Battle of Long Tan Facts & Figures

As part of the work behind our Battle of Long Tan documentary, an extensive and comprehensive amount of research has been undertaken to ensure the accuracy of our documentary through the use of reliable facts and figures.

To help us inform the media about the facts and figures surrounding the battle, we developed a simple .PDF document with all the key information. Click on this link to download The Battle of Long Tan Fact Sheet (847kb .pdf document).

Total Australian and Viet Cong casualties as a result of the Battle of Long Tan

Cpl Buddy Lea

A wounded Corporal Buddy Lea from, 10 Platoon, D Company, 6RAR in hospital shortly after the battle. He was shot twice while helping the injured Sgt Paddy Todd back to the D Company aid post.

 

Australia

  • 18 killed (17 from D Coy, 6RAR and 1 from 3Trp, 1APC Squadron)
  • 24 wounded

Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army

  • 245-800 killed (245 bodies officially counted on the battlefield. However, this was only recorded as the official count due to a deadline set by the Australian government. Importantly, many more bodies were found over two weeks after the battle but the official death toll was never adjusted. VC tactics were to remove the dead from the battlefield so no accurate counts could be made by the Allies.)
  • 500-1,000 wounded (estimates based on captured documents – further evidenced by the fact 275 Viet Cong Main Force Regiment was rendered practically ineffective in Phuoc Tuy Province after this battle)
  • 2 wounded NVA soldiers were captured on the battlefield
  • 1 wounded VC soldier was captured on the battlefield

 

Total number of forces opposing each other on the battlefield at Long Tan

Australia & New Zealand

  • 105 soldiers from D Coy, 6RAR, Australian Army
  • 3 man New Zealand Forward Artillery Observation party, 161 Bty, 16 Field Regiment RNZA

Total 108 men

Viet Cong and North Vietnamese

  • 1,500-2,000 soldiers from 275 Viet Cong Main Force Regiment (effectively an NVA Regiment as the unit was formed in North Vietnam)
  • 500 soldiers from an unidentified North Vietnamese Army Battalion, probably from 33rd NVA Regiment
  • 550 soldiers from D445 Viet Cong Provincial Mobile Battalion (local force VC)

A total of approximately 3,000 troops faced off against D Coy, 6RAR. But it is estimated that only around 2,000 to 2,500 directly took part in the battle.

 

Australian, New Zealand and American Supporting Units

  • 103 Battery, Royal Australian Artillery (6 x 105mm L5 pack howitzers)
  • 105 Battery, Royal Australian Artillery (6 x 105mm L5 pack howitzers)
  • 161 Battery, 16 Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery (6 x 105mm L5 pack howitzers)
  • A Battery, 2/35th Howitzer Battalion, US Army (6 x 155mm M109 Self-propelled howitzers)
  • 9 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force (8 x Bell UH-1B Iroquois ‘Huey’ choppers)
  • Unidentified United States Medical Company (Air Ambulance) – 1 x UH-1B Huey participated in the night airlift of wounded Australians from the edge of Long Tan alongside 9 Squadron, RAAF)
  • 3 Troop and 2 Troop, 1 Armoured Personnel Squadron, Australian Army (10 x M113 APC’s)
  • B Company, 6RAR (32 soldiers, arrived during last 10 minutes of the battle – 48 had returned to Nui Dat for R&R the previous day on 17 August)
  • A Company, 6RAR (approximately 105 soldiers – arrived on the APC’s as the battle ended)
  • United States Marine Corps, Marine Attack Squadron 542 (VMA-542) – 3 x F-4 Phantoms provided an airstrike in support of D Coy, 6RAR

 

Two Huey UH-1B Iroquois Choppers from 9 Squadron RAAF were used for the critical ammunition resupply:

Helicopter A2-1020

  • Flight Lieutenant (Pilot) Frank Riley
  • Flight Lieutenant (Co-pilot) Bob Grandin
  • Leading Aircraftmen (LAC) ‘Blue’ Collins
  • Leading Aircraftmen (LAC) George Stirling

Helicopter A2-1022

  • Flight Lieutenant (Pilot) Cliff Dohle
  • Flight Lieutenant (Co-pilot) Bruce Lane
  • Corporal W.R. Harrington
  • Leading Aircraftmen (LAC) B.B. Hill

 

Seven RAAF Huey UH-1B Iroquois plus one American Medical Company (Air Ambulance) Choppers were used for the medical evacuation of the wounded and dead Australians:

18 August 1966 – 12.00 midnight

First chopper lands at improvised landing zone on edge of Long Tan rubber plantation. Medical evacuations:

  • 5 seriously wounded
  • 12 lightly wounded
  • 5 dead

19 August 1966 – 00.34am

All medical helicopter evacuations were complete.

Aircraft and crews from 9 Squadron who flew the medical evacuation flight:

  • A2-1019 Shepherd, Middleton
  • A2-1020 Riley, Grandin, Collins, Stirling
  • A2-1021 Macintosh, Sharpley, Taylor
  • A2-1022 Dohle, Lane, Harrington, Hill
  • A2-1023 Hayes, Munday, Buttris, Rowe
  • A2-1024 Hindley, Champion, Williams
  • A2-1025 Scott, Banfield, Roche

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