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James Crossan

James Crossan migrated to Australia as a soldier. He viewed the detonation of nuclear bombs during World War II and served in the Vietnam war. He was a driver for members of Parliament during his career.

The battalions were running short of ammunition. And there was nothing coming in because the ships had been held up. So we had to give half our ammunition to the battalions – we had received a signal to this effect. So that reduced my stock of ammunition for a start and then you test-fire your weapon every day, your ammunition is going down and down. We put a fire support base in an old French plantation and as I was coming back out again, I came into a clearing and the armoured personnel carrier that was escorting us, suddenly got hit by rocket, right in front of me this thing was. It was just this brilliant white flash and a bang, and it was a phosphorous flash and it totally melted his driving wheel, which was made of aluminium. Totally melted it, the thing just fused in a big aluminium blob. So he came to a screaming halt, couldn't go anywhere. So I disbursed my vehicles, got the drivers to take up defensive positions and we could hear the enemy talking in the jungle round about us. And as I moved around my sections, each Corporal would say, ‘they're right in front of me.’ And I'd worked out we were totally surrounded. They had us completely surrounded.

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