Battle of Long TŠļßn

ANZAC Day – Lest we Forget

ANZAC

Original Post: 25 April 2006

This is my ANZAC Day trib­ute post­ing. ANZAC Day means a great deal for me and my fam­ily. I sup­pose it is because we have a con­nec­tion to the orig­i­nal ANZACS in 1915 and Gal­lipoli and to a vet­eran of a war much fresher in our minds, Viet Nam.

Firstly I pay trib­ute to my Great Grand-father Harry Crozier. I never really knew him, he died many years ago. Harry served in the  Gal­lipoli cam­paign and thank­fully came home alive albeit with only one working leg. I know he spent con­sid­er­able time in Rotorua con­va­lesc­ing and learned to carve maori carv­ings as part of his reha­bil­i­ta­tion.

The sec­ond per­son I pay trib­ute to is a guy who truly epit­o­mises the ANZAC spirit. He is an Aussie, liv­ing in New Zealand who fought for New Zealand in Viet Nam. He is mar­ried to a Kiwi and has three Kiwi kids, and three Kiwi grand kids. He is also my Father-in-law.

41873 Gnr Atkins KG 161 Bty was in Viet Nam in 1966. Based in¬†Nui Dat¬†and one of the first to arrive and estab¬≠lish the Base and gun posi¬≠tions. ‚ÄúOz‚ÄĚ par¬≠tic¬≠i¬≠pated in the famous ¬†Bat¬≠tle of Long Tan¬†where the Kiwi guns were instru¬≠men¬≠tal in sav¬≠ing 3 pla¬≠toons of D Com¬≠pany of the ¬†6th¬†Bat¬≠tal¬≠ion, Royal Aus¬≠tralian Reg¬≠i¬≠ment(6RAR) and enabling the thrash¬≠ing of a Reg¬≠i¬≠ment 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.

Kevin tells many sto¬≠ries of his time in Viet Nam but they are not at all ‚Äúwarry‚ÄĚ to use his term. They speak a sim¬≠ple truth that war is tough and bru¬≠tal. He often says he hopes his chil¬≠dren never have to go to war and thank¬≠fully they prob¬≠a¬≠bly won‚Äôt have to.

It seems so long ago, yet for some only yes¬≠ter¬≠day. The Gov¬≠ern¬≠ment to this day still treats vet¬≠er¬≠ans with dis¬≠dain with their han¬≠dling, and obfus¬≠ca¬≠tion of the Agent Orange scan¬≠dal. I say a scan¬≠dal because that is what it is. You need only ask any vet¬≠eran about Agent Orange and they will tell you they weren‚Äôt just sprayed with they were doused in it, they drank water soaked with it and were often wet to their socks with Agent Orange.¬†Check out this photo of Nui Dat in 1966¬†. Every coun¬≠try in Viet Nam at the time has acknowl¬≠edged it hap¬≠pened and com¬≠pen¬≠sated their vet¬≠er¬≠ans and New Zealand con¬≠tin¬≠ues to deny it occurred and con¬≠tin¬≠ues to hold spu¬≠ri¬≠ous enquiries. [The Government has since said "Sorry", if it was at all possible to say sorry without actually saying the word, but for me it was too little, too late] ¬†¬† Read more »

ANZAC Day – Battle of Long Tan

My father in law, Skippy fought in the Battle of Long Tan.

This is the documentary made by Martin Walsh of that battle.

ANZAC Day memorial

I made this video in 2007 fro Skippy who fought in Vietnam with 161 Bty and fought in the Battle of Long Tan.

Anzac Day: Long Tan remembered [VIDEO]

EKN_69_0081_VN--1-

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