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Battle of Long Tan remembered on 47th anniversary

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 19, 2013

Photo of Vietnam Veterans Day Service in Canberra, from Australia Network News.

Yesterday, just as the plane touched down at Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat International airport at 3.30pm carrying the main contingent of Swannies from the Asian Champs, the service commenced at the Long Tan Cross to mark the anniversary of 18 August 1966.

Catherine Clifford reported yesterday on Australia Network News about the :

More than 60,000 Australians who served in the Vietnam War have been honoured today on Vietnam Veterans Day, which also marks the 47th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

The service held in Canberra also commemorated the 521 Australians who died during the hostilities.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Kate Lundy told the memorial service the Vietnam War left a profound and enduring impact on the country.

“Many deeds of heroism and mateship are now part of the Vietnam War story, and of course part of Australia’s story,” she said.

Performer remembers beginning of battle

On August 18, 1966, Patricia Amphlett – or Little Pattie as she is better known – was on stage with Col Joye and the Joy Boys performing for the Australian troops just before the battle broke out.

A teenage girl at the time, Little Pattie stood before a cheering open-air audience when the crowd began to scatter.

“It was at the beginning, I think, of show three, or thereabouts, that I could see officers leaving,” she said.

“And I thought, ‘Wow, I think this is pretty serious now,’ and close to 4 o’clock we were given the sign – the index finger across someone’s throat, which means, ‘Get off!’

“So we finished the song and we got off stage.

“But at the end of that song a lot of action took place within the audience; the word spread that something bad was going on, and, indeed, that was the beginning of the Battle of Long Tan.”

This year’s national service finished with singer-songwriter John Schumann performing his moving song, I Was Only 19, about a young soldier sent to the Vietnam War, and the impact it had on his life.

The Battle of Long Tan was one of the bloodiest of the war, and saw 18 Australians killed and two dozen wounded during gun battle with the Viet Cong.

  • To read the rest of the article, .
  • To see a video of Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith reflecting on the fallen, .
  • The Malaysian Warriors are confirmed to play in the 2014 ANZAC Friendship Match. As per Vietnam Swans protocol, at the Asian Championships, the Swans meet up with the next year’s visiting team after completing our matches. The presidents of teh Swans and Warriors addressed players about the 2014 ANZAC Friendship Match and spoke of its history before players mingled with each other reflecting and sharing a beer.

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