Sunday, October 23, 2016

Australia 2016 - A Century of Service: Vietnam War

ISSUE DATE: 11 October 2016
STAMP SIZE:35 x 35 mm
STAMP DESIGN: Andrew Hogg Design

This issue is the third in a series focusing on conflicts involving Australian troops since World War I. The Vietnam War (1955–75) was fought between communist North Vietnam and American-backed South Vietnam. Australia entered the war in 1962 to help USA and its allies, initially sending 30 military advisers. In 1965 Australia sent a battalion and in 1966, a task force. Australian troops did not withdraw until 1971; it was to be our longest conflict of the 20th century.

In the Field
This stamp features a well-known photograph of Australian servicemen taken on 26 August 1967 and shows members of 5 Platoon, B Company, 7th in the Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, just north of the village of Phuoc Hai, on the road leading to Dat Do.

Long Tan Cross
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, which occurred in a rubber plantation in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam, on 18 August 1966. It was a decisive victory for the soldiers of the 1st Australian Task Force, who were outnumbered by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese units by 108 to between 1,500 and 2,500.

Aid and Recreation
Australian troops undertook civil action during the war, including medical and dental aid, construction work, agricultural assistance and education to the Vietnamese people. The army delivered some 253 aid projects between 1967 and 1971.

Opposition and Withdrawal
The National Service Scheme required many young Australian men to serve compulsory combat duty in Vietnam, and was widely opposed. By 1970 and 1971 our involvement in the war was the cause of widespread social and political dissent.

For decades many Vietnam veterans felt vilified by the Australian public for their participation in the war. In recent years there has been increasing acknowledgement and respect for their service and sacrifice. Vietnam Veterans' Day, celebrated every year on 18 August throughout Australia, commemorates the Battle of Long Tan and those who served during the Vietnam War.







Stamp images and description thanks to Australia Post

Australia Post