Tribute to Lloyd Schmidt, AATTV
Message below from Fred Gebbett AATTV who was one of the Cpls (Bdr) under the leadership of Lloyd Schmidt (who passed away on 12th December 2009). Lloyd Schmidt was Team Leader of MATT 8 located at Xuyen Moc, Phuoc Tuy Province.
Unfortunately Fred is unable to attend the funeral of Lloyd on Friday, 18th December 2009 but it is a fitting tribute to his fellow Team member.
Take care and Persevere,
I was quite taken back on Monday, on receiving the news of Lloyd passing away. Before receiving the news, I had said to my wife (Rhonda) that I had better phone Lloyd tonight. Rhonda had just posted him a Christmas Card that day.
I am sorry that I am not here to-day to say farewell to you Lloyd a friend and a soldier. Lloyd was that to me. He was a person I would look up to as a son does to his father.
I first met Lloyd as a Bombardier, at the age of 20. He was to be my MATT Team Leader at Xuyen Moc.
There was no existing MATT Team at Xuyen Moc
and the powers to be decided to establish one there, quite isolated from
the other MATT Teams and the Australian Task Force. Lloyd was put in charge
to establish that team (MATT 8). A team was established, and it consisted
of another Warrant Officer (Mal Roberts) and four Corporals (Kevin Mc Millan,
Dennis Quick, Billy Belcher and myself) where the team was to build rapport
with the village people, train the South Vietnamese Forces and give and
supply them with any support required within reason. This meant going on
patrols, that could be from one day to up to four days on end, (Ambushes
were also thrown in to make it a bit more exciting) with either one of
the two (RF) Regional Forces Companies or with the Peoples Self Defence
Force (PSDF). Blockades were also performed.
It was a well known area for VC activities. A day before Lloyd and Mal arrived at Xuyen Moc, the VC had the Village Security Chief head on display on a pole in the Village Square. I wonder what thoughts were going through Lloyds and Mals heads. Lloyd being the Matt Team Leader, I believe that is when it hit home to what lay ahead and the responsibilities he had.
One of the responsibilities was of looking after his team members. Taking into account the safety of his team members, as a result, a compound was designed to be overseen by Lloyd and Mal that could hold off a reasonable strong force, (a compound that did not contain any South Vietnamese Forces, the only one of its kind, I believe). We were self-reliant.
Kevin and I often talk and wonder why, the
compound was never over-ran. We put it down to the guidance, the rapport
that was built up by Lloyd and Mal with the villagers, the leadership they
both had, showed and shared with the Matt Team. I thank Lloyd and Mal for
me being here to-day and I am sure that the other MATT 8 Corporals would
I had not seen or had spoken to Lloyd since 1971, until last year when Lloyd, Kevin and myself marched in the ANZAC Parade at Canberra, under the Australian Army Training Team Viet Nam banner. An event that I was proud of, because we were marching with our MATT 8 Team Leader.
Farewell to you Lloyd a Soldier and a Friend.
Photo courtesy of Fred Gebbett:
Fred Gebbett march with AATTV Association ACT Branch in Canberra in 2008. All, Lloyd Schmidt and Kevin McMillan getting ready for the
former members of MATT 8, Xuyen Moc, Phuoc Tuy Province.
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