Battle of Long TŠļßn

Anzac Day: Long Tan remembered [VIDEO]

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This documentary was made by Martin Walsh about the Battle of Long Tan.

I had the pleasure to meet Martin Walsh at the funeral service for Morrie Stanley.

One of those men who fought in the Battle of Long Tan that day was my father in law. He was firstly in the field as an OP and then brought back to man the guns that day as they fought to save the Aussie soldiers.

The Kiwi guns were instru­men­tal in sav­ing 3 pla­toons of D Com­pany of the  6th Bat­tal­ion, Royal Aus­tralian Reg­i­ment (6RAR) and enabling the thrash­ing of a Reg­i­ment of Viet Cong.

Each gun fired over 1200 rounds that day and night in sup¬≠port of the Aussies. The bat¬≠tle was fought in a rub¬≠ber tree plan¬≠ta¬≠tion near the vil¬≠lage of Long Tan, about 40¬†km north-east of Vung Tau, South Viet¬≠nam on August 18‚Äď19, 1966. The bat¬≠tle was fought all after¬≠noon and most of the night in pour¬≠ing mon¬≠soon rain. The guns ran so hot that wet blan¬≠kets were draped over them in an attempt to keep the bar¬≠rels¬†cool.¬† Read more »

A Poem for a Soldier

Further to my earlier post about Harry Honnor, I have received a few emails. Included was the photo below of Harry Honnor at Nui Dat, two days before The Battle of Long Tan.

Harry Honnor at Nui Dat, Vietnam - Supplied

Harry Honnor at Nui Dat, Vietnam – Supplied

Read more »

Yesterday a Hero was farewelled

Harry Honnor

Brig Harry Honnor, CB, MVO

Yesterday while the media and almost the whole of New Zealand watched the funeral of Sir Paul Holmes there was another funeral being held, in Paihia, of a Kiwi war hero, Brig Harry Bowen Honnor, CB, MVO

Shamefully our media have not covered the funeral of a true hero. There are very few images of Harry Honnor, but I found the one in this post of him receiving his Korean Presidential Unit Citation from the Auckland based Consul General for the Republic of Korea, Mr Dae-hee Lee,  in Whangarei on Long Tan Day, 18 August 2011.

My father in law served under Harry Honnor in Vietnam, in the Battle of Long Tan.

The Veteran blogs about it at No Minister:

We said good bye to Harry Honnor on a magic BoI day at Paihia yesterday.¬†¬† The service was held at the beautiful old stone St Paul’s Anglican Church on Marsden Road just¬†across from the beach.¬†¬† He was farewelled with full military honours which brought Paihia to a standstill and something different to the many hundreds of tourists who witnessed the event.

Brigadier Harry Bowen Honnor will be remembered with affection by generations who served in the¬†1940′s, 50′s, 60′s and 70′s as a soldiers soldier, a tough but much respected commander and an icon of the Paihia community where he made his home following his retirement in 1983.¬† Read more »

Battle of Long Tan Day

Yesterday was the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, One day I am going to visit the Long Tan Cross:

In 1966:

The¬†Battle of Long Tan¬†was fought between the¬†Australian Army and¬†Viet Cong forces in a rubber plantation near the village of¬†Long TŠļßn, about 27 kilometres (17¬†mi) north east of¬†Vung Tau,¬†South Vietnam. The action occurred when D¬†Company of the¬†6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment¬†(6RAR), part of the¬†1st Australian Task Force¬†(1 ATF), encountered the¬†Viet Cong (VC)¬†275 Regiment¬†and elements of the¬†D445 Local Forces Battalion. D Company was supported by other Australian units, as well as New Zealand and United States artillery.

During the battle the company from 6RAR, despite being heavily outnumbered, fought off a large enemy assault of regimental strength. 18 Australians were killed and 24 wounded, while at least 245 Viet Cong were killed. It was a decisive Australian victory and is often cited as an example of the importance of combining and coordinating infantry, artillery, armour and military aviation. The battle had considerable tactical implications as well, being significant in allowing the Australians to gain dominance over Ph∆įŠĽõc Tuy province, and although there were a number of other large-scale encounters in later years, 1ATF was not fundamentally challenged again.

