War is won 50 years after the battle
A FIGHT lasting almost half a century to get recognition for soldiers who fought at the Battle of Long Tan has finally been won.
Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said yesterday at Government House 10 soldiers received an award, including Bargara resident Sergeant Frank Alcorta, for their efforts in Vietnam.
Mr Pitt said he was thrilled the determination of Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith, who lead the Delta Company, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, at Long Tan on August 18, 1966, had paid off.
"It's been a long time coming," he said.
"I gave Harry a commitment in my maiden speech over three years ago that we would find a way to recognise his soldiers, so I'm so pleased that this has finally happened today.
"We are indebted to Harry's soldiers, and all service personnel for the sacrifices they made in service to this nation."
The soldiers who received awards were Lieutenant Adrian Roberts, Sergeant Frank Alcorta, Lance Corporal Barry Magnussen (deceased), Second Lieutenant Gordon Sharp (deceased), Privates Neil Bextrum, Ron Brett (deceased), Ian Campbell, William Roche, Geoffrey Peters and Noel Grimes.
Mr Pitt moved a Private Members Bill in September 2014 that called for justice and acknowledgement for the men of Delta Company who fought at Long Tan.
A week before the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan in August, it was announced that 10 soldiers who fought in the battle would be awarded a military honour or have their existing honour upgraded.