WO2 K.D. (Des) PRYDE
AATTV 1970-71
                                                                                                WO2 Pryde talking a Chinook into
                                                                                                 position at FSB Sarge.
                                                                                                Photo courtesy of Des Pryde.

WO2 K.D. (Des) Pryde first joined the Army in 1954 as a National Serviceman.  This was followed by several years in the reserves firstly Artillery and then Infantry.  He transferred to the regular army in PNG in 1965. Units include PNGVR, PIR, 1RTB (twice), 9RQR, 31RQR and DSU Townsville.  WO2 Pryde was discharged in 1985.

During his time with AATTV,  he spent the whole year as a regimental advisor with 2nd ARVN Regiment.  Firstly with 4th Battalion as advisor, deputy senior advisor and senior advisor.

Like Barry Long - AATTV, he was unable to go into Laos during Lam Son 719 but accompanied the unit to Khe Sanh and the stayed with the combined units rear communications.   After the disastrous collapse due to the failure of the re-supply system, he assisted with the evacuation of surviving units and individuals.

                           Like soldiers all over the world,  soldiers of 4th Bn 2ARVN await the lift from Khe Sanh into Laos at the beginning
                           of Lam Son 719.  Photo courtesy of Des Pryde.

                             Combined HQ area Khe Sanh Lam Son 719 (Prior to later artillery shelling). Photo supplied by Des Pryde.

In an overgrown coffee plantation at Khe Sanh the night before 4Bn 2ARVN was inserted into Laos during Lam Son 719. The officer with the portable radio is Tieu Ta (Maj) Thuan the Bn Comd, on his right is Tieu Uy (2Lt) Toan, Intelligence officer.  Far left , Lt Khoa, HQ Coy Comd, far right WO2 Des Pryde, facing away Dai Uy (Capt) Thoi Bn XO and light CP Comd.  Two weeks later Tieu Ta Thuan had been captured, Dai Uy Thoi and HQ Coy comd were dead and Tieu Uy Toan led a small group of survivors clear of the battleground and was picked up by a US helicopter. Photo courtesy of Des Pryde

4th Bn 2nd ARVN went into Laos with 405 fit troops and at the end of the operation had 85 fit men, 140 wounded and 180 killed or captured.

The battalion was rebuilt with troops dragged from safe billets in Saigon and other relatively safe areas and after a period at a National Training Centre were back into the war and Lam Son 720.

During Lam Son 720,  FSB Fuller was captured by the NVA and the task of retaking it fell to 2nd ARVN.  During this action the Bn of 2nd ARVN that Barry Long advised,  encountered strong NVA resistance and he controlled more air strikes in one day than most of us did in 3 months.

Footnote:  Following was received from Tran Do Cam Editor, Doan Ket Magazine, Austin, Texas USA on 21st June 2001.

Capt. Thoi is still alive! Please update your caption. After the 2nd Inf. Regt captured Tchepone during Lam
Son 719, Capt. Thoi was promoted at the battlefield to Major. Unfortunately, during the withdrawal phase, he
was CAPTURED by the NVA. After being in NVA prison for more than 10 years, he was released and later
immigrated to US. Now, he is living peacefully with his family in Pennsylvania.

I knew this information is true and accurate because I've have interviewed him recently to write some
articles regarding Lam Son 719. In the interview, he has mentioned the Australian Advisor, probably you Mr.
Des Pryde!

Hope this Email will make your day. Thanks for giving us your helping hands during VN war.

Tran Do Cam
Editor, Doan Ket Magazine
Austin, Texas U.S.A.

                                              Capt later Maj Thoi (in cam gear) with his older brother in California 1997. He was
                                                captured in Laos and spent 10 years in prisoner of war and labour camps.  After his
                                                release in Saigon he escaped by boat to Malaysia and later migrated to the US.  He is
                                                living in Pennsylvania with wife and daughter.
                                              (Photo courtesy of Des Pryde)

                                            Lt Toan  (far left), the Bn Int Offr in the photo above at Khe Sanh the night before they went into
                                            Laos. He not only escaped the mess in Laos but when the NVA came south in 73 he was working
                                            at 1 Div HQ and was able to withdraw by sea before Hue fell. He escaped Vietnam completely in
                                            1975, still serving and went by sea to Guam where he was discharged and migrated to the US he
                                            married in the US in 1980 and lives in Texas.  (Photo courtesy of Des Pryde)

                                Mortar pit South side of helipad wreckage and recoilless rifle behind mortar. Photo courtesy of Des Pryde.

After Lam Son 720 the Bn advisors were made part of a Regimental team, advising Regt. HQ staff and assigned to units as required.  At one stage due to absences for one reason or another WO2 Pryde found himself acting as regimental deputy Senior Advisor and for one day acting senior advisor.  The role of the advisor became more focussed on training officers in controlling air and artillery assets instead of controlling those assets on behalf of the Vietnamese.

Before his return home he served with several of the Bns of 2nd ARVN Regt advising in the field and at training centres.

  WO2 Pryde enjoying a bit of sunshine during a

                                                                                              quiet period at FSB Fuller. Photo supplied by
                                                                                              Des Pryde.

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