Australia's Largest Vietnam Battle Remembered 40 Years On

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12th May 2008, 11:30am - Views: 475





Government Government Minister For Veterans' Affairs 1 image





The Hon Alan Griffin MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs


VA047


Monday, 12 May 2008


AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST VIETNAM BATTLE REMEMBERED 40 YEARS ON


The Australian Government will hold an official reception for the veterans of the Battles of Fire

Support Bases Coral and Balmoral, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, said today.  

“This week marks the fortieth anniversary of the battle of Coral/Balmoral, Australia’s largest and

most protracted engagement of the Vietnam War,” Mr Griffin said.

“More than 2000 Australians served during these engagements, with 26 killed. It is important

that we remember and honour these veterans, and the families that have supported them for

the last forty years.”

Tonight the Australian Government will host a reception for veterans of the battles in the Great

Hall of Parliament House, Canberra.

Around 1200 veterans and their families are expected to attend, including relatives of those

killed in action. 

At 10am on 13 May a National Commemorative Ceremony will be held at the Australian

Vietnam Forces National Memorial, Anzac Parade, Canberra. 

The Australian Government has provided $100,000 to the National 40th Coral and Balmoral

Anniversary Committee to support these commemorative events.

Media inquiries: Laura Ryan 0437 863 109


Battle of Coral/Balmoral

In the early hours of 13 May 1968 the North Vietnamese attacked Fire Support Base Coral

which had been established only hours earlier on the route used by the Viet Cong to move to

and from Saigon.

The base provided defended positions for artillery, mortars and armoured vehicles which

supported infantry patrols of the area.

Fire Support Base Coral was attacked on several occasions. The Australians continued to

launch aggressive patrols from Coral, engaging in combat against North Vietnamese forces and

experiencing fierce fighting through until early June.

The North Vietnamese next turned their attention to Fire Support Base Balmoral, 4.5 kilometres

north, and on 26 May two battalions of North Vietnamese attacked the base. A second attack

followed on 28 May, but a combination of infantry, armour, aircraft, artillery and mortars from

Australian and Allied forces repelled the North Vietnamese assault.







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