Nelson Bay Community Turns Out to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan Nelson Bay (Tomaree Peninsula areas) Port Stephens News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - August 21, 2018 Rhiana Mackenzie of Tomaree High School giving the address at the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Long Tan. Photo by Marian Sampson. AUGUST 18th saw the community of Nelson Bay come together to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan. Modern Media: Advertise with News Of The Area and you get your ad in 1) in Print, 2) on the News Website (like this ad), and 3) on our Social Media news site. A much more efficient way to advertise. Reach a HUGE audience for a LOW price TODAY! Call us on 02 4983 2134. Or firstname.lastname@example.org Or CLICK FOR ADVERT QUOTE The commemorations at Nelson Bay were celebrated by young and old with Rhiana Mackenzie of Tomaree High School delivering the address. The day was originally known as Long Tan Day, chosen to commemorate the men of D Company, 6RAR who fought in the battle of Long Tan in 1966. On the day of the battle, 108 Australian and New Zealand soldiers fought a pitched battle against over 2,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops in a rubber plantation not far from the small village of Long Tan. The Australian Servicemen prevailed, after fighting in torrential tropical rain for four hours. Eighteen Australians lost their lives and 24 were wounded at the battle of Long Tan. This was the largest number of casualties in any one operation since the Australian task force had arrived in Vietnam. The North Vietnamese and Viet Cong casualties were also high with the bodies of 245 enemy soldiers found, and evidence that more bodies had been carried away. In 1969 on the anniversary of the battle a cross was raised on the site by the men of 6RAR the cross is now at the Australian War Memorial. In 1987, Prime Minister Bob Hawke announced that Long Tan Day would be known as Vietnam Veterans Day. This year saw the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan. It was a moving service attended by locals who served in the Vietnam conflict as well as their families. Approximately 60,000 Australians served in the Vietnam War and 521 paid the highest price and losing their lives during their service. The RSL’s Tom Lupton served in Vietnam, he told News Of the Area, “We are very pleased to see young people involved in the commemorations, as it will fall to them to carry the commemorations forward.” Among his medals Tom Lupton was awarded the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry for his service with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, he was also awarded the Vietnam Star of Freedom by the previous Vietnam Government. He was part of the team that took the Cu Chi tunnels which were the base of the Viet Cong during the Tet Offensive in 1968. The commemoration of Vietnam Veterans Day is one which sees recognition of the 60,000 service personnel who served in the Vietnam War and the struggles which they continue to endure. By Marian SAMPSON Vietnam Veterans and RSL Branch representatives Tom Lupton and Russell Durrant. Photo by Marian Sampson. Crowd gathered to commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day 2018 at Nelson Bay. Photo by Marian Sampson.