Vet honoured for service
It's been a long time coming for Narrikup farmer Harley Webb.
Former 6RAR member Harley Webb poses for a photograph following a ceremony at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane last Thursday. Picture: Dave Hunt, AAP Image
Forty-five years on from his involvement in the infamous Battle of Long Tan, Mr Webb was among 70 Vietnam veterans to finally receive formal recognition with gallantry citations from the Australian Government for their heroism in battle.
Mr Webb travelled from Narrikup to be at the ceremony at Gallipoli Barracks in Enoggera, Brisbane, last Thursday where Governor-General Quentin Bryce presented a unit citation to members of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
Mr Webb described the ceremony as “a great honour”.
“It was an emotional time for all of us,” he said.
“It was really good to meet the Governor-General and meet all the guys again.There was actually 70 of us there which was pretty good.” He said it was the first formal recognition the Australian Government had given the Long Tan veterans.
“The American Government gave us a citation in 1966 and then the Vietnamese Government gave us a citation which we weren’t allowed to receive back in ’66 and now at long last we have something to say the (Australian) Government has recognised us.”
Mr Webb was just 20 years old when he was conscripted into the Australian Army and posted to the 6th Battalion, RAR, based at the Australian Task Force area in Nui Dat in Vietnam.
As a member of the legendary Delta Company, Mr Webb was one of 108 soldiers who were outnumbered but overcame more than 2500 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army forces at Long Tan. The battle began on August 18, 1966 and has gone down in history as one of Australia’s great symbolic military feats.
Mr Webb was shot in the chest during the battle, but survived and still has the bullet to prove it.
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