Battle of Long Tan Facts & Figures

As part of the work behind our BATTLE OF LONG TAN documentary and our movie DANGER CLOSE, an extensive and comprehensive amount of research has been undertaken over 20 years to ensure the accuracy of our documentary and movie 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 Battle of Long Tan – Key Facts Timeline Pack – June 2019 (1.1Mb .pdf document).

Total casualties from the Battle of Long Tan


  • 18 killed
    • 17 from Delta Company (D Coy), 6RAR
      • 11 National Servicemen, Australian Army
      • 6 Regular soldiers, Australian Army
    • One from 3 Troop, 1 APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) Squadron
      • Died nine days later from wounds sustained in the battle
  • 24 members of D Coy were wounded

North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Viet Cong (VC)

  • 245+ killed
    • Officially, 245 bodies were counted on the battlefield by Australian soldiers. However, even though additional bodies and body parts were found over the following days and weeks, the number of 245 remained the officially recorded casualty figure. More Vietnamese bodies were found over a two-week period after the battle, but the official death toll was never adjusted.
    • In October 2018, Ernie Chamberlain authored a Research Note, “The Battle of Long Tan: Viet Cong Casualties” in which he included 190 names/personal details of 275 Main Force Viet Cong Regiment personnel killed at Long Tan. That listing was based on available official Vietnamese death certificates (giấy báo tử) – and analysis of some “tombstone data”. In that Note, he cautioned that: “Of course, for a complete and accurate listing of NVA/VC KIA at the Battle of Long Tân, KIA figures would also be needed for elements additional to the 275th VC Regiment” – eg D445 Battalion, and HQ 5th VC Division elements, the HQ Bà Rịa-Long Khánh-Biên Hòa Province Unit, the Võ Thị Sáu Civil Labour Company, the C.12-65 Bình Giã Assault Youth Unit, the “Surgery Element”, small reconnaissance elements (ie 5th VC Division, C.982), and possibly a small Z39 artillery element.
    • An important note; a tactic of the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong was going to extraordinary lengths to remove their dead, wounded and any weapons from the battlefield so no accurate assessment of NVA/VC casualties could be made by the American, South Vietnamese, Australian and other allies.
  • 200+ wounded
    • There is no accurate source for the number of NVA/VC wounded as a result of this battle. However, early in 2018, the “Quartermaster’s (QM’s) notebook” of the 275th Main Force VC Regiment became available – a document captured in early February 1968 by 2RAR/NZ (ANZAC) during Operation Coburg. The recovered 275 Regiment QM’s notebook hints to at least 111 wounded personnel from 275 Regiment alone, but there is no source material for the number of wounded from D445 Battalion and all of the other supporting units.
    • 275 Regiment was rendered practically ineffective in Phuoc Tuy Province after the battle of Long Tan until the Australians and New Zealanders left the province and Vietnam in 1971.
    • 3 wounded NVA/Viet Cong soldiers were captured on the battlefield.

Opposing forces on the battlefield at Long Tan

Australia & New Zealand

  • 105 soldiers from D Coy, 6RAR, Australian Army
  • Three man New Zealand Artillery Forward Observation (FO) party, 161 Battery, RNZA (Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery)

Total 108 men.

North Vietnamese and Viet Cong

  • 1,400-1,500 soldiers from 275 Viet Cong Main Force Regiment and Support Companies
  • 400-500 soldiers from D445 Viet Cong Mobile Provincial Battalion
  • 200-500 soldiers from other 5th Viet Cong Division Elements

Total 2,000 – 2,500 men. (approximately). *However, it is estimated approximately 1,500 to 2,000 only took direct part in attacking D Coy, 6RAR in the battle.

Detailed breakdown of Australian, New Zealand and American Supporting Units

D Company, 6RAR at Long Tan comprised:

  • 105 Australian regular and national service soldiers
  • A three-man New Zealand artillery Forward Observer (FO) party, 161 Battery, RNZA
    • Each rifleman only carried 3 x 20 round magazines (one in their weapon and two in their webbing) and another 60 rounds in boxes in their packs
    • Each M60 machine gun team (2 men) carried 6 x 100 7.62 round belts of ammunition and another 6 x 100 7.62 round belts of ammunition in their packs

3 Troop, 1APC Squadron at Long Tan comprised:

  • 10 x M113 APC’s (Armoured Personnel Carriers)
  • 22 troopers driving and manning the 3 Troop Carriers
    • Each M113 APC had a mounted .50 calibre heavy machine gun mounted on top
    • Only three of the APC’s had armoured turrets in front of the gunner manning the .50 calibre heavy machinegun

B Coy, 6RAR comprised:

  • 32 soldiers

A Coy, 6RAR (transported inside the APCs) comprised:

  • 105 soldiers

Australian, New Zealand and United States Artillery support at Nui Dat:

  • 6 x 105mm L5 pack howitzers of 161 Field Battery, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery (RNZA)
  • 6 x 105mm L5 pack howitzers of 103 Field Battery, Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery (RAA)
  • 6 x 105mm L5 pack howitzers 105 Field Battery, Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery (RAA)
  • 6 x M109 Self Propelled 155mm guns of A Battery, 2/35th Artillery Regiment, US Army

9 Squadron RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) Huey UH-1B Iroquois Helicopters flew a critical ammunition resupply to D Coy:

  • 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 helicopters plus one American Medical Company (Air Ambulance) Choppers were used for the medical evacuation of D Coy’s wounded and dead:

  • 12.00 Midnight – first Huey chopper lands at improvised landing zone on edge of Long Tan rubber plantation
  • Medical evacuations of D Coy casualties
    • 5 seriously wounded
    • 12 lightly wounded
    • 5 dead
  • 00.34am – all medical helicopter evacuations were complete

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

  • 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

United States Marine Corps, Marine Attack Squadron 542 (VMA-542):

  • 3 x F-4 Phantoms provided an airstrike in support of D Coy, 6RAR

Detailed breakdown of North Vietnamese Army, Viet Cong and Supporting Elements

275 Viet Cong Main Force Regiment and Support Companies:

  • 1,400-1,500 soldiers
  • HQ 275 Regiment
  • 1st Battalion
  • 2nd Battalion
  • 3rd Battalion – originally the D605 NVA Battalion (of the Bắc Sơn Regiment). It infiltrated into South Vietnam in late 1965 and was incorporated into the 275th Main Force VC Regiment in April 1966
  • C16 mortars
  • C17 RCLs
  • C18 Anti-Aircraft
  • C19 Engineers
  • C20 Signals
  • C21 Recon/Sapper
  • C22 Transport
  • C23 Medical
  • C24 Convalescent Company

D445 Viet Cong Mobile Provincial Battalion:

  • 400-500 soldiers

5th Viet Cong Division Elements:

  • HQ 5th VC Division Element
  • C.982 Reconnaissance Element
  • Surgery Element
  • Z39 artillery element

HQ Bà Rịa-Long Khánh-Biên Hòa Province Unit

Võ Thị Sáu Civil Labour Company (Viet Cong Long Đất District)

C.12-65 Bình Giã Assault Youth Unit (Viet Cong Châu Đức District)

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