Coral/Balmoral Service will be held tomorrow

By Riverine Herald

MOAMA RSL will hold a combined Coral/Balmoral 50th anniversary Commemorative Service tomorrow.

The Service will recognise the Battle of the Fire Support Bases and the efforts of soldiers from the 1st Australian Taskforce in the ‘Mini-Tet’ offensive mounted by combined North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces in 1968.

Not as widely known as the Battle of Long Tan, the actions around fire support bases Coral and Balmoral were the bloodiest Australian action of the war.

Between the direct attacks on the bases, and operations during the next four weeks in area around them, 37 Australians died and more than 125 were wounded.

At Long Tan our losses were 18 killed and 24 wounded.

Moama RSL sub-branch president Ken Jones, who is also Vietnam Veterans Association Echuca sub-branch president, said the Service would start at 11am at Moama RSL club.

He said it would run for about 30 minutes and was an opportunity for the region’s many Vietnam veterans and their families to remember what happened during Australia’s involvement in the war.

“Like all our services this is about remembering, and honouring, comrades who did not come home but it is also about providing an opportunity for those who did return to spend time with the only people who really understand,” Mr Jones said.

“These actions were of the highest order and demonstrated yet again the quality of the Australian soldier and it is so important these landmark events in our history are not forgotten, not lost to future generations,” he said.