Operation Hammersley remembered 50 years on

Today the service of our Vietnam veterans will be honoured at a National Commemorative Service for the 50th anniversary of Operation Hammersley held at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester encouraged Australians to take the time today to remember those who served during Operation Hammersley.

“During the Vietnam War our troops were sent to the Long Hai area of Phuoc Tuy Province from February 1970, where they had the objective of securing a quarry site at the foot of the Long Hai Hills, the target of previous operations and air strikes,” Mr Chester said.

“Despite early successes and the support of armoured vehicles, the Australians were hindered by the rugged terrain and the enemy’s expert knowledge of the land and in March 1970 the operation concluded.

“Tragically, this operation saw 12 men killed and 59 wounded with a further two killed in the days following its conclusion. We owe these veterans and the almost 60,000 Australians involved in the Vietnam War respect and recognition for their bravery and dedication to their service.”

Senator for New South Wales Jim Molan AO DSC joined veterans and their families for the National Commemorative Service to honour the service and sacrifice of those involved in Operation Hammersley.

“Australians should pause and reflect on the bravery, teamwork and endurance that was displayed throughout the battle and wider war and it is my privilege to join veterans and their families in commemorating Operation Hammersley and personally thank them for their service and support to this nation,” Senator Molan said.

“We will always remember the Australians who served and the families who supported them. Today’s commemoration is an opportunity for our nation to ensure their legacy lives on.”

The Commemorative Service will start at 10.30am today, 18 February, at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial, Anzac Parade, Canberra. To watch the service, visit the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Facebook Page or watch it live on the ABC.

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