August 19, 2015
The Last Post sounded over three towns on Tuesday to recall the sacrifice of the 521 Australians who died during the Vietnam War.
Commemoration services were held in Cherbourg, Nanango and Kingaroy on the 49th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.
Long Tan is the most famous of the Australian battles but also the bloodiest with 18 deaths and 24 wounded from D Company 6RAR.
August 18 was formerly known as “Long Tan Day”, but in 1987 was changed to “Vietnam Veterans Day” to remember the service of all Vietnam vets.
Cherbourg’s ceremony was organised by veteran Eric Law, who served with HQ 1ATF at Nui Dat in 1969-70.
It was held at the town’s new war memorial.
Guest speaker was South Burnett councillor Kathy Duff who emphasised that Indigenous Australians had served in every conflict since Federation.
Six Cherbourg residents served in Vietnam. All up, more than 58,000 Australians served in the conflict between 1962 and 1975.
“We must never forget the service and sacrifice of these Australians who served in the Vietnam War,” Cr Duff said.
Following prayers, wreathes were laid at the monument.
Similar ceremonies of commemoration were held later in the day at Nanango and Kingaroy.
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Former sapper Claude Malone couldn’t make it to the Cherbourg commemoration on Tuesday, but his proud family made certain he wasn’t forgotten.
Claude served in the 1st Field Squadron and was in Vietnam from January 14, 1971 to October 21, 1971.
His family has carefully preserved photographs of Claude in his army greens, as well as a newspaper clipping which shows him on patrol with comrades in Vietnam.