Royal Australian Mint coin honors battle in Vietnam
- Published: Jun 14, 2021, 10 AM
The 50th anniversary of Australia’s exit from Vietnam, some nine years after entering the conflict, is the subject of a new 50-cent coin from Australia.
By June 1971, Australia had been involved in the Vietnam War for nine years. With no end in sight to an unpopular war, the Australians, like the Americans, were reducing their forces as they prepared to pull out of Vietnam. However, withdrawal from Vietnam would take time and would not be easy.
Aware of enemy movement, the Australians launched Operation Overlord, aimed at destroying enemy forces and preventing them from interfering with the province’s security and the Australian withdrawal.
Some of the most significant fighting took place on June 7 and became known as the Battle of Long Khanh.
After two days patrolling, Australian soldiers found what they thought was the main enemy position, just across the border in South Vietnam’s Long Khanh Province. Soldiers of 5 Platoon B Company of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment began a morning assault before being pinned down by intense fire. Trapped on the edge of a cleverly concealed bunker complex, they called in artillery and air support. Three Australian soldiers died in the day’s combat, with 10 wounded.
The reverse of the 2021 Uncirculated copper-nickel 50-cent coin features a dynamic battle scene, including Australian soldiers in combat, a Centurion tank and a damaged Iroquois helicopter .
The obverse carries the Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
The 12-sided coin weighs 15.55 grams and measures 31.51 millimeters in diameter (from point-to-point). It is packaged in a capsule and a colorful presentation card and has a mintage limit of 27,500 pieces.
The coin retails for $10 Australian and is issued only for collectors. To order, visit the Royal Australian Mint eshop, https://eshop.ramint.gov.au/.
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