Long Tan vet­er­ans to boy­cott cer­emo

Townsville Bulletin - - Text The Editor -

AN­GRY vet­er­ans of the battle of Long Tan are on a col­li­sion course with the Army and will boy­cott a bat­tal­ion cer­e­mony to present Delta Com­pany’s Unit Ci­ta­tion for Gal­lantry 45 years af­ter the battle. C o m p a n y c o m m a n d e r Harry Smith re­ceived his be­lated Star of Gal­lantry at Mary­bor­ough in Queens­land on Wed­nes­day af­ter a 15-year strug­gle for jus­tice and due recog­ni­tion for his men and the ar­tillery and ar­moured ve­hi­cle crews who saved the day.

The Unit Ci t a t i o n was awarded to ‘ D’ Com­pany in 2009 and should have been pre­sented by the Gov­er­nor Gen­eral Quentin Bryce who had in­vited all Long Tan hon­ours re­cip­i­ents to Gov­ern­ment House in Can­berra in Au­gust l a s t y e a r . Army chiefs de­railed the vice-re­gal plan and have in­sisted that the Ci­ta­tion be pre­sented to Delta Com­pany and 6 RAR at the bat­tal­ion’s base at Enog­gera Bar­racks in Bris­bane to mark Long Tan Day on Au­gust 18 this year.

Mr Smith said the Chief of Army Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Ken Gille­spie couldn’t com­pre­hend that the Ci­ta­tion was awarded to Delta Com­pany as it was at Long Tan and not the en­tire bat­tal­ion.

‘‘ The Ci­ta­tion an should have been to our for­mer Co soon as pos­si­ble proval in Oc­to­ber Smith said. ‘ D’ Com awarded the US P Ci­ta­tion for Gal 1968. Lieu­tenant Gille­spie told the S a unit ci­ta­tion w placed on the colo b a t t a l i o n r e c e i award.

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