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Vietnam War cross finally returned to Australian hands

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A memorial cross erected by ANZAC soldiers following the Battle of Long Tan has been returned to Australian ownership.

The battle of Long Tan was Australia’s most costly single engagement of the Vietnam War.

On 18 August 1966, 108 soldiers of D Company, 6RAR – outnumbered 10 to one – fought a fierce battle in the Long Tan rubber plantation.

Three years later soldiers returned to the site of the battle to erect and dedicate a commemorative cross for the 18 men who lost their lives.

Almost 50 years later, the cross has been unveiled at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra following a secret campaign by the Vietnam government to return the relic.

Director of the Australian War Memorial Dr Brendan Nelson has told Chris Smith it’s a momentous occasion.

“This is a symbol of everything the war meant and for us to now have it permanently here at the Australian War Memorial, in the heart of the nation that they love, is a significant day for Australians.

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Chris Smith