Rotary Club of Frankston North (District 9820), guest speaker David Sabben, who was called up for National Service in the first intake in 1965, he attended Officer Training and then posted to 6RAR Brisbane, was appointed 12 Platoon Commander and was posted to South Vietnam in June 1966. He led his platoon at the Battle of Long Tan and was in 2008 awarded Medal for Gallantry.
His talk is specifically about the Battle of Long Tan, David set the scene on his arrival in SVN and how Australian Servicemen were given the Province of Phouc Tuy and set up Task Force at Nui Dat. After only 70 days into Task Force occupation on August 17 1966, the Task Force came under bombardment and Bravo Company 6RAR were sent to Long Tan region clearing the area and on 18 August Delta Company and David’s Platoon joined the area at 17:00 they came under heavy fire, they requested Artillery support and ammunition re-supply but were refused, the Monsoon rains also started. It was realised that there were well over the 100’s of enemy and Finally re-supply was approved as well as artillery support. Also APC’s were deployed to assist and transported B Company. 18:30 the enemy were using Human wave tactics, we were using artillery fire missions. At 19:00 B Company arrived and at 19:10 it was over and enemy pulled back.
- Aust: 18 KIA, 21 WIA of 108 soldiers
- Enemy: 800 KIA, 1500 WIA of somewhere between 2500 – 3500 soldiers.
- Viet Cong / NVA fail to destroy Australian Base.
- They then Generally avoided of Aussies in the Province.
- Province secured and Australians Used in other areas.