Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal : Update Unit Citation for Gallantry – Battles of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral

This Update is provided by The Hon Jane Prentice to our RAR Corporation’s Director Trevor Dixon’s  letter of request for support.

“I write to you concerning the recent announcement by the Hon. Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Defence Personnel, about the current inquiry into military honours. As an advocate for Veterans, past, present and future, I consider the recognition of their sacrifice as paramount to the freedoms we are afforded in Australia.

Recently it has been highlighted to me that Veterans of the Battles of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral have been campaigning for a Unit Citation for Gallantry which is yet to be bestowed upon them. In my efforts to date I have raised this issue with the Prime Minister and the Minister for Defence Personnel to ensure this advocacy at the very top echelons.

I am pleased that Minister Tehan has called on the independent Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal to conduct an inquiry into the deserved decoration for those involved in the Battles of Coral and Balmoral, and for those who had served as part of the Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight Vietnam (the RANHFV).

This independent tribunal is taking submissions from the public and will give careful consideration to both matters.

Further information regarding both inquiries is available by visiting https://defence-honours-tribunal.gov.au/

I encourage all former members and interested parties to take advantage of this opportunity and lodge a submission. Submissions are open until Friday, 16 June 2017, and can be lodged via email to [email protected] or by mail to The Executive Officer, Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal, Locked Bag 7765, CANBERRA BC ACT 2610.

When I receive any advice or information concerning this matter I will advise you further.”

 

HON. JANE PRENTICE MP | Federal Member for Ryan | Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services
636 Moggill Road, Chapel Hill, QLD, 4069 | P O Box 704, Indooroopilly, QLD  4068.
Telephone: (07) 3378 1599|Facsimile: (07) 3378 1399 |

Comments

  1. Brian Buzzard says

    As a soldier with 1 RAR Mortar platoon (one of the 8 wounded), I still cannot believe how lucky those of us, who are alive today, are. The attack came at us so quickly we had no alternative but to stand our ground and go down fighting. By first light, 5 had died and 8 were wounded out of a total platoon strength of 18. We never gave up one inch of territory where we lay in our 6 inches deep scrapes. We were rocketed, mortared,grenaded and machine-gunned for a long time before they ran right over the top of us leaving us “behind enemy lines”.
    We called for our mortars (3RAR) to fire onto our position, We called for artillery (161 Battery) to fire in front of our position. We called for Splintex (102 Battery) to fire into and over our position. this stopped the NVA momentum and further firing by these heroes saved the lives of the 13 survivors of Mortar platoon. At our recent reunion in Townsville only half are left to grow old. 5 died on the 13th may 1968.
    some more since then, leaving only a few to gather each meeting of the first night team. Many were replaced by “Reoes” next day.
    Did Coral deserve a citation ? TOO BLOODY RIGHT THEY DID .

  2. Phillip Byrne says

    Agree with Denis George so true!

  3. Denis George says

    it takes two weeks to award an ex politition an medal of australia award. but 50 years to think about men who put there lives on the line.

  4. The Battle of Fire Support base Coral and Balmoral – 12 th.May to 6th. June 1968. The main action being sustained by the N.V.A. on the 12th. and 13th. May by the 141st.N.V.A. Regiment against 1 R.A.R. and again on 16th.and 22nd.May.Then on the 22nd.May F.S.B.Coral was attacked again by N.V.A. later on the 24th.and 28th.May 3 R.A.R. was attacked at F.S.B.Balmoral by the 165th. N.V.A. Regiment but had the supporting​ fire of Tanks, Artillery and mortar.Also, suporting elements of the R.A.N.H.F.V.However the battles continued into early June.The “Battle” of Coral and Balmoral was the first time the A.T.F. had clashed with Regular North Vietnamese Army Units operating at Regimental strength in conventional warefare. During the 26 days of fighting Communists forces the Battle of Coral – Barmoral was the largest unit – level action of the Vietnam War for the A.D.F.As with the receipients of the Battle for Long Tan, this appears to be a long awaited Battle Citation.

    • Ernie Chamberlain says

      The Battle of Balmoral: My research of Vietnamese communist documents – and death certificates, indicates that the attacking NVA force on 26 May 1968 was the 141st NVA Regiment and the attacking force on 28 May was the 165 NVA Regiment (-) reinforced by the 1st Battalion of the 141st NVA Regiment. Supporting elements included the Tan Uyen Local Force Unit and Youth Assault Youth Groups (assisting with casualty evacuation). At the Battle of Long Tan in August 1966, D/6RAR withstood assaults by the 275 VC Main Force Regiment (whose 3rd Battalion had been the D605 NVA Battalion up until May 66) and the D445 VC Local Force Battalion – ie a regimental-sized force +.

  5. The Battle of Fire Support base Coral and Balmoral – 12 th.May to 6th. June 1968. The main action being sustained by the N.V.A. on the 12th. and 13th. May by the 141st.N.V.A. Regiment against 1 R.A.R. and again on 16th.and 22nd.May.Then on the 22nd.May F.S.B.Coral was attacked again by N.V.A.later on on the 24th.and 28th.May 3 R.A.R. was attacked at F.S.B.Balmoral by the 165th. N.V.A. Regiment but had the supporting​ fire of Tanks, Artillery and mortar.Also, suporting elements of the R.A.N.H.F.V.However the battles continued into early June.The “Battle” of Coral and Balmoral was the first time the A.T.F. had clashed with Regular North Vietnamese Army Units operating at Regimental strength in conventional warefare. During the 26 days of fighting Communists forces the Battle of Coral – Barmoral was the largest unit – level action of the Vietnam War for the A.D.F.As with the receipients of the Battle for Long Tan, this appears to be a long awaited Battle Citation.

  6. Phil Buttigieg says

    The point is some have awards for a far less significant action!

  7. Butch Mathew says

    It’s about time these troops were awarded their deserved awards

  8. Rowan Gamble says

    If the enemy, had come from the other side. Our weakest side, there is no way they could have been stopped. You wouldn’t have had to worry about citations. Because, we would have been wiped out to a man. As it was, they took on some of our bravest soldiers, and were repelled. This was the LARGEST battle in Viet Nam, and we hardly get a mention, ANYWHERE.