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3RAR at Coral and Balmoral

I refer to the Autumn 2018 issue of Vetaffairs where on page 12 you have an article on Five Decades since Battles of Coral and Balmoral.

On that first night, you correctly state that 1RAR and its support troops took the brunt of the North Vietnamese attack.

But it is little recognised that 3RAR was also at Coral. Yes, Battalion Headquarters, D Company, Support Company Headquarters and the Assault Pioneer Platoon were there, but it was pure luck that the enemy attacked 1RAR from the other side of the gap in the rubber plantation opposite 3RAR.

3RAR Mortar Platoon was adjacent to 161 Field Battery RNZA and fired missions in support of the defenders.

Otherwise, it would have been a different result for us as the fly-in and disposition of the force was problematical and the reasons have been well documented.

Laurie Hall
Major (Ret’d)
OC Spt Coy 3RAR at FSPB Coral

Vetaffairs received several letters noting the omission in the abovementioned article of units that had served in the Battles of Coral and Balmoral. The article referred to just some formations among many that served with distinction during the battles at and around these bases. We have added further details about those units to the online version of the article.

Recognise all services

I must protest at the extreme army-centric content of Vol 34 No.1 of Vetaffairs. Apart from an article on the new International Bomber Command Centre in UK, one might be forgiven for thinking Australia has no Navy or RAAF veterans. I appreciate that the majority of veterans are Army, but I would remind you that no one service can operate successfully independently of the others, and that veterans from all three, be they male or female, deserve equal recognition for their service and sacrifice for their country.

Taking the double-page spread on commemorations as an example, what about the heroism of Leading Seaman Rudd DSM during the raid on Zeebrugge 22/23 April 1918, or LCDR Stoker in command of AE2 and the signal that may have changed the course of the Gallipoli landings on 25 April 1915, or even the Battle of the Coral Sea 4–8 May 1942 and its far-reaching strategic consequences for Australia in WWII? Surely all three are worthy of mention, as is the RAAF contribution to the Battle of the Coral Sea.

AW (Tony) Townsend
CMDR RAN (Ret’d)

We apologise for the lack of articles on Navy and RAAF veterans. It was not intentional. We strive to include content on veterans of all ages and backgrounds and will endeavour to offer a more balanced mix in future editions.

Thank you, DVA

We live in a world and indeed a society that thrives on negativity. Because of the media, negativity has become a way of life. My late wife and I always made a point of giving feedback to individuals or companies that provided us with excellent service.

It is in keeping with this way of living our lives that I am communicating with you.

I am a TPI Vietnam Veteran who sadly is requiring a lot of attention to keep me going. I have never had a bad experience with any member of the DVA team. Be it making a transport booking, asking a question or organising home help, every single interaction has been and continues to be a pleasant experience. I am certain that their patience must at times be tested but it has never shown in any of my interactions with them.

My journey is made lot easier thanks to the friendly DVA team.

Charles Monk
Padbury, WA

Thank you, Mr Monk. We’re delighted to hear of your positive experiences with DVA.

Vetaffairs welcomes letters to the editor.

All letters should carry the sender’s full name, address and contact telephone number. Letters should be of no more than 200 words and may be edited. Unfortunately, due to space constraints, not all letters can be published, however, a representative selection will be featured. Letters should be sent to or GPO Box 9998 Brisbane QLD 4001.

Vetaffairs publishes letters in good faith and takes no responsibility for the accuracy of statements made in them. The editor does not reply personally to letters to the editor.

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