Remembering those that fell and served in the Battle of Long Tan

This Sunday it will be 53 years since the Battle of Long Tan when the brave men in the First Australian Task Force joined forces with the People's Army of Vietnam to take on the Viet Cong in the rubber plantations of South Vietnam.

Locals will have the opportunity to pay their respects to those who served and fell during the battle with a service to be held at Anderson Park from 11am on Sunday.

The Vietnam war was never a popular conflict and as the Australian death toll mounted the public opposition to the presence of troops in Vietnam became greater.

One of the most significant battles of the Vietnam War was the battle of Long Tan which saw heavily outnumbered Australians take on and defeat a Viet Cong formation comprising D445 Battalion and elements of the fifth Viet Cong division.

Young Australians including many National Servicemen of D Coy, 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment fought in the battle which cost 18 Australian lives and earned the Coy, the award of the United States Presidential Citation for 'extraordinary heroism in operations against an apposing enemy force.'

It was Australia's greatest victory in its eight years participation in the war and one of the classic actions of Australian Military history.

The battle commenced at 3.15pm on August 18 1966 patrolling the Long Tan rubber plantation and came under heavy fire when they made enemy contact. The battle of Long Tan raged until 6.55pm when the enemy withdrew.

The Australians with support from the American, New Zealand and Australian Artillery and three troupe 1APC squadron had defeated a much larger force, how much larger was not known until next day.

The Australians numbered just 108 men and with the support of artillery had faced, defeated and forced the withdrawal of a force of 2500 men a truly remarkable feat of arms.

The Australians lost 18 KIA and 24 WIA. The Viet Cong lost 245 KIA in figures accredited by body count and an unknown number KIA recovered by the enemy as they withdrew.