After the Koala Who Bounced was finished, my agent Selwa Anthony put me with a former Australian army major called Sandy MacGregor who won the Military Cross for his exploits in the Vietnam War.
His men in 3 Field Troop were the first to go down the and explore the incredibly complex Viet Cong tunnel systems. The Americans intially just blew them up until Sandy’s guys discovered these underground cities. The name Tunnel Rats rightly belongs, originally, at least, the the men of 3 Field Troop.
The resulting book was called “No Need For Heroes” and it details the adventures of his whole troop. The book was a bit unsatisfactory because I was trying to write in Sandy’s voice while I had found a rip-roaring tale in the “Virgin Soldiers” vein that I wanted to tell in my own way.
The result is a bit bi-polar and Sandy and the guys of 3 Field Troop deserved better. Just as soon as the mainstream here loses it’s paranoia about Vietnam, I might use my notes from all the interviews I did as the basis for a novel. By the way, the cover shown here is for the re-issued version and I designed as a favour for Sandy. I reckon it looks OK. And it was only very recently that I realised I must have subconsciously stolen the tile from the lyrics of the Cold Chisel song Khe San.
I have a few copies of No Need … (with the old cover) available for $25 including postage. Use this Paypal button and we’ll get a copy to you.