Battle of Long Tan

18 Aug 1966

On 18 August 1966, Australian infantry engaged in the Long Tan rubber plantation near the Australian base at Nui Dat, South Vietnam, were faced with vastly superior numbers of enemy forces. Running critically short of ammunition, they made a call for resupply. Two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) UH-1B Iroquois helicopters of No 9 Squadron, captained by Flight Lieutenants Frank Riley and Cliff Dohle, took off in torrential rain and failing light and flew at treetop height to the location. Arriving overhead at about 6pm, the aircraft hovered at 30 feet (nine metres) while their crews dropped boxes of ammunition wrapped in blankets through the trees, directly into the company positions below. After the enemy withdrew, 9SQN helicopters returned to assist with evacuating the wounded to hospital.

To learn more about the RAAF at Long Tan download the article ‘The RAAF at Long Tan’ by Dr Chris Clark.

Related aircraft

  • Iroquois