Australian Army veterans of the Battle of Long Tan after the special ceremony to honour the veterans with military honours at Government House in Canberra on Tuesday, 8 November 2016.Front left: Mr William Roche; Mr Noel Grimes; Mr Frank Alcorta, MG, OAM; Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith (Retd), SG; Mr Geoffrey Peters; Mr Ian Campbell; Mr Neil Bextrum; and Colonel Francis Roberts (Retd), MG, OAM. *** Local Caption *** The Governor-General of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove (Retd), AK, MC, invested 10 Australian Army veterans of the Battle of Long Tan with military honours during a ceremony at Government House in Canberra on Tuesday, 8 November 2016.Fought in a rubber plantation during a tropical storm throughout the afternoon and into the evening of 18 August 1966, the Battle of Long Tan was Australias costliest battle of the Vietnam War. The Australian Army lost 17 soldiers that day and another 25 were wounded (one of whom later died of his wounds).The Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal recommended the military honours after a review into the actions of 13 individual soldiers during the battle, following many years of lobbying by Vietnam veterans led by the former Officer Commanding of Delta Company, Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith (Retd), SG.One hundred and five Australian Army soldiers and three New Zealand Army soldiers from Delta Company, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, faced a vastly superior force (estimated between 1500 and 2500) of North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong.Delta Company was supported that day by Australian, New Zealand and United States artillery batteries, two Royal Australian Air Force helicopter crews dropping supplies and, later, by Bravo Company in M113 armoured personnel carriers from 1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron.
Australian Army veterans of the Battle of Long Tan after the special ceremony to honour the veterans with military honours at Government House in Canberra on Tuesday, 8 November 2016.Front left: Mr William Roche; Mr Noel Grimes; Mr Frank Alcorta, MG, OAM; Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith (Retd), SG; Mr Geoffrey Peters; Mr Ian Campbell; Mr Neil Bextrum; and Colonel Francis Roberts (Retd), MG, OAM. *** Local Caption *** The Governor-General of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove (Retd), AK, MC, invested 10 Australian Army veterans of the Battle of Long Tan with military honours during a ceremony at Government House in Canberra on Tuesday, 8 November 2016.Fought in a rubber plantation during a tropical storm throughout the afternoon and into the evening of 18 August 1966, the Battle of Long Tan was Australias costliest battle of the Vietnam War. The Australian Army lost 17 soldiers that day and another 25 were wounded (one of whom later died of his wounds).The Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal recommended the military honours after a review into the actions of 13 individual soldiers during the battle, following many years of lobbying by Vietnam veterans led by the former Officer Commanding of Delta Company, Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith (Retd), SG.One hundred and five Australian Army soldiers and three New Zealand Army soldiers from Delta Company, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, faced a vastly superior force (estimated between 1500 and 2500) of North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong.Delta Company was supported that day by Australian, New Zealand and United States artillery batteries, two Royal Australian Air Force helicopter crews dropping supplies and, later, by Bravo Company in M113 armoured personnel carriers from 1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron. SGT Janine Fabre

Our Harry makes a win for Vietnam veterans

PAST Fraser Coast resident Harry Smith is a battle commander who fought for almost half a century to have his men recognised.

He believed the soldiers who fought at the Battle of Long Tan needed their courage and strength publicly acknowledged.

The Lieutenant Colonel's persistence paid off after half a century yesterday at Government House where Long Tan 10 soldiers received a special award for their efforts in Vietnam.

The award was either a military honour, or an upgrade of their existing honour.

Among them was Wide Bay resident Sergeant Frank Alcorta.

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said: "It's been a long time coming, but I'm thrilled that retired Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith's determination paid off," he said.

"We are indebted to Harry's soldiers and all service personnel for the sacrifices they made in service to this nation."

The soldiers who received the award were Lieutenant Adrian Roberts, Sergeant Frank Alcorta, Lance Corporal Barry Magnussen (deceased), Second Lieutenant Gordon Sharp (deceased), Privates Neil Bextrum, Ron Brett (deceased), Ian Campbell, William Roche, Geoffrey Peters and Noel Grimes.

The news of the award ceremony came a week before the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan in August.

The Battle of Long Tan took place on August 18, 1966.

It was the most costly single battle fought by Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War, involving 105 Australians and three New Zealanders from D Company 6RAR and more than 2000 enemy troops.

A total of 17 Australians were killed in action and 25 were wounded, one of whom later died from his wounds.