Ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, the Royal Australian Mint (the Mint) has released a special commemorative collectible coin to remember those soldiers who fought and died during the battle.
Fifty years ago on 18 August 1966, 108 Australian and New Zealand troops encountered a force of more than 2000 Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers in the rubber plantation of Long Tan. A total of 17 Australians were killed in action and 25 were wounded, one of whom later died of his wounds, in what was the largest action fought by Australian forces during the Vietnam War.
On the third anniversary of the battle, a cross was raised in the Long Tan rubber plantation to recognise those who fought and died throughout the conflict and this special symbol of reverence appears on a 38.74 mm crown coin.
Minister for Small Business the Hon Michael McCormack MP said it was important that the Mint had this role to recognise such significant historic events that impacted so many.
“These coins will serve as a reminder of Australia’s involvement and the sacrifices made in the Battle of Long Tan, providing a tangible keepsake to share the story for many years to come,” said Mr McCormack.
“It is also important to take this moment to recognise all those who have served and died in conflict for Australia as well as those who have been affected back on the home front.”
With a limited mintage of only 15 000 and larger than most coins made out of aluminium zinc bronze, the 2016 $5 Uncirculated Coin retails for $25 and can be bought online from the Mint here: https://eshop.ramint.gov.au/2016-5-Uncirculated-Coin/311249.aspx
A special Vietnam War commemorative coin will also be released next month as part of the Mint’s sixth and final instalment of its Australia at War series.