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Sydney – Manly Vietnam Veteran’s Day 2010

August 18, 2010

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Manly to host Vietnam Veteran’s Day commemoration – This Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day marks the 43rd Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan

  • Wednesday 18 August 2010 

The Mayor of Manly, Councillor Jean Hay AO, will lead the wreath laying ceremony before members of the Sydney Northern Beaches Sub-Branch of the National Servicemen’s Association at Manly Council’s 2010 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day service starting at 11.00am on Wednesday, 18 August 2010, at the Manly War Memorial, corner of The Corso and Belgrave Street, Manly, directly opposite Manly Ferry Wharf.

This Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day marks the 43rd Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, one of the most famous battles fought by the Australian Army during the Vietnam War.

A welcome and introduction to the commemoration service will be made by Charles Watson W.O. RAAF (Retired) of the Northern Beaches National Servicemen’s

Association, followed by a touching musical performance by young soloist Zoe Elliot and an address by Year 10 High School Students Eloise Griffin and Paul Webster of Manly Selective Campus.

Also present will be Major General Sandy Pearson, Commander First Australian Task Force Vietnam 1968-1969.

Vietnam Veterans Day, originally a day to commemorate the Battle of Long Tan in 1966, has been adopted by all veterans of what was to become Australia’s longest war.

The battle of Long Tan itself was the largest single unit battle fought in Vietnam by Australian troops. It was also the first major conflict involving Australian troops in Vietnam, including National Servicemen.

The battle, involving soldiers of the D and B Companies of 6 Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR), began on the afternoon of 18 August 1966 and continued through the night until the morning of the 19 August.

To honour those who died at Long Tan, 6RAR erected a concrete cross in the rubber plantation where the men of 11th Platoon made their initial stand.

 Other noteworthy battles included the 1st and 3rd Battalions’ involvement in operations “Coral” and “Balmoral” in Bien Hoa  Province in May 1968 where very heavy fighting took place.

By the end of 1969 all nine battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment had served in Vietnam, some battalions doing two tours of duty.

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