THEIR mate Bill Akell will be in Long Tan, marking 50 years since one of the most significant battles for Australian soldiers in Vietnam.
Mr Akell was likely to meet up with Vietnamese soldiers in what Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia Ballarat president Bill Dobell said would just be all old soldiers now, having a chat.
Anzac soldiers were outnumbered about 20 to one in Long Tan on August 18, 1966. A small task force against a massive Viet Cong army. D Company 6RAR successfully defended an Australian operations base at Nui Dat.
“While the Australians came out with bloody noses, they had given a lot better than they got,” Mr Dobell said. “This day now gives us an opportunity to remember all those who died in Vietnam and all those who suffered, and many still do.”
VVAA Ballarat sub-branch will host a commemorative march and ceremony at the Vietnam memorial, in the centre of Sturt Street, on Sunday morning.
They will then journey together to Melbourne on Thursday for a state Vietnam Veterans’ Day service.