill to Danang and Hoi An.
The Hai Van Pass is significant in Australia Military history as beyond the tasking of our Australian main task force operating in Phuoc Tuy Province , we had Australian soldiers working with the American Forces in smaller Special Forces roles throughout Vietnam.
The Australian Army Training Team Vietnam ( AATTV ) was one of those units working many posts and regional areas through to the DMZ, Laos and Cambodian birders either in a training role or on operations with mainly US Special Forces Detachments , elements of the South Vietnamese Army ( ARVN) and Montagnards ( Indigenous ) Forces since as early as 1962.
One being Lieutenant Graham Belleville.
54946 Lieutenant ( Temporary Captain ) Graham Rhodes Belleville, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam ( AATTV )
KIA Hai Van Pass ( South Vietnam ) 2nd Feb 1966
It was very close to here ( Lang Co ) on the Hue side of the Hai Van Pass where Lt, Belleville a former Australian SAS army officer serving with the AATTV on detachment traveling in a vehicle convoy with a South Vietnamese Army element when their vehicle convoy came under ambush from a large force of North Vietnamese regular force.
It was in that action that Lt. Graham Belleville was killed in action on 2nd Feb 1966 . On crossing the Hai Pass on the 2nd June 2016 ( in two days time ) just over 50 years since his death , I shall take a moment silence to pay homage to Lt. Belleville, one of our fallen but not forgotten warriors.