50th anniversary of Operation Overlord, including the Battle of Long Khanh
On 7 June 2021, DVA commemorated the 50th anniversary of Operation Overlord, including the Battle of Long Khanh — one of Australia’s last major operations in the Vietnam War.
A National Commemorative Service was held at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra. On 7 June 2021, we marked 50 years since Operation Overlord, including the Battle of Long Khanh, and reflected on the qualities of courage and perseverance that characterised the Australians’ service in Vietnam. It was a day to commemorate their service and sacrifice, and reflect on the cost of operations like Overlord to those involved and their families back home.
About Operation Overlord
Named after the Allied invasion of Normandy with whose anniversary it coincided, Operation Overlord was undertaken after intelligence suggested the North Vietnamese Army was using a buffer zone between the Phuoc Tuy and Long Khanh provinces to train and equip troops.
Operation Overlord began on 5 June 1971, when Australian troops were deployed to prevent the enemy from gaining a foothold in Phuoc Tuy Province. Operational personnel comprised members of the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), the 4th Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment/New Zealand (ANZAC) Battalion and HQ 1st Australian Task Force, along with a troop of armoured personnel carriers from A Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, tanks from C Squadron, 1st Armoured Regiment, sappers from 1st Field Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers, along with artillery support from 12th Field Regiment, air support from No 9 Squadron RAAF and 161 Recce Flight as well as support from the 2/8th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st US Cavalry Division.
On 7 June, Australian troops engaged in heavy combat with the enemy, seeing over eight hours of intense fighting, resulting in the defeat of enemy troops and the discovery of a bunker system comprising of more than 100 bunkers. In the following days, the bunker system was explored and subsequently destroyed.
The Battle of Long Khanh saw three Australians killed and numerous others wounded, with a further seven Australians killed five days later.
Order of Service
Broadcast of the Service
The 50th anniversary of Operation Overlord, including the Battle of Long Khanh, service was live broadcast on ABC and uploaded to DVA social media.
DVA’s Vetaffairs publication has included extensive coverage of the commemorative service.
Read more about the Operation Overlord National Commemorative Service, which will also take you to links to purchase the Operation Overlord commemorative coin from the Royal Australian Mint.
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
- Phone: 1800 838 372 (1800 VETERAN)
- Email: commemorations [at] dva.gov.au