Remembering Australia’s Part In The Vietnam War

Royal AUSTRALIAN Air Force arrives at Tan Son Nhut Airport, Saigon, to work with the South Vietnamese and U.S. Air Forces in transporting soldiers and supplies to combat areas in South Vietnam. August 10, 1964.

Australia Post has unveiled its plans to celebrate Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War by releasing a new stamp issue to coincide with Remembrance Day.

It’s a privilege to show this stamp issue as they want all of Australia to remember and reflect on veterans who participated during the Vietnam conflict, said Michael Zsolt, Australia Post’s Philatelic Manager.

He said the issue is the third in a five-year program focusing on those who have served Australia in conflicts, beginning with the First World War.

The Vietnam War occupied the 20-year period from 1955-1975 between South Vietnam and North Vietnam.

Australian troops participated from 1962 to 1971.  It is regarded as the country’s longest conflict in the past century and almost 60,000 Australians — Navy personnel, ground troops, and air force — took part.

Three thousand Australians were wounded, and 521 were killed.

He is grateful that Australia Post is remembering those who served in Vietnam in this manner, said Ken Foster, national president of the Vietnam Veterans’ Association and a recipient of the Order of Australia and a justice of the peace.

He said the VVAA continues as a volunteer body, with the only interest being the welfare of families of veterans and veterans.

Foster believes the stamp is a method of remembering, relating, and interpreting veterans’ experiences of the Vietnam period and the lasting effects of war on civilization, Starts at 60 reported.

August 18 was the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, which occurred in a rubber plantation in South Vietnam’s Phuoc Tuy Province.

Eighteen Australians and an estimated 245 Viet Cong soldiers died.  It was one of the most important conflicts of the war.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE