THE LONG TAN CROSS
Dedication of the Long Tan Cross, 18th Aug 1969
The Long Tan Cross was conceived by the CO (LTCOL David Butler) and RSM (WO 1 James Cruickshank) of 6 RAR during the ’69-’70 tour of South Vietnam. The original Cross was constructed by the Assualt Pioneer Platoon Sergeant, Alan McLean.
On the 3rd anniversary of the battle, the battalion moved from Nui Dat to the battlefield, (the Cross was transported in a sling under a Chopper) erected the Cross and and dedicated same in memory of the fallen.
Visit by D Coy 6 RAR 18th Aug 2009
The original Cross was removed, (believed to be by a catholic farmer for his father’s grave) sometime after the war in Vietnam ended.
The original Cross was subsequently found and is now is displayed in the Dong Nai Museum. The base in which it sits hides the damage which occurred when the Cross was removed from its initial site on the Long Tan battlefield.
(Photos courtesy of PeterMichelson)
Dong Nai Museum
Nguyen Ai Quoc Street
(Dong Nai Province Square)
Tan Phong Ward
Bien Hoa City
Dong Nai Province
“In Memory of those members of D Coy 6 RAR and 3 Tp 1 APC Sqn who gave their lives near this spot during the Battle of Long Tan on 18th August 1966. Erected by 6 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Bn 18 Aug 69”
The Replica Cross
During the 80’s, the local population around Xa Long Tan constructed a replica of the Long Tan Cross and placed it at the original site. Over the following years the surrounding landscape underwent many changes but the blood red earth never changed..
In year 2000 the Long Tan Cross Memorial Fund was established with a view to renovating the Cross and gaining official Government recognition of its presence and meaning.
In April 2002 restorations and additions were completed and the Cross was handed over to AVVRG as official custodians.
Under care of the AVVRG, with ex-patriate and visiting veterans lending a hand, the Cross is maintained well within a harsh environment.