Minister for Defence Personnel Dan Tehan said Australia was proud of the 10 soldiers who will be awarded military medals by the Governor-General His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) on Tuesday (8 November 2016) for their actions in the Battle of Long Tan.
At the investiture ceremony, Medals of Gallantry will be awarded to Lieutenant Adrian Roberts, Sergeant Frank Alcorta and Lance Corporal Barry Magnussen (deceased) and Commendations for Gallantry will be awarded to Second Lieutenant Gordon Sharp (deceased), and Privates Neil Bextrum, Ron Brett (deceased), Ian Campbell, William Roche, Geoffrey Peters and Noel Grimes.
The Battle of Long Tan took place on 18 August 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 2,000 enemy troops. A total of 17 Australians were killed in action and 25 were wounded, one of whom later died from his wounds.
D Company were greatly assisted by an ammunition resupply by RAAF helicopters, close fire support from New Zealand’s 161 Field Battery, together with additional artillery support from the Australian task force base at Nui Dat and the arrival of reinforcements in APCs as night fell.
Mr Tehan said the investiture came at a significant time with Remembrance Day on Friday and as the country honoured the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan this year.
“We honour every man and woman who serves in defence of our country and recognise that because of that service they can be put into dangerous situations that we cannot begin to imagine,” Mr Tehan said.
“It is at these times that Australia’s service men and women display courage, bravery and mateship above and beyond the call of duty and that is recognised through the award of military honours.
“The ten soldiers who will be invested with medals by the Governor General are worthy recipients and on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan this year, we should reflect on their sacrifice and the sacrifice of every Australian who served their country in Vietnam.
“On Remembrance Day we will reflect on everyone who has paid the ultimate price as a result of war and conflict.”
Byron Vale (Minister Tehan’s Office) 0428 262 894
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999