The battle has since achieved similar symbolic significance for the Australian military in the Vietnam War as battles such as the Gallipoli Campaign have for the First World War, the Kokoda Track Campaign for the Second World War and the Battle of Kapyong for the Korean War.

One of those men who fought in the Battle of Long Tan that day was my father in law. He was firstly in the field as an OP and then brought back to man the guns that day as they fought to save the Aussie soldiers.

The Kiwi guns were instru­men­tal in sav­ing 3 pla­toons of D Com­pany of the  6th Bat­tal­ion, Royal Aus­tralian Reg­i­ment (6RAR) and enabling the thrash­ing of a Reg­i­ment of Viet Cong.

Each gun fired over 1200 rounds that day and night in sup¬≠port of the Aussies. The bat¬≠tle was fought in a rub¬≠ber tree plan¬≠ta¬≠tion near the vil¬≠lage of Long Tan, about 40¬†km north-east of Vung Tau, South Viet¬≠nam on August 18‚Äď19, 1966. The bat¬≠tle was fought all after¬≠noon and most of the night in pour¬≠ing mon¬≠soon rain. The guns ran so hot that wet blan¬≠kets were draped over them in an attempt to keep the bar¬≠rels¬†cool.

Last year another veteran of this battle Major Morrie Stanley sadly passed away. Our news media at the time barely covered it but the Aussie media did. They know what these guys did to save their boys and they well remember it.

This post is to remember their service.

There is an online documentary about the Battle of Long Tan [embedded below]. It is superb and well worth spending the time watching.

Battle of Long Tan Day

On this day in 1966:

The¬†Battle of Long Tan was fought between the¬†Australian Army and¬†Viet Cong forces in a rubber plantation near the village of¬†Long TŠļßn, about 27 kilometres (17¬†mi) north east of¬†Vung Tau,¬†South Vietnam. The action occurred when D¬†Company of the¬†6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), part of the¬†1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF), encountered the¬†Viet Cong (VC)¬†275 Regiment and elements of the¬†D445 Local Forces Battalion. D Company was supported by other Australian units, as well as New Zealand and United States artillery.

During the battle the company from 6RAR, despite being heavily outnumbered, fought off a large enemy assault of regimental strength. 18 Australians were killed and 24 wounded, while at least 245 Viet Cong were killed. It was a decisive Australian victory and is often cited as an example of the importance of combining and coordinating infantry, artillery, armour and military aviation. The battle had considerable tactical implications as well, being significant in allowing the Australians to gain dominance over Ph∆įŠĽõc Tuy province, and although there were a number of other large-scale encounters in later years, 1ATF was not fundamentally challenged again.

The battle has since achieved similar symbolic significance for the Australian military in the Vietnam War as battles such as the Gallipoli Campaign have for the First World War, the Kokoda Track Campaign for the Second World War and the Battle of Kapyong for the Korean War.

One of those men who fought in the Battle of Long Tan that day was my father in law. He was firstly in the field as an Op and then brought back to man the guns that day as they fought to save the Aussie soldiers.

The Kiwi guns were instru­men­tal in sav­ing 3 pla­toons of D Com­pany of the  6th Bat­tal­ion, Royal Aus­tralian Reg­i­ment (6RAR) and enabling the thrash­ing of a Reg­i­ment of Viet Cong.

Each gun fired over 1200 rounds that day and night in sup¬≠port of the Aussies. The bat¬≠tle was fought in a rub¬≠ber tree plan¬≠ta¬≠tion near the vil¬≠lage of Long Tan, about 40¬†km north-east of Vung Tau, South Viet¬≠nam on August 18‚Äď19, 1966. The bat¬≠tle was fought all after¬≠noon and most of the night in pour¬≠ing mon¬≠soon rain. The guns ran so hot that wet blan¬≠kets were draped over them in an attempt to keep the bar¬≠rels¬†cool.

Last year another veteran of this battle Major Morrie Stanley sadly passed away. Our news media at the time barely covered it nut the Aussie media did. They know what these guys did to save their boys and they well remember it.

Today is the day I remember their service.

There is an online documentary about the Battle of Long Tan [embedded below]. It is superb and well worth spending the time watching.

The Battle of Long Tan Documentary from Red Dune Films on Vimeo.

Haka for Morrie Stanley

Here is the Haka performed by members of 16 Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery at the funeral of Long Tan veteran Major Morrie Stanley, MBE in Auckland on Wednesday 22 September 2010.

Morrie was the Forward (Artillery) Observation Officer (FOO) attached to D Company, 6RAR during the Battle of Long Tan.

Prime Ministers Letters for Morrie Stanley

Here are the letters from Julia Gillard and John Key that were read at Morrie Stanley’s funeral.

Major Morrie Stanley MBE

and

Letter for Morrie Stanley’s Funeral

RIP – Major Morrie Stanley

After a short battle with cancer, Morrie Stanley passed away peacefully at his home in Campbells Bay, New Zealand today on 16th September 2010. Morrie is survived by his wife Alva and two sons.

Morrie Stanley was a Captain at the Battle of Long Tan, and my father in law was a gunner who helped send those 3500+ rounds out to help save the 6RAR troops.

18 August 1966, South Vietnam – for more than three and a half hours, in the pouring rain amid the shattered trees of a rubber plantation called Long Tan, Morrie Stanley radioed in more than 61 artillery fire missions and corrections in support of the 108 besieged soldiers of D Company 6RAR. Unable to see in the rain and murk exactly where the 3,500+ rounds of high explosive rounds were falling, working entirely by radio communication with the forward platoons and the artillery units back at Nui Dat, from a folded map held in his hand, constantly wiping off the mud and running rainwater, this New Zealand officer was calling in every ounce of his experience and training. His M16 rifle lay unattended next to him in the water despite the repeated reminders of his radio operator, fellow New Zealander Willy Walker to keep it in his hand.

Many, including the Long Tan veterans and military historians credit the skill, professionalism and gallantry of Morrie Stanley in keeping much of the enemy at bay whilst the front lines soldiers fought off the foremost attacking waves of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers. At critical points during the battle Morrie was directing artillery to within 50 metres of the Australian front line positions.

The Artillery being controlled and directed by Morrie in support of D Company during the battle comprised eighteen 105mm howitzers from 161 Field Battery (New Zealand), 103 Field Battery (Australia), 105 Field Battery (Australia) and six 155mm M109 self-propelled howitzers from 2/35th Howitzer Battalion (US Army).

103 Australians and 3 New Zealander’s fought and defeated 2,500 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers in a rubber plantation called Long Tan. 18 Australians were killed and 21 wounded with more than 500 enemy killed and 1,000+ enemy wounded.

A true hero. Rest in peace.

Run him out of town

This man is a disgrace. He should be tar and feathered and made to live…well….anywhere but near real soldiers.

Gordon Tisdell is a broken man. For a decade he has been the public face of Anzac and Remembrance Days. His photograph has run in Life magazine; in the Australian, where he claimed to be a Vietnam veteran; in the Herald, as a survivor of Long Tan.

In 2006, his portrait was among the finalists in the Olive Cotton Award. It was titled Shadow of Remembrance.

The problem is, Tisdell never served in Vietnam, or any other war. His name is nowhere on the nominal roll. When the 6 RAR was in a pitched battled against the Viet Cong, he was on a dairy farm outside Gloucester.

My FIL was in the Battle of Long Tan, I take this bloody personally.

‘We can do without pricks the like of Gordon Tisdell,” the acting secretary of the 6 RAR Association and a veteran of Long Tan, Graham Smith, said yesterday. ”By doing these things he robs the honour from people who are quite happy to be understated. They are impostors of the lowest order. It’s like stealing someone’s identity.”

Too bloody right. Nothing is good enough for this imposter.

The Herald tracked Mr Tisdell to his Department of Housing flat in Petersham. Confronted with his deception, he was stricken with remorse and denial.

”I’ve never been a fraud in my life; I was just wearing my relatives’ medals,” he said. ”Defence came here today to see me. They said I’m not allowed to say anything. They brought the photographs out and showed them to me. They said not to say anything otherwise I get six months in jail.”

Put him in the slammer anyway, he’s an arsehole, pissing on the graves of good men.

He must be a special kind of stupid though because Long Tan is so famous the list of those involved is tiny. Perhaps he should be tarred and feathered then dragged behind 6RAR in chains next Anzac day.