The story of a young Australian anaesthetist's service in the Vietnam War - a year filled with experiences. Marshall Barr prefaces his Vietnam memories with his account of growing up in Brisbane during the Pacific war, his pre-war training and last minute flings, the shock of his first experience of a foreign land and a war zone. In recalling his tour of duty, he is uncompromisingly honest about the use of alcohol as a refuge, the search for female companionship and the friendships which preserved his sanity. During his tour, Major Barr spent time with the Australian Task Force at Nui Dat, with Civilian Teams at Long Xuyen and Bien Hoa, and with American units in Saigon and Tay Ninh. He was based at 8 Field Ambulance, later 1 Australian Field Hospital, and the work there is graphically described - the techniques of resuscitation, surgery and evacuation of the Australian wounded, the back-up service by US hospitals, the arrival of the first Australian nurses, the dedicated work of the young medics and the chaos caused by the Tet offensive. Based on the author's personal diary, the events retain an immediacy which is complemented by reflections matured over the three decades since that eventful year. Life-saving dramas, death, danger, mateship, love and humour all leap from the pages.