Long Tan veterans to boycott ceremo
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.