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Battle of Long Tan Anniversary

Updated on March 20, 2011

In the late afternoon of 18 August 1966, D Company, 6 RAR, fought for their lives for three hours in pouring rain, amid the mud and shattered trees of the Lon Tan rubber plantation in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam.

Facing an enemy force of some 2500, this company of mostly young National Servicemen, led by a few regulars, called upon all facets of battlefield support for survival. Eighteen Young Australians lost their lives as a result of the battle.

In 1969, on the third anniversary of the battler, during 6 RAR's second tour of duty, the Long Tan Cross was raised at the site of the battle.

At that same site on 15 April 2002, the Vietnamese people unveiled a completely renovated Long Tan Cross Memorial.

Lift off.

Helicopters played a vital role in the Vietnam War. They were used to provide access in thick Jungle and mountainous terrain; As gunships('bushranger') to support ground troops. For the quick transportation of the wounded. As troop carriers('slicks') provided a quick safe mode of transport that was not possible by road convoy.

To move heavy machinery and guns using the big American Sky cranes and chinoooks.

The helicopters used in Vietnam by the Australian Army, RAAF and RAN were the Iroquois and Sioux.

The Tracker Dogs.

Eleven black Labrador dogs were used in Vietnam by the Australian task force as the core of combat tracker teams that were deployed from 1967 until the last Australian combat troops left in late 1971.

Cassius, Janus, Trajan, Julian, Juno, Justin, Caesar, Marcian, Marcus and Milo were arguable the most popular contributors to the Australian War effort in Vietnam. A close attachment formed between animal and handler and having to part with their dogs at the end of their tours was often the hardest thing the dog handlers had to face in Vietnam. Sadly due to Australia's quarantine regulations the dogs could not return home when the tour of duty ended. But they are not forgotten.


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    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 10 years ago from Queensland Australia

      lest we forget