‘The Battle of Long Tan’
This original was painted on ANZAC Day 2022 as my personal tribute to the past and present service men, women and animals and their ultimate sacrifices for our freedom.
August 18-19, 1966, the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, D Company made up of 108 young and ordinary Australian and New Zealand Men, fought and defeated 2,500 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army Soldiers.
This was the little-known Battle of Long Tan.
With their ammunition running out, their casualties mounting and the enemy massing for a final assault, two RAAF helicopter pilots and a few other soldiers, against the orders of superior officers, arrived over D Company's location with an ammunition resupply. Guided by red smoke thrown by the infantry, they hovered in the heavy rain just above the rubber trees near a small clearing and dropped the ammunition and medical supplies.
This was a pivotal moment in the battle as it gave D Company the ability to fend off the enemy before the arrival of the APCs which turned the tide of the battle.
There were 18 ANZAC soldiers lost in this battle.
This painting is named after the song of the same name by Graham Rodger which has written some of the most poignant lyrics about the battle:
“ So here’s to the soldiers who fought at Long Tan
And all other battles in South Vietnam
You are fighting for those who would dare to be free
Your deeds will live on in our memory…”
❤🌺 LEST WE FORGET ❤🌺
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