18 Aug 2012

Battle anniversary marked

2:01 pm on 18 August 2012

Wreaths were laid on Saturday morning at the National War Memorial in Wellington to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan in 1966 during the Vietnam War.

Tributes to mark the Battle of Long Tan.

Tributes to mark the Battle of Long Tan. Photo: RNZ

The battle was commemorated for the first time in this country last year. New Zealand artillerymen were part of a 100-strong infantry force which was engaged against more than 2000 Viet Cong.

The ceremony marks the contribution that New Zealanders made during the war in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam war veterans, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson and Defence chief Lieutenant General Rhys Jones were among those who attended.

Mr Finlayson said that it is now well recognised that without the New Zealand gunners, the infantry at Long Tan would have been annihilated.

Thirty seven New Zealand personnel died during the Vietnam War and 187 were wounded.