BLUFThe RAAF's role in the Vietnam War, specifically the critical contribution of No. 9 Squadron helicopters during the Battle of Long Tan.
- The battle of Long Tan was a significant engagement for the Australian Army in the Vietnam War.
- D Company of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) fought against a much larger enemy force.
- The Australian group of 108 men was outnumbered by an estimated 2500 enemy troops.
- RAAF helicopters from No. 9 Squadron played a crucial role in supporting D Company.
- Major Harry Smith, the D Company commander, requested combat air support and ammunition resupply.
- Initially, the weather conditions prevented immediate air support and resupply.
- Group Captain Peter Raw, the Task Force Air Support Commander, hesitated due to the severe conditions.
- Flight Lieutenant Bruce Lane advised that the mission should be attempted despite the risks involved.
- Two Iroquois helicopters were loaded with ammunition and guided by another Iroquois.
- The helicopters successfully delivered the ammunition to D Company's position, aiding their survival in the battle.
- VIETNAM AIR WAR COLLECTION | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
- MILITARY HISTORY GENERAL ARTICLES | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
- Air Power and the Ground War in Vietnam: Ideas and Actions (af.edu)
- The Limits of Airpower or the Limits of Strategy: The Air Wars in Vietnam and Their Legacies > National Defense University Press > Publications | NDU Press
- A very close thing indeed | Australian War Memorial (awm.gov.au)
- Battle of Long Tan - Official Website
- Battle of Long Tan - Anzac Portal (dva.gov.au)