On 28 April 2018, the Vietnam Swans will be making the journey down to Vung Tau for Game 2 of the Anzac Memorial Series against the Thailand Tigers.

ANZACs in Vietnam, Vung Tau and Long Tan

Australia was involved in the Vietnam War between 1962 and 1973. Until the recent conflict in Afghanistan, the Vietnam War was Australia’s longest commitment to active military operations.  About 60,000 Australians served during the war, including 3000 wounded and 521 killed. At the peak of Australian involvement, 7,672 personnel were active in Vietnam.

Vung Tau is a major city in Ba Ria Province and was a focal point for Australian service men and women during the Vietnam War. 1st Australian Task Force was based in Ba Ria Province, and included infantry, armoured personnel carriers, Centurion tanks, a detachment of the SAS, engineers and various logistical support personnel. Vung Tau was home to air support (including troop transport, medical evacuation and gunships) as well as naval operations (including destroyers, clearance divers and troop transport). A major hospital was also located here, staffed by Australian doctors and nurses.

Long Tan was the site of a major battle between Australian and North Vietnamese forces on 18 and 19 August 1966. Sam Worthington narrates an exceptional documentary on the battle. It’s 1hr and 40mins but worth a watch.

Previous ANZAC Memorial Games at Vung Tau

Inspired by the memorial games played by the Thailand Tigers Australian Rules Football Club, Vung Tau was the obvious city of choice for an ANZAC Memorial Game in Vietnam. The occasion is an opportunity to pay respect to Vietnamese and Australian soldiers who fought in the conflict.

The authorities in Vietnam have been very generous to allow these commemorative events to occur. The ANZAC Memorial Games are always contested in good spirit and remain a key focus for the Vietnam Swans each season. Recently we’ve hosted the Cambodian Eagles, Jakarta Bintangs and Malaysia Warriors.

The 2011 game attracted the attention of Channel 9:

The ANZAC Memorial Game in 2018

2018 will be another huge ANZAC Memorial Game. We’re very proud to represent the Club on this occasion. The main items on the weekend are as follows:

  • Friday: Footy on the big screen at Tommy’s Bar 3 from 5pm
  • Saturday:
    • Warms ups and Auskick for the kids from 11am at the Lord Mayor’s Oval
    • Al Fresco’s All Stars vs Lagler Legends at midday. Players are sought for this game! Get in touch!
    • The Vietnam Swans take on the Thailand Tigers in the main game at 2:00pm
    • The McMillan Dinner will be held from 7pm-10pm at the Pullman Hotel. Details are available on the Facebook event.
  • Sunday: Recovery breakfast at Tommy’s Bar 3, before the return bus to Saigon (about midday).

Digital copy of the full ANZAC Memorial Game “Match Record” is available below:

We hope to see you in Vung Tau this weekend!