Super Hornets to soar as Veterans remember
TWO F/A-18F Super Hornets are set to pierce Tweed skies on Thursday when Vietnam Veterans and their guests gather for a special remembrance service to mark the 48th anniversary of Australia's largest and bloodiest battle of the Vietnam conflict.
The Super Hornets, set to fly over Twin Towns at 3.55pm, will provide the backdrop for remembering the Battle for Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral, in May and June of 1968, a 26-day battle which claimed the lives of 26 Australian servicemen and left 109 others wounded.
Reunion convenor Garry 'Pepe' Prendergast, a platoon commander for the Australian First Battalion during the battle, said the reunions had been happening on an annual basis since the early 1980's, but numbers had been building up over the years.
"We're starting to lose blokes but we're going to have 300 (plus) this year which is amazing," he said.
The remembrance service at the RSL Cenotaph begins at 4.30 pm, with the public welcome to attend.
A reunion dinner at Twin Towns RSL will follow, with guest speaker Ben Roberts-Smith VC.
The battle began on May 12 and was the only occasion during the Vietnam War where Australian Artillery engaged in direct fire and both artillery and infantry positions were over run by the enemy before being retaken by Australians